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Audit Reports

Date

Improvements Needed In the Federal Transit Administration’s Grant Oversight Program

Requested By
Requested by the Federal Transit Administration
Project ID
MH2012168
File Attachment

On August 2, 2012, we issued our final report on improvements needed In the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Grant Oversight Program.  We conducted this audit at FTA’s request.  FTA’s Oversight Program is carried out by its regional offices, as well as its contractors, to ensure that grantees spend funds effectively; comply with Federal laws and regulations; and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Our objectives were to assess whether FTA Headquarters provides its regions and contractors with adequate guidance and oversight to accurately identify and track grantee deficiencies and to assess whether FTA’s Region III effectively follows up on grantee deficiencies.  We found that FTA Headquarters does not provide its regions or contractors with adequate guidance or oversight to ensure they consistently identify and track grantee deficiencies.  Further, FTA Region III has not effectively followed up on grantee deficiencies.  We made six recommendations to enhance the level of oversight FTA provides, to develop performance measures assessing the effectiveness of the outcomes of its overall Oversight Program, and to ensure regions do not close findings before receiving documentation showing that a finding has been fully resolved.  FTA fully concurred with our six recommendations and provided responsive plans to address them.  We consider the recommendations resolved but open pending completion of the planned actions.

Recommendations

Closed on
No. 1 to FTA
Develop guidance with uniform review data collection and reporting procedures that, at a minimum, will enable FTA to identify common or systemic findings and compare findings across reviews for a particular grantee, conduct trend analysis, and evaluate outcomes from the overall Oversight Program.
Closed on
No. 2 to FTA
Establish more robust methods for assessing contractor performance by:   a.) establishing criteria for assigning low, medium, and high risks and    b.)   requiring documentation that allows others to understand how these criteria inform specific risk assessment ratings and, if applicable, the reason(s) and decision-making for different risk levels assigned to grantee risk assessments and the grantees' project risk assessments.
Closed on
No. 3 to FTA
Develop performance measures to assess the effectiveness of the outcomes of its overall Oversight Program, in addition to the timeliness of program outputs currently measured.
Closed on
No. 4 to FTA
Develop policies and procedures, including oversight mechanisms, to verify that regions do not close findings before they receive documentation showing that a finding has been resolved fully.
Closed on
No. 5 to FTA
Revise and finalize policies and procedures for using remedies and sanctions, including application of a risk-base approach for their use.
Closed on
No. 6 to FTA
Require FTA Headquarter staff to track and oversee each region's use of remedies and sanctions.