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CARRD’s Updated cost estimates and oversight concerns

Today we submitted comments for the Assembly Budget Subcommittee meeting focusing on High Speed Rail Oversight.

Our main points of concern:

  1. In this case, construction bids and construction estimates are not (and have never been) apples-to-apples comparison.
  2. There is no public document that incorporates, tracks and forecasts all relevant costs for the ICS project, relative to funding and baseline estimates in the 2012 (and/or 2014) business plans (a minimum standard for mega-project management).
  3. Our comprehensive tally of ICS costs (exhibit I) shows the $5.8 billion project now closer to $7 billion

We also explain that the 2012 Business Plan contained hundreds of pages of reference and supporting documentation, the 2014 Business Plan did not. When we inquired about this, the Authority explained that despite 2 years of additional engineering work being completed, the 2014 plan simply included the 2012 estimates with adjustments for inflation.

Failure to update the 2014 Business plan violated the Authority’s own policies contained in the project’s Technical Memoranda on costing, the Risk Management Plan (Exhibit F in documents below) submitted to the legislature in July 2013 to comply with SB1029, as well as GAO guidelines for cost estimating.

Read all about it below.

CARRD’s detailed comments.

Exhibits supporting our comments.

Including – Exhibit I – Our estimate which differs from Authority’s estimates.

Additional information on cost overruns as a result of changes in Wasco/Shafter.

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