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Inspector Says MTA Doctored Contractor Ratings

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The official watchdog of the MTA says the authority has been inflating grades for its contractors.

In the MTA’s evaluation system, 95 percent of its contractors got “satisfactory” ratings. They got “marginal” or “unsatisfactory” grades only 5 percent of the time. In follow-up interviews, Inspector General Barry Kluger found that managers felt pressured to inflate the ratings so contractors would continue to bid on work with the MTA. He says the practice has undermined the whole point of the evaluation system, which was to save money and improve quality.

MTA Chairman Jay Walder, who came into office just last fall, says he agrees the authority needs to change the way it does business. He says he is taking steps to improve the integrity of the contractor ratings.

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