Best Practices For Improving Oversight of State Highway Safety Programs
On March 25, 2008, we issued our report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) oversight of state highway safety programs. Our audit was conducted in response to a requirement within the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The objective of our audit was to evaluate NHTSA's oversight of state highway safety programs and identify best practices. We found that NHTSA developed and followed guidelines and procedures for oversight reviews of state highway safety programs, but we identified weaknesses in NHTSA's annual program reviews that made it difficult for NHTSA to comprehensively assess whether states were on course to meet their safety goals. Specifically, NHTSA did not (1) ensure that states consistently measured performance, (2) assess states' reporting of performance trends, and (3) analyze states' long-term progress in meeting safety goals. We identified opportunities for NHTSA to better measure the results of its grant programs and enhance the accountability for grant funds.