Secretary Ray LaHood
-- Remarks Prepared for Delivery --
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Hearing on Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA)
November 16, 2012
- Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:
- Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Committee today to address management issues at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and to share with you steps that we have taken to help get the organization back on track.
- At DOT, we care deeply about the long-term success of MWAA.
- I was deeply concerned to learn about the lack of accountability, transparency, and sound judgment by the MWAA Board in its activities.
- The public expects—and deserves—more from a public agency entrusted with managing the airports serving the nation’s capital and building the new Silver Line.
- The DOT Inspector General’s reports laid out very serious and troubling examples of the Authority’s operations.
- But the reports also provide a clear and concrete roadmap for DOT, and MWAA itself, to bring management practices up to the highest levels.
- At the DOT, we took immediate action to help MWAA address these problems and make concrete changes that will preserve these fundamental reforms.
- This summer, I appointed Kimberly Moore as a federal accountability officer. She has worked with MWAA to improve ethics, procurement, and governance policies.
- I also brought together the Governors of Maryland and Virginia along with the Mayor of the District of Columbia to ensure a united front in addressing these issues.
- In fact, we sent a letter to Chairman Curto and the MWAA Board of Directors in August—laying out both our concerns and necessary reforms to restore transparency and accountability.
- Since I appointed Ms. Moore as a federal accountability officer, MWAA has implemented new travel policies and new ethics policies for MWAA’s Board of Directors and staff, terminated improper contracts and employment relationships, and undertaken efforts to enhance the transparency of MWAA’s Board of Directors. Further improvements are currently underway.
- MWAA’s success is important to all of us. We have made progress but there is still more work to be done.
- DOT looks forward to working with Congress and MWAA to bring about the change so clearly called for by the IG’s report. And we will keep all parties advised of our progress.
- Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012