MASS TRANSIT GRANTS: SCARCE FEDERAL FUNDS MISUSED IN UMTA'S PHILADELPHIA REGION

This report presents the results of one of several assignments the General Accounting Office (GAO) is conducting at the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) and examines (1) compliance with federal requirements by selected grant recipients in UMTA Region III, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and (2) the effectiveness of UMTA's oversight of Region III grantees. These results are based on a review of Region III's monitoring of nine grantees that together account for 70% of active grants in the region. It also builds on GAO's earlier UMTA work as well as reports issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). GAO found that Region III's transit grants are vulnerable to fraud, waste, and mismanagement because grantees do not have adequate financial and other management systems to ensure compliance with federal requirements. Moreover, the region has not consistently used its monitoring tools and enforcement authorities and has allowed grantees to ignore certain reporting requirements. As a result of weaknesses in grantees' management systems and UMTA's oversight, some grant funds have been misspent and ineffectively used. In this regard, the OIG has questioned the use of $61.5 million by 13 grantees in Region III over the last 3 fiscal years. Region III's monitoring has not successfully detected and corrected grantee noncompliance with UMTA requirements. Quarterly reports were not submitted, triennial reviews were superficial, procurement reviews were infrequent, and site visits were not documented. UMTA acknowledges that oversight weaknesses exist but continues to rely largely on grantees' assurances that they will use funds in compliance with federal requirements. When problems were brought to the attention of the region, it often did not require grantees to take corrective actions and return misspent funds. Although increased monitoring alone cannot correct the waste and mismanagement found in Region III, with federal dollars limited and mass transit needs great, UMTA must give close attention to ensuring that grantees' management systems are adequate and that regional oversight quickly detects and corrects problems.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to Selected Members of Congress.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1991-6

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00610207
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-91-107
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1991 12:00AM