( 2010 file photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post).

Metro officials on Thursday issued their formal written response to a draft federal report that raised troubling questions about the authority’s handling of billions in federal grant funds.

In the response Metro officials explain what they are doing to fix the serious issues raised in the report, including safeguards that are being put into place to ensure the authority isn’t overcharging the government or awarding contracts in violation of federal rules.

The response comes on the heels of a public hearing, which was held Monday.

During the hearing, Metro’s top executives said they concurred with the findings in the federal report, but they blamed most of the problems on a previous management team.

In a strongly worded letter, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) warned Metro officials “. . . that future dedicated funding for Metro is in real jeopardy.” She also demanded Metro officials tell Congress what is it doing to address the problems raised in the report.

After Metro’s responses are added to the document, a final report is expected to be completed in early May.

The draft report found that Metro officials violated federal contracting rules, including awarding a $14 million, no-bid contract to a vendor who had access to non-public information that would have given it an advantage over others competing for the job.

It also said that Metro officials appeared to steer business to favored contractors, even though those firms lacked the experience to ably handle the work.

Below is a copy of Metro’s response.

Metro response to draft FTA report