DOT Established Timely Controls for the TIGER Discretionary Grants Program, But Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Oversight
On September 20, 2012, we issued a report on the Office of the Secretary’s (OST) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants Program, which uses competitive discretionary grants for capital investments in highway, bridge, public transportation, rail, and port infrastructure projects. Congress initially appropriated $1.5 billion for the program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and the program has since grown to over $3.1 billion. We conducted the review as part of our ongoing ARRA oversight work. We found that OST established TIGER program policies that generally adhered to best practices, but vulnerabilities remain in reviewing grant agreements, overseeing individual projects, assessing program risks, and measuring performance. In addition, we found discrepancies in the requirements for safety standards in the grant agreements for rail infrastructure projects. OST concurred with three of our seven recommendations to strengthen oversight of the TIGER program and partially concurred with four. We will close six of the recommendations, pending receipt of appropriate documentation of actions taken or planned. For one recommendation aimed at improving collaboration between Operating Administrations to avoid inconsistent grant requirements, we are requesting additional information to fully assess OST’s response.