We launched our Recommendation Dashboard by making information available for each audit report that had one or more open recommendations as of July 1, 2016 and plan to continue updating this information going forward. However, the Recommendation Dashboard does not include data on many of our older audits for which all recommendations were closed prior to July 1, 2016.
What is a Recommendation?
OIG’s Office of Auditing and Evaluation makes recommendations to DOT and its Operating Administrations to correct deficiencies and to encourage improvements in the safety, economy, efficiency, and management of the Department’s programs and operations. Our audit report findings and conclusions explain the basis for the specific corrective actions we recommend.
Is DOT required to act on OIG Recommendations?
No, our recommendations are not binding on the Department, but Congress uses our recommendations to conduct oversight. Historically, DOT has agreed with the majority of our recommendations and has taken appropriate corrective actions to address them. However, the Department may occasionally disagree with a recommendation and may decide not to act or propose an alternative corrective action.
How does DOT follow up on Recommendations?
We monitor the Department’s progress addressing our recommendations using the following process:
- When the Department agrees with a recommendation, it proposes a corrective action and timeframe for completion.
- Once the Department implements a corrective action, it provides us with documentation or other evidence to show what actions were taken.
- We review the evidence to determine whether the Department’s actions meet the intent of our recommendation.
- If the Department’s actions satisfy our recommendation, we close the recommendation. If they do not, we inform the Department that further actions are needed.
What does it mean when a Recommendation is Closed or Open?
- A recommendation is opened on the date the audit report is issued. Once opened, a recommendation is 'unresolved' until the Department and OIG agree on the step(s) necessary to address the recommendation. Then the recommendation is considered 'resolved' and remains open until the Department completes the corrective action and provides OIG with sufficient supporting evidence of the actions taken.
- A recommendation is closed after the Department has agreed with the recommendation, takes appropriate corrective action, and provides OIG with sufficient supporting evidence to demonstrate that the action was taken.
What are Financial Recommendations?
Financial recommendations are those that identify potential financial savings or efficiencies if the Department takes appropriate corrective actions. There are two main types of financial recommendations:
- Recommendations with questioned costs identify costs (A) resulting from an alleged violation of a law, regulation, contract, grant, or other document or agreement governing the use of Federal funds; (B) that are not supported by adequate documentation (also known as an unsupported cost); or (C) that appear unnecessary or unreasonable.
- Recommendations that funds be put to better use estimate funds that could be used more efficiently. For example, recommendations that funds be put to better use could result in reductions in spending, deobligation of funds, or avoidance of unnecessary spending.
What is the Recommendation Dashboard?
With the Recommendation Dashboard, OIG strives to provide lawmakers, stakeholders, and the public with accurate and timely data on the status of recommendations we make to DOT. The Recommendation Dashboard enables you to:
- Determine the total number of open recommendations
- Calculate the total amount of open financial recommendations
- Filter available recommendations data (for example, you can find recommendations made to a specific DOT Operating Administration or search for key words)
- Download raw data on recommendations of interest to you
Does the Dashboard include every recommendation ever made to DOT?
No, it does not. When we launched the Recommendation Dashboard in November, 2016, we began by posting information on each recommendation contained in the audit reports that had one or more open recommendations as of July 1, 2016. Consequently, the Recommendation Dashboard does not include information on audits for which all recommendations were closed before July 1, 2016.
How often does the OIG update the Recommendation Dashboard?
We generally update the Recommendation Dashboard on a weekly basis in order to ensure that a recommendation's status is accurately reflected within 3 weeks or less of a decision to open or close each recommendation. The Financial Statement audit recommendations may require up to 60 days to be recorded.
Why are some Recommendations not linked to Reports published online?
While we track all open recommendations in the Recommendation Dashboard, there are two reasons why some recommendation information may not be published online. First, some recommendations are associated with audit reports containing sensitive information protected by law. For security reasons, these sensitive audit reports and their recommendations are not published online. Secondly, for our evaluations of single audit findings, we issue action memos to the Department; therefore, our single audit recommendations are available in the Recommendations Dashboard, but may not be linked to a published report online. For more information on single audits, please see our Single Audits page.
How do I use the Semiannual Reporting filter on the Recommendation Dashboard?
The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, requires OIGs to publish Semiannual Reports for the six-month periods ending on March 31 and September 30 of each year. The Recommendation Dashboard's Semiannual Reporting filter corresponds to section 5(a)(2) of the IG Act which directs OIGs to identify significant recommendations issued during each semiannual reporting period, and section 5(a)(3) which directs OIGs to identify recommendations described in previous semiannual reports on which corrective action had not been completed by the end of the current reporting period.