Table B-4. Review of FRA RDT Program

Table B-4. Review of FRA RDT Program

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Investment Criterion Program Evidence
Relevance •   All program elements contribute to Departmental and FRA goals.
•   Developed with other DOT agencies and key stakeholders, a five-year strategic plan outlines a vision for the future and the technologies needed to realize it.
•   The TRB Committee for Review of the FRA Research, Development, and Demonstration Programs provides annual prospective and retrospective review.
•   Other inputs to the RD&T planning process include coordination with the FRA's Office of Safety, the American Public Transportation Association Research Needs Conference, the Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Research Needs Conference, and the Association of American Railroads Railway Technology Working Committee and Tank Car Committee.
Quality •   The FRA awards research contracts and grants on a competitive basis to the greatest extent possible.
•   The TRB conducts periodic peer reviews of the FRA programs that address (1) the management structure and approach; (2) the direction and allocation of funds; and (3) the appropriate balance of Federal, state, and private sector inputs and costs.
Performance •   Inputs are tracked via an annual procurement plan; monthly obligations reports; and monthly progress reports that track actual vs. planned technical accomplishments, costs, and schedules.
•   All FRA RD&T contributes to the goals in the FRA's and Department's annual performance plans; the FRA is developing annual and long-term measures and targets to accurately assess the progress of its RD&T in meeting these goals.
•   The DOT Performance and Accountability Report provides a public accounting of FRA performance against the goals in the previous year's performance plan.