Your editorial on improving the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is right on target [“MTA should demolish construction red tape,” Editorial, June 26].
MTA board member Scott Rechler has a formidable task ahead of him. Let’s remember, though, that the single most powerful force in government is inertia. One other thought: If Rechler does inject common sense into government procedures and processes, would it still be “government”?
Editor’s note: The writer, now retired, worked for New York State comptroller and the state Department of Taxation and Finance for a total of 36 years.
Your editorial’s call for comprehensive reform of how the MTA manages its capital budgets is heartily endorsed by the contractors who build the MTA’s projects.
Improvements at the front end, with better project scoping, comprehensive pre-bid design review, value engineering, and development of accurate budgets and schedules, will solve a multitude of ingrained problems and significantly reduce the plague of change orders.
Contrary to popular belief, a contractor’s best project is one with few changes, enabling the contractor to hold to its original work plan and schedule. Reducing change orders, along with their cost and schedule impacts, will go a long way toward achieving the shared goal of reducing the costs of the MTA’s much-needed capital program.
Denise M. Richardson,
Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the General Contractors Association of New York, an industry organization.