Established in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provides long-term, low-interest loans and other types of credit assistance to eligible applicants for surface transportation projects. Accordingly, our audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of the Build America Bureau internal controls to oversee and manage TIFIA credit agreements.
What We Found
The Build America Bureau has not established adequate internal controls to effectively oversee and manage its TIFIA credit assistance program. We found five instances where the Bureau did not notify borrowers timely, and one instance where the Bureau could not provide the notification letter. Additionally, we identified costs that had not been invoiced timely, as well as overpaid and unpaid fees. The Bureau has not provided operating administrations guidance that defines key roles and responsibilities for reviewing and approving TIFIA loan requisition requests. Further, the Bureau provided documentation to support 44 of the 47 disbursements we tested but could not provide documentation for 3 disbursements, totaling approximately $294.1 million. The Bureau maintains TIFIA loan applications and disbursement requests on a shared drive, which serves as its official system of record. We identified eight individuals who retained improper access to TIFIA’s shared drive and five discrepancies between TIFIA’s loan portfolio and the Bureau’s website.
We are making 10 recommendations to improve internal controls for overseeing and managing credit agreements associated with the TIFIA program. The Bureau concurred with all our recommendations and provided completion dates. We consider recommendation 7 resolved and closed based on documentation the Bureau provided after our review was completed. We consider the remaining recommendations 1 through 6 and 8 through 10 resolved but open pending completion of the planned actions.
No. 1 to OST
Develop and implement procedures to comply with the TIFIA statute to issue loan application related notifications no later than 30 and 60 calendar days after receipt.
No. 2 to OST
Develop and implement procedures for timely collection of servicing fees and advisor fees in accordance with TIFIA program requirements.
No. 3 to OST
Develop an accurate reporting system to identify and monitor payments not received on the date they are due.
No. 4 to OST
Reimburse the $200,000 advisor fee overpayment referenced in this report.
No. 5 to OST
Collect the $40,500 in unpaid fiscal year 2019 servicing fees referenced in this report.
No. 6 to OST
Develop and implement a uniform policy identifying what documentation borrowers must submit with requisition request and disseminate to Operating Administrations.
No. 8 to OST
Develop and implement a process for revoking access to Bureau systems for separating Bureau employees.
No. 9 to OST
Revoke access to the shared drive for the eight individuals identified in the report.
No. 10 to OST
Assign the responsibility for updating the Bureau’s website to accurately reflect the TIFIA loan portfolio.