An audit of the Columbia River Crossing project reveals that WSDOT mishandled taxpayer dollars and paid “excessive profits” to project consultants. The Legislature originally called for the audit after finding that “$137 million of the project’s $182 million in expenditures consisted of payments to consultants.”
In light of the findings, the audit suggests WSDOT begin to implement many bright—and painfully obvious—cost management solutions. Recommendations include,
– Limit consultant markups to those specified in the contract.
– Pay consultants only once for administrative costs – and only for costs that are fully documented and consistent with FHWA and contract requirements.
– To increase the likelihood of receiving more than one proposal, we recommend WSDOT ensure its solicitations, pre-proposal conference comments, and requests for qualifications consistently describe the full scope of work.
Yes, the people who had to have a state auditor tell them to “pay consultants only once for administrative costs” are the same people who are charged to handle state transportation issues… and your tax dollars.