DOT-OIG reviewing NHTSA handling of research, demonstration projects

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The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General is reviewing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s management of research and demonstration projects. NHTSA awards contracts and grants to states, universities, commercial entities and nonprofit organizations for their behavioral and vehicle safety research. NHTSA’s budget for operations and research was about $230 million annually for fiscal years 2005 through 2008.

DOT-OIG says the objectives of its audit are to determine whether NHTSA (1) allocated research funds and selected projects based on their likelihood to reduce the number and severity of crashes or other targeting strategy; (2) systematically evaluated and disseminated project results to improve safety; and (3) used a risk-based internal control framework for its oversight of research contractors and grantees as a means to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

DOT-OIG says it will conduct its audit at NHTSA offices in Washington, D.C., selected NHTSA regional offices and state highway safety offices.