SFMTA Needs to Improve Accountability and Collaboration to Avoid Project Delays and Overspending, Audit Finds
San Francisco, CA (February 16, 2021) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has a 20-year capital plan that requires the participation of various SFMTA divisions and stakeholders and includes $31 billion in capital needs, but the agency is hamstrung in executing the plan due to internal shortcomings, according to a newly released city audit. The Controller’s Office audit assessed whether SFMTA’s collaboration, communication, and decision-making processes help three of its divisions – Construction, Transit, and Finance – plan and deliver capital projects on time and on budget.
The audit found that SFMTA’s communication and collaboration problems contributed to delays of up to 1.7 years and cost overruns of up to $9 million for four sample projects. Inadequate processes undermine collaboration, communication, and accountability, including processes for employee evaluations, training, oversight by the department’s Transportation Capital Committee, and stakeholder reviews during the design phase, according to the report.
The report urges SFMTA to reinforce agency and individual accountability and promote a culture of collaboration by improving these processes and making better use of its data and technology. SFMTA states that it agrees with the report’s 16 recommendations and plans to implement all of them.
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