Audit Reports

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Actions Taken and Needed to Implement Mandates and Address Recommendations Regarding Rail Safety

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On August 26, 2008, we issued our final audit report to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on certain actions it has taken and needs to take to implement congressional mandates and address recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Office of Inspector General regarding rail safety. We found that FRA implemented many congressional rail safety mandates over the past 18 years, but it did not have a centralized process for tracking and monitoring the implementation of such mandates. We also found that FRA addressed many of NTSB’s rail safety recommendations over the past 19 years, but it did not routinely meet the Department of Transportation’s requirements for providing timely written responses to NTSB.

We recommended that FRA establish a centralized process for documenting, tracking, and monitoring congressional rail safety mandates that includes planned and actual milestones. We also recommended that FRA establish procedures to ensure that NTSB receives an: 1) initial response for each rail safety recommendation within 90 days of issuance and 2) implementation timetable for each rail safety recommendation that FRA agrees to implement. FRA concurred with our audit results and recommendations and agreed to take immediate corrective actions.