From the Washington Policy Center:
The Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) released a performance audit of Sound Transit, finding that the agency should spend more time upfront in carefully designing and planning projects to reduce high costs of errors and changes. The audit also found that Sound Transit should formalize a “lessons learned process” to prevent making the same mistakes in the future.
The stated objective of the audit was to answer the question: How can Sound Transit improve its oversight and management of its projects?
To answer that question, the SAO focused on five projects and 12 associated contracts, funded by Sound Move and Sound Transit 2.
The SAO evaluated 324 change orders worth $172 million, issued between 2010 and 2019, “and found Sound Transit issued more than 160 change orders, worth $100 million, to address mistakes or missing information in its designs and contracts.” Of that $172 million, Sound Transit spent $23 million or 13% just “to correct mistakes in design and contract documents.” Reasons for change orders included design deficiencies, not meeting building codes, and contractors having to deal with conditions that were not anticipated or described in contract documents.