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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: DOT's Implementation Challenges and the OIG's Strategy for Continued Oversight of Funds and Programs

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On April 29 the Inspector General testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) oversight of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and OIG’s related audit and investigative strategy. In anticipation of ARRA’s passage, we initiated a three–phase approach to conducting related work. We completed Phase 1 with the issuance of our March 31, 2009 report on key oversight challenges facing DOT. We also identified several ongoing audits that have a direct connection to the programs funded under ARRA and related requirements. We plan to fast–track the most time–sensitive results of our work on these audits to ensure we provide DOT, Congress, and taxpayers with timely and relevant information. We have started Phase 2 of our strategy, which involves systematic reviews of the DOT agencies that received funding in ARRA. These scans will examine vulnerabilities in program management and planning that could impede DOT’s ability to provide effective oversight of ARRA–funded projects and meet new statutory and Office of Management and Budget requirements. We plan to begin reporting the results of Phase 2 this summer. Phase 3 is a long–term initiative in which we will drill down on high–risk areas that emerge as a result of our agency scans.