Sneak Preview: FHWA Urged To Strengthen Local Project Oversight

August 11, 2011 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(This post is based on an upcoming article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) New Federal Highway Administration policy expected by the end of September could increase the agency’s scrutiny of federally funded local road projects and boost the effectiveness of corrective action plans.

In 2010, an internal FHWA review found that nine states had inadequate oversight over the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act highway infrastructure projects constructed by their city and county governments, who are known as local public agencies (LPAs). Those states lacked the necessary resources to appropriately oversee LPAs, did not comply with federal labor requirements and improperly processed contract changes.

The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General subsequently audited the FHWA’s administration of those projects. After conducting site visits in four states — California, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas — the OIG found at least one instance of noncompliance in 88 percent of the projects reviewed and $5 million in unsupported costs.

More information on the OIG audit and the FHWA’s response will be available to subscribers of the Federal Grants Management Handbook in their September issue.

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