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Released: 1/11/2013 

2012 DRPA Management Audit Completed

Board of Commissioners Thanks Auditors for their Work;
Commissioners Look Forward to Implementing Recommendations

The Delaware River Port Authority released a major organizational audit commissioned by the Board of Commissioners in 2011.

Conducted last year by CGR Management Consultants LLP of Los Angeles and overseen by DRPA Inspector General Thomas W. Raftery III, the audit assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of DRPA administrative, support, public safety and homeland security functions. The auditors applied the “yellow book” standards set by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO).

The Board of Commissioners will use the audit as a tool for continuous organizational improvement, said DRPA Chairman David F. Simon.

“We asked the auditors for a rigorous, critical assessment of our management processes and practices,” Simon said. “We weren’t fishing for compliments. We wanted them to identify opportunities for improvement and provide us with the guidance necessary to transform constructive criticism into organizational change that our customers will value.  This report satisfies our expectations.”

The audit called on the DRPA to improve its internal communications, pay structure, management diagnostic processes, management controls, information technology infrastructure and occupational safety program management.  The auditors made more than 100 specific recommendations to the board.

The audit is the welcome product of a package of management reforms passed by the 16-member, bi-state Board of Commissioners, said Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner, who also serves as an ex officio commissioner and chairman of the DRPA Audit Committee.

“We concluded that the public interest would be better served if the DRPA were audited every two years rather than just every five years,” Wagner said. “We’re pleased to accept the first management audit commissioned and completed under the new schedule.”

The Board of Commissioners has formed a Strategic Planning Committee led by Simon and Vice Chairman Jeff Nash and charged with improving the performance and efficiency of the DRPA and PATCO.  The committee’s first assignment is to report back to the full board and CEO John J. Matheussen this spring with recommendations based on audit findings, said New Jersey Commissioner Ricardo V. Taylor Jr., vice chairman of the DRPA Audit Committee.

“The Strategic Planning Committee will make it a priority to review all of the findings and recommendations with staff and take appropriate corrective action,” Taylor said. “We appreciate the time and effort involved in conducting the audit and issuing this report.”

The CGR auditors compared the DRPA’s stated management practices with its actual practices and practices acknowledged by government leaders and management scholars to be good or excellent.

After conducting more than 130 employee interviews, the auditors concluded that the “DRPA is staffed with impressive executives generating good ideas for business effectiveness and efficiency improvement.”

 The auditors also wrote that the agency’s “Strategic Plans and the Lean Government initiatives signal the commitment to self-analysis and a commitment to continuous improvement.”  They went on to note that the DRPA “Finance Division does an excellent job in producing the annual accounts, which have won awards for 19 consecutive years, in its investment strategies, and in creating and leading the Lean Government initiative.”

They rated the Engineering Department as “exceptional compared to other organizations in meeting budgets while managing a large number of projects.”

Members of the public can access a copy of the audit report by clicking on the following link: http://www.drpa.org/managementaudit.

In 2014, the Board of Commissioners plans to commission a management audit of PATCO and toll-bridge operations.    

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The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency that connects millions of people and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The DRPA owns and operates the PATCO commuter rail line and the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross toll bridges.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.


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