DeSaulnier Bill to Improve Megaproject Risk Assessment Passes Committee with Bipartisan Support

May 4, 2014 19:00 pm · 24 comments

Senator Mark DeSaulnier’s latest effort to improve the management and delivery of California’s transportation projects cleared the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee with bipartisan, unanimous support.

The following is from the Office of Senator Mark DeSaulnier:

SB 969 expands the Public Works Project Peer Review Act of 2013 to require administering agencies of transportation megaprojects to improve project oversight by establishing both a peer review group and a comprehensive risk management plan.

“The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee’s investigation into the Bay Bridge project  allowed us to hear from international experts on how we can improve the delivery of megaprojects, and this bill begins to implement their recommendations,” Senator DeSaulnier (D-Concord) said. “The construction of the Bay Bridge has illustrated the need to establish comprehensive risk management plans at the beginning of megaprojects. The taxpayers deserve to know the financial risks of projects, and agencies owe it to the public to provide a transparent look into how they plan to mitigate and control for potential risk.”

In 2013 the Legislature passed and the governor signed, SB 425 (DeSaulnier), the Public Works Project Peer Review Act, which enacted a framework for legitimizing the use of peer review on public works projects by requiring a transparent process for selecting peer review group members and requiring a charter describing the group’s members, objectives, and aims. SB 969 requires an administering agency to establish a peer review group to review the planning, engineering, financing, and other plans of a transportation megaproject. SB 969 defines a transportation megaproject as one with total estimated costs exceeding one billion dollars.

SB 969 also requires an administering agency to manage the risks associated with a transportation megaproject by doing the following:

  • Establishing a comprehensive risk management plan with a process to identify and quantify risks to the project, track responses, and control risks throughout the life of the project.
  • Qualifying risks in financial terms.
  • Developing documents to track identified risks and related mitigation steps.
  • Regularly updating cost estimates, reassessing its reserves for potential claims and unknown risks, and reporting risks and integrating updated estimates for costs and contingency reserves.

Website of Senator Mark DeSaulnier:

Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Of course if he had been doing his Chairman job right the first time we wouldn’t need this.

But it do feel good.

How can there be May 4, 2014 at 7:15 PM

bi partisan support when there is only one political party in this state?

Otherwise, this bill solves no problems and raises all sorts of new problems.

Thanks Mark, I am sure you got a lot wealthier pushing this nonsense through committee.

PH Dad May 4, 2014 at 7:23 PM

This is actually a very good thing. Too many government agencies have no project management oversight or peer review. It was this lack of project management expertise that killed the superconducting super collider project in Texas. Most federal projects have peer review and oversight now.
DeSaulnier is doing a good thing. I’m not normally a supporter of his, but I might have to change my mind.

WC Resident May 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Too bad we did not have this in place a long time ago. I am very pleased Senator Mark DeSalnier is doing a great job with this particular bill.

Anon May 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

How many peer groups would have been formed for the new Bay Bridge? How much power to force changes does it have? Will politics be decisive factor on this group decisions? How transparent will this group be? Will all the agencies cooperate?

Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 8:54 PM

This guy is about avoiding responsibility. He was Chairman of the committee with oversight, and did nothing until it was too late.

Then when BART struck he refused to support legislation prohibiting a strike. Said he wanted binding arbitration, which means the Directors we elected would be powerless.

Who wins in all this? His big contributers, the BART / SEIU/Occupy everything crowd.

unknown May 4, 2014 at 8:57 PM

How many years will this add to every project?’
How much money will the tax payer have to come up with?

Is this the same guy that voted to let boys go into the little girls reestrooms May 4, 2014 at 9:04 PM


Gary May 4, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Private industry/EPC contractors have been using this for years on large projects. Why are the state and local agencies dragging their feet in coming into the 20th (yes, the 20th) century?

“Legitimizing” the use of peer review? Gimme a break!

Anon May 5, 2014 at 1:30 AM

Yet more Democratic waste, and yes he is part of the group, including big bottom, who voted to allow boys to use the girls restroom.

He cannot make it to the U.S. Senate, plz.

Anon May 5, 2014 at 2:12 AM

Every project will now have to add millions for the political contributions needed to to line the pockets of the review committee.

RANDOM TASK May 5, 2014 at 6:31 AM

wow now the dems are paying people to lobby on here …greeeeeaaaat

RANDOM TASK May 5, 2014 at 6:39 AM

first off yeah what is his job obviously he is going to make the tax payers foot the bill so he can appoint his neighbors and gardener to a oversight committee with no power and any and all decisions written by his office ……and the lemmings cheer for their leader as he botches yet another part of his job and then redirects blame to ???? well anyone but him and then says hey a tax hike to make sure this does not happen again ……well at least he is consistent with appointing more and more to oversee his paid off mistakes ..or rather party politics that will result inn yet another mega project with billions of dollars going to nowhere but the dems pockets and yet another committee will be appointed to distribute those billions ….welcome to communism ………ENJOY…you voted for it

RANDOM TASK May 5, 2014 at 6:46 AM

oh now I understand obamacare was a oracle pay off …… it makes sense …..wonder if Obama has any ties to oracle ……?????

Anonymous May 5, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Please , DeSaulnier interns , be a little more subtle when you post. WCResident and PH dad are too obvious. Trying hard to show broad support with bootlicking comments doesn’t fool many of us.

The middle class has been disenfranised by this guy , who does exactly what the unions pay him to do.

Re: Anon May 5, 2014 at 8:53 AM

@ #10 – “He cannot make it to the U.S. Senate, plz.” I agree… but there might be an upside. He would be a bottom tier Representative in Washington with little power or sway, and he would be out of Sacramento! No more DeSaulneir state legislation… just a thought.

@ # 16 May 5, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Actually he’s running for the US Congress, but either way, being elected to either US house from CA is a lifetime job. History shows us that.

claycordian May 5, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Re: #16 True, he would be a very junior representative, but he would STILL be feeding at the public trough. I would rather that he go back to being a private citizen who has to work for a living. I abhor the idea that Markie is the “annointed one” for Miller’s seat, although, maybe he won’t be in Washington for forty years.

While we’re on the subject, what do you think is next for Tommy Torkelson? Running for Lieutenant Governor, or will he for for the top job?

Anonymous May 5, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Torlakson ? He lost me when he started using CHP bodyguards. Purely an expensive status symbol.

Not sure May 5, 2014 at 10:02 AM

I’m not sure that forcing organizations that don’t fire people for major screw ups to follow well established project management practices is going to work, especially when those groups don’t have any accountability.
On a side note, I’m one of those that have dumped Mark due to his handling of the bart strike and follow up legislation. I am also severely disappointed that neither mark nor bonilla (spelling) aren’t jumping up and down on CA’s State and UC systems for continuing to select out of state admissions over CA students. But I guess that is for another discussion thread.

Anonymous May 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Bonilla and DeSaulnier don’t give a hoot for anything but special interests. They gladly take orders from the SF crowd.

RANDOM TASK May 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM

wow wonder what would happen if the dems actually did their jobs instead of using a pyramid scheme to clear their rears and place blame on the numerous oversight committees that are hired by these criminals and take direct orders from said criminals and are paid by our tax money. so let me see there is a job where you are not held accountable and lying is your currency to stay at your cushy job all the while getting to blame others for you not doing your job. WOW……by the way …..CRIMINALS = socialist using the democratic party to undermine this country and all that our grandfathers fought for and died for ……….sleep well …the end is near as the dems are closer to setting up communism as a platform for the dissolution of our freedoms….God forgive them they know not anything useful

RANDOM TASK May 5, 2014 at 1:06 PM

WOW ..WAIT …So a guy does his job poorly and you want to give him a promotion ……..really …….that is your big brain child dream of a scheme to promote a criminal to a higher seat because they are being paid off and lack any form of education or resilience to actually do their job right …the answer is to promote them ……..WOW ….see now it all makes sense the people are screwing themselves by believing that a inept gov lackey who obviously is being paid off by the unions and well as being a lap dog for any dem who can further his career will be less of a problem if he gets a promotion………yeah that’s like saying hey the fox keeps attacking the hen house … hmmm yeah lets just open it up and that will solve that …yay lets pat ourselves on the back now for a job well done ……SOUNDS FAMILIAR

Anonymous May 5, 2014 at 4:51 PM

This guy does nothing out of principle. He’s taking orders from some special interest.

How is it that his interns haven’t posted more?

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