News Limited headquarters in Sydney has struck a “preferred deal” with Legion Cabs, which has locked out other cab providers. Result: staff often wait 30 minutes for a Legion cab to arrive because they are not allowed to get into other cabs.

The changes follow a heavy cab ban enforced earlier this year during the financial crisis to cut costs.

From: Simpson, Amanda
Sent: Tuesday, 10 November 2009 11:49 AM
To: NWN-DL-Holt St All Staff
Subject: Taxi policy notice sent on behalf of Eric Lawrence

I attach a revised NWN taxi policy and guidance notes. The policy is effective from 3.00am Monday 16 November.

The main changes relate to implementing a ‘preferred supplier’ relationship with Legion Cabs and Green Tomato in place of our current reliance on Cabcharge vouchers. The new approach will bring about a long overdue improvement in administration and accountability for taxi costs and is already working smoothly with other high volume users in the Sydney market.

In putting the new policy together we have consulted extensively in an attempt to ensure that all departments are properly catered for. There are bound to be some ‘teething troubles’ as the arrangements bed-in; we will keep a close eye on how the system is working to ensure that any problems are addressed.

Eric Lawrence
Finance Director, Nationwide News

Download the original attachment

PURPOSE: This policy explains the appropriate use of taxi travel

SCOPE: This policy applies to all NWN employees.

POLICY: Taxi travel is permitted as follows;

Travel to and from business events including meetings, conferences and seminars, excluding the CBD.

Travel from an employee’s workplace to home as an alternative to public transport if his/her shift ends between the hours of 10.00pm and 6.00am

Other journeys as provided under relevant Awards

Alternative low cost methods of travel should always be considered, including but not limited to rail, bus, own vehicles and pool cars available to editorial and photographic staff.

Home Travel

‘After 10.00pm journeys’, as referred to above, have to depart from the Holt Street Foyer

The boundary for home travel by taxi is the irregular shape connecting Cronulla, Liverpool, Mount Druitt, The Hills District, Hornsby and Avalon.

If an employee’s home is located outside this boundary a specific agreement must be made with the Managing Editor regarding home travel costs.

Staff finishing after 10pm should cab-pool with colleagues heading in the same direction.


NWN has negotiated a preferred supplier agreement with Green Tomato and Legion Cabs. Steps for booking a Green Tomato Car and Legion cab are attached as Appendix A and should be read in conjunction with this policy.

Frequent Taxi Travellers

Frequent taxi travellers will receive a pin number allowing them to book taxis directly with Green Tomato and Legion Cabs. The pin number is as confidential as your bank account pin.

As a guide an employee who is required to travel by taxi three to four times per week is regarded as a “frequent user”. Pin numbers may only be used to book travel for the holder, i.e. no second party.

To apply for a Green Tomato/Legion pin number the application form located under forms on the intranet must be completed and signed by the appropriate department manager.

Non-Frequent Taxi Travellers

All bookings are to be made through the front reception desk.

The front reception desk will require your name, cost centre code and mobile phone number before booking the taxi.

Other Taxi Travel

In instances when no Green Tomato or Legion cab is available, taxis have to be paid for using a credit card or cash. Any personal outlay is then claimed back through the expenses form system detailing the journey and purpose and with the receipt attached.

Your approving manager decides if the claim is legitimate. Employees submitting expenses that are deemed unnecessary or unreasonable and not in compliance with this policy risk partial or forfeited reimbursement.

If a journalist or photographer travels inter-state and is expected to make several journeys by taxi the Managing Editor or NWN Photographic Manager may issue an inter-state Cabcharge card, which will be logged and returned immediately following the trip.


In all cases the sum signed for and/or claimed should be the amount shown on the meter. Tipping is at the discretion of the traveller and is not to be passed on as a cost to the Company.


The employee undertaking taxi travel is responsible for compliance with this policy.

Departmental managers are responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy.

Policy breaches

Green Tomato and Legion will provide monthly usage reports which will detail each trip made by all staff. These reports will be reviewed by Department Managers and will be subject to Internal Audits.

Policy breaches may result in the cancellation of pin numbers and prohibition of future taxi use.

Policy breaches may be considered official misconduct and subject to disciplinary procedures.

Changes to this policy must be authorised by the General Manager of Nationwide News

Date prepared: November 6, 2009 Version: 1.0
Prepared by: E. Lawrence, NWN Finance Director
Authorised by: G. Booth, General Manager

And now you’re ready to ride!