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2/25/2005
DC Contract Violates Federal Guidelines
The Washington, DC speed and red light camera contract violates FHWA guidelines.

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The District of Columbia's new contract with Dallas-based ACS violates guidelines recommended by the Federal Highway Administration, which state: "Where a private contractor is responsible for the processing of citations, compensation to private vendors based on the number of citations issued should be avoided."

Yet the District will pay ACS a bonus of $23,000 for every 2,500 citations it issues above a floor of 53,750. According to city documents, it expects to issue 130,750 citations a month.

"Most people would be appalled if in a private prison the contractor was incentivized for having more prisoners," Steven L. Schooner, co-director of the Government Procurement Law Program at George Washington University told the Washington Times.

The Highway Administration guidelines are not binding as they are not authorized by Congress. The congressional committees have held general hearings on photo enforcement but never considered any legislation.

Article Excerpt:
Jack Archer, legal counsel for the Virginia-based National Committee for Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances, said most transportation experts agree with the federal guidelines against tying compensation to ticket volume.
"When you link compensation to the number of tickets issued, you create a question in the minds of the public," Mr. Archer said. "You're raising the question of whether this is a revenue raiser, and that's a horrible thing to do."
Source: D.C. camera deal ignores U.S. rules (Washington Times, 2/25/2005)

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