The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) received a low score in an audit of its performance in delivering construction projects. Millions are reportedly wasted annually in delays and management inefficiencies.
“Some of these findings are very disturbing,” said Supervisor David Campos after hearing the report at today’s San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) Board meeting. “We have heard repeatedly how there are limited resources that the MTA has available, but this audit points out… that a big part of the problem is that we’re not doing enough with the resources we do have.”
As the SFMTA seeks new revenue sources to fill budget gaps for the coming fiscal years, it is considering unpopular fee increases like a hike in Muni fares, which was quickly taken off the table by the SFMTA Board of Directors yesterday.
The SFCTA Board, which approves much of the funding for the SFMTA’s capital projects, requested the audit from CGR Management Consultants.
The numbers reported were sobering. In the third quarter of 2010, 29 projects with a total baseline budget of $800 million had gone over-budget by an estimated $90 million, excluding the Central Subway, and averaged 592 days in delay.
The consultants estimated that 5 to 10 percent, or up to $15,000,000, of the SFMTA’s capital budget could be saved with better project execution. Among the causes for waste, they listed weak oversight of capital projects, inadequate staff reports to the SFMTA Board of Directors, and the board’s own leniency towards granting extra time and money to projects.