Amtrak OIG releases 2018 management challenges report

 |  Other Audit Correspondence

For Immediate Release
October 2, 2018

WASHINGTON – Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General released its biannual management challenges report Monday, highlighting eight areas in which the company may face challenges in fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

The report, titled Amtrak: Top Management and Performance Challenges – Fiscal Years 2019-2020, concluded that the company made progress across each of the challenge areas. In particular, the company reduced operating costs to the lowest amount in the past five fiscal years, improved customer relations through a series of focused initiatives, and institutionalized more effective management processes and tools.

The report also highlights issues and additional actions the company can take to further address the challenges and their underlying causes. These include improving safety, as employee and passenger fatalities increased to the highest levels since fiscal year 2015. Additionally, the report noted that the company may lack the capacity to handle multiple initiatives simultaneously. For example, the size and scope of the company’s ongoing and planned asset purchases would make managing any one of them challenging, given the company’s history of weaknesses in planning and managing major programs; pursuing them concurrently is a daunting undertaking, said the report.

“Given the pace, volume, and scope of the ongoing initiatives, it will be important for the company to ensure that departments and employees embrace the changes and that they crystallize into sustainable, institutional solutions,” said Amtrak Inspector General, Tom Howard.

The report includes a detailed review of each of the challenge areas – Safety and Security, Governance, Financial Performance, Asset Management, Customer Service, Acquisition and Procurement, Information Technology, and Human Resources. This is the fourth such report prepared by the OIG.

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