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Oversight of Major Transportation Projects: Opportunities To Apply Lessons Learned

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House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets
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At a field briefing in New York City for the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets, the Deputy Principal Assistant Inspector General for Auditing and Evaluation offered remarks on Federal oversight of major transportation projects in the New York Area and nationwide, with a focus on the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The Deputy Principal stated that FTA has taken steps to address the cost overruns and schedule delays experienced with its major transportation projects in New York, including the East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway projects. However, opportunities remain for FTA to further target its oversight and better use the tools it has on hand to meet its project goals. These include promptly addressing identified oversight issues, strengthening stakeholder agreements, and enhancing controls to prevent and detect fraud, among others. In addition, the Deputy Principal noted that other Department of Transportation-funded large transportation projects have also led to important lessons learned that can apply to both FTA and the Department at large, such as the importance of thoroughly documenting grantee actions on the Federal Railroad Administration’s multibillion dollar High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant program. Finally, the Deputy Principal described our related ongoing audits and investigations of major surface transportation projects both in New York and nationwide, including ensuring effective oversight of funds issued through Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.