Federal Aviation Administration's Management of Two Grants to the Tulsa International Airport

CED-81-8: Published: Nov 3, 1980. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1980.

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A review was made of how the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managed two grants for taxiway improvements at the Tulsa International Airport. GAO was asked to determine if proper guidelines were followed and if sufficient guidelines have since been implemented to deter occurrences of this nature. The examination focused on two grant administration questions: (1) what role should FAA play in the grantee's selection of a consulting engineer; and (2) what actions can or should FAA consider in working with its grantee to overcome failure.

GAO found that FAA generally followed its procedures in administering the two grants at the Tulsa airport. However, the evaluation of the role FAA field offices played in grantees' selection of an engineer showed that the FAA Southwest Region allowed the grantees to decide what selection process to use. The practice does not support the Office of Management and Budget standards and FAA regulations which, since 1974, have advocated selecting consulting engineers competitively on the basis of competence and qualifications. In addition, FAA had not issued any guidance to its field offices delineating their responsibilities when projects encounter design or construction problems requiring work to be redone. FAA depends on the field to identify the causes of rework and improvements needed in areas such as currency of the design standards by FAA and adequacy of its review of the grantee's project plans and specifications.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of FAA should require the regional directors to closely monitor grantees' actions in these cases and to periodically report their status to headquarters.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of FAA should develop guidelines for regional directors to follow when a funded project has design or construction problems which require work to be redone.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

 

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