MARTA audits raise questions about expansion projects

Taxpayers have agreed to give MARTA at least $2.5 billion to expand transit over 40 years, but audits obtained by Channel 2 Action News and our partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution raise questions about the transit authority's competence to manage such projects.

The audits evaluated MARTA’s Capital Improvement Program, which enhances and replaces amenities, as well as expanding services. The first audit is a 2014 report by an independent consultant, then a 2017 report by MARTA’s own auditors.

Some of the findings from the consultants included work scopes that were poorly written, resulting in delays, most consultants were working without work orders, project information had limited transparency and was not available to the public, and program controls were not subject to ongoing oversight.

MARTA’s own auditors found no forecast of project costs, training deficiencies, lack of reporting and monitoring of work done, and a lack of tracking of unauthorized expenditures.

“You have 26 different units, you have project managers who are not trained cohesively, you don't have standardized procedures for forecasting.” Said Georgia State Clinical Associate Professor Joseph F. Hacker. Hacker is an expert on planning and economic development with a decade of transit experience. “This is just a recipe for chaos.”

We’re going through the explosive findings and talk to experts about why taxpayers should be concerned about the massive, multi-billion dollar project, Monday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.