If, like me, you’re a Pennsylvanian who wants a smaller federal government, you’ve probably been scratching your head at Rick Santorum’s success in the Republican primaries. An article in today’s Washington Times on the former Pennsylvania senator’s lack of popularity in the Keystone State is instructive.
One reason to shift infrastructure financing to the private sector is that governments and their contractors often give taxpayers the shaft. They say a big project will cost a certain amount, but then the project gets underway and they reveal that—whoops!—the project actually costs much more. No one gets fired, the money has been spent, taxes and debt have been increased, and officials move onto the next boondoggle.
A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that the National Archives and Records Administration’s Electronic Records Archive project is headed for major cost overruns. Initiated in 2001, the project was originally projected to cost $745 million but could end up costing $1.4 billion. The project’s development phase was supposed to be completed by September, but the GAO estimates that it won’t be completed until 2017.
That’s the question posed by the Orlando Sentinel’s Robert Block in an article comparing NASA with SpaceX, which is a private space transport company:
Bloomberg is reporting more bad news for the nation’s air traffic control system, which is run by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is $500 million overbudget and six years behind schedule on a $2.1 billion technology upgrade project.
A year ago I discussed problems that the Federal Aviation Administration was having in trying to implement an overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control system. The “NextGen” overhaul would replace old-fashioned radar technology with modern satellite-based GPS navigation.
It’s another day and another cost overrun in the federal government. This time it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sentinel project, which is supposed to create a new web-based electronic case management system for agents and analysts. Sentinel was projected to cost $425 million and be completed by December 2009. Instead, Sentinel is over-budget and behind schedule.
A report from the Department of Transportation’s inspector general expresses more concerns about the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to implement its Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). NextGen is a $40 billion overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control system that would replace old-fashioned radar technology with modern satellite-based GPS navigation.
A couple of weeks ago I discussed the rising cost of the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Pentagon officials told the Senate Armed Services Committee that costs for the F-35 had jumped more than 50 percent since the program began in 2001. Now the Pentagon has informed Congress that the price tag is going to be even higher when new estimates are completed in the summer.
The Pentagon has informed Congress about another of its procurement projects that is plagued by cost overruns. In other news, the sun will rise and set today, and the pope is Catholic.