The House has approved creating a permanent inspector general (IG) for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) announced today. Wolf said the provision is in the FY 2013 Transportation Appropriations bill approved by a 261-163 vote this afternoon. The Senate has yet to take up its version of the bill.
Wolf in April introduced legislation to create a permanent IG for MWAA in anticipation of the May release of the interim findings of an ongoing Department of Transportation IG investigation of MWAA. Wolf requested the IG review last year. The report is expected to be completed by fall.
Wolf said the language in the transportation bill establishes the Department of Transportation IG as the permanent auditor of MWAA and requires the authority to cover its costs. The IG would have complete and total access to MWAA, its board and its contractors and subcontractors.
Wolf said when he introduced the measure that he has grown increasingly concerned by some of the boardâ€™s recent actions, citing the fierce battle over the location of the Metro station at the airport, which would have added significant cost to the project, the ongoing fight over a labor preference for Phase II and members continuing to serve after their terms have expired.
Wolfâ€™s bill amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 by creating a special post with the sole duty of providing long-term oversight of MWAA.
Under Wolfâ€™s legislation, only the U.S. Secretary of Transportation can appoint and remove the IG and no additional action from any jurisdiction on the state or local level is required for this position to be established. MWAA would be required to pay for the IG.
Wolf has repeatedly stated that the Dulles rail project is the most important transportation project in the Commonwealth and must be completed on time and at, or under budget.
â€œThe continued growth of the Dulles corridor demands that this project be successful,â€ Wolf said.