Initial Assessment of FTA’s Oversight of the Emergency Relief Program and Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds
On December 3, OIG issued a final report on the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) oversight of the Emergency Relief Program and Hurricane Sandy relief funds. The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (DRAA) provided over $10 billion to FTA’s Emergency Relief Program for Hurricane Sandy-related repair and recovery efforts and directed our office to support oversight of FTA’s Sandy relief funds. Our initial assessment focused on FTA’s early efforts in response to Hurricane Sandy. We determined that FTA complied with DRAA’s requirements, made significant progress in developing its Emergency Relief Program and allocating DRAA funds, and developed plans and procedures to conduct oversight. However, further actions are needed to more effectively allocate, obligate, and oversee relief funds, and FTA has yet to fully address these challenges in its oversight plans and procedures. For example, FTA’s Oversight Plan did not include sufficient steps to mitigate risks of improper payments. Finally, FTA has opportunities to consider lessons learned from Federal emergency responses and acquisition best practices that could help the Agency to effectively finalize its Emergency Relief Program and related guidance. We made nine recommendations to improve FTA’s oversight of Hurricane Sandy relief funds and its Emergency Relief Program guidance. FTA concurred with eight of our nine recommendations and partially concurred with one. FTA provided appropriate planned actions and timeframes for completion of eight recommendations. We are requesting that FTA provide additional information regarding its plans for the remaining recommendation.