SPAD to appoint external auditor

PETALING JAYA: For the first time, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will appoint an independent technical auditor to assess key aspects of Kuala Lumpur’s multi-billion-ringgit rail lines.

The audit will cover areas such as safety, maintenance and reliability levels as well as the availability of the rail line service, including the Kelana Jaya and Ampang light rail transits (LRT) as well as the Kuala Lumpur monorail.

These services are presently operated by Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd, itself a unit of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd.

Prasarana is a government-owned company created in 1998 which oversees all urban public transport in the capital.

SPAD recently called for a request for proposal to parties interested in conducting this thorough audit.

This marks the first time SPAD, the regulator of public transport services, will conduct an audit on Prasarana’s operating procedures and comes after a series of breakdowns in the latter’s services.

But it comes after SPAD had said last December that it would appoint an independent technical auditor to conduct a reliability, availability, maintainability, safety (RAMS) and operational capability assessment on the LRT Kelana Jaya Line.

“This exercise is necessary to look into systemic issues beyond that which Prasarana covers and probes, by reviewing and strengthening asset maintenance to sustain a higher level of service reliability,” said SPAD then.

“The latest service disruption saw Prasarana grounding its monorail four-car trains over safety issues, which sparked a blame game between Prasarana and the rolling stock manufacturer, Scomi Engineering Bhd.

According to a source, the external auditor would have to identify the reasons for the breakdowns and suggestions on how services can be improved in the urban rail lines.

“It is understood that SPAD is not going to bring in an external party to manage the maintenance of the rail assets and systems, but the regulator is very serious in taking the necessary steps to improve the service level of the urban rail line in the capital.

“The audit process will start as soon as a consultant is appointed and will take about six months to complete,” said the source.

In June last year, Prasarana started the operation of the LRT Extension Programme by Prasarana, which joined the Sri Petaling and Kelana Jaya LRT lines at Putra Heights at a cost of RM7bil.

Following that in December 2016, Prasarana started the operation of phase one of the RM21bil Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line from Sungai Buloh to Semantan.

The second phase of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT line, from Semantan to Kajang station, is expected to be operational by July.

Prasarana is also overseeing the construction of the LRT 3 project from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, Klang, which costs RM9bil.

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