Report 2018-108 Recommendation 13 Responses

Report 2018-108: California High‑Speed Rail Authority: Its Flawed Decision Making and Poor Contract Management Have Contributed to Billions in Cost Overruns and Delays in the System's Construction (Release Date: November 2018)

Recommendation #13 To: High-Speed Rail Authority, California

To help improve the effectiveness of its sustainability policy, the Authority should revise the policy by May 2019 to more clearly differentiate between the construction and operation phases of the high-speed rail system. Further, it should ensure that each objective in each section of the policy is associated with quantifiable metrics for evaluating implementation.

6-Month Agency Response

The Authority has completed the revision of its Sustainability Policy, including distinctions for each commitment as to construction or operations, and presented these revisions to the Board. The Board adopted the revised policy April 16, 2016. The Authority has posted the updated implementation plan which matches each commitment with a quantitative metric.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented

The Authority has revised its sustainability policy to clearly distinguish which goals and objectives pertain to the construction phase versus the eventual operation of the high-speed rail system. Further, it has identified both key indicators and quantitative metrics for its policy objectives in order to to allow the Authority to evaluate implementation.

60-Day Agency Response

The Authority has begun review and revision of its Sustainability Policy. In tune with Authority governance, the Project Delivery Committee was notified of the requirement to revise its Sustainability Policy to more clearly differentiate between construction and operations. A formal business case will be submitted to the Project Delivery Committee in January 2019.

As an interim step, the Authority has revised the implementation plan to match each existing policy objective with a quantitative metric, posted on our website as noted above. The implementation plan will be revised subsequent to the policy revision.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

The Authority shared draft revisions to its sustainability policy that include additional differentiation between the construction and operations phases of the system with respect to the policy's objectives. Going forward, we will monitor the finalization and adoption of these revisions, as well as ensure the Authority has developed quantitative metrics for each; as we explain in our audit report, we expect the Authority to revisit its most recent revisions to the metrics in its implementation plan, which the Authority notes in its response, once the revisions to the policy are in place.

All Recommendations in 2018-108

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.