PHMSA is Establishing Controls for Technical Assistance Grants but Needs to Improve Its Award and Oversight Processes

In June 2016, Congress passed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, which mandates that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) evaluate the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Pipeline Safety Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program. Among the requirements are for OIG to assess compliance with grant agreements and evaluate the TAG awards process as well as PHMSA’s ability to oversee TAG funding. Accordingly, the objective for this audit was to evaluate PHMSA’s award and oversight of TAG funds. OIG conducted this work between September 2016 and May 2017 in accordance with generally accepted Government auditing standards. OIG selected a random sample of 9 organizations (i.e., communities, nonprofits, and utilities) from the 17 that each received $50,000 in TAG funds in fiscal year 2014. For all nine organizations in the sample, OIG reviewed documents, goods, and services purchased or developed with TAG funds. Additionally, OIG selected four of the nine organizations to visit and interview staff. These four were selected because of their geographic proximity to each other. OIG reviewed Federal, Department of Transportation, and PHMSA policies, including the Agency’s TAG program processes. OIG also interviewed PHMSA officials. It was determined that PHMSA developed reasonable draft internal controls for awarding and overseeing TAG funding, but staff did not implement them consistently for the grants reviewed. OIG is making recommendations to PHMSA to improve its management of the TAG program, including its oversight of prohibited activities.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Audit Report
  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01643731
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ST2017064
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 17 2017 5:09PM