Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2015
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION ISSUES PERFECT SCORE IN REVIEW OF COUNTY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT
NEW CITY, NY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day today announced that during its most recent Triennial Review of the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region II issued a perfect score in its preliminary evaluation of how the County meets its federal funding requirements.
"We appreciate this outstanding recognition from FTA," said Day. "This achievement is the result of an extraordinary effort on the part of the County. The Public Transportation Department relies upon the federal transportation dollars we receive from FTA. Maintaining that federal funding stream is of tremendous importance, and we are committed to our partnership with FTA to ensure our outstanding performance record continues."
Although less exacting than an audit, the Triennial Review is the FTA's assessment of compliance with Federal requirements determined by the examination of grant management practices and program implementation. The Triennial Review covers 17 areas and involves approximately 130 hours for each review. The FTA began the County's review in November 2014 and the review culminated with a 3-day site visit and inspection in late May.
During the review, FTA officials sampled financial records, procurement files, conducted spot checks of facility and maintenance records and inspected some of the County's bus fleet. The review was directed at the Department of Public Transportation, which is responsible for administering the funds FTA provides for public transit operations inRocklandCounty. However, the review also included County departments that assist in the administration of the funds and maintenance of FTA-funded facilities and equipment, as well as a review of the County's federally-funded public transit operators and contractors.
At the completion of the FTA's site visit on May 20th,RocklandCounty was given an unprecedented preliminary score of 17 out of 17 in the areas reviewed by the agency. A Final Report is expected to reflect the same score, and will be issued by the end of July. Areas of review included financial management, procurement, maintenance, technical capacity, security, legal, DBE,ADA, civil rights (Title VI), EEO, Half Fare, public comment, satisfactory continuing control and other categories. No deficiencies were found.
In an exit conference for the Triennial Review, the FTA indicated thatRocklandCountyhas now set the bar for other agencies in Region II this year for Triennial Review performance, and that coming out of the review process with no deficiencies in all 17 areas was an outstanding testament toRocklandCounty's delivery of FTA's grant programs and requirements.
FTA staff indicated that this wasRocklandCounty's best review, and especially praised the County for its procurement record-keeping and files. FTA staff also said that they were pleased with the condition of the County's federally-funded buses they had inspected, indicating that even two retiring vehicles they boarded were in excellent condition.
"We were thrilled to come out of the site visit phase with zero deficiencies and no follow-up required," said Acting Public Transportation Commissioner Doug Schuetz. "Our success is thanks, in no small part, to the hard work of our dedicated staff along with the efforts of the other County Departments we work with on a regular basis, such as Purchasing, Law, Finance and Facilities. We thank them, along with our bus operator and our funding sub-recipient operators, for the vital roles they played in this successful Triennial Review."
Schuetz also acknowledged Michael Shine, the Department's Grants Coordinator, who organized the County's response for the Triennial Review, Transit Administrator Michael D'Angelo, and all of the Public Transportation Department staff who help to ensure the integrity of the federal funding process on a daily basis.
FTA oversees about $8 billion annually to about 600 transit agencies (grantees) serving urban areas, in part through its Triennial Review program every 3 years. The Triennial Review is one of the primary tools FTA uses to evaluate to what extent grantees are meeting federal requirements. Grantees must comply with a variety of requirements to safeguard federal funds and help ensure safe transportation, among other things. Congress mandated the Triennial Review in 1982.
The Department receives approximately $4 million annually from FTA, which is primarily used for capital costs such as bus purchases and equipment. The County will have its next Triennial Review in 2018.