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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week released a report stating that while the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) had made progress in providing Hurricane Sandy funds, weaknesses in tracking and reporting hindered transparency into their use.
After Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage to transportation infrastructure in October 2012, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act designated $10.9 billion for the FTA's new Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program.
The OIG report assessed the FTA's progress in allocating, obligating and disbursing its Hurricane Sandy funding, and identified any weaknesses in those processes.
The report found that through Dec. 31, 2020, the FTA allocated and obligated approximately $10 billion — most of its Hurricane Sandy appropriation — but only disbursed about $4.3 billion. The pace was influenced by a number of factors, including project construction planning and execution, and the complexity of competitive resilience projects, OIG officials said in a news release.
The OIG also found that the FTA inconsistently tracks and reports Hurricane Sandy funding data or does not fully comply with federal guidance. The FTA has allocation data in a variety of sources, but — since it doesn't have procedures to accurately communicate allocated amounts over time — the data from those sources do not align, OIG officials said.