Statement on GAO Metro Report

Jun 30, 2011

The following statement is from: Jim Dinegar, President, Greater Washington Board of Trade and David Robertson, Executive Director, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, on behalf of the BOT-COG Joint WMATA Governance Review Task Force

The Joint WMATA Governance Review Task Force welcomes the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on WMATA’s governance as another important step toward improving accountability and ensuring that Metro is a safe and efficient transit system that meets the needs of the Greater Washington region.  The Task Force is pleased that GAO came to a similar conclusion as our Task Force, namely that the governance structure of the Metro system in the 1960s is not appropriate to operate today’s mature system, and therefore changes must be made. 

The WMATA Board Governance Committee has already begun to address recommendations set out in the Task Force’s November 2010 report, Moving Metro Forward, which have been reaffirmed by the GAO report.  The Task Force is encouraged by these recent actions, including defining the General Manager as Chief Executive Officer and ending the custom of rotating the Chairmanship.

The Task Force hopes the upcoming report by the Governance Work Group, established by Governors O’Malley and McDonnell, and Mayor Gray, will address other key recommendations directed at WMATA’s Signatories and Appointing Authorities, who are collectively responsible for Board member appointments and compensation.

The Task Force is sure that the research conducted by the GAO will be of great assistance to the Governance Work Group in this effort and is looking forward to offering further input once the Governance Work Group’s report has been released. 

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