Capital Investment Grants Program: FTA Should Improve the Effectiveness and Transparency of Its Reviews

The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA’s) Capital Investment Grants program helps fund investments in public transit in the United States. To be considered for funding through the program, sponsors of projects, such as investments in rail transit, must complete a multi-step, multi-year development process outlined in statute and meet FTA requirements. The Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century Act includes a provision for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to biennially review FTA’s implementation of this program. This report discusses: (1) the extent to which, if at all, sponsors reported experiencing delays moving through the program’s development process and (2) the extent to which FTA’s policies and practices for the program help ensure the effectiveness and transparency of FTA’s reviews. GAO reviewed relevant laws and FTA guidance and compared FTA’s policies and practices with three systematic practices that help ensure the effectiveness and transparency of agency reviews. GAO also interviewed FTA officials and the sponsors of the 66 projects in the program as of February 2018. GAO recommends that FTA take steps to: (1) clarify aspects of the methods it uses and factors it considers when reviewing projects, (2) review agency guidance to identify aspects that may be outdated or confusing, and (3) communicate information, such as the reason why a project is not advancing, to sponsors in a timely manner. FTA concurred with reviewing agency guidance but disagreed with the other recommendations, stating additional action is not needed for such purposes. But GAO believes FTA needs further action to help ensure the effectiveness and transparency of its reviews.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01747559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-20-512
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 27 2020 10:51AM