Amtrak's Board Of Directors Provides Leadership to the Corporation But Can Improve How it Carries Out Its Oversight Responsibilities
On September 14, we issued our report on Amtrak's Board of Directors. Our audit was conducted at the request of Representatives Brian Baird, Elijah Cummings, and Jerrold Nadler. The objectives of our audit were to determine: (1) the rules, procedures, and authorities under which the Board operates (2) whether the Board has followed established processes and procedures (3) whether the Board has set long-term goals and performance objectives (4) whether the Board's processes and procedures are sufficient for ensuring oversight of, and requiring accountability from, Amtrak management, and (5) whether the Board members' expenses comply with corporate guidelines and whether those guidelines ensure the prudent use of corporate resources. We found that the Board complies, with limited exceptions, with the rules and procedures delineated in its corporate bylaws and Statement of Policy. We also found that the Board established a strategic direction for Amtrak in April 2005 but did not fully implement it. In June 2007, the Board adopted a revised plan for FY 2007 through FY 2008. We also found that the Board has the tools to conduct oversight and hold management accountable and provides oversight of management's actions. However, the Board could improve its effectiveness by implementing some corporate governance best practices. Finally, we found that the Board members' expenses comply with corporate guidelines and are reasonable.