ANNUAL AUDIT PLAN FOR 2020, Mid-Year Amendment
In January of this year we presented our audit plan for calendar year 2020. In March, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, creating a series of unprecedented challenges for the country and for Amtrak (the company) as a core public transportation provider. Since then, the company’s ridership has decreased by about 95 percent, and the company has taken significant actions in response, to include steps to maintain its financial solvency. In light of these historic challenges and their impacts on the company and the travelling public, we revaluated our audit plan to ensure that we continue to direct resources to the areas with the highest risks and impacts.
In pertinent part, our mission remains the same: to conduct independent, objective audits to improve the company’s economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, while preventing and detecting fraud, waste, and abuse. This updated plan provides a road map for accomplishing this mission and ensuring we focus on the most important and impactful issues related to the company’s programs and operations. These include assessments of the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad accompanying efforts and issues such as planning, safety, workforce considerations, and finances. It also includes assessments of once-in-a-generation programs that the company plans to continue pursuing, such as the Gateway program to double rail capacity between New York and New Jersey, and the replacement of the company’s Amfleet equipment.
In amending and reprioritizing our 2020 plan, we used a disciplined, risk-based process based on several factors, including our assessment of the company’s top management and performance challenges, congressional interests, the results of our prior work, and risks identified by company officials. We then used this information to identify audits that could help the company achieve its mission and advance our statutory responsibilities.