Infusion of Money to Create Challenges, OIG Says

The influx of federal grant money coming to Amtrak may create opportunities but it also will create challenges for Amtrak management the passenger carrier’s Office of Inspector General said.

Most of the new funding coming to Amtrak is contained in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that Congress approved last fall.

The Amtrak OIG said the primary challenges facing Amtrak include 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; and improving program and project management, through efforts such as a focus on early planning, providing adequate personnel resources, and managerial accountability.

Amtrak needs to make safety its top priority, the OIG report said, including “making safety an overarching point of emphasis.”

The report said a review of past audits and investigations concluded Amtrak has made “significant progress” in the past decade in managing its programs, but “the sheer size of the IIJA’s funding and requirements presents a potential strain on the company’s ability to manage its current operations while concurrently planning and managing a long-term multibillion-dollar infrastructure portfolio.”

The report can be found at

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