Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Parsons Brinkerhoff alleged to threaten manipulation of competitive selection on rail project
by Larry Geller
Investigative reporter and blogger Ian Lind continues to expose the backroom dealings that power the Honolulu rail project.
Let me snip the allegations from his article today that bothered me most (please read the entire article):
At a recent meeting with architects who have gotten contracts to work on preliminary plans, a Parsons VP and Hawaii manager allegedly implied that future work on the project might be linked to architects’ public and political support. According to one description:
Those present were reminded that future work on the project (when it goes into preliminary and then final engineering) would be through competitive selection, i.e, “continuation of your current position is not guaranteed.” After this was said, the team architects were “encouraged” to write letters, op-ed pieces, etc., criticizing AIA Honolulu’s position. And to “help them” do so, PB’s public relations staff would even write the letters and pieces for them.
Indeed, one would hope that the competitive selection process, insofar as it is regulated by law, will be fair and uninfluenced by this major player. Certainly, PB should have no way to either continue current contracts if they are supposed to be bid, or to favor or disfavor any firm based on opinions they have expressed publicly.
Will our daily papers pick up on this? I hope so, but so far Ian Lind has been the best source for this information.
If you have a blog, please consider helping to spread the word.
Remember also that (according to the newspaper), each of us will be paying about $4,000 for a rail system that the AIA and others have said is not suited to Honolulu and that we cannot afford. There have been alternatives proposed all along but not considered. So the least we can do is help propagate information through the channels we have.