For several months, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has been working to address concerns raised by the Department of Transportation Inspector General and others regarding policies, practices and governance issues affecting public confidence. We are making significant progress in a number of areas:
- We revised the Authority’s bylaws in February to clarify rules for executive sessions at Board meetings and to make additional Board meeting information available on the Authority’s website. Minutes of meetings of the Board and its committees are now posted on the website shortly after each meeting. Materials to be used in Board meetings are now posted on the website in advance of the meeting.
- We enacted a new Freedom of Information policy and appointed a Freedom of Information Officer in July to assure timely and transparent response to requests by the public for information on Authority business.
- We have revised the travel policy for Board members and employees to reflect ‘best practices’ of the airport industry. At the direction of the Board chairman, there has been no international travel by Board members in more than a year and very limited domestic travel. The new travel policy will be approved at the September 5 Board meeting.
- We are revising the Authority’s ethics policy to strengthen and clarify regulations regarding conflicts of interest, employment of former employees and Board members, disclosure of financial and business interests and the awarding of contracts. The Board will discuss the new ethics policy at the September 5 meeting and vote for its approval at a meeting September 19.
- We have ended, or are in the process of ending, all professional services contracts with former Board members. The services performed under those contracts will be re-acquired through competitive bidding.
- We have established an Internal Control and Compliance Group to ensure proper adherence to policies, procedures and other requirements in all areas of the Authority and its business activities.
- We have initiated a review of all contracts across the Authority to assure compliance with competitive bidding and other requirements. We will strictly limit future sole-source contracting.
- We are committed to working closely and cooperatively with the Accountability Officer recently appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to review our revised policies and to discuss other actions we are taking to increase transparency, improve processes and procedures, and strengthen accountability and public trust.
We will discuss our progress in all these areas in more detail at public Board meetings on September 5 and 19. We are mindful that public trust is essential to the Authority’s success in performing its missions of operating Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, operating the Dulles Toll Road and building the Metrorail Silver Line. We acknowledge the concerns of the Secretary of Transportation, our elected officials and others, and we are committed to restoring public trust wherever it is lost and to earning and assuring the confidence of the people we serve.
Michael A. Curto, Chairman of the Board
John E. Potter, President and CEO
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority