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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Transportation
Railroad Bridge Inspection Program (Follow Up)

Issued: October 04, 2016
Link to full audit report 2016-F-13

To determine the extent of implementation of the six recommendations included in our original report, Railroad Bridge Inspection Program (Report 2013-S-5).

Our initial audit report, which was issued on December 9, 2013, determined whether the Department properly oversaw railroads in the State to ensure they meet the bridge inspection requirements. We concluded that the Department was not sufficiently monitoring whether the railroads complied with its bridge and inspection reporting requirements and made recommendations to improve the Department’s oversight. The Railroad Bridge Inspection Program will potentially be impacted by pending legislation referred to as the Rail Safety Act of 2016, which has passed the Assembly and Senate and is awaiting review and approval by the Governor. The Bill, if enacted, would amend existing State laws to align railroad bridge inspection with federal regulations and require each railroad to periodically provide specific safety information to the Commissioner.

Key Finding

  • The Department has made progress in implementing the recommendations identified in our prior audit report.  Of the six prior audit recommendations, one has been implemented, four have been partially implemented and one is no longer applicable. 

Key Recommendation

  • Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

Other Related Audit/Report of Interest

Department of Transportation: Railroad Bridge Inspection Program (2013-S-5)
Department of Transportation: Management and Oversight of Structural Defects on Highway Bridges (Follow Up) (2012-F-18)

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236