DOT’s Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Continued Management Attention Is Needed To Address Oversight Vulnerabilities

This report presents the results of an assessment of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which designated over $48 billion for new and existing DOT programs. Both the President and Congress have emphasized the need for full accountability, efficiency, and transparency in the allocation and expenditure of ARRA funds and recognized the importance of the accountability community in accomplishing these objectives. The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) role is to assist DOT officials in their efforts to implement ARRA by identifying areas that need strengthening and making recommendations for program improvements. ARRA has now been in effect for over 9 months and the Department’s obligation deadlines to date have been met. For this report, OIG's objective was to identify vulnerabilities that could impede DOT’s ability to (1) provide effective oversight to ARRA-funded projects and (2) meet new requirements mandated by ARRA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OIG's agency scans showed that DOT took unprecedented steps to enhance oversight and create new programs in a short period. For example, FHWA developed national review teams to help oversee the $27.5 billion it received in ARRA funding and ensure a consistent approach to conducting compliance reviews across its 52 Division Offices, although it is too early to measure their effectiveness. Further, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) developed an agencywide program to identify key risks in effectively implementing ARRA and develop strategies to mitigate risks. While proactive steps like these laid the groundwork for addressing its significant oversight challenges, DOT faces vulnerabilities that could inhibit its ability to meet ARRA’s goals and requirements going forward. Specifically, OIG's agency scans identified two types of vulnerabilities: (1) those that require action to mitigate a documented risk or tasks that should be finalized as soon as possible and (2) those that, because of their complexity, size, or scope, require a sustained focus, although no deficiencies may be evident now.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Tables;
  • Pagination: 59p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01148601
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MH-2010-024
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 4 2010 12:13PM