Frequently Asked Questions - General


Is the Inspector General independent of the MTA?

What is the role of the MTA Inspector General?

What are the organizational units of the MTA Inspector General?

Is the Office of the MTA Inspector General part of the City of New York, MTA Police or the NYPD?

Is the MTA Inspector General associated with the New York State Public Transportation Safety Board (PTSB)?

What are the obligations of MTA employees to the MTA Inspector General?

How do I get a copy of a report by the MTA Inspector General?

How do I make a complaint?

How do I learn more about the Office of the MTA Inspector General?

 

Is the Inspector General independent of the MTA?

Yes. In 1983, state law created the Office of Inspector General “in” the MTA, with reporting obligations to the Governor and the Legislature, independent of MTA management and the MTA Board.

What is the role of the MTA Inspector General?

The New York State Public Authorities Law §1279 empowers the MTA Inspector General to independently review the operations of the MTA and its constituent agencies; New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, MTA Bus Company, and MTA Capital Construction Company. In essence, our job is to oversee the largest public transportation network in North America.

With literally billions of dollars in MTA budgets, and the well-being of millions of MTA riders and tens of thousands of MTA employees at stake, we provide our oversight in three basic ways. We investigate fraud and other abuse. We look for ways to help improve performance and make operations safer, as well as and more productive and efficient. And we look to identify ways to help the MTA spend its money more effectively.

To help the MTA and support its customers, we forge partnerships and cooperative working relationships inside and out of the MTA, while at all times preserving our independence. As a result, we work jointly with a variety of investigative and prosecutorial partners on the federal, state, and local level, which has led to successful criminal prosecutions as well as the payment of millions of dollars in forfeitures and settlements. Similarly, we work closely within the MTA to combat fraud and other abuse, helped along by the diligence and cooperation of MTA employees. Finally, we work closely with the public, sometimes by fielding their complaints about major problems, and sometimes simply by helping customers one at a time to resolve individual issues.

What are the organizational units of the MTA Inspector General?

Investigations, Audit, Intake and Intelligence, and Administration & Systems.

The Investigations Division receives and investigates complaints, from within and outside the MTA or upon its own initiative. Applicable/Relevant topics include alleged criminality, fraud, waste (e.g. mismanagement), and abuse, as well as safety, service, and management deficiencies. The division refers matters to appropriate law enforcement and other governmental officials for further investigation, in which the division routinely participates, and/or for criminal or civil enforcement. The division is comprised of experienced investigators and forensic experts who work with staff attorneys; additional subject matter expertise and analytical support is provided by OIG Audit.

The Audit Division conducts in-depth audits and reviews of a wide variety of policy initiatives, program operations, and service-related activities of MTA agencies. The auditors assess whether MTA operations are safe, effective, and efficient, and make recommendations for improvement as appropriate. Audit provides significant support to the OIG Investigations Division, regularly assists and consults with the MTA Auditor General and other audit and investigative units throughout federal, state, and local government. The division provides valuable analytical assistance for a wide range of audits, investigations, and reviews of agency employees, and vendors.

The Intake and Intelligence unit of Investigations reviews complaints received by phone, mail, email, and from walk-ins, obtains supplemental information and/or performs preliminary background checks as necessary to assess how best to resolve the matter. The staff is also trained to conduct intelligence research in support of investigations.

Administration and Systems provides support regarding budgeting, human resources, procurement, accounts payable, IT, and other administrative functions.

Is the Office of the MTA Inspector General part of the City of New York, MTA Police or the NYPD?

No. However, we cooperate and conduct joint investigations with all three entities, as well as with many other federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigative agencies.

Is the MTA Inspector General associated with the New York State Public Transportation Safety Board (PTSB)?

Yes. Both the Inspector General and the PTSB have reciprocal obligations imposed by law to cooperate, consult and coordinate with each other regarding any activity concerning the operation of the MTA. Additionally, the MTA Inspector General is designated by law as an ex officio member of that Board with authority to vote on matters involving the operations of the MTA.

What are the obligations of MTA employees to the MTA Inspector General?

The MTA All-Agency Code of Ethics requires that employees promptly report to the MTA Inspector General allegations or information involving corruption, fraud, criminal activity or abuse whether committed by an employee or by a person doing business with the MTA. Employees are also required to promptly report all other actual or potential violations to their Agency’s Ethics Officer, their Agency General Counsel, the MTA’s Chief Compliance Officer or to the MTA Inspector General.

As further specified in this Code of Ethics, employees must cooperate fully and honestly with audits and investigations conducted by the MTA Inspector General. Failure to cooperate will subject an employee to appropriate discipline, up to and including dismissal.

How do I get a copy of a report by the MTA Inspector General?

Go to our Reading Room.

How do I make a complaint?

Click here to submit a complaint

How do I learn more about the Office of the MTA Inspector General?

Click here and select "Annual" in the Report Type filter.

Report
Fraud