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NHTSA’s Oversight of Mississippi’s Management of Federal Highway Safety Grants Needs Strengthening

Requested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Project ID: 
MH2013040

On February 6, 2013, we issued a final report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Oversight of Mississippi Highway Safety Grants. This audit was requested by NHTSA. We found that Mississippi had problems complying with certain grant requirements and had weak financial management controls. Specifically, MOHS did not administer alcohol-impaired driving transfer funds in accordance with Federal requirements, resulting in ineligible enforcement activities and improper payments to sub-grantees for activities not directly related to alcohol-impaired driving. We also found that while NHTSA identified needed corrective actions, it lacks agency guidance on how and when to invoke its high-risk designation, or when to use remedies and sanctions against States for lack of compliance with Federal grant regulations. NHTSA agreed with our four recommendations for improving its oversight and working with the State of Mississippi on specific issues.

Recommendations

Open

Closed

No. 1 to NHTSA

Work with MOHS to develop an action plan, with milestones, to: a. Obtain technical assistance to identify and implement financial management internal controls to comply with the Grant Common Rule; Government Accountability Office Standards for Internal Control; and other applicable laws, regulations, and program compliance requirements. b. Implement improved processes to calculate reimbursement claims to NHTSA, such as an automated grants system used by other State highway safety offices. c. Obtain independent assurance that proper grant management controls and financial and accounting procedures are in place and working effectively. d. Develop guidance for monitoring the use of local officers as full-time driving under the influence officers to ensure appropriate use of Section 154 funds.

No. 2 to NHTSA

Develop an action plan for monitoring Mississippi's grant agreements with sub-grantees, once the high-risk designation is removed, to ensure compliance with Federal requirements.

Closed on 11.06.2014
$7,100,000
No. 3 to NHTSA

Identify actions NHTSA will take to recover improper payments.

Closed on 08.27.2014
No. 4 to NHTSA

Develop guidance with parameters and timelines for designating State grantees as high risk, restricting or withholding grant funds from grantees, and implementing other available remedies and sanctions for noncompliance with Federal grant regulations or requirements.