Audit Reports

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Weaknesses In The Office Of The Secretary's Acquisition Function Limit Its Capacity to Support DOT's Mission

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On May 25, 2011, we issued a report on our review of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation's (OST's) acquisition function. The objective of our review was to assess the effectiveness of OST's acquisition function focusing on its: (1) organizational structure and leadership; (2) policies and processes; and (3) management controls over acquisition data. We found significant weaknesses in OST's acquisition function that limits its ability to carry out its responsibilities in support of DOT's mission. Specifically, OST's current acquisition organizational structure does not support an effective acquisition function for the Department, a problem further complicated by long-standing vacancies in OST acquisition leadership and staff positions. Second, the acquisition function lacks adequate and comprehensive policies and procedures to effectively manage and perform its acquisition tasks. Finally, OST lacks management controls to ensure its acquisition data are accurate, complete, and timely. We made fifteen recommendations to OST, which concurred with all but four of our recommendations, and provided acceptable planned actions and implementation dates.