Internal Controls:

Transportation Acts To Correct Weaknesses in Its Bus Program

RCED-87-97: Published: Apr 28, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1987.

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Pursuant to the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act, GAO reviewed the Urban Mass Transportation Administration's (UMTA) actions to correct a material weakness in its bus grant program, in that it: (1) lacked policy guidance on grantees' bus fleet management; and (2) did not sufficiently direct grantees to properly maintain and rehabilitate their buses.

GAO found that the UMTA regional offices were: (1) following UMTA policy guidance on bus stockpiling and rehabilitation; (2) reviewing grantee compliance with program requirements on a triennial basis; and (3) documenting grantee noncompliance and withholding acquisition funds for grantees with excess buses. Although some regions were adhering to policy guidance, some transit systems needed stronger controls to ensure compliance with the service-life provision in replacing, stockpiling, and disposing of buses. Since UMTA policy does not specifically state how transit systems should calculate the service lives of buses, UMTA may expend more funds than allowed to replace buses before the end of their normal service lives or may not recover all funds representing the federal interest in the remaining useful lives of prematurely disposed buses.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued guidance on September 18, 1987.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, UMTA, to clarify its policy guidance regarding how grantees should calculate the service life or residual value of buses being stockpiled, replaced, or disposed of.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOT issued guidance on September 18, 1987.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, UMTA, to require that transit authorities certify to UMTA that buses they propose to stockpile, dispose of, or replace, satisfy the UMTA service-life provision.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOT issued guidance on September 18, 1987.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, UMTA, to require that grantees provide actual service-life data on buses to be stockpiled, disposed of, or replaced, on an exception basis.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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