U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Home / Resources / Legislation, Regulations and Guidance / Directives and Memorandum / Orders

FHWA Order 5020.2

Stewardship and Oversight of Federal-Aid Projects Administered by Local Public Agencies (LPA)
Classification Code Date Office of Primary Interest
5020.2 August 14, 2014 HIPA-40

Best for printing: 50202.pdf (3.67 MB)

To view PDF files, you can use the Acrobat® Reader®.

Order 5020.2 - Attachment A | B | C

Overview of Toolkit for Conducting a Program Assessment on the Oversight of Local Public Agency (LPA) Administered Federal-Aid Projects


A program assessment can serve as valuable input and support for the division office's stewardship and oversight responsibilities for the Federal-aid highway program. A program assessment also provides information to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on program status and risk from a local and national perspective. In addition, it is a tool that is used to identify strategies to improve program delivery, mitigate future risks, and/or achieve the program's future vision.

A program assessment tool can identify and provide information on the:

To be effective, the program assessment tool requires candid determinations on:

This program assessment toolkit facilitates the review, evaluation, and documentation of the efficiency and effectiveness of each program area and whether it operates in compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and policies. The toolkit is also an important link to the program risk assessment process and the strategic planning process.

Once program assessments are completed, specific activities/actions can be identified to address immediate and short-term concerns along with intermediate and longer term steps for potential program/process improvement. Thus, a program assessment becomes a living process providing the basis for assessing risk, compliance, identifying improvement opportunities, and recognizing state-of-the-art-practices.

Components of the LPA Stewardship and Oversight (S&O) Program Assessment Toolkit

Below is a list of the component attachments to the LPA S&O Program Assessment Toolkit and a brief explanation of their purpose:

LPA S&O Program Assessment Toolkit Purpose and Methodology

The purpose of the LPA S&O Program Assessment Toolkit is to establish a consistent process/framework and format to evaluate the STA's oversight of LPA-administered Federal-aid projects as well as to assess the performance of the STA's population of LPAs that are allowed to administer Federal-aid projects.

The LPA-administered Federal-aid projects crosscut the entire program and support disciplines within the Federal-aid highway program as characterized by the project development and implementation process (i.e., planning, environment, right-of-way, design, construction, etc.). To facilitate compiling a national picture, the assessment framework is formatted as questionnaires with short responses (e.g., yes-no, multiple choice).

The LPA S&O Program Assessment Toolkit includes three primary aspects:

The responses to many of the questions (seeAttachment B) are structured to ask respondents to indicate their answer on a five-step scale that varies by degrees using "firmly yes" and "firmly no" as extremes to a continuum. This stratification is designed to reflect the question element's true status and complexity, thus more accurately capturing the state-of-the-practice in a STA's LPA S&O Program (see Table 1).

Project Level Compliance Assessments

Project-level compliance assessments will be conducted through the use of the Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) (see CAP Guidance) and supplemented with a Corporate Review Guide for the LPA S&O Program. More detailed guidance on conducting the LPA corporate CAP review and how data will be compiled and reported will be provided separately. This guidance will include establishment of trigger mechanisms for plans of corrective action.

Plans of Corrective Action (PCAs)

The program assessment results that will trigger the need for PCAs are:

Division offices whose assessments determine the need to develop and implement PCAs will use the current unit performance planning process (Integrated National Planning and Updating Tool (INPUT)). These corrective action plan elements need to be developed with input from STA and LPA partners.

All PCA tracking will be conducted through INPUT. Review activities are to use the review templates and tracking features of the Review Response Tracker feature under INPUT.

Table 1 - Answer Choice "Key"

Description of Responses to Questions in Questionnaire Set

Firmly Yes – Element in question is considered fully compliant and operating effectively by the STA/LPAs. The LPA S&O program is considered exceptional at the "state-of-the-art" level.

Mostly Yes – Element in question is determined to be in good shape but may be found in need of some minor improvements or show opportunities for program enhancements. Non-compliance issues are not systemic but more project specific. The LPA S&O program is generally considered state-of-the-practice.

Borderline – Element in question needs attention but has not been found to be programmatically fatal. Non-compliance issues reoccur in multiple projects but are not statewide. Corrective action is required and may warrant its inclusion in a formal action plan.

Mostly No – Significant issues need to be addressed. Problems may be systemic. Initiatives/action steps will need strong consideration to be included as part of an overall formal corrective action plan.

Firmly "No" – Major systemic issues of compliance and effectiveness need to be addressed. Further authorization of federally funded LPA projects may be under consideration for suspension. Initiative/action steps are to be included as part of an overall formal corrective action plan.

Needs Reviewing (NR) – Do not have sufficient information or knowledge to answer question confidently. This requires action steps to be included as part of an overall action plan.

Not Applicable (NA) – Element in question is not a part of an LPAs designated administrative responsibilities as established by the STA.

Page last modified on January 31, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000