U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Office of Inspector General

Subject: INFORMATION: Notification of Audit of the Federal Transit Administration New Starts Criteria

Project Number: 04M3003M000

Date: November 24, 2003

From: Debra S. Ritt Assistant Inspector General for Surface and Maritime Programs

Reply to Attn of: JA-40

To: Federal Transit Administrator

The Office of Inspector General is initiating an audit of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts Criteria to address issues raised in the Committee Report for the House Committee on Appropriations Fiscal Year 2004 Departments of Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill. The objective of this audit is to determine whether FTA's guidance is sufficient to ensure that alternative modes and/or alignments analyzed as part of the metropolitan planning process support the selection of projects forwarded to FTA for proposed New Starts funding. Specifically, we will review project documentation to determine whether the alternatives analysis made by applicants weighed viable alternatives and what quantitative measures, such as lowest cost-per-rider, were used in choosing the locally preferred alternative.

We will conduct the review at FTA Headquarters and regional offices and at grantees to be determined during the audit. We plan to begin the audit immediately, and will contact your audit liaison to schedule a formal entrance conference. The Program Director for this audit is Sarah Batipps, and the Project Manager is Jim Corcoran. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact me at (202) 493-0331 or Sarah Batipps at (202) 366-8543.


Audit Liaison, OST
Audit Liaison, FTA