Monday, March 3, 2014

Preliminary suggestions by the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force

In August 2013 Governor Pat Quinn created the Northeastern Illinois Public Task Force, the task force was charged with developing ways to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and to streamline operations to improve transit service for the users. 

The Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force recently released a preliminary report. The report recognized the importance of earning the public trust by addressing the Metra appointment process, the same process used by DuPage County that came under much scrutiny and criticism last fall.

Recommendations include, having board members vetted by an independent panel among other suggestions.   The report also includes recommendations for eliminating pay for transit board members and changing funding formulas.

You can read the complete Ethics Preliminary Report here

You can read the complete Finance Report here.

The Daily Herald reports the following

Eliminating pay for transit board members, changing funding formulas and requiring executives to guarantee that politics play no part in purchases are among the sweeping recommendations by a state transit task force.
The task force started work in 2013 after a scandalous summer when allegations of political pressure over jobs and conflicts of interest arose at Metra, the commuter rail agency. 
Other preliminary ethics recommendations included having board members vetted by an independent panel; allowing board members to be removed for crimes, misconduct, inefficiency or neglect of duty; establishing a “firewall” between elected officials and agencies regarding hiring and firing and purchases; and background checks for board members.
The firewall would address patronage, a “long-standing and serious issue,” Fitzgerald said.
Additional scrutiny of prospective board members “might go a long way to restore public confidence so people feel confident this isn’t just politics but picking the best candidate,” Fitzgerald said.
You can read the full story here.

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