In 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), authorized the states to retain the federal share of proceeds from the sale or lease of real property that had been purchased with federal-aid funds. It also required the states to use the federal share on other highway projects eligible for funding under the federal-aid highway program. GAO determined (1) the extent to which states are selling, leasing, or disposing of real property purchased with federal-aid funds and (2) how the proceeds generated from the sale or lease of real property are being used, including whether they are being used in accordance with TEA-21. GAO issued a related legal opinion in September 2002.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. To help ensure that states act in accordance with TEA-21 in disposing of real property originally purchased with federal aid, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator to develop and report on a strategy regarding how FHWA plans to comply with GAO's legal opinion concerning the statute governing the sale or lease of real property.|
|Department of Transportation||2. To help ensure that states act in accordance with TEA-21 in disposing of real property originally purchased with federal aid, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the FHWA Administrator to provide additional guidance to the state DOTs that will help ensure that states use the proceeds of property sales or leases as required by TEA-21, including the types of documentation or tracking that would be cost effective and appropriate to demonstrate compliance.|