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Office of the Inspector General Audit Report

Office of the Inspector General Audit Report

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Office of the Inspector General Audit Report

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  1. Office of the Inspector General Audit Report Opportunities Exist to Strengthen FHWA’s Coordination Guidance and Oversight of the Tribal Transportation Program October 30, 2013

  2. Overview • Purpose • To assess whether FHWA is: • effectively coordinating with BIA to administer and manage the TTP; and • Providing adequate oversight of TTP projects under agreements with Tribes

  3. When and Who was involved • Between May 12, 2012 and August 13, 2013 • Interviews • FLH TTP Staff • BIA DOT • BIA Regional Offices • DOI Office of Self-Governance • DOI Office of the Inspector General • 10 Tribes • Western Federal Lands • Reviewed • Regulations, agreements, project documentation, FHWA data files

  4. Results in Brief • FLH and BIA routinely coordinate in key areas such as coordinating reviews, fund distribution, and consulting with tribal organizations. • Opportunities for improvement • NEPA Approvals • Final Acceptance of TTP Projects • Results could be improved with a updated interagency agreement

  5. Results in Brief • FHWA should conduct more formal reviews based on data assessing tribal program risks and needs • Effects both new and existing Tribes working with FHWA • Unclear Guidance hinders FHWA in carrying out: • Effective workload analysis; • Project and program monitoring; • Assessment of tribal capabilities; and • Limited scope during site visits

  6. Recommendations 1. Coordinate with BIA to update the Memorandum of Agreement and Stewardship Plan to reflect FHWA’s role to directly assist Tribes, and define coordination between FHWA and BIA Regional Offices. ACTIONS: New National Business Plan being developed • Identifies roles, responsibilities, procedures, communications

  7. Recommendations 2. Create a centralized database to capture financial and status information for tribal transportation projects. ACTIONS: FHWA is looking at various database options including BIA Alaska Region’s system as well as developing a new database internally.

  8. Recommendations 3. Develop a process that ensures sufficient consultation with BIA fro tribes transitioning to FHWA and requires FHWA to consistently assess tribal capabilities and associated risks in administering transportation projects ACTIONS: • Formal on boarding process developed • Risk assessment similar to G2G assessment • Requires significant discussion/coordination with BIA Regions

  9. Recommendations 4. Develop a process that ensures consistent and comprehensive reviews of tribal projects, including a standard site visit checklist of key risk areas for tribes. ACTIONS: - Risk based project/program reviews - Project review checklist for each visit - what is reviewed each visit - Updated Program Guide

  10. Recommendations 5. Coordinate with BIA to revise TTP Regulations to reflect FHWA’s role to directly assist Tribes and clarify the requirements for eligible uses of funds ACTIONS: FHWA and BIA have developed an update to 25 CFR 170 and NPRM process should be underway after January 1.

  11. Recommendations 6. Develop a series of remedial actions that FHWA officials can take for a Tribe that may not be meeting program requirements. ACTION: • Actions being developed and will be discussed with each FHWA Tribe after development. • Will focus on non-responsiveness and non-reporting • Will be included in Program Guide and Program Agreements

  12. Recommendations 7. Revise TTP Guidance to ensure consistent definitions of key terminology, particularly financial constraint, and require Tribes to provide more detailed information on project scope and funding source. ACTIONS: • Training on TIP Requirements and development • Consistent definitions (Program Guide) • TIPS will require additional information • Identification of additional funding sources • Reasonableness of project funding

  13. Timeframe for Actions • FHWA and BIA will be working on resolution and actions so as to have all of the new procedures in place by the end of FY 14.

  14. Closing • Thank you to all that were involved • FHWA recognizes the importance of the TTP and is committed to work with the all of the Tribes and BIA to deliver transportation projects that provide access to community services. Bob Sparrow Director – FHWA TTP Washington, DC (202) 366-9483