Audit Initiated of PHMSA’s Technical Assistance Grant Program
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Pipeline Safety Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program provides funds to improve the safety of communities located near pipeline facilities. While grant recipients may use funds for engineering and other scientific analysis of pipeline issues and to promote public participation in official pipeline proceedings, they may not use funds for lobbying, direct advocacy for or against a pipeline construction project, or direct support of litigation. In June 2016, Congress passed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, which mandates that we evaluate the TAG program. Accordingly, our audit objective is to evaluate PHMSA’s award and oversight of TAG funds.