Status of Operating Administrations' Processes to Conduct Limited Quality Reviews of Recovery Act Recipient Data
On October 6, 2009, we issued our report on the Department of Transportation Operating Administrations’ plans for ensuring Recovery Act fund recipients submit accurate, complete, and timely data on the use of these funds, as required by Section 1512 of the Recovery Act. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance states that starting October 22, 2009, Federal agencies are to perform a limited data quality review of recipient information and notify the recipients of two key data problems-material omissions and significant reporting errors. Our audit objective was to determine whether the Department’s Operating Administrations have established processes to perform such reviews and notify recipients of the need to make appropriate and timely changes. We found that the Department’s Operating Administrations overseeing the implementation of the Recovery Act-Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Maritime Administration (MARAD)-have taken steps to ensure that Recovery Act recipients comply with Section 1512 reporting requirements. These steps range from conducting outreach to recipients regarding the specific reporting requirements to drafting processes for performing limited data quality reviews. Each Operating Administration aims to have a process in place before conducting the reviews, and as of September 25, 2009, two of five Operating Administrations-FAA and FTA-have drafted processes. However, it is too early to determine whether these processes will adequately identify omissions and significant reporting errors. As we continue to conduct our Recovery Act work, we will monitor the Operating Administrations’ progress, and may conduct additional work of the adequacy of Operating Administrations’ and recipients’ internal control procedures for ensuring data quality.