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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request and legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the financial condition and operations of the District of Columbia's highway fund. GAO noted that: (1) the District has significantly reduced the length of time taken to process and execute federal-aid highway contracts, but it still averages 104 days for contracts under $1 million and 168 days for contracts over $1 million; (2) most states meet the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) recommended 45 day or less process and execution time limit; (3) the District will implement a pilot program to streamline its approval process by reducing the number of individual contract approvals needed and limiting other reviews and certifications to 3 business days; (4) reducing processing time within the Department of Public Works (DPW) is needed to meet the 45-day limit; (5) DPW requested FHwA technical assistance to facilitate implementation of administrative reforms and to ensure that it has the necessary expertise and resources to carry out its federal-aid highway program; (6) FHwA has made several recommendations to improve DPW operations, particularly regarding budgeting, personnel, and procurement; (7) the District established its Highway Trust Fund in December 1995 and 1996 matching funds and to provide future matching funds; and (8) the District did not segregate $18.3 million in motor fuel tax revenues from its general fund or transfer the $5 million borrowed from the U.S. Treasury for a separate revolving fund account for contractor payments until May 1996.

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