State Approves Auditing BART’s Finances, Employment Practices

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A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train pulls away from the Rockridge station in Oakland.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO(KCBS) — While BART and its unions remain without a contract agreement, a state committee voted on Wednesday to open the transit agency’s books and audit their finance and employment practices. The results, however, won’t be known for months.

According to the committee, the audit is not expected to begin until after the 60-day cooling-off period imposed on BART and its unions by the state. The cooling-off period ends on October 10th. If an agreement is not reached by then, workers could declare another walkout.

Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) requested to audit BART’s financial status, which was approved by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

“This call for an audit is all about accountability and transparency. The State has an obligation to make certain that tax payers know where their money is going,” Quirk said.

Paul Oversier, assistant general manager of BART, asked to defer the audit until negotiations between BART and its unions are complete.

“We need to work toward a settlement within the next 51 days to avoid the potential for another disruption to transportation in the Bay Area,” he said.

In addition, results of such an investigation could not be made public due to current litigation concerning workers’ compensation. The audit, therefore, is not considered a priority.

“The audit is budgeted at 2,800 hours. An audit of that size would take about seven months to complete,” State Auditor Elaine Howle said.

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