• Missing Documents and Destroyed Public Property

This Office's investigation has determined that thousands of pages of documents are missing. When asked by an investigator from this Office about the whereabouts of the missing documents, the Turnpike Chairman stated that after his arrival at the Turnpike, in April 2000, file cabinets had been emptied and computer hard drives had been "sand blasted so data could never be recovered from them, and so that the computers wouldn't even turn on." According to the Communications Security Systems Directorate of the U.S. Army, computer hard drives are "sand blasted" for data security reasons as follows: "[the] equipment is taken completely apart and the hard drive disk is literally sandblasted with a sandblaster so as to render the disk permanently unreadable."

The Chairman also informed an investigator from this Office that after the Chairman's arrival at the Turnpike, a former MassHighway staff person was caught on video surveillance tapes removing boxes of material from Turnpike offices at Ten Park Plaza in Boston. This removal of material occurred during four trespasses or break-ins over a three-day period. The purpose of the trespass was presumably to remove files from Turnpike offices.

  • Big Dig Officials Knew About a $14 billion Cost in 1994

Records and interviews reveal a Big Dig cost history at odds with publicly disclosed information. Most significantly, records show that B/PB presented Big Dig officials with an excruciatingly detailed total cost forecast of $13.79 billion in November 1994, a figure close to the $13.8 billion revised estimate announced by Big Dig officials in October 2000. Under its contract with the Commonwealth, B/PB must provide a detailed estimate of Project costs. B/PB has been paid more than $50 million to-date for its forecasting, estimating, and cost tracking services.

Records show that B/PB arrived at this November 1994 $13.79 billion forecast following a review prompted by senior B/PB management. B/PB documents show that the Board of Control that oversees the joint venture of B/PB established a senior management review team in December 1993 after B/PB managers warned top corporate officers that, according to their calculations, the Big Dig could exceed publicly reported amounts by $4 billion or more - nearly doubling the estimate reported in 1992.3 The resulting management review, issued in February 1994, pointed out that:

[D]ifferences existed between the official MHD [MassHighway] cost which, had been announced to the public, but which may not correspond to the latest Project cost estimate provided to MHD by B/PB. . .this could lead to a misunderstanding within the Project as to what the current target budget is, and at worst, could lead to public misunderstanding and skepticism as to the credibility of cost and schedule information available to the public.

The report recommended that B/PB management undertake a comprehensive, in-depth review of all capital cost estimates.