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Rail News: Amtrak

OIG report examines Amtrak management challenges


The Amtrak Office of Inspector General (OIG) late last week released a report highlighting Amtrak's top performance issues.

The eight challenges reflect areas that Amtrak OIG has acknowledged in the past: governance, financial excellence, asset management, acquisition and procurement, safety and security, human resource issues, customer service and information technology.

The OIG report also notes progress the railroad has made in each area, such as Amtrak's efforts to replace aging Acela equipment on the Northeast Corridor (NEC).

"Continued management focus is needed to ensure sustained progress," OIG officials said in the report's introduction.

The report mentions three long-standing and systemic issues that have kept the railroad from making further progress:
• inconsistent use of the company's strategic goals to drive budget and operating decisions;
• a governance structure that does not hold managers accountable for achieving program results; and
• a workforce culture that is at odds with the company's goals and mission.

"Until these underlying factors are addressed, the company's efforts to remediate the top management and performance challenges will continue to face obstacles," the report stated.

Amtrak is undergoing organizational changes and attempting to improve oversight and management of core functions, the report noted.

"Whether these changes and initiatives achieve their intended results will depend on the company's leadership and top management sustaining its focus on them, providing the necessary resources for implementation and reinforcing that every employee is responsible for embracing and promoting the company's values of safety, service and financial excellence," the report added.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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