Friday, March 23, 2007

Assessment of VTA: too political, unstable finance

Last year, VTA hired a consultant to review VTA's organization model and its finances. The consultant's assessment of VTA, which is presented to the VTA Board today, is consistent with the review by the County Civil Grand Jury in 2004: VTA is too political, and VTA's finances is uncertain and unstable. The report high-lighted the unwillingness of the VTA Board to create a budget-balanced 2000 Measure A expenditure plan, and the report also criticized VTA for underestimating its operating and maintenance funding needs as the warranties on light rail infrastucture expire.

According to a news article by Gary Richards, the VTA's Chief Financial Officer, Roger Contreras, has resigned. This is the second CFO resigned after the passage of the 2000 Measure A. In 2004, CFO Scott Buhrer resigned (whose wife was a VTA planner working on the BART extension, and which she resigned also) in light of VTA's financial problems (still exist today) that once threatened a 21% transit cut in 2003.

The consultants made nine top recommendations, with a number of sub-recommendations in every top recommendation. These recommendations include:
  • -Institute an audit committee
  • -Implement an auditor general function
  • -Make the general manager an ex-officio member of the VTA Board
  • -Reduce the number of advisory committees
  • -Balance the VTA's 30 year revenue and expenditure plan
  • -Strengthen financial reportings
  • -Upgrade SAP system


Nick said...

This Audit could not have been more timely. I hope VTA gets what it deserves.

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