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Metra Selects Blackman Kallick to Perform Risk Assessment and Financial Control Study

(June 15, 2010) - 
The Metra Board of Directors at its June 11 meeting hired the accounting firm of Blackman Kallick to undertake an independent risk assessment and to provide advice to the board on governance, financial controls and oversight. 
 
Blackman Kallick will assess the agency's internal controls and management, including an analysis of board governance and enhanced financial controls to prevent fraud, theft and abuse, following the allegations that Metra’s former executive director was improperly paid vacation bonuses. The firm, which has extensive experience in the transportation and risk assessment arena, will report directly to the Metra board.
 
“We commend Metra for their aggressive efforts to establish financial controls and oversight that will create a system of integrity and, at the same time, one that operates efficiently,” said Jerry C. Hufton, a partner at Blackman Kallick. “We will be providing Metra with a comprehensive, strategic review of management and oversight to ensure the board members can employ the best practices.
 
The firm’s comprehensive review will be in addition to the annual financial audits of the agency conducted by professional accounting firms. Since 1984, Metra has been audited by Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers); Grant Thornton (now GrantThornton LLP); Deloitte & Touche (now Deloitte); and, since 2000, by the firm now known as Crowe Horwath.
 
At its May meeting, the board hired Hillard Heintze to act as an interim inspector general and guide the board in selecting a permanent inspector general. The firm of experienced former federal agents, state and local law enforcement executives and homeland security experts is now assessing all complaints, alerts and alleged incidents and conducting investigations. 
 
The Inspector General’s hotline number is 877-482-4962 and the e-mail is MetraIG@hillardheintze.com.  Metra employees and concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the office if they suspect impropriety by any Metra personnel.
 
“By our quick actions to respond to this crisis and to improve our policies and practices going forward, we hope we will restore the public’s confidence in our integrity, our professionalism and our sound and ethical business and operational practices,” said Metra Chairman Carole R. Doris.
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