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AB-471 High-speed rail: inspector general.(2011-2012)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2011


Assembly Bill
No. 471

Introduced  by  Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal

February 15, 2011

An act to add Section 185025 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to high-speed rail.


AB 471, as amended, Bonnie Lowenthal. High-speed rail: Inspector General inspector general.
Existing law, the California High-Speed Rail Act, creates the High-Speed Rail Authority to develop and implement a high-speed train system in the state, with specified powers and duties. Existing law, the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, approved by the voters as Proposition 1A at the November 4, 2008, general election, provides for the issuance of $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds for high-speed rail and related purposes.
This bill would provide for an Office of the Inspector General and would require the authority to appoint create anindependent inspector general, who would serve at the pleasure of the authority, and would prepare specified reports and audits relating to high-speed rail to oversee the activities of the authority, and conduct investigations and audits in that regard. The inspector general would be appointed for a 6-year term by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The bill would require the inspector general to report quarterly to the authority and annually to the Governor and the Legislature.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 185025 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

(a) There is in the authority an hereby created the independent Office of the Inspector General to oversee the activities of the authority.

(b)The authority shall appoint an inspector general who shall serve at the pleasure of the authority and shall prepare independent reports and audits relating to high-speed rail, as he or she deems necessary and appropriate.

(c)The reports and audits of the inspector general shall be provided directly to the authority.

(d)The inspector general may, as authorized by the authority, appoint necessary staff to carry out the provisions of this section.

 (b) The Governor shall appoint the inspector general for a six-year term, subject to advice and consent of the Senate. The inspector general may not be removed from office during that term, except for good cause.
(c) The inspector general shall review authority policies and procedures, and conduct audits and investigations of the authority’s activities.
(d) The inspector general shall report quarterly, at a noticed public hearing of the authority, on the expenditures of the authority for travel, meals, and refreshments; private club dues; membership fees; and other charges, gifts, and any other expenditures designated for review by the authority.
(e) The inspector general shall report annually to the Governor and Legislature with a summary of his or her investigations and audits. The summary shall be posted on the inspector general’s Web site and shall otherwise be made available to the public upon its release to the Governor and Legislature. The summary shall include, but need not be limited to, significant problems discovered by the inspector general and whether recommendations of the inspector general relative to investigations and audits have been implemented by the authority. The report shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.