A report released last week by the Amtrak Office of Inspector General has identified eight challenges facing Amtrak management as it seeks to address the passenger rail carrier’s top performance issues.
The OIG has singled out these areas in past reports, including governance, financial excellence, asset management, acquisition and procurement, safety and security, human resource issues, customer service and information technology.
The report said Amtrak has made progress in such matters as replacing aging Acela equipment on the Northeast Corridor.
“Continued management focus is needed to ensure sustained progress,” OIG officials said in the report’s introduction.
Three long-standing and systemic issues that have kept Amtrak from making further progress are:
• Inconsistent use of the company’s strategic goals to drive budget and operating decisions.
• A governance structure that does not hold managers accountable for achieving program results.
• A workforce culture at odds with the company’s goals and mission.
“Until these underlying factors are addressed, the company’s efforts to remediate the top management and performance challenges will continue to face obstacles,” the report stated.
Under current Amtrak President Charles “Wick” Moorman, Amtrak has been implementing organizational changes and attempting to improve oversight and management of core functions.
“Whether these changes and initiatives achieve their intended results will depend on the company’s leadership and top management sustaining its focus on them, providing the necessary resources for implementation and reinforcing that every employee is responsible for embracing and promoting the company’s values of safety, service and financial excellence,” the report said.