September 8, 2010

FTA: Houston Metro violated 'Buy America' requirements, procurement laws

Houston system "violated both federal procurement law and the Buy America requirements" during the procurement and subsequent award of two light rail vehicle (LRV) contracts to Spanish rail car manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. The findings come at the completion of a four-month FTA investigation into Metro's procurement practices.

In a letter hand-delivered to Metro's newly appointed leadership, Board Chairman Gilbert Garcias and Acting President/CEO George Greanias, Rogoff wrote, "The results of the investigation are both alarming and disturbing. They reveal a series of systematic efforts through which Metro and CAF sought to bypass numerous federal rules. These rules are designed to ensure the integrity of procurements involving taxpayer funds and the requirement to use taxpayer funds in a manner to maximize the creation and sustainment of well-paying jobs here at home. The Administration will vigorously enforce these requirements, both now and in the future."

The Rogoff letter said that while the violations are very serious, "the Administration believes that the commuters of Houston should not be denied needed transit improvements due to the actions of prior Metro management. The Administration still believes that the North and Southeast Corridor projects have merit and we stand behind our Fiscal Year 2011 budget request of $150 million for the two projects."

In order for the FTA to continue to direct federal funds to these projects, Metro will be required to submit a written affirmation of its intention to rebid the contract and detail its plan to achieve full compliance with all federal requirements.

The Rogoff letter concluded by stating that FTA looks forward to a continued involvement with Metro under the transit agency's new management, and hopes that relationship "will be characterized by trust, transparency, respect and full compliance with all pertinent federal laws."

A copy of the entire letter from Administrator Rogoff, as well as a letter from FTA Chief Counsel Dorval Carter to Metro's Chief Counsel and a full Report of the Investigation can be accessed here.

 

 

deli.cio.us digg it stumble upon newsvine
[ Request More Info about this product / service / company ]


E-NEWSLETTER

Receive the latest Metro E-Newsletters in your inbox!

Join the Metro E-Newsletters and receive the latest news in your e-mail inbox once a week. SIGN UP NOW!

View the latest eNews
Express Tuesday | Express Thursday | University Transit

White Papers

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

More white papers


STORE
METRO Magazine - February/March 2014

METRO Magazine
Here are the Highlight:
  • Time Running Out for Funding A New Surface Transportation Bill
  • Mobile Ticketing Makes Strides, E-fare Tech Ramps Up
  • Telematics Systems: Making Good Fleets Great
    And much more…
  •  
    DIGITAL EDITION

    The full contents of Metro Magazine on your computer! The digital edition is an exact replica of the print magazine with enhanced search, multimedia and hyperlink features. View the current issue