The MTA hasn’t been tracking Red Line and Purple Line costs properly, audit finds
The Maryland Transit Administration failed to verify the accuracy of millions of dollars in contractor-submitted architectural and engineering costs for the Red and Purple light rail lines, according to a state audit released Monday.
The unverified labor bills from four contractor groups hired to work on the two pending transit lines, scheduled for Baltimore and the Washington suburbs, respectively, account for or relate to $232.8 million in overall costs under the multibillion-dollar projects, the audit found.
That figure includes the labor costs as well as overhead and profit calculated under a formula based on the labor costs.
“Although MTA had sufficient procedures in place to approve changes to labor rates, had verified hours worked by individuals, and had monitored the overall progress of the work, MTA did not conduct periodic verifications of the contractors’ payroll reports,” the audit found. “Consequently, there was a lack of assurance that the billed rates agreed with the actual labor rates the contractors used to pay their employees.”
The audit does not allege the four contractors filed misleading or inaccurate costs, just that the state failed to properly vet the varying hourly rates per employee that were submitted.