Same Cast Is Back At It – Only This Time, It's Called PRESTO
13 December 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Yesterday, the Auditor General confirmed what the Ontario PCs have been saying for more than two years – PRESTO is one more costly example of the Liberal government’s mismanagement and waste of taxpayer money, Ontario PC MPP Frank Klees said today.
“The Ontario Auditor General’s 2012 Report is another reminder that the Liberal government just can’t resist wasting scarce tax dollars,” said Klees.
Klees cited the Auditor General’s finding that the total cost of developing the PRESTO transit card could exceed $700 million, making it, according to the Auditor, “among the most expensive in the world”. And despite the promises, “there is still no integrated transit fare system – which is what Presto is for.”
“The waste and mismanagement at Metrolinx is the latest in a laundry list of examples of the Liberals’ lack of oversight in a government agency,” said Klees. “Despite seeing what happened at eHealth, the Ministry of Transportation still signed a $250 million contract with Accenture – the same company that drained millions of dollars out of the Ministry of Health with nothing to show for it.”
“The story line’s the same. Sign a contract for a couple of hundred million dollars, when you can’t deliver – tack on a few more contract extensions and see the pot grow to a billion.”
Klees called on the government to put an end to pouring millions into what he predicted would be a bottomless pit and follow its own stated procurement policy.
“Issue an open public tender, invite competitive bids from companies who have proven experience and the leading edge technology and award that contract based on who can give the best value for the money,” said Klees. “This is not about starting over. The technology exists that will incorporate the existing basic PRESTO card but can also provide the open payment system that will allow commuters to use any card in their wallet, including their ATM card.”
“It makes no sense for the government to spend millions developing a system that already exists and can be implemented in a matter of months.”
“If we don’t take urgent action, continued overspending and mismanagement by the Liberal Government will put everything we value at risk, like health care, education and strong transportation networks,” concluded Klees.
“Ontario can set a course for balanced budgets and better value for taxpayers, but only under a team of strong fiscal managers led by Tim Hudak.”