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FHWA Order 4420.2A

Order
Subject
PROCEDURES FOR NOTIFYING THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETERY OF TRANSPORTATION OF PROPOSED CONTRACT AND DISCRETIONARY GRANT AWARDS
Classification Code Date Office of Primary Interest
4420.2A July 14, 2004 HAAM-1

Par.

  1. What is the purpose of this Order?
  2. Does this Order cancel an existing Order?
  3. What is the background of this Order?
  4. What types of actions are covered by this Order?
  5. What is the notification process for discretionary fund awards under the Federal-aid highway program?
  6. What is the notification process for contracts/assistance agreements issued by the Washington Headquarters Office of Acquisition Management and Federal Lands Highway Office?
  7. Should the Washington Headquarters and field offices reply to, or initiate any contact with congressional offices (member or committee) regarding pending awards of discretionary projects?
  8. Where can I get additional information?
  1. What is the purpose of this Order?  This Order issues guidance on the responsibilities and procedures for notifying the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) of certain discretionary fund awards under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Federal-Aid Highway Program and direct awards of contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements awarded by Washington Headquarters Office of Acquisition Management (HAAM), and the Federal Lands Highway (FLH) program offices.

  2. Does this Order cancel an existing Order?  Yes. This Order cancels FHWA Order 4420.2, dated March 17, 1982.

  3. What is the background of this Order?  These procedures are intended to enhance the Department of Transportation's (DOT) public and congressional notification process, ensuring that proper emphasis is placed on congressional relations.  Under specific statutory requirements, the U.S. Congress is advised of certain prospective awards preceding announcement of them to the public and potential recipients.  Congressional appropriating committees have historically included language in appropriations laws requiring the DOT to provide advance notification to the appropriation committees of certain grant selections 72 hours before the States' congressional delegation or the grant recipients are notified.  The FHWA Office of Legislation and Strategic Planning, Legislative Analysis Team (HPLS-40) coordinates with the OST to ensure that appropriate congressional notifications are carried out in a timely manner.

    The OST has developed an automated, web-based system for notifying the U.S. Congress of impending grant awards by DOT to replace the manual system previously used. This system is called the Grants Notification System (GNS).

  4. What types of actions are covered by this Order?
    1. Allocations of discretionary fund awards through the Federal-aid highway program, exceeding $1,000,000.
    2. Contracts exceeding $3,000,000 and grants and cooperative agreements exceeding $1,000,000 awarded by HAAM and FLH.

  5. What is the notification process for discretionary fund awards under the Federal-aid highway program?
    1. Program offices responsible for the award of discretionary grants must submit award information directly into the GNS located at http://gns.ost.dot.gov.  User identifications, passwords, and specific user instructions will be provided by HPLS-40.
    2. All data entered into the GNS will be previewed by HPLS-40, the Associate Administrator for Public Affairs (HPA-1), and the Federal Highway Administrator's office (HOA-1) prior to release to the OST Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA). The OGA will conduct any required coordination with the White House and provide congressional notification.
    3. Upon notification from OGA that congressional notification is complete, HPLS-40 will notify HPA-1 and the responsible program office.
    4. The program office responsible for the award will inform the appropriate Division Administrator who will in turn notify the award recipient.
    5. A press release may be issued by Washington Headquarters.


  6. What is the notification process for contracts/assistance agreements issued by the Washington Headquarters Office of Acquisition Management and Federal Lands Highway Office?
    1. The contracting officer submits an electronic copy of DOT Form 4220.41 to HPLS-40 prior to the execution of a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement or public notification of a pending award.
    2. HPLS-40 reviews the notification for sufficiency.
    3. Notifications pertaining to cooperative agreements and contracts will be retained by HPLS-40 for use in possible congressional inquiries.
    4. Unless OGA requests the contracting officer to delay announcement of a pending award, HAAM and FLH may proceed with the award and announcement of contracts, grants or cooperative agreements on the 3rd working day following receipt of the DOT Form 4220.41 in OGA.  The contracting officer is responsible for documenting the date the form is received by OGA.


  7. Should Washington Headquarters and field offices reply to, or initiate any contact with congressional offices (member or committee) regarding pending awards of discretionary projects? No. Washington Headquarters and field offices must not contact any congressional office or committee regarding pending awards of discretionary projects.  Any contact must wait until approval is received from HPLS-40.  If either the Washington Headquarters or field office personnel are contacted by a congressional office, they should state that the grant is pending and refer the caller to HPLS-40.

  8. Where can I get additional information? For additional information, contact HPLS-40 at 202-366-9208.
Signature: Mary E. Peters
Mary E. Peters
Federal Highway Administrator
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000