As businesses, customers, and tourists returned to New York City in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, so did commuters and vibrance to New York City streets.
This was a year that tested the city's resilience and residents' reliance on their transportation system: the MTA.
However, this new normal presents its own challenges and opportunities, and the MTA will need to meet the moment.
This response has to include adapting to such pressing issues as extreme weather conditions, economic instability, crime, and changing travel patterns.
In this shifting reality, the MTA OIG serves a vital role in helping the MTA do its job better.
As a watchdog agency, created by the Governor and the State Legislature 40 years ago, we publish this annual report in the spirit of transparency.
Since 1983, the OIG has focused on protecting the financial health of the MTA and the safety of its riders.
In 2022, we found inappropriate and inconsistent billing in various construction projects, advised how third-party contracts should be managed,
recommended ways to reduce electricity costs, caught overtime fraud, and exposed poor decisions that led to waste and safety concerns.
And when we found evidence of potential criminality, we worked with our law enforcement partners at every level of government to develop the case and hold wrongdoers
The safety, security, and well-being of MTA employees and assets was also a key focus of the OIG's work this year.
Over the last 12 months, we evaluated the consistency and timeliness of MTA's EEO investigations and exposed inadequate and outdated fire suppression systems at facilities
where hundreds of employees work and millions of dollars' worth of equipment is stored. We revealed maintenance issues with New York City Transit's security camera system
and challenged the MTA to do a better job with hurricane preparations, all while keeping a close eye on the $6 billion the Authority has spent on fortifying its infrastructure.
By helping to secure the MTA's facilities and properties, OIG can better ensure the safety of MTA employees and New Yorkers against natural disasters and crime.
Similarly, OIG continued its important work of monitoring MTA Hurricane Sandy contracts.
Although we passed Sandy's ten-year anniversary in October, the damage is still being repaired and the system is still being rebuilt.
OIG's involvement has helped protect the MTA from fraud and abuse, while ensuring a fair and ethical system.
This effort includes scrutinizing and visiting subcontractors, pursuing allegations of fraud, and conducting site visits to observe activities and contractors.
OIG also proposed new procedures in 2022 to reveal – and limit – vendors' conflicts of interest.
Helping the MTA meet its challenges effectively and safely is our mission.
As always, OIG is firmly dedicated to exhibiting the honesty and transparency necessary to maintain the fabric and integrity
of our transit system and to strengthen the public's trust in the efficiency and safety of our government institutions.
Elizabeth Keating, Acting Inspector General