Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro-North Railroad

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro-North Railroad
Overtime and Other Time and Attendance Matters Found in the Use of Certain Federal Funds


Issued: January 24, 2014
Link to full audit report 2012-S-104
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine if the Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds efficiently and for authorized purposes, and whether the funds were properly monitored to prevent fraud, waste and abuse. Our audit covered the period April 30, 2009 to June 30, 2012.

Background
Metro-North, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), has four projects funded by the Recovery Act, namely, Poughkeepsie Station Building-Doors/Window ($4.6 million), Grand Central Terminal Elevators ($7.7 million), Grand Central Terminal Facilities Rehabilitation ($22.7 million), and Tarrytown Station Improvement ($37.3 million).

Key Findings

  • Our review of Metro-North's monitoring of employees paid with Recovery Act funds found that Metro-North officials could better monitor their employees to ensure that Recovery Act funds are used for authorized purposes and instances of fraud, waste and abuse are mitigated.
  • Metro-North officials should improve the timekeeping method used for conductors to better ensure they are actually working the hours they are paid for, require that all overtime is preapproved and justified prior to being worked, and consider whether it is the most efficient practice and whether government funds are being wasted by paying conductors 2 hours and 40 minutes of overtime every day for indirect tasks such as changing their clothes, washing up, and traveling to and from the project site.
  • An unannounced visit to the Tarrytown Station found one conductor was not at his assigned post when a train made a stop.

Key Recommendations

  • Monitor employees' time and attendance to ensure that they are only paid for actual hours worked.
  • Establish agency-wide policies and procedures that govern the use, pre-approval and justification of overtime.
  • Ensure the most efficient practices are in place and government funds are not wasted by paying overtime for indirect tasks such as employees changing their clothes, washing up and traveling to and from the project site.
  • Monitor conductors to make sure that they are on site and working at their assigned posts to better ensure the safety of passengers, contract workers and other Metro-North employees when trains stop at a station during ongoing track work.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Long Island Rail Road: Overtime and Other Time and Attendance Matters Found in the Use of Certain Federal Funds (2010-S-2)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Acting Assistant Comptroller: Brian Mason
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236