Audit of the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Award of Selected Hurricane Katrina Emergency Repair Contracts
On September 6, we issued a final report on our audit of MDOT’s management of the award of selected Hurricane Katrina emergency repair federal–aid contracts. Our audit objectives were to determine whether MDOT’s emergency repair contract award processes were consistent with applicable federal and state procurement requirements and whether prices received were fair and reasonable under the emergency conditions that resulted from Hurricane Katrina. Notwithstanding the catastrophic conditions created by Hurricane Katrina, we found that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and MDOT officials worked together to ensure MDOT’s emergency repair contract award processes were generally consistent with federal and state procurement requirements. However, we also found that the lack of standard construction contract provisions caused MDOT to award some contracts without the assurance of fair and reasonable prices. Further, FHWA should strengthen its Emergency Relief Manual and the related federal regulations to better assist states in awarding emergency repair contracts. FHWA concurred with our audit report results and recommendations and agreed to take corrective actions to implement both recommendations.