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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

California's high-speed plans could be delayed due to 'inadequate' planning, auditor's office says


The California State Auditor’s office released a report today reviewing the California High Speed Rail Authority’s plans for building a statewide high-speed rail network.

The auditor’s conclusion? “It risks delays or an incomplete system because of inadequate planning, weak oversight and lax contract management.”

Among the findings:

• In its 2009 business plan, the authority estimates it needs $17 billion to $19 billion in federal funds. However, the Authority has no federal commitments beyond $2.25 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and other potential federal programs are small.

• The authority’s spending plan includes almost $12 billion in federal and state funds through 2013, more than 2.5 times what is now available.

• The authority does not have a system in place to track expenditures according to categories established by the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, its largest source of committed funding.

• The authority has not completed some systems needed to administer Recovery Act funds — for example, a system to track jobs created and saved.

• Some monthly progress reports, issued by the authority's contracted program manager to provide a summary of program status, contain inconsistent and inaccurate information.

For a summary of the report, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/29/2010