Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New is Old (Metro that is)

The thing about contracts, they don't go away just because new management is in place. So writes award winning Houston Community Newspaper scribe Mike Reed....

(New Metro paid $21 million to CAF after federal admonishment, Mike Reed, Houston Community Newspapers)
The new Metro — caught in something of a contractual Catch-22 — paid more than $21 million to contractor CAF, even after the federal government announced the agreement was under investigation.
Metro summary-of-payment records show that on May 21 and July 16 checks totaling $8.84 million and $12.6 million, respectively, were sent to the light-rail vehicle vendor, even as a probe into Buy America violations and the use of a flawed procurement process were under way.
George Smalley, Metro vice president of communications, said the transit agency had little recourse because the investigation, in and of itself, did not void the contract.

Go read the entire article, it speaks a lot about the foolishness of the prior administrations contract writing, their blind determination to build the thing no matter what, and the troubles that "new" Metro is having shedding the skin of "old" Metro.

Congrats as well to Mr. Reed, who's providing Houstonians with the Metro coverage they've long been denied by ChronBlog.

Also reported on by Reed (and missing from ChronBlog) is the sudden, unannounced, departure of Wilson-era CFO Louise Richman. (As well as their raising of their debt limit, and talk of issuing $440MM more municipal bonds. Wow.)

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