Are states ignoring funds?

News AASHTO Journal April 14, 2004
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Citing the need to fully use all available federal-aid funds in today's tight budget environment, the Office of Inspector Gener

Citing the need to fully use all available federal-aid funds in today's tight budget environment, the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a report calling attention to the possibility that states may be holding high funding balances that could be tapped for project spending.


The review identified about 30,000 obligations valued at $3.3 billion that have had no activity in the past 18 months. Of that total, $1.3 billion is associated with 484 projects valued at $1 million or more. Similar reviews, conducted in 1999 and 2001, spurred substantial deobligations of funds.


The IG made several recommendations. They included requiring Federal Highway Administration division offices to conduct immediate reviews of inactive projects; requiring FHWA division financial managers to conduct annual reviews in conjunction with state to ensure that all states have an effective project closing process; requiring the national FHWA office to review the effectiveness of field activities in project closeouts; and including goals in both performance plans and individual performance appraisals.


FHWA officials responded that they are working to ensure periodic reviews will be made and obligations will be closed timely.


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