Expenses claimed by executives at Crossrail are to be routinely published online, opening the organisation up to greater public scrutiny.
Until now details of claims were only provided in response to time consuming and costly Freedom of Information requests.
Last month FOI responses to London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon revealed managers had spent thousands of pounds on air travel, including almost £13,000 for two senior executives to visit Hong Kong on a “fact finding trip”.
Taxpayers also paid almost £5,000 for one manager to fly to Australia to attend an international rail conference and £600 for another to fly to Barcelona where they addressed a Health & Safety summit.
In addition to air travel, board members and executives routinely claim for taxis, including a £36 trip between Crossrail’s HQ in Canary Wharf and Covent Garden.
According to Transport for London’s fares calculator, a single trip between the same two stations would cost a maximum of £2.80 when paying by Oyster.
In addition, there were a number of taxi claims of up to £35.00 each for trips between Canary Wharf and Ilford, a journey which TfL says would cost no more than £2.60 per person when carried out by Tube and rail.
Assembly Member Pidgeon has welcomed an undertaking from Mayor Boris Johnson that Crossrail will soon publish all expenses on their website, ending the need for FOI requests and making it easier to hold the organisation to account.
The change brings Crossrail into line with parent company TfL, which the Mayor ordered to proactively publish claims by its senior officers after FOI responses revealed they were spending taxpayer money on coffee mugs and magazine subscriptions.
Ms Pidgeon said: “As a fully owned subsidiary of Transport for London it is long overdue that Crossrail’s senior executives finally adopted the same practices as Transport for London in transparency.
“Details about the expenses and international travel claimed by senior executives and paid for by taxpayers should be routinely published and accessible to everyone. It is only right that taxpayers are able to see how their own money is being spent.”