Rail Grant Oversight: Greater Adherence to Leading Practices Needed to Improve Grants Management

The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) expanded the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA's) role by, among other things, authorizing grant programs for intercity passenger rail. Section 305 of PRIIA established a Next Generation Equipment Committee to design, develop specifications, and procure standardized rail equipment. FRA awarded approximately $800 million in grant funding for two locomotive and bi-level passenger car procurement projects. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review issues related to FRA’s oversight of the grants funding the PRIIA section 305 equipment procurements. This report examines: (1) how FRA has carried out its grants management roles and responsibilities for the PRIIA section 305 equipment procurement projects, and (2) the extent to which FRA’s approach has met leading practices and whether FRA’s grants management practices could be improved. GAO reviewed grants management policies and practices and identified relevant and applicable leading practices to be used as criteria in assessing FRA’s grants management. GAO recommends, among other things, that the Secretary of Transportation direct FRA to enhance its process for monitoring project performance to include project goals and performance measures that directly link to those goals, and develop and provide written guidance to grantees outlining agency expectations and deliverables. The department concurred with the recommendations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 46p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01603535
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-16-544
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 2016 3:19PM