At a hearing of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, yesterday afternoon, on a party line vote, the Democrat controlled committee denied a request to further audit the California High Speed Rail Authority. "I find it amazing that the Legislature, after approving $8 billion for five years, with no further Legislative oversight would not require an audit of an agency with a failed track record of following government protocol for tracking contracts as well as basic reporting requirements. Previous audits conducted by the State Auditor have not been encouraging," stated Assemblywoman Harkey. "As the Authority begins to negotiate a design build contract for billions of dollars, we should know that the proper state protocols are in place," Harkey added.
On July 5, 2011 the Legislature approved $6 billion in funding for the California High Speed Rail Authority to begin construction of 100+ miles of track in the Central Valley. An additional $2 billion was also allocated to the "book-ends" or the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. Book-end funding will require match funding from local, federal or state funds. Of the $6 billion allocated to the Central Valley, $3.3 billion consists of federal AARA funds, and $2.7 billion in state bond debt, which is pending a General Obligation Bond offering later this month.
Previous state audit reports (2011-504 and 2009-106) indicated serious issues with practices and procedures of the Authority. View Assemblywoman Harkey's Joint Legislative Audit request here and the input regarding the request as provided by the State Auditor here.