A report released last week by the General Accounting Office calls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide more specific, written guidance to its regional offices in order to promote more uniform practice regarding management reviews and improvement plans in the spending of state highway safety program funds.
In its report (GAO-03-474), GAO concluded that about $2 billion in total has gone to the states for highway safety programs under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. However, GAO determined that "NHTSA's regional offices have made inconsistent use of management reviews and limited and inconsistent use of improvement plans" to guide the spending of such funds.
Improved oversight may help states achieve highway safety goals and make sure states operate within program guidelines, the study stated.
The GAO report was addressed to Sen. Byron Dorgan, the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Competition, Foreign Commerce, and Infrastructure.