tv [untitled] January 22, 2012 8:48pm-9:18pm PST
and the entire capital planning process was informed by this audit. very grateful for the opportunity. it is of great playbook, going forward. i think the mta delivery of capital projects is making very significant improvements now, that will serve it well, going forward. commissioner campos: thank you, mr. reiskin. colleagues, any questions? president chiu? commissioner chiu: we have all set for presentations responding to audits, how organizations are handling their bureaucracy. at the end of the day, in one year, if you were to come back and say we succeeded on this, are there a couple of metrics that you can point to where you would measure your progress of all of these process these, the impact of that, going forward? put differently, with all of these recommendations, but will
be the successor outcome? -- success outcome? >> the key performance indicator, for me, is the on time and on budget delivery of capital projects. that is what we have put as the key performance indicator for this. there will be many other measures, such as estimation, accuracy, change orders due to errors and omissions, scope changes over time, lots of different things to look at. but the ultimate outcome is whether we are delivering projects on time and on budget. commissioner chiu: what would those numbers be right now, if you have to say -- your budget performance rating? >> i do not know if i have a good baseline right now. this strategic plan is meant to be effective july 1. what we're doing now is establishing baseline for all
the measures in the plan where we do not have them, where they are not how they need to be. i do not know off the top of my head what that would be. based on the way we were doing things before, setting baseline's early in the process with almost back of the envelope calculations, i would estimate we are very low with regard to budget and probably to schedule. measured from the approved project, which is taking that baseline through the planning process, getting to a design estimate, from the approved project to the actuals, would be much better. no doubt, there is room for improvement. commissioner commissioner chiu: i would love to see what those numerical baselines look like. we do not want to set them to forfeit those targets, but i
have seen a lack of good performance measures that we can really measure progress against, and i know this is something you are focused on, but i would love your thoughts on this in coming months. >> absolutely. we have identified a key performance indicators for each of those 15 objectives, and beyond that, we will have a more comprehensive suite of performance measures, and we intend to report not only to our board, but publicly. i would be happy to come to plans and programs at some point in the future and report not just on that but on all the measures. commissioner chiu: was sort of tools do you have internally for management -- what sort of tools do you have internally for management to make sure you are hitting those? >> we are pulling information from different places to see how we are doing on budget compared to how we're doing on schedule for independent projects. right now, there is regular reporting from the capital division, much of which is kind of done by hand.
i personally meet with the project managers of each of the major projects once a month. we sit down and cycle eventually through all of the projects to ensure that we are keeping things on track and delivering. once we have this new control system in place, it will be much easier in real time at any time for any of the agency's management as well as project managers to know at any given point in time to know how we're doing on a project and be able to flag much more quickly where we need to be able to focus resources. commissioner campos: i look at this in a very simple way, very basic way. i think that when an agency tells the public, "we are going to spend x amount of money," whether it is in the context of a capital project or overtime, which we have talked about before -- but whatever your
budget is if for some reason you are not able to meet that budget, i think that raises a number of questions. it could truly impact the level of trust that the public has in that agency, which is why i think it is important that a lot of work be done in advance before a number is put out there, so that it is not a back of the envelope process. there is a great deal of thought that goes into that, and much consideration of different factors, including what is happening internally at the agency, making sure that all the components of the agency are communicating with one another. making sure community input is taking -- taken into consideration, with the recognition that things change. there will be circumstances, as commissioner wiener indicated,
where you would want to change numbers, but i think that is an overarching concern people have with the mta. whether it is over time, whether it is capital projects, that there has been a commitment to spend x amount of money that turns out to be a lot more money -- whether it is overtime, whether it is capital projects. i think that is a concern. even though we are talking about capital projects, it does impact operations in two ways -- it may have a direct impact to the extent that a cost overrun or a delay may require the expenditure of additional operational money, even though a lot of that capital project money will not be able to be used for operational purposes. it may impact it that way. the second impact is when you have a shortfall in terms of your operational budget, it is hard to make a good case that
people should give you more money to cover the shortfall if you have not managed a capital project well. that is, i think, perhaps where the real impact is. even if we are talking about money that cannot be used for operational purposes, when you are going back to -- whether it is the board of supervisors or going back to the ridership asking for more money, it is hard to make the case if you have not managed the money you do have well. >> i completely agree. commissioner campos: before we open up to public comment, i would like to ask the executive director of the county transportation authority to come up. one of the things we look forward to doing at the county transportation authority is to go through the same analysis, through the same performance audit for the county transportation authority so that
we make sure that this is happening across the board. i am sure that if it happened with other agencies, there would be other issues identified as well. with that, good morning to you. >> good morning, mr. chairman and commissioners. happy new year to all of you. just a couple of commons -- first of all, i am delighted to have mr. reiskin here talking about his perspective on the audit. i am delighted to be collaborating with him on a number of things. i predict that we will be a resourced to him in addressing a lot of these issues -- that we will be a resourced -- that we will be a resource to him in addressing a lot of these issues. we hope to be. i think this discussion is a
sign of maturation of the mta that happened over the last decade. it is sort of inevitable that we would be at a point like this at some moment, and i am glad that moment has come. i think it is very constructive. i want to draw the connection funding because that is what i do. to a man who has a hammer, every problem is a nail, right? let me talk about funding for a moment. first of all, the issue of defining project scope as an integrated process inside the agency is the key to not having surprises like the ones that commissioner wiener talked about because the public will come up with good ideas, but a good planning process will incorporate all of the multi modal -- multimodal, planning stuff. hopefully, it will not affect the viability of the project or even the overall cost of it. the other thing is that we are
not just talking about scope changes that result in cost increases. obviously, that is part of the problem, but to draw from an analogy i think you will really understand -- if you are remodeling your bathroom, and half with through the process, you decide you want to add an extra shower stall, it is not just the cost of the shower stall, but you will have to move things around in the bathroom. the original cost components will also -- because of the components already in there will also result in cost increases, so it would be a much larger number than it would be if you had planned it from the beginning. the kinds of communication in- house are very important. i draw your attention to the fact that prop k, already per the voter mandate, has the requirement for the programs.
the reason for that is we want to be able to track those trends into the future and make sure that the money is available to deal with projects as those needs, up -- as this needs come -- as those needs come up. \ if you cannot stay with the five-year program, you cannot realize the leveraging of prop k funding that they are supposed to realize, and that can be quite significant. there is an item on the agenda right after this where we are leveraging two federal -- to one federal money -- two to one federal money for the communications system. i think focusing on a comprehensive project management to avoid those overruns is really fundamental to the relationship between the authority's funding process and
the mta's program. for me, it is something to keep in mind as we move forward, and we look forward to that collaboration. commissioner campos: thank you. if there is any member of the public who would like to speak on this item, please come forward. >> good morning. i am with power people organized to win employment rights. in the last year-and-a-half, we have been doing a lot of organizing on the buses, talking to bus riders, families, youth. we have been working with many of you on the border around addressing the urgent need of young people to get access to school. we love the support of the supervisors, but beyond that, we are deeply invested in
addressing the issue of transit in equity and civil rights as it connects to people who rely on public transit every day -- in addressing the issue of transit inequity. what we see is a real counter narrative around the mta that we have a chance, an opportunity to have real deep transportation improvements on these three levels. the director continues to move with the leadership, as he has suggested, to begin to address this. what we thought was most powerful in the audit was it pointed to $7.5 million to $15 million of potential savings. when we look at reining in the work order is being used by the police. our mta is being used to pay for our entire motorcycle fleet of police officers. it does not make sense. we need to take our transit
money and prioritize our transit needs, and that can be a counter - to the huge concerns people have talked about around the deficit that our mta is facing. we're here to express the commitment that we will work with you over the long term to make sure we can get more resources put into transportation, better manage those resources, and actually address the needs of san franciscans as a whole. part of the reason why we're here today is because we know the proposal will come before you soon, and we think it is directly linked to these kinds of improvements. we are better managing resources, bringing in resources, and improving the transportation system as a whole, so thank you so much. commissioner campos: thank you. >> i am also here with power. i really want to thank you for your attention to this issue and also ed reiskin for his leadership and openness to the
recommendations of the audits. we know our families are hurting right out and really need accessible, affordable transit. it is a necessity, not a luxury. when we hear about the complete lack of clear processes and the huge overruns, it is really astounding in light of what our communities are faced with. so i just wanted to appreciate the conversation you were having about anticipating capital project needs from the beginning, not only because you lose trust with the public, but also because it makes it so that there is no way for the public and the mta board to actually be part of that conversation on budget priorities. what will we be able to afford? what will we be able to do? then, i also wanted to encourage you to stay vigilant on this issue and work with us, members of the community, and ask for some of those clear benchmarks, and any progress that is made, to measure that. really, the most simple way is
looking at those overruns and what they are in the coming year. as bus riders, we know that will impact us, impact our services, and it will impact the ability to fund the free muni for youth campaign. thank you so much for all your work on this. commissioner campos: thank you. next speaker. >> i am organizer with power. i am very grateful to you for having this audit so we can understand the budget and priorities of the mta. i wanted to talk a little bit about the fact that we were invited to this meeting recently where supervisor campos and mr. wiener were also present. we were asked to represent the community and with the community needs work. it was a difficult process, asking us to prioritize what we wanted for the region in terms
of transit and housing. one of the things that one of the members of the community had mentioned was -- how can we prioritize when we do not know how much things will cost, right? it is like being asked whether we want a bicycle or whether we want a car and we do not know what that will cost. for us, we think that it is really important that we prioritize the free fastpass campaign. we know what it will cost. the projection is about $17 million over two years. relative to the budget of muni, that is actually not a lot. we think that this is very important, but this auditing process will help us identify funding sources so we can put money towards that campaign. thank you so much. commissioner campos: thank you very much. next speaker please. >> good morning. i am an organizer with power.
i am also very thankful for this audience to be able to better understand the deficit and the m.t.a.'s budget. i get to ride the bus and a lot and talk to bus riders about their experiences, and many people feel that the services provided by the sfmta -- they do not feel like it is a public institution, that it is not really accessible to people who need it and do not have other alternatives. the mta could have saved 17 -- $7.5 million to $15 million by better managing capital projects. i think the combination of all these things make it so the we are at a deficit because we are not really managing our budget the way that could be servicing our passengers better. i think that we have a huge
opportunity to restore the relationship that the mta has to really push pro-muni initiatives. i think that would be possible. we need to make sure we use the same model to hold the mta accountable for managing the budget better. i think that it is time for us to maximize our budget to make sure that we make me any more accessible and to be accessible to all the residents in san francisco. one thing that i thought was really interesting was the project for st. landscaping was something mta approved with a larger scope than what was originally planned, and that was because a lot of the community that was pushing for a lot of connections and things people wanted to see in the neighborhood -- what i think it is great, we should be using the model of putting community input into the things we would like to see improved. i think it is time -- the dubose
and church project was specific to an area. the free muni for use -- for youth could impact so many more people. it is time to improve the way mta manages its money to impact its riders. >> good morning. i am also an organizer with power. i want to say that a lot of times, when i'm talking to people in the public, they say the reason why muni keeps going up is because of all these deficits. i do not think it is exactly clear why there are so many deficits. if we had more clarity about how muni's budget is run and improvements that need to be made, we would get more support
and better understanding of our fastpass campaign. a lot of times, i feel like people are not clear on where improvements need to be made, and it all comes back to the people. the fares go up, and people are like it is ok. transportation in the city is extremely important. i ride muni every day, and it just gets really expensive. i want to push for there to be more community input. commissioner campos: thank you very much. is there any other member of the public who would like to speak? ok, public comment is closed. why don't we now just give an
opportunity again to the auditor, the consultant, and also to the mta to add anything else. >> first of all, i would like to thank the mta and point out how open the commissioners have been in considering our recommendations. that is a very good sign. second, i would like to confirm that in looking back at the overruns and delays, we realize that a lot of the problems arose for good reason, but continual expansion is a sign of lack of control. we need to make sure there are guidelines for dealing with
those, and we think those should be followed. there are a number of other recommendations in the report, which were not addressed in the presentation, which concern us a little. some of the ideas for improving the planning and funding, etc., which are one of the major areas or problems in the project, as pointed out in the report. another is the lack of emphasis in the project reporting a slide. it is not mentioned at all, the importance of the board putting the stamp on to the nature of capital projects and the control of capital projects, etc. similarly, things like the organizational unit, which we accepted for improved business
processes. many of these seem to be addressed in the mta presentation. finally, i would like to speak to commissioner chiu pose a question about i.t. because i did not think our point of view was represented -- commissioner chiu's question about i.t. there are also areas where special expertise is required. typically, that is in the application development. it is a good idea to have people who address that, not to rely solely on a central source. commissioner campos: thank you very much. mr. reiskin, wondering if you have comments to the point that there were some items that were pretty important in the audit.
there was something missing in the presentation in terms of response to those items. >> as i mentioned i think at the outset, we agreed with all of the recommendations but two, with which we partially agreed, both of which i covered, between the two different hearings we have had on this project. we responded in writing in detail to each recommendation, and i'm sure that has been provided to you all as well. this is a high level presentation. we touched on board reporting quite extensively. no dispute. if there is an issue with what we chose to put on certain bullets on certain slides, fair enough. commissioner campos: one of the
things we have done is following a presentation of an audit report is we do come back at a later time just to see where things are going. my intention is to -- my hope would be whoever sits at the chair to request that in a few months, that we come back to see where things are. >> i would be happy to come back. given the pace at which capital projects move and capital planning happens in a few months, it might be premature. i do not know if i will have much more to say in two months than i did today. if we come back in here, you would be able to get a good understanding to which we did the things we said we would do. i would be happy to come back. it might be more beneficial
further in the future. commissioner campos: thank you very much. colleagues, questions on this item? ok, why don't we file this item? we can take that motion without objection. madam clerk, can you call the next item -- and again, i want to thank the members of the public who came out for this item. we appreciate your interest and your feedback. >> item 5, recommendation of allocation of $14,869,901 with conditions to the san francisco municipal transportation agency for the central control and communications-integrated systems replacement phase 1 project subject to the attached fiscal year cash flow distribution schedule. >> good morning. i am project management oversight consultant to the authority.
the item in front of you for action today is an allocation request from the mta of $14.8 million for the construction of the first phase of the integration system project. this is one of several major projects. the current facilities being used for central control communications by the mta are four decades old. they are very antiquated. it is very cramped, very understaffed. i think that mta needs to be commended for being able to actually manage their system from that facility. anyone who has had the opportunity to visit it will be able to tell in about five
minutes that it is quite a feat. the purpose of the central control communications program is to modernize, to bring it to the 21st century, to help mta meet their objectives. the benefits of this replacement project is systems safety, reliability, system maintainstability, and also to allow for expanding the metro subway system -- system maintainability, and also to allow for expanding the metro subway system. the supervisory control and data acquisition, which is a remote facility that monitors