The Federal Highway Administration has a program in place to make sure states return any idle or leftover transportation funds so the money can be used for active projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General has begun an audit of the program as an extra layer of accountability.
Delays or cancellation of a project can sometimes lead to money sitting idle in an account, the Office of Inspector General audit announcement states. Federal rules require states to return inactive or unused transportation funding at the end of the year.
The FHWA relies on the Financial Integrity Review and Evaluation program, or FIRE, to address vulnerabilities and make sure states are holding up their end of the bargain. The Office of Inspector General initiated the audit of the FIRE program on July 22.
FHWA established the FIRE program in response to a 2005 audit that showed weaknesses in the way states handled unused or idle transportation funds.
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