Improvements to Stewardship and Oversight Agreements Are Needed To Enhance Federal-aid Highway Program Management
On October 1, 2012, we issued a report on Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Stewardship and Oversight Agreements with States. FHWA uses these agreements, which are required by law, to formalize the roles and responsibilities of FHWA Division Offices and the States to ensure adequate oversight of Federal funds, project quality, and safety. We conducted the review as part of our ongoing ARRA oversight work. We found that while FHWA fulfilled the statutory mandate to enter into Agreements with each State, the Agreements do not consistently reflect Federal requirements, or program risks and priorities that FHWA has identified. Further, FHWA has not provided sufficient guidance and oversight to Division Offices for the development and update of Agreements to ensure that inconsistencies reflect valid differences among the States and to ensure that legal issues are identified. FHWA concurred with one recommendation and partially concurred with the remaining four recommendations. We will close two of the recommendations, pending receipt of appropriate documentation of actions taken or planned. For the remaining three recommendations, we are requesting additional information and action dates to fully assess FHWA’s plans for improving the use of agreements.