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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA to create inspector general's office, eliminate auditor office


Yesterday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) board agreed to create an Office of Inspector General to replace the current Office of Audit and Inspections headed by an auditor general. The new office will cost WMATA an additional $314,000 in fiscal-year 2007.

The inspector general — who could be hired by fall and would serve a maximum of 15 years — would investigate contracts, and fraud, waste and abuse complaints; review departmental activities, programs and policies; issue recommendations; and report findings to the board.

The inspector general would have a 27-person staff, report to the board audit committee, and submit annual reports to the governors of Maryland and Virginia, top elected officials in the region served by Metro, and Congress and the Federal Transit Administration.

New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago passenger-rail systems already employ an inspector general.