Final Report on DOT’s Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Continued Management Attention Is Needed to Address Oversight Vulnerabilities
On November 30, we issued our latest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) report entitled “DOT’s Implementation the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Continued Management Attention is Needed to Address Oversight Vulnerabilities”. The report focuses on vulnerabilities facing DOT that could inhibit its ability to provide effective oversight to projects funded by ARRA, or to meet new requirements mandated by ARRA and the Office of Management and Budget.
The OIG identified two types of vulnerabilities–those that require immediate action either to mitigate a documented risk or to complete an identified task, and those that, because of their complexity, size, or scope, require a sustained focus, whether or not deficiencies may be evident now. Specifically, we identified vulnerabilities related to:
- project selections for existing programs;
- project and contract oversight for existing programs;
- new programs created by ARRA; and
- new reporting requirements mandated by ARRA.
We recommended that the Secretary of Transportation, through the DOT TIGER team, develop an action plan within 30 days of the date of our report that lays out the steps that DOT will take or has already taken to:
- finalize comprehensive workforce plans for all Operating Administrations that address the adverse impacts of staffing issues on existing programs;
- identify necessary actions and resources for carrying out and monitoring DOT’s risk management strategy;
- address risks related to the quality of data being reported to the public on program results, particularly job creation data;
- implement an effective oversight strategy for FRA’s High–Speed Rail and OST’s TIGER Discretionary Grants Programs;
- implement an effective oversight strategy for MARAD’s Small Shipyards Grant Program and, should the program receive more funding in the future, develop comprehensive guidelines for the grant evaluation and selection process; and
- implement follow–up actions planned in response to ARRA Advisories.