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Senate urges independent Metro inspector

metro logoWASHINGTON — Members of the Senate committee overseeing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration said in a letter sent last week to WMATA CEO Paul Wiedefeld they are concerned the agency’s Office of Inspector General lacks the independence necessary to do its job properly.

“WMATA’s apparent control over the OIG appears to limit the OIG’s ability to act independently and may ultimately hinder effective oversight and transparency of the agency,” wrote Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who serve as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The senators’ letter came after WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington informed them that the transit agency has implemented policies that have hampered his office’s independence.

Of particular concern to Johnson and McCaskill was the revelation that the WMATA OIG lacks its own IT department and its own computer systems. This, Cherrington noted, has allowed WMATA’s IT department to install keystroke logging software on OIG computers in the past, and could still allow WMATA’s IT administrators to keep tabs on current investigations.

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Metro officials struggle with falsified reports claims

  • Published in Local

metro logoMetro’s Office of Inspector General knew in 2015 that structure inspectors had been falsifying reports, according to an OIG report, but that was not made public until recently when a newspaper acquired the report through a written request.

Months after Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld fired nearly half of the track inspection department for falsifying inspection reports, an old Office of Inspector General report was found to indicate the interim general manager knew structure inspectors falsified reports, too – as early as two years ago.

In a recently released 2015 Metro OIG report, then-Inspector General Helen Lew told interim General Manager Jack Requa and then-Deputy General Manager Rob Troup an investigation revealed inspectors violated Metro protocol when they falsified reports and recycled old photos of problem areas over several years. The investigation also revealed that the maintenance department didn’t repair some of the more serious concerns.

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