Metro's Board of Directors welcomes GAO report
Governance progress significant and ongoing
Metro’s Board of Directors today acknowledged the thoughtful report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and pointed to a number of actions the Board has already taken to strengthen its governance of the Authority since the GAO review began.
“We deeply appreciate the continued leadership of Senator Mikulski who requested this review, and our congressional delegation whose support is vital to the safety, reliability, and financial stability of Metro,” said Metro Board of Directors Chair Catherine Hudgins.
This year, Metro has welcomed the largest number of new Board members in many years – fully half of its 14 Directors and Alternates are new. Concurrent with the transition, the Board has created a standing Governance Committee, as well as a Safety and Security Committee to strengthen policy oversight. The Board has delegated the day-to-day operations of Metro to a chief executive officer, and is undertaking a strategic planning process to develop a multi-year operational and business plan for the Authority.
“This new Board is hard at work meeting multiple parallel demands, including improving safety and system state-of-good-repair to better serve our customers,” said Hudgins. “We are also focused on creating a sustainable, regional vision for Metro that enables us to continue to support the riders, employers, local businesses and tourism that are key to our economic wellbeing.”
The Board has taken several key actions this year including:
• Drafting permanent Board By-laws and Rules of Procedure, that benefitted from public input and include the Board conducting a self-evaluation
• Creating a work plan that allows easy tracking by the public of changes that have been proposed in response to outside report recommendations
• Reviewing and updating its Code of Ethics
• Institutionalizing the monthly Vital Signs Report as a monitoring tool
The Board has also improved safety oversight through a stronger partnership with the Tri-State Oversight Committee, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Metro to clarify roles and now regularly reports safety findings directly to the Board. Additionally, Metro provides monthly safety reports to each of the jurisdictions, including updates on its progress to take action on all NTSB and FTA safety recommendations.
“Together with the constructive dialog we have been having with the Board of Trade, the Council of Governments, Riders’ Advisory Council, and other stakeholders, Metro’s new Board has and will continue to embrace change and advance many governance improvements that substantially strengthen our role as a regional policy and oversight organization,” Hudgins said.
News release issued at 10:34 am, June 30, 2011.