California Department of Transportation
 

Local Program Delivery Accounting of Unboligated CMAQ and RSTP Funds per AB 1012's "Use It or Lose It" Provisions

Background

Assembly Bill 1012 (Chapter 783 of the Statutes of 1999) was enacted October 10, 1999 with a goal of improving the delivery of transportation projects. The legislation states that regional agency Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) and Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) funds that are not obligated within the first three years of federal eligibility are subject to reprogramming by the California Transportation Commission in the fourth year.

At the January CTC meeting, the Department presented the first report on the summary balances subject to potential reprogramming. At that time, the CMAQ and RSTP funds subject to potential reprogramming September 30, 2000, was approximately $333.6 million. Regional Agencies were asked to confirm whether they were in agreement with the balances reported. Since that time, all identified discrepancies have been resolved, and we are in agreement with the numbers. The Department is continuing to work with three agencies on issues concerning methods of determining balances and tracking expenditures.

DISCUSSION

Updated Unobligated Balances

The Department is required to report quarterly to the CTC, the most current summary balances subject to potential reprogramming. This report reflects CMAQ and RSTP balances as of January 31, 2000. The additional month worth of transactions provides the latest progress made toward reducing the balances. The revised total balance of CMAQ and RSTP funds subject to reprogramming is $275.4 million, a reduction of approximately $58.2 million. The CMAQ summary balance decreased by approximately $40 million and the RSTP summary balance decreased by approximately $18 million. (Attachment 1).

Guidelines for Timely Use of Funds

The Department has developed guidelines which describe the policy and procedures necessary to implement the timely use of funds provisions outlined in AB 1012. The guidelines were developed and adopted to address the following objectives:

  • Increased efficiency of transportation funding by putting every available transportation dollar to work in a timely manner.
  • Providing transportation benefits as early as possible.
  • Increased monitoring and reporting of funds to improve the Use of these funds.

The Department will work with the transportation community to concentrate on the "use" portion of this requirement.

Following is a brief summary of the guidelines (Attachment 2).

  • Applicable Programs

    The timely use of funds provisions of Chapter 783 of the Statutes of 1999 apply specifically to the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) and Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) funds. The Department will apply the same policy to the Regional Transportation Enhancement Activities (TEA) program, although the statutes do not specify that the Regional TEA program is subject to the same timely use of funds provisions. This treatment of Regional TEA funds is consistent with CTC policy that states Regional TEA funds will be apportioned and managed in a manner similar to RSTP funds.

  • Determination of Three-Year Apportionment Period

    The time period for calculating the three-year apportionment period begins with the start of the federal fiscal year in which the apportionment occurred. This is consistent with federal funds lapse rules.

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    The roles and responsibilities for the timely use of funds are delineated in statute and are shared by the Department, regional agencies, and the CTC. The Department is responsible for monitoring and reporting unobligated balances. The regional agencies are responsible for obligating the funds within the three-year time period, and developing a plan for those funds remaining unobligated in the third year. The CTC is responsible for reprogramming the unobligated balances to ensure no federal lapse occurs.

  • Formal Notification

    The Department will provide written notice to the regional agencies of the unobligated CMAQ, RSTP, and Regional TEA balances subject to potential reprogramming by mid October of each year. The funds subject to notice are those unobligated balances which have one year remaining of a three- year apportionment period. The October notification will be based on information available through the federal funds cut off date of September 15.

  • Quarterly Balance Reports

    The Department will provide CMAQ, RSTP, and Regional TEA unobligated apportionment balances to the CTC on a quarterly basis. The quarterly balances will reflect projects obligated and processed through the Department's Local Programs Accounting Management System during the preceding quarter. The CMAQ, RSTP, and Regional TEA monthly summary apportionment balances by region can be found in the Department's Office of Local Programs Internet home page. Each quarterly report will also be posted on the Internet pages.

  • Regional Agency Obligation Plan

    Regional agencies must submit a formal obligation plan for any CMAQ, RSTP, or Regional TEA balance older than 2-years old to the Department by April 15 of each year. The plan must tie back to the FTIP.

  • Formal Notification to CTC of Amount Available for Reprogramming

    By November of each year, the Department will provide written notice to the CTC of the CMAQ, RSTP, and Regional TEA balances not obligated within the 3-year period of availability.

    The Department will keep regional agency obligation plans on file and will make them available to the CTC. If a project is expected to take more than three years to obligate, the regional agency must submit a written request for an extension to the three-year apportionment period to the Department at the time the plan is submitted.

  • Obligational Level Available

    Caltrans will ensure sufficient obligational authority is available to meet the needs of the regional agencies for projects contained in the submitted obligation plans.

First Year Implementation

Notwithstanding the dates identified in the guidelines, the first year implementation causes various reporting issues:

  1. Determination of Three Year Apportionment Period

    AB 1012 states federal funds must be obligated within a three-year apportionment period. The transition between ISTEA and TEA-21 caused the 1997-98 apportionments to be delayed until June 1998. During the interim, regional agencies received partial funding, with the remainder of the apportionment issued later in the federal fiscal year. Regional agencies were notified in February 1998 that there was sufficient obligational authority to obligate all of the advance apportionments, plus a substantial amount of the unobligated apportionments remaining from the ISTEA. However, there was a period of approximately five weeks after May 1, 1998 where no obligations were allowed until the new transportation act was enacted.

    Because partial allocations were available, the Department has determined that the time period for calculating the first three-year apportionment period begins with the start of the federal fiscal year in which the apportionment occurred.

  2. Reporting Dates

    AB 1012 statutes specify all reporting requirements are tied to the federal fiscal year. Because of the implementation date of the legislation, there is a difference between dates specified in the guidelines and those required in the first year implementation. The following chart displays the differences in reporting dates between the guidelines and the first year of implementation.

    Action Required Guidelines 1st Year Implementation
         
    Formal one-year notification to regional agencies. mid October January 19, 2000 (CMAQ & RSTP) October 2000 (TEA)
         
    Regional agency formal obligation plan. April 15 June 30, 2000
         
    Unobligated CMAQ, RSTP, and Regional TEA balances subject to reprogramming. September 30 January 19, 2001 (RSTP, CMAQ) September 30, 2001 (TEA)
         
    Formal notification to CTC. November February 2001
         
    CTC reprograms available funds. November February 2001 (CMAQ & RSTP) October 2001 (TEA)

  3. Regional TEA Funds

    Prior to Senate Bill 45 the Transportation Enhancement Activities (TEA) type projects were programmed in the STIP. The change in program structure caused by SB45, which removed new TEA projects from the STIP, caused a delay in release of new program guidelines. This had an impact on the programming and obviously, the obligation of TEA funds. Therefore, no unobligated Regional TEA balances will be subject to reprogramming prior to October 1, 2001.

This page last updated October 1, 2001