TRANSIT BENEFIT PROGRAM BULLETIN
Bulletin No: ET-2011-02
Date: July 27, 2011
SUBJECT: Quarterly Six Month Report
PURPOSE: This Bulletin provides updated guidance and internal controls on the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Transit Benefit Program.
INFORMATION: To assistance in monitoring the integrity and program controls for the Transit Benefit Program, TRANServe has developed a Quarterly Six Month Report with detail pickup records for six months every quarter. This report allows you to conduct routine audits of employees’ transit benefit records and look for anomalies. It will be sent in an Excel format. For your convenience, a sample of the report is found below along with Oversight Guidelines for Transit Benefit Coordinators under MORE INFORMATION.
GUIDELINES: Monitoring Guidelines are as follows:
- Check the six month detail pickup records for adjustments.
- Participants are not expected to adjust every month to meet the actual workdays of the month because over time it will work itself out.
- Participants are expected to adjust for periods away from work that they do have control over such as; leave, travel, unscheduled telework, extended weather closings, and travel by alternate modes such as driving, carpooling, or slugging.
- If no adjustments are found:
- Talk to the participant…what is his/her work schedule.
- Check the mode of transportation
- Vanpools and monthly/yearly passes do not require adjustment
- Amounts above the statutory limit do not always require adjustment
- If you suspect adjustments should be made:
- Check the participant’s leave slip
- Check the participant’s travel schedule
- Request the participant’s pickup records from the Transit Benefit Manager
- Require participant to adjust pickup amount, if necessary, the next possible opportunity
EXPIRATION DATE: This Bulletin will remain in effect until canceled.
MORE INFORMATION: TRANServe is committed to helping our customers monitor program controls. To assist you with internal control best practices we have included Oversight Guidelines for Transit Benefit Coordinators and a sample of the Six Month Report.
Oversight Guidelines for
Transit Benefit Coordinators
It is recommended each agency appoint a Transit Benefit Coordinator to monitor the internal controls of the Transit Benefit program.
Each agency should also appoint a person(s) of authority to verify federal employees meet the requirements for participation in the transit benefit program as outlined in Executive Order 13150 Federal Workforce Transportation, April 21, 2000, and related statutory, regulatory, and administrative standards. This includes a determination that employees are using mass transit for the bulk of their commute to work.
- The Transit Benefit Coordinator has overall responsibility for communication, coordination, auditing, and management of the agency’s respective organizations.
- The Transit Benefit Coordinator receives, reviews, and forwards all transit applications for processing.
- The Transit Benefit Coordinator provides guidance and serves as the point of contact on national transit benefit program questions or issues.
To maintain integrity and program controls, Transit Benefit Coordinators should conduct routine internal audits of their employees’ transit benefit records. Internal control best practices include:
A. Ensure review of monthly transit benefit billing reports for accuracy. The review should verify and ensure that:
- Employees that have departed the agency are no longer receiving the benefit. Cross check the transit benefit alphabetical listing with Human Resource records to ensure separated employees followed exit procedures and withdrew from the transit benefit program.
- Employees on extended travel or leave have not picked up a monthly benefit for the period they were not commuting from home to work.
- Employees that intermittently telework or drive to work adjust their commuting benefit.
- Benefits are adjusted due to change of address.
- Participants with a pickup record over the monthly statutory limit are researched. (There may be legitimate reasons but this should be investigated.)
- Participants with records that show no adjustments due to daily parking in the garage, vacations, holidays, etc are notified in writing, of the policy requirements to adjust their benefits for actual commuting expense.
B. Transit benefit applications are verified to ensure they disclose/provide all information required by the OMB Memorandum, M-07-15 (attachment) such as:
- The Employee’s Home Address (including the street name)
- The Employee’s Work Address
- The Employee’s Commuting cost breakdown is completed on the Expense Worksheet. (Each transit coordinator should require a print out of the travel plan(s) and cost for each transit authority the employee identifies as his/her mode of transportation.)
C. A supervisor or person of authority signs the application verifying costs were reviewed for reasonableness.
D. A funds approving official certifies funds are available.
E. Enforce the use of electronic fare media where available.
For more information on the Transit Benefit Program, visit the DOT TRANServe website at: http://transerve.dot.gov/.
IRS Publication 15-B (Revised February 2007)
VOINOVICH Human Capital Legislation added to Homeland Security Bill July 24, 2002 permitting transit subsidies to interns
Federal Employees Clean Air Incentives Act, 5 U.S.C. & 7905, P.L. 103-172, December 2, 1993