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Audit Initiated of FHWA’s Construction Force Account Oversight

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is responsible for stewardship of billions of dollars in Federal aid for national highway and bridge projects. FHWA statutes require the competitive award of contracts for Federal-aid highway construction projects, unless a noncompetitive method is shown to be more cost-effective or an emergency exists. One such method is force-account work, which involves project activities performed using either State or local agency resources. FHWA Division Offices are primarily responsible for overseeing the use of force account on Federal-aid projects. Given the inherent risk associated with noncompetitive bidding practices, we are initiating this audit to (1) determine the scope and magnitude of force-account projects funded through the Federal-aid Highway Program and (2) assess FHWA’s processes for overseeing compliance with Federal force-account requirements.