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

Posted on September 8, 2010

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.



View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

L.A. Metro receives milestone 50th Kinkisharyo light rail vehicle

Currently, there are 38 Model P-3010 vehicles in service and the 50th car should be ready for revenue service by mid-December.

Amtrak bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones

Faulty batteries on the phones that can overheat are blamed for fires around the world, prompting Samsung to issue recalls and stop production on the Note 7. The FAA has already banned the phones from all airlines.

DART adds 3 miles to Blue Line light rail system

Connecting an area known as the Education Corridor to downtown by light rail enables more people to discover the academic programs offered at the UNT Dallas, Paul Quinn College and Cedar Valley College.

LA Metro unveils new tunnel boring machine named Angeli

At the event Board Chair Fasana awarded TAP Cards to students who won contests to name the TBM and create an illustration for its tail shield.

Bombardier confirms progress on turnaround plan

The actions support the company’s efforts to build its earnings growth potential and highlight its focus on improving productivity, reducing costs, and optimizing its worldwide footprint to deliver increased value to customers and shareholders.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close