PCAC Testimony – July 24, 2019 – AlixPartners Reorg Report

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Full Testimony: 07.24.19 Alix Partners Reorg Report

Good morning, my name is Lisa Daglian and I am the Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC.

The AlixPartners’ Transformation Plan says the MTA can save from 370 to 530 million dollars a year through efficiencies, headcount reduction and streamlining. However, the 37-page report is short on details, although we understand that there are hundreds of pages of appendices that we have not seen – nor, do we believe, have many board members. In the interest of transparency, we formally request that you post the ALL related documents. It is likely that the plan will be approved today and a Chief Transformation Officer – CTO – will start very soon, with implementation to follow shortly after.

This is where things get confusing. Legislation also mandates an audit, to be completed by January 2020. Following that, the MTA has 90 days to revise the plan to incorporate the review’s findings. We don’t understand how you can develop a plan for significant organizational changes that will affect millions of riders before this deeper review is finalized.

More importantly, how can you develop such a plan without any public review? Nearly nine million daily riders deserve a say in what could be improved and how.

The MTA’s own public participation guide – from 1997 – notes that “A communications strategy that informs the public of the MTA’s goals and objectives … is central to the MTA’s mission, especially when the MTA is contemplating policy or service changes….” In addition, “…the organization …schedules…public meetings…not required by law … that are important elements in the dialogue between the MTA and the public.”

We certainly believe this reorganization plan rises to that level. Two minutes at a podium or an email to an anonymous person is not public involvement – not in letter or spirit. Therefore, we urge the Board to include a minimum 45-day public comment period, with forums that include Q&A sessions, as soon as the CTO is appointed. We stand ready to support this effort. We also urge that the public’s comments be considered and incorporated into the revised plan. Anything less is a breach of public faith and tells the system’s riders that their voices do not matter.  Thank you.

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