DOT-OIG finds weaknesses in NHTSA state reviews

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The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office recently issued its report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s oversight of state highway safety programs. DOT-OIG said the objective of its audit, dated March 25, was to evaluate NHTSA’s oversight of state highway safety programs and identify best practices.

DOT-OIG said it found that NHTSA developed and followed guidelines and procedures for oversight reviews of state highway safety programs, but also identified weaknesses in NHTSA’s annual program reviews that made it difficult for NHTSA to comprehensively assess whether states were on course to meet their safety goals.

Specifically, according to DOT-OIG, NHTSA did not (1) ensure that states consistently measured performance, (2) assess states’ reporting of performance trends, and (3) analyze states’ long-term progress in meeting safety goals. DOT-OIG said it identified opportunities for NHTSA to better measure the results of its grant programs and enhance the accountability for grant funds.

DOT-OIG said the audit, which can be read here, was conducted in response to a requirement within the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).