CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL ORDERED TO OPEN UP CONTRACTING SYSTEM FOLLOWING CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Candice Francis / Communications Director, LCCR /  415.543.9697 x216 / cfrancis@lccr.com

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) ordered California’s High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) on September 15 to open up its closed contracting system to resolve a civil rights complaint filed by small and minority-owned businesses. Citing evidence of insular bidding practices and misrepresentations regarding receipt of federal funds, the FRA ordered far-reaching reforms to CHSRA’s system for awarding contracts to private businesses. Last December, Lawyers’ Committee filed a complaint on behalf of the Associated Professionals and Contractors, asserting that minority-owned small businesses are being largely excluded from contracting opportunities available through the California High Speed Rail, the country’s largest public infrastructure project. The complaint asked federal agencies to open a formal investigation into the CHSRA’s contracting practices under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.