In the letter, the officials expressed concern that the authority “conducts much of its business behind closed doors, awards many of its contracts on a sole-source basis, and is in desperate need of reform.”
The letter comes as members of the agency’s board are also questioning its practices. Three members have sent board Chairman Michael A. Curto a letter urging reforms, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Washington Post.
The three — Thomas M. Davis III, Frank M. Conner III and Todd A. Stottlemyer — said in their
Aug. 9 letter that the board spends “very little time on the real business of the Authority and all of our time on a variety of issues that are unrelated to our mission.”
The “unwillingness” of the board to change “hinders our ability to effectively complete the many significant initiatives for which we are responsible,” they wrote. “Equally importantly we have little or no moral authority or credibility in managing the Dulles Rail Project.”
Curto said he wouldn’t comment publicly on an internal document. But he and Jack Potter, the authority’s president and chief executive, said they have begun to institute the changes called for by LaHood.
“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,” they said in a written statement. “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.”
Potter and Curto said that the board is ending or has ended all contracts with former board members and is getting the services those members performed through competitive bidding.
But after issuing the statement, the board could not provide a list of contracts with ex-board members that it already had canceled or is canceling. “We’re still verifying some information,” said spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs.
The MWAA has been under increasing pressure to change how it operates amid a series of damaging reports of lavish travel, a botched search for a new chief executive and the contracts to former board members, all of which have prompted some elected officials to label the authority out of control and “dysfunctional.”