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After Critical Audits, Airports Authority To Get Federal Inspector General

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The agency building the Silver Line Metro extension into the Virginia suburbs will have permanent federal oversight.

Legislation drafted by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) creates a permanent inspector general to oversee the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Wolf says the agency has received close to $1 billion in federal dollars to build the Silver Line, and its past track record requires more oversight.

"Just by having a permanent inspector general over there all the time watching it, is really a good thing. By always having the person there it may very well keep things from happening. Because if someone sees something going on that shouldn't go on, they have a place to go," he says.

A new audit by the Department of Transportation's inspector general says the airports authority inappropriately spent some federal grant money on expenses unrelated to first phase of the Silver Line through Tysons Corner. An audit in late 2012 detailed nepotism and poor contracting practices, leading the airports authority to adopt significant reforms.

In response to the creation of the permanent inspector general, the airports authority released a statement saying it "has worked closely with the Department of Transportation Inspector General and benefited from the advice and recommendations of the IGs office. We will continue to work together to provide world-class transportation options while upholding the public trust."

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