Architectural consulltants Dr. Sauer & Partners Corporation reportedly overcharged The City for work on the Central Subway. (Jessica Christian/2014 S.F. Examiner file photo)

Architect consultant on Central Subway overcharged SF, fiscal review finds

An architectural consultant for the Central Subway project overcharged The City, according to a review of the project’s finances.

The Office of the Controller’s City Services Auditor Division released a report Wednesday alleging Dr. Sauer & Partners Corporation must reduce the amount it billed the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The review of three consultant contracts was conducted by Sjoberg Evashenk Consulting, which was hired by the Controller’s Office. The review was classified as a “desk review,” the report’s authors wrote, which is considered “substantially less in scope than an examination or audit.”

Dr. Sauer & Partners, an architectural consultant specializing in tunnels and underground facilities, may owe the SFMTA as much as $24,483 due to its miscalculations, according to the Controller’s Office report.

Though the report stated “this amount does not represent the actual recovery amount due to SFMTA, which will be determined by SFMTA at the time of the final contract cost review,” SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said the final amount would likely not change.

The Central Subway project is the largest transit project under construction in San Francisco, and will more directly link Chinatown to The City’s southeastern neighborhoods.

The review was conducted because $948 million — more than half of the Central Subway project’s total $1.58 billion budget — is funded by the Federal Transit Administration. Therefore, the report states, “SFMTA has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure project expenses follow applicable federal rules and regulations.”

SFMTA staffer and Central Subway Program Director John Funghi responded to the review in a letter, which was included in the report.

“It is important to note that the Central Subway Program will implement the new overhead rates and will work with all three firms to determine the reconciled overhead amount,” Funghi wrote.

The report found Dr. Sauer & Partners “mostly complied” with The City’s contract terms, but incorrectly calculated its ground transportation and car lease costs.

The consultants did not keep mileage logs to distinguish between personal or professional use of its vehicles. This lack of data prompted Sjoberg Evashenk to “disallow” the cost of the consultants’ transportation.

In a response, Dr. Sauer & Partners wrote to the Controller’s Office that they reviewed the report and have “no comment or objections.”

Sjoberg Evashenk approved rates of two other consultants to the Central Subway project were evaluated: MCK Associates and Butler Enterprise Group. Central SubwayCity Controller's OfficeMunireviewSFMTATransit

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