Refinements to DOT's Management of the Highway Trust Fund's Solvency Could Improve the Understanding and Accuracy of Shortfall Projections
On March 6, 2012, we issued our final report on the issues related to the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). We found that following the fiscal year 2008 shortfall in HTF’s Highway Account (HA), both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) instituted procedures to forecast shortfalls and communicate with Congress regarding HTF’s balance and possible shortfalls. Additionally, once a shortfall appears imminent, FHWA has developed additional procedures that allow it to adjust, when necessary, the amount and timing of HA’s outlays to States. While FHWA and FTAs’ shortfall projections are reasonable, improvements to their projection methodology could enhance the accuracy of their shortfall estimates and enable them to implement, at the earliest possible date, shortfall management and communication procedures.