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Board Report: March 31, 2011
The Board operates its Transportation Subsidy Program (TSP) in support of federal government initiatives to conserve energy, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality by encouraging federal employees to commute to work using public transportation. As of December 31, 2010, approximately 1,100 Board employees participated in the TSP, and 2010 Board expenditures for providing TSP benefits totaled about $1.5 million. We began this audit in response to reports of abuse and fraud in the federal transit benefits program at other government agencies. Our objective was to determine the extent to which the Board's TSP is properly controlled and administered. More specifically, we assessed the extent to which the Board's program controls (1) ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and management's authorization, and (2) prevent unauthorized or fraudulent activities.
Overall, we concluded that the Board's TSP was reasonably controlled and administered to help ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and management's authorization, and to help prevent unauthorized or fraudulent activities. Our audit did not identify significant deficiencies; however, we did identify instances of noncompliance with policies and procedures and opportunities to strengthen controls intended to ensure participants' compliance with TSP requirements. Specifically, we identified weaknesses involving TSP participants (1) continuing to receive benefits after separating from the Board, (2) not providing the Board office responsible for managing the TSP with up-to-date address and commuting cost information, and (3) having a parking permit while also receiving TSP benefits.
Our report contained three recommendations designed to address these matters. In commenting on a draft of our report, the Acting Director of the Management Division agreed with our assessment that opportunities exist to strengthen controls intended to ensure participants' compliance with TSP requirements. He concurred with two of our three recommendations and with the intent of the third recommendation, and he provided improvement actions planned or underway. We will follow up on the implementation of each recommendation as part of our future audit activities.