GAO: Federal Gov’t Should Track Spending on Smaller Construction Projects

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Most of the $41 billion in annual federal highway spending is not being adequately tracked by the Federal Highway Administration, a new report from the Government Accountability Office found.

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Lax reporting standards by the FHWA make it difficult to track the start-to-finish costs for most projects financed by federal highway dollars, the GAO said in a report released Thursday. All but about $2 billion of the money is passed on to states to build roads and bridges, the Washington Examiner reported.

FHWA does track total aggregated costs for individual projects that will cost $500 million or more. Data also are reported on individual segments of smaller projects — for instance, how much was spent on planning, engineering, land acquisition and construction of particular segment of road. But there is no detailed reporting requirement for cumulative spending on construction projects that cost less than $500 million, which account for about 88 percent of the money that is spent, GAO found.

The biggest mover this week was US shredded scrap with a 2.4% fall on the weekly Construction MMI® to close the week at $364.00 per short ton. This past week, the Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines kept quiet, holding at at CNY 970.00 ($157.94) per dry metric ton. Prices for Chinese H-beam steel remained constant, closing the week at CNY 3,070 ($499.86) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 2,960 ($481.95) per metric ton, Chinese rebar remained unchanged for the week.

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At CNY 14,200 ($2,312) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese aluminum bar. Following a steady week, prices for European 1050 aluminum closed flat at EUR 2,365 ($2,991) per metric ton.

Closing out the third week of declining prices, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge dropped by 1.4%, finishing at $0.51 per mile. At $0.49 per mile, the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge finished the week down 1.4%. The weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge dropped 1.0% this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at $0.49 per mile.

The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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