Report 2018-108 Recommendation 16 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 #16 To: High-Speed Rail Authority, California

To help ensure that its contractors' proposed environmental impacts are reasonable and to measure the progress of its sustainable construction efforts over time, the Authority should, by November 2019, identify and track standardized measures—such as project miles—that will allow it to compare construction impacts across the high-speed rail system's different construction projects.

6-Month Agency Response

The Authority has completed its update of the construction emissions database (model) with information from the adopted 2018 Program Baseline and relevant, validated data from construction. The Authority will use this database, in part, to develop targets for upcoming procurements.

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

In addition to updating its model, the Authority developed a methodology establishing how it will use data from the model to develop estimates for future construction, against which it can manage and evaluate contractor performance.

60-Day Agency Response

As noted in the Audit response, the Authority has identified and tracked standardized metrics related to construction efforts. The Authority has a model that assesses program environmental impacts using standardized metrics, including tons of CO2e, kgCO2e/kg, kgCO2e/gallon, kgCO2e/kWh, normalized by miles and construction typology. The Authority has completed an update to this model with the refined project lengths and infrastructure typologies detailed in the adopted 2018 Program Baseline and is carrying out a series of reviews and stress testing of formulas to confirm fidelity. This review and testing involves incorporating relevant, validated data (e.g., tons of CO2e and environmental product declarations for actual materials installed) tracked on each construction package, among other refinements. As testing is completed, this updated model will be used to support the development of targets for future construction contracts. The model structure can also be used to illustrate and compare different construction contracts.

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

The Authority provided documentation of its efforts to revise its existing model, work it indicates is ongoing. Once the Authority reports that it has completed the process of refining the model to compare construction environmental impacts and set targets for new construction, we will review the final model and any targets the Authority has set.

All Recommendations in 2018-108

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.