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3/31/2014



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metra board creates new audit committee, appoints Carlson chair


Metra Chairman Martin Oberman last week announced the appointment of board member Norman Carlson to chair the newly constituted Board Audit Committee and to oversee the agency's financial activities.

Carlson has more than 40 years of experience in railroad finance and spent the last 11 of his 34 years at Arthur Andersen as the worldwide managing partner of its transportation industry practice, Metra officials said in a press release.

"Norm Carlson is eminently qualified to oversee Metra's financial operations and to provide the leadership the agency needs to restore public trust and confidence," said Oberman.

As Audit Committee chair, Carlson will work with the soon-to-be-appointed chief audit officer (CAO), which the board expects to hire in the near future. Earlier this year, the board voted to restructure the internal audit function by redefining the role of CAO, Metra officials said.

The change is part of the board's commitment to reform and modernizing the agency's governance. As part of the change, the CAO will report to the full board and executive director, "so the type of abuses that occurred in past years will no longer be able to escape scrutiny because board members are uninformed," Metra officials said.

Additionally, the board will now operate as a committee-of-the-whole related to audit oversight to ensure full and direct involvement in the crucial function, including oversight of the executive director, board expenses and Metra departments, including human resources and procurement, they said.

"The board's selection of Norm Carlson as chair of the Audit Committee and the creation of the CAO position are a reflection of Metra's serious commitment to reform," said Metra Executive Director Don Orseno.



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