Audit: Costly consultants hold key jobs in Honolulu rail agency

A rail car tops an elevated rail line in Waipahu in 2017. The Hawaii State Auditor said officials prematurely awarded contracts for Honolulu's commuter rail line a decade ago to minimize public criticism and show the project was moving along, but this dramatically swelled costs as plans changed. Cost estimates for the rail line swelled from $5.1 billion in 2012 to $9.2 billion last year. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz, File)

HONOLULU — Private consultants hold key senior positions inside the Honolulu agency building the city’s rail line, yet the agency fails to consistently monitor their performance, the state auditor’s second report on the enormously over-budget rail line said Tuesday.