Rail authority slammed for lax contract oversight Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Jan 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm
The agency charged with building a high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles violated state law when it awarded contracts for information-technology services without going through the mandatory bidding process, according to a report released Tuesday by State Auditor Elaine Howle.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 2:36 PM
Posted by Stan, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm
Any surprises here? No. I believe that CA HSR has essentially been run and operated by the engineering/building firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. If there was ever a conflict of interest in regards to transparency of business practices, or any semblance of fiduciary responsibility concerning the tax dollars they use like toilet paper, The CA HSR / Parsons Brinckerhoff partnership is a poster-child for this sort of insider graft. Recall that Parsons Brinckerhoff contributed significantly regarding the Yes on 1a HSR ballot initiative, and stands to benefit potentially hundreds of billion dollars more in the future if this Jerry Brown, et al, greasy pork boondoggle proceeds. The sooner Brown, Simitian, Gordon, and all the politicians who supports this disaster on rails is out of office, the better.
I'll add that Obama made no mention of high speed rail in his state of the union address. So much for the billions and billions of federal tax dollars the CA HSR is counting on.
Posted by common sense, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 4:51 am
In my opinion, the fact that the HSR management subdivided the contract to avoid competitive bidding means they wanted deliberately award the contracts to their supporters - potential graft.
Yet Governor Brown, State Senator Joe Simitian, and Assemblyman Gordon continue to support the HSR, and do nothing to remove their funding and kill the project.
Governor Brown wants to raise everyone's taxes; he says if taxes aren't raised he'll cut education; but he supports HSR. The amount of HSR's budget for the 2009 - 2010 fiscal year would cover the proposed cut back in school year for 200,000 kids.
Joe Simitian hsd spent 12 years representing us in Sacramento; the majority of his district is against HSR, yet he sits on the transportation committee, and refuses to introduce a bill to kill HSR; he refuses to support the Republican introduced bill to kill HSR.
Gordon held a hearing on HSR, where mostly union supporters of HSR spoke, and all we get is more "Simitian-like" drivel.
With all the reports done by neutral analysts over the past 2 years on HSR, the case to kill HSR has never been more clear cut; it just really emphasizes how much our politicians are controlled by special interests.
This is at least the 2nd time that the HSR has been called out for mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.
We need politicians who will represent their districts, not the special interests. Vote for anyone else besides Simitian & Gordon and help send a message.
Posted by psa188, a resident of Los Altos, on Jan 25, 2012 at 9:49 am
The reports of deceptive and dishonest behavior from CHSRA keep coming yet still Governor "More Taxes" Moonbeam refuses to kill this turkey. How can he say, with a straight face, that we need to raise taxes but not kill this costly boondoggle is beyond me. Even Kevin Drum at the far-left Mother Jones correctly sees this project for what it is:
Posted by Dan, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm
$3.1M for IT services for 21.5 filled positions? That's $144k/person for IT services Awarded through a deliberate attempt to circumvent the competitive bidding process. No wonder the CEO decided to "spend more time with his family".
Posted by Stan, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm
Coming soon to a ballot box near you, hopefully: Web Link
The proposed initiative reads: ELIMINATION OF CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Eliminates High Speed Rail Authority. Bars the State of California from paying for high speed rail unless the people pass a new constitutional amendment specifically altering this prohibition. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State debt service savings of up to $650 million annually from not using state bond funds to support high speed rail. A one-time loss of $3.3 billion in federal funds would reduce somewhat the level of economic activity in the state over the next several years, resulting in some reduction in state and local revenues.
Peter Seidel, the initiative author, has until June 21, 2012, to collect 807,615 signatures from registered voters to submit it to be qualified for the Nov. 6, 2012 General Election ballot.
Posted by love Evergreen Park by Park Boulevard, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2012 at 7:38 am
I am on Evergreen park bordering the tracks, and I am in great support of HSR. It is the NIMBY again but no me. I hope that China or other Country would help finance the HSR and therefore shut the mouth of the many people against the project.