Financial restrictions for Metro likely to stay
Metro’s cash-flow problems could linger for months to come, because federal officials are likely to continue restricting the agency’s access to grant money at least into next year, according to a report issued Wednesday.
The report, by the Government Accountability Office, focused partly on Metro’s progress in rectifying its grants management problems, which were identified last year in a critical audit by the Federal Transit Administration. Because of those financial management problems, the FTA put tight limits on Metro’s access to federal grant money.
Although Metro “has taken positive steps toward addressing” 35 of the 38 corrective measures required by the FTA, federal officials won’t deem the problems rectified until they “can verify that [Metro’s] corrective actions have been implemented and are functioning,” according to the GAO report.
The FTA has declined to say publicly when it might lift the restrictions, but the GAO report said the FTA estimates that its verification process will not begin until “early 2016 at the earliest.” And that evaluation could go on for months.