Semiannual Report to Congress #63 (October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021)
I am pleased to submit the Amtrak Office of Inspector General (OIG) Semiannual Report to the United States Congress for the six months ending March 31, 2021. One year ago, we were in the very early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when Amtrak’s ridership and revenue plunged to record lows. Since then, the company has received more than $3.7 billion in federal funding dedicated to addressing pandemic-related requirements, restoring long distance service, and recalling employees that were furloughed in 2020.
During this time, we made our own adjustments, which included transitioning to full-time telework to better protect our employees and balancing our oversight mission requirements against the company’s urgent needs to address significant challenges associated with the pandemic. We refocused our efforts on providing oversight of pandemic-related funding, how executive decisions were impacting company operations, advising the company and our other stakeholders on the most significant management challenges the company will face in the coming years, and pursuing dozens of investigations ranging from policy violations to significant criminal activity.
We also decided to move up our bi-annual report on the most significant management challenges facing the company. We found the challenge of responding to the pandemic superseded and permeated the company’s ability to address all other challenges, and that it would need to adapt and develop a strategy to position itself to become a transportation mode of choice in a rapidly changing economy. Additionally, we identified opportunities in safety, security, financial management, and other areas where the company has made progress, but significant work remains on improving its effectiveness and efficiency.