FTA is responsible for conducting oversight activities to ensure that recipients of grants use the funds in a manner consistent with their intended purpose and in compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements. A number of oversight review programs exist to accomplish this goal.
The largest of the FTA funding programs is the Urbanized Area Formula Grant program, which represents approximately 36 percent of all grant funds awarded by FTA each year. This grant program is authorized under 49 U.S.C. §5307 to provide funding to transit providers in urbanized areas. FTA conducts oversight reviews of these grantees at least once every three years; hence the name Triennial Review.
In fiscal year 2013, the Triennial Review was significantly redesigned to emphasize a more proactive, forward looking approach. This improves FTA’s ability to rapidly address areas of concern to help grantees get out ahead of problems. Enhanced Review Modules have been implemented for Triennial Review areas that have the highest risk of non-compliance coupled with the potential of serious consequences. By addressing these areas in greater depth during the Triennial Review, it decreases the need for multiple reviews of a grantee within a fiscal year. Enhanced Review Modules may be performed in eight areas: Technical Capacity, Financial Capacity, Financial Management, Procurement, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and Maintenance.
The State Management Review assesses state management practices and program implementation of several Formula Grants. The reviews are conducted every three years and encompass 17 areas of compliance, including Grant Administration, Procurement, and Civil Rights areas.
The Procurement System Review examines 55 elements to determine if FTA grantees are meeting FTA procurement requirements and to identify corrective actions if a grantee is not meeting the requirements. In addition to helping evaluate grantees, the review gives FTA an opportunity to provide current information to grantees on the latest FTA procurement requirements.
FTA requires assurance that grantees have sound financial management systems and adequate internal controls to manage the Federal funds. The Financial Management Oversight Reviews examine a grantee’s financial management system’s ability to meet the criteria of 49 CFR, Part 18, Section 20 (the Common Rule) and Part 19, Section 20 (the Common Rule, Non-Profit); and determine if the grantee’s financial system is adequate to support the statutory and administrative requirements.