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Report cautions Amtrak of challenges with funding windfall

By | April 5, 2022

Company’s Office of Inspector General voices concerns over management of new projects

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Logo of Amtrak Office of Inspector General

Logo of Amtrak Office of Inspector GeneralWASHINGTON — The unprecedented funding windfall available to Amtrak under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will challenge the company’s ability to manage projects related to the new funds while continuing to oversee current operations, the Amtrak Office of Inspector General says in a new report.

The challenges will come in four areas, the report contends:

— Demonstrating fiscal responsibility in managing the funds, by being transparent in spending and avoiding fraud, waste, and abuse;

— Building and deploying a skilled workforce, including hiring more than 750 managers in 2022 to replace those that have left and for new positions related to the infrastructure funding, as well as hiring outside contractors;

— Coordinating effectively with partners, such as state operating authories and freight railroads, as well as government at all levels;

— Improving program and project management, through efforts such as a focus on early planning, providing adequate personnel resources, and managerial accountability.

The report also says safety needs to remain the company’s first priority: “Amtrak and its stakeholders cannot risk allowing new IIJA-drive programs, projects, or requirements to otherwise detract from promoting safety — at all levels of the organization — as its overarching point of emphasis.”

The full report is available here.

7 thoughts on “Report cautions Amtrak of challenges with funding windfall

  1. I think they already violated every bullet point in this report. Time for Congressional oversight directives/orders.

  2. Current top management is trying to figure out how to do a stock buyback with the windfall. Guess old habits die hard.

  3. Based on comments from other articles, does not seem we think the executives of the private rail companies are doing a good job either.

    There used to be a time that management trainees actually had to work with those on the ground in various roles before being released and before that management actually rose for the most part from the ranks of workers.

  4. Just more work for the IG in the pipeline. What contractor will be caught handing out kickbacks? Overpriced “approved” Amtrak contractors bidding high and being awarded the contract. A few years ago a local manager had lined up a local alarm company to wire the local Amtrak station with security alarms and cameras after a number of break ins. Amtrak disapproved as the local alarm company was not an authorized Amtrak contractor. So the authorized contractor did the work at twice the price of the local contractor.

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