The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is once again responding to criticism about ethics lapses and conflicts of interest. It has been mired in controversy for months, forcing Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood to intervene.
The Department of Transportation's Inspector General released its final report on Thursday and found "weak policies and procedures" that it said led to questionable procurement practices, mismanagement and a lack of overall accountability.
MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter and Chairman Michael Curto told reporters they have already begun to institute reforms, including terminating non-competing contracts involving former board members.
But the audit was relentless. It found an IT Vice President and his staffers had accepted more than 25 free trips from a company with a major contract with the authority. The audit also said it discovered a culture of lax internal controls that allowed managers to award excessive salaries, unjustified hiring bonuses and ineligible benefits.
The Authority says it plans to use the report as a tool to increase transparency and restore public trust.