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26 Mar 2021

CPV driver sentenced for MPTP fraud

A commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver who swindled more than $27,000 from the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) has been sentenced at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.

The MPTP provides subsidised CPV trips for people who are unable to use other forms of public transport due to disability or other accessibility needs.

The driver pleaded guilty to one rolled-up charge of obtaining property by deception. He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Correction Order and will have to perform 120 hours of unpaid community work.

He will also have to pay all of the stolen money back to Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV). By the time of the court date – 23 March 2021 – he had paid back $15,000.

CPVV cancelled the driver’s accreditation in January after discovering his misconduct. He has also been disqualified from reapplying for driver accreditation for four years.

Aaron de Rozario, CPVV’s Chief Executive Officer, said the driver had made a deliberate attempt over a significant period of time to defraud a system set up to help some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people.

“The MPTP is a lifeline for thousands of people. Being able to use MPTP services allows them to participate in community life, and in many cases access employment or education,” he said.

“We take MPTP fraud very seriously. We have multiple processes in place to identify fraudulent MPTP transactions. Anyone who commits fraud, no matter the level, risks criminal action and losing their right to work in the commercial passenger vehicle industry.”

Drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

06 Mar 2021

Statement on data matching system error

A CPVV system error has resulted in a number of accredited CPV drivers, bus drivers and driving instructors not being submitted for all weekly police checks between July 2018 and January 2021.

We have investigated and fixed this technical issue with our system to ensure this cannot happen again and all accredited drivers and authorised driving instructors are now included in the Data Matching List that is sent to Victoria Police on a weekly basis.

To guard against this issue arising again, data integrity and validation audits will be run on this process.

We are now working closely with Victoria Police on an in-depth assessment of each record to ensure our processes for assessing affected drivers are rigorous and that appropriate systems are in place to ensure the error is not repeated.

The vast majority of drivers accredited with CPVV are unaffected and will not be impacted by this. However, there are 2,950 accredited drivers and/or authorised driving instructors whose name matches a person with a police record that need to be examined further.

These persons will now undergo further assessment as follows:

  • Victoria Police is validating the identities of the 2,950 to confirm that the person accredited or authorised by CPVV is identical to the person with a Victoria Police record.
  • Of those that are confirmed to have a police record, CPVV will determine whether the relevant charges and/or convictions have previously been considered and assessed by CPVV.
  • Of those new records not previously considered, CPVV will undertake a further assessment to determine the individual’s suitability to continue to operate as a CPV driver, bus driver or authorised driving instructor. This will be determined based on the severity and nature of the offence committed.
  • Some of the charges and findings of guilt reflected in the police record may have been previously considered by CPVV and no action will be required. Similarly some low-level offending may not require any action.
  • Action will be taken by CPVV against drivers deemed unsuitable to be operating in the CPV industry. We will be contacting them directly notifying them that we are suspending or cancelling their accreditation.

We expect these processes to be complete over the next 4-6 weeks.

There is no need for any BSP or industry participant to take any action at this stage.

21 Jan 2021

Multi Purpose Taxi Program fraud is a crime

If you commit Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) fraud, you could end up with a criminal record.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) manages the MPTP, which provides subsidised travel for people with disability or accessibility needs.

The warning follows the prosecution at Geelong Magistrates’ Court of a commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver who falsely claimed more than $1600 in lifting fees by fraudulently using MPTP members’ cards. CPV drivers receive a lifting fee when they transport MPTP members who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Tammy O’Connor, CPVV’s Director, Legal, Governance and Regulatory Services, said any driver who abused the system could expect significant consequences.

“This is a serious crime that takes taxpayers’ funds away from a service that is a lifeline for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people,” she said.

“We have a range of processes in place to identify fraudulent MPTP transactions and if you are not sticking to the rules, you will get caught.

“No matter what the level of fraud, criminal action may be taken. You could lose your right to work in the CPV industry and may have to live with a criminal record.”

The driver sentenced at Geelong Magistrates’ Court admitted 78 charges of claiming funds by deception.

He was sentenced to an 18-month good behaviour bond and ordered to repay CPVV the $1607.20 that was fraudulently obtained. He will also pay costs of $236.95 plus $500 to the magistrates’ court.

His driver accreditation had already been suspended for more than a year by the time the case reached court. The driver remains suspended while CPVV’s disciplinary process takes place.

Drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

03 Dec 2020

Cleaning campaign keeps travellers safe

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) is hitting the road to help reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

CPVV is the safety regulator of the commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) industry. CPVs include taxis, rideshare vehicles and hire cars.

Under new regulations introduced by the Victorian Government, drivers must clean their vehicles frequently and work with their booking service providers to keep a record of what is cleaned when. They must also have hand sanitiser available for passengers to use.

Uniformed CPVV officers will be patrolling metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to ensure CPV drivers understand their obligations under the new regulations, which are designed to reduce the risk of the virus.

The new laws reflect the advice that has been issued to the CPV industry since the start of the pandemic.

The safety campaign will be launched in Geelong today (Thursday 3 December) and inspections will be rolled out across Victoria in the coming weeks.

While the focus of the inspections will be compliance with the cleaning regulations, officers will also be carrying out normal safety checks on vehicles and drivers.

Aaron de Rozario, Chief Executive, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, said: “The CPV industry has worked hard in recent months to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and we are grateful for everyone’s efforts.

“While we are not currently seeing any new cases of the virus in Victoria, the advice from the Department of Health and Human Services is that there is still a risk. That’s why these additional cleaning requirements are in place.”

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said: “We’re thankful that taxi and rideshare drivers have been so diligent throughout the pandemic to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus. It’s crucial that there are clear rules in place to continue to keep both drivers and passengers safe.”

Learn about the cleaning requirements for commercial passenger vehicles in our FAQs.

27 Nov 2020

Temporary changes to medical assessments for new driver accreditation applicants

On 15 May 2020 CPVV introduced a temporary medical self-assessment process for driver accreditation applicants in support of the Government’s management of COVID-19. The CPVV medical self-assessment was designed in-line with the Austroads Assessing Fitness to Drive: commercial driver medical standards.

The standards clearly identify conditions that may require medical assessment. Any applicant who has provided information to CPVV that they have one of these conditions has been notified that their application is currently on hold.

As of the 1 December 2020, applicants who have identified a medical condition will be asked to provide CPVV with a medical report to progress their application.

In the meantime, you may wish to contact the CPVV Customer Service on 1800 638 802 to seek advice about what type of medical assessment will be required to progress your application. This would allow you to make an appointment with the appropriate medical professional and prepare the documentation to upload as soon as CPVV informs you this is possible.