Metro employees were recently found to be taking part in a widespread scheme to defraud the company’s timekeeping software so they could show up late or leave early and still receive full pay, according to a recently-released report from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Office of Inspector General (OIG).
In the same report, the inspector general found that WMATA workers would photocopy employee identification badges in order to fool the agency’s employee timekeeping software.
The report states that from September of 2018 through May of 2019, several WMATA employees possessed duplicate badges.
The inspector general said employees would use the fake badges to swipe co-workers in and out of the time keeping system — allowing them to get paid whether they showed up to work late or left early.
The report said there is evidence that this practice is widespread throughout WMATA and that employees, including line-level staffers, supervisors and safety instructors participated in the scheme.
Inspector General Geoffrey A. Cherrington said 19 fake badges have been recovered so far.
WMATA said it has since changed its badge policy, now prohibiting the transfer or lending of badges to anyone.
During four OIG investigations, Metro employees were also found to be using WMATA-issued electronic devices and networks to access prohibited websites containing pornographic or sexually explicit material.
The OIG report covered a six-month period and also found $62.9 million in funds “that could be put to better use,” Cherrington said.
“OIG strives to maintain the highest possible standards of professionalism and quality in investigations, evaluations, inspections and audits,” Cherrington said. “I would like to commend our dedicated and professional staff for their diligence and commitment to the mission of this office.”