New York City Fulton Street Transit Center: FTA’s Sustained Focus on Key Risk Areas Is Needed Until the Project Is Completed
On August 15, 2011, we issued our final report on the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) oversight of the New York City Fulton Street Transit Center (Fulton Street) Project. FTA is responsible for overseeing the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA's) construction of the project. The project’s funding includes $423 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds- the largest single award for any of FTA’s ARRA projects. Our objectives were to: (1) evaluate the effectiveness of its project oversight, including cost, schedule, funding, and any grantee management issues; and (2) assess whether ARRA requirements are being met.
We found that FTA has provided sufficient oversight of the project, but FTA and MTA must maintain vigilance in preventing schedule delays; maintaining the project’s budget; ensuring the project remains within current committed funding amounts; and combating fraud, waste, and abuse, with a particular focus on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud. Further, FTA’s oversight has ensured MTA established controls to comply with ARRA requirements on accounting for ARRA dollars, but FTA did not detect errors in the number of ARRA-funded jobs MTA reported.
We recommended that FTA take additional steps to: (1) finalize a compliance review of MTA’s DBE program; and (2) increase its level of oversight of the ARRA information MTA submits to the Federal Government to reduce omissions or errors in future submissions. FTA completed action on recommendation 1 but disagreed with recommendation 2, stating that it has complied with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements. After consulting with OMB, we maintain that further FTA action is needed to reduce omissions or errors in MTA’s future job data submissions, and the recommendation remains open.