Waste, Fraud, & Mismanagement

San Francisco Spent $250,000 on Database That Hasn’t Been Used

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San Francisco spent $250,000 to develop a database intended to track the performance of contractors on city construction projects, but three years later the database has yet to be used, the San Francisco Chronicle reported April 13.

The San Francisco Civil Grand Jury studied the “performance evaluation database” that was recommended in a 2014 city controller’s audit. The database was completed in 2018 and tested in 2019.

“Yet, the departments that oversee public construction projects – which include the Department of Public Works, Port of San Francisco, Public Utilities Commission, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Recreation and Park Department – have neglected to ‘populate’ the database with information that could help select good contractors and avoid problematic ones, according to the Civil Grand Jury,” the Chronicle reported. “The result is that billions of dollars in taxpayer money – the city is slated to spend $39 billion on capital projects in the current decade – could continue to be spent on firms with a history of shoddy work.”

The Chronicle added:

“The report comes as the city is celebrating the opening of the bus rapid transit line on Van Ness Avenue. While the project opened in April, it was three years behind schedule and the project cost grew from $309 million to $346 million. While the report doesn’t delve into specific contractors who might have been avoided had the database been in use, it’s clear that it could have been helpful.”