You may have heard Authority Chairman Dan Richard and CEO Jeff Morales in the media lately talking about transparency.
We sent legislators new information about how the Authority is so concerned about the public perception of the project that it is willing to compromise the state’s ability to oversee the many consultants working to design the rail line. Is the risk of a negative headline really larger than the real risks involved with engineering the nation’s first high speed rail system?
We have significant concerns about recent actions the California High Speed Rail Authority took that drastically reduced the information contained in key project updates produced by the Authority’s engineering consultants.
Under guidance from the Authority’s CEO Jeff Morales, the agency’s engineering consultants were ordered to limit the information that was in key project updates specifically to avoid the public eye, even though the State Auditor strongly recommended the reports should include more detail.
We believe this:
- Undermines the Authority’s ability to provide oversight of its project consultants
- Creates significant risks for the state of California
- Raises additional questions about the Authority’s transparency
We provided a memo that details our concerns and includes key recommendations along with internal Authority emails that we believe the California State Legislature should take to remedy the situation.
A California State Auditor report [starting on report page 33 ] provides further background about the importance of this issue.
Additional supporting documents are available online.