BART has long been recognized as an agency in dire need of independent oversight. In June of 2019, pursuant to State Senator Steve Glazer’s SB1488, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Harriet Richardson to be BART’s first Inspector General (IG) from among three candidates selected by the BART Board. The job calls for the IG to oversee BART’s finances and report upon any instances of “waste, fraud and abuse”.
Under Ms. Richardson’s able leadership the small IG staff, despite being hindered by the BART staff, Board and Unions, and denied the resources needed to fully cover BART’s vast operation, has been remarkably diligent and successful in identifying and reporting on a large number of inefficient and otherwise improper BART activities. Most of her recommendations have been adopted by BART and some have been put in place.
We are sorry to report that Ms. Richardson has decided not to put her name in the running for reappointment when her four-year term expires in June. It can only be hoped that her successor will be as fiercely independent and effective as she has been.