High Speed Rail Takes an Auditing Hit

By Andy J. Wang
|  Friday, Apr 30, 2010  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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High Speed Rail Takes an Auditing Hit

The Peninsual is having second thoughts on bringing high speed train through their community.

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Turns out the state auditor's essentially on the same page as that Menlo Park guy who's suing the high-speed rail authority: her office released a 40-page report Friday saying the group has relied on "vague" and "optimistic" financing plans for the $40-billion-plus train system.

For one thing, the authority plans to snag some $15 to $17 million in additional federal money to complete the bullet train, but in fact only has about $2 billion secured — and yet plans to begin construction in 2012 anyway.

That kind of playing fast and loose could end up with a half-built train system if the money faucet ever gets shut off, says the report.

There's a whole other laundry list of other problems the auditor found, including the fact that there's no system for tracking spending, and the fact that an oversight committee has been "illegally meeting in private."

For its part, the high-speed rail authority says it's already on its way to implementing some of the auditor's recommendations.

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