State Audit Says Railroad Contracts at Vermont Agency of Transportation Could Be Managed BetterAgency did not competitively bid $7.2 million in construction work; did not charge interest on late lease payments; and did not collect salvage proceeds properly, among audit findingsMONTPELIER (December 5, 2008) – The Office of Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon, CPA, reported today that oversight of railroad construction contracts in the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is inadequate and is costing the State money.”One conclusion of the audit is that the Rail Division is not ensuring that the required competitive bidding in these contracts is taking place,” said Deputy State Auditor George Thabault. “Contracts are being ‘sole-sourced’ and this denies other companies the opportunity to compete for State contracts, and may be keeping the State from getting the best price for goods and services.”The rail audit was conducted following a request made by VTrans that the State Auditor investigate the deficiencies of its rail section and suggest improvements.”We recognized that we had some issues within our Rail Division that needed correcting, and requested the Auditor’s assistance,” said VTrans Secretary David Dill. “On our own, we were unable to clearly identify our weaknesses in a way that both we and the railroads could understand. Our goal is to use the findings of this report as a catalyst to forge a new and better relationship with the companies that run our rail systems.”The audit report noted four key findings:1. VTrans and its railroad subcontractors did not follow procurement regulations designed to foster open, competitive bidding, resulting in $7.2 million of recent contracts with Vermont Railway and one of its affiliates not being competitively bid. The largest no-bid contract – for $4,677,727 – was also issued without the required approval of the Secretary of the Agency of Administration.2. Oversight and administration of rail contracts need improvement. For example, auditors found that $82,401 from rail project salvage proceeds was being held by Vermont Railway to offset against future invoices rather than being returned to the State as required by contract. (The Agency has since discontinued the practice of allowing the netting of salvage credits and has adopted new procedures to promptly receive and account for salvage payments.)3. Lease revenues and agreed-to performance requirements of leaseholders are not being verified, and VTrans has forgone $37,000 in interest stemming from late payments of monthly leases for State-owned track.4. The Agency did not adequately follow up on past audits which reported $436,000 of questioned costs related to contracts with Vermont Railway.For the project, auditors selected four contracts totaling $7.2 million dollars, approximately 44 percent of the total active rail construction and railway upgrade contracts during fiscal years 2007 and 2008. All contracts were between VTrans and Vermont Railway and Green Mountain Railroad, two companies of the Vermont Rail System (VRS), a privately held, affiliated group of short-line rail transportation companies that operates in Vermont.Auditors recommended that AOT strengthen and clarify the language within its rail agreements, improve the oversight of contracts, enforce penalties for violations of the terms and conditions of its contracts and lease agreements, and provide for better fiscal management of its contractors and service providers.In its response to the report, the Agency of Transportation generally agreed with the report’s recommendations and pledged to provide the State Auditor with quarterly status reports on corrective actions.”VTrans already has put in place new business practices that correct some of the Auditor’s concerns, and we certainly will make additional changes to rectify the remaining deficiencies,” Dill said. “VTrans recently hired a new Rail Program Manager, and one of his top priorities is to improve our rail business operations.”Background:The oversight of the railway network in Vermont is the responsibility of the Vermont Agency of Transportation Rail Program. Vermont’s rail system consists of approximately 748 miles of track or rail right-of-way. The State owns approximately 427 miles, of which 305 miles are currently active. Ten railroad companies operate or have the rights to operate on the rail lines in Vermont.For Fiscal Year 2009, the AOT total budget is $412.2 million. The Rail Section is allocated $16.8 million of this budget. The Rail Section currently has eight staff positions of a total of approximately 1,050 positions in the Agency. The complete audit report is available at www.auditor.vermont.gov(link is external). Click on “Audits & Reports” and then “Special Audits” to access the new audit report.
WRBI Area Softball Sectional Scores. Friday (5-30)Sectional 29 @ South Dearborn.Championship-South Dearborn 3 Rushville 1Sectional 14 @ Columbus North.Championship-Bloomington South 4 Columbus North 0Courtesy of The IHSAA.
Nasarawa Amazons who lost woefully in their first outing in the ongoing Zenith Bank Women basketball league going on at the Abuja National Stadium yesterday recorded the first victory with nail biting 55-51 victory over AHIP Queens from Kaduna.The AHIP girls were almost coasting home to win victory when the Amazons turned the game around and won the game with only two minutes left of play. Earlier in the day, Zamfara Babes who also lost their first game also tasted victory with a 47- 16 victory over Coal City girls from Enugu before the rampaging Inspector General of Police Queens demolished weeping team of the competition Oluyole Babes with a awesome 61-13 points victory.The league continues today with Plateau Rocks taking on Taraba Hurricanes, Delta Force playing Zamfara Babes, Ekiti Angels facing Oluyole Babes, AHIP Queens confronting power house and defending champion, First Bank, Sunshine Angels daring youthful Dolphins side and Benue Princess testing the strength of Nigeria Customs Babes.Speaking on today’s clash, First Bank Coach, Peter Favour Ahmedu said he was already looking beyond the first phase and focusing on the next phase.“I have seen the strength and weaknesses of all the teams in the competition and are now looking forward to the second phase,” he said.We will fine tune our strategy for the second phase and will not use the same tactics we used in the first phase,” he added.Ahmedu said he did not see any team in the first phase posing any threat to their ambition of retaining the title this year.The organiser, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has promised to put up a grand closing ceremony for the first phase which ends next Easter Monday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
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La Liga and Movistar put together for the return of soccer with a particular programming that can be broadcast each Sunday on the Movistar LaLiga and #Vamos channels underneath the identify of The Partidazo #VolverEsGanar.The specials will unveil information of the competitors solely, as introduced in a press launch the employers’ affiliation of the golf equipment and the platform.Date for the return of LaLiga.Tomorrow it will likely be the flip to the first installment (#Vamos and Movistar LaLiga, 22:00), directed by Juanma Castaño, and which can have Javier Tebas as a visitor. The president of LaLiga will talk about the present scenario of the competitors and will announce the subsequent steps that each one events will comply with. The announcement comes when the actual date of the return of LaLiga is debated. The president is anticipated to have the ability to formally specify when the championship will resume.The Partidazo #VolverEsGanar It’ll even have the participation of a number of gamers from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank. It is going to be the second to share their emotions and considerations throughout the interval of confinement, the financial scenario of the golf equipment, the protocol to make sure the security of the protagonists in coaching, journey and matches, in addition to their expectations in the return of the competitors.The first half of this particular program will also be seen on the LaLiga Fb account, in addition to on the social networks of Banco Santander and the relaxation of the LaLiga sponsors.Countdown to get the ball rolling once more with ElPartidazo #VolverEsGanar at LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank.