Delta Tunnels Consultant Was Paid Millions, Auditor Says Firm Wasn’t Qualified

Courtland farmer Russ van Loben Sels describes how the local landscape could change if the twin tunnels plan comes to fruition. Randall Benton The Sacramento Bee

The Delta tunnels project was just gaining steam, and a San Francisco engineering firm had outbid its competitors to win a $60 million, seven-year state contract to help plan the project.

But officials at the California Department of Water Resources weren’t happy with a manager that the company, URS Corp., had assigned to help oversee the planning process.

What the state did next was the focus of a highly critical state audit released Thursday. State Auditor Elaine Howle charged that DWR directed URS in 2009 to replace its employee with the president of a Sacramento consulting firm that lacked the qualifications to do the job, in what amounted to a no-bid multimillion-dollar contract that ran afoul of state contracting laws intended to ensure public dollars aren’t being wasted on unqualified firms.

A whistleblower cited in the audit raised questions about whether DWR – an agency in charge of overseeing billions of dollars of state water infrastructure as well as Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17.1 billion tunnels project – is routinely giving sweetheart no-bid deals to contractors without vetting them.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee.


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William Hicks
William Hicks
3 years ago

Since when is the Governor in a position to make executive orders similar to the ones that obama is famous for?

One thing that is also in common is a super majority in State government.