New Report: Amtrak is meeting hiring goals but has opportunities to improve hiring efficiency

December 18, 2023 |  Audits Press Release

December 18, 2023
WASHINGTON – Amtrak met its agreement workforce hiring targets in fiscal year 2023 and expects to meet hiring needs in FY 2024, but there are opportunities for the company to improve the efficiency of its hiring process, according to an Amtrak Office of Inspector General report released today.


The OIG found that Amtrak faces challenges with two distinct sets of data—hiring timeline data, which captures milestones in the hiring process, and clearance data, which tracks whether candidates have passed the company’s background checks and other preemployment requirements. Addressing these challenges, the report said, could improve the company’s ability to continue to build the skilled workforce it needs to execute its multi-billion-dollar capital improvement plans over the next few years.


Amtrak recently made changes to its hiring process, in part to reduce the times of certain phases of the process for agreement workers, but it cannot regularly assess the success of these efforts because the data it collects throughout its hiring process are not sufficiently reliable. The company cited improvements in the timeliness of completing security checks (most are completed within 15 days), but managers acknowledged that they cannot easily determine how long the end-to-end hiring process takes. The OIG also could not quantify how long the hiring process takes because the company’s data are not captured in a way that enables analyses.


The OIG recommended that Amtrak validate the reliability of its hiring timeline data and implement tools to centrally analyze and routinely report performance metrics at each phase of its hiring process. In addition, the OIG recommended that the company explore opportunities to minimize manual processes across preboarding clearance systems and implement a process to regularly confirm the accuracy of preboarding data (data on background checks, drug tests, and other actions to promote safe operations). The company agreed with the report’s recommendations and described ways that it will address them.


More information is included in the full report, which can be downloaded from the OIG’s website:



Tracking Number