Organizational Excellence Goal
Advance the Department’s ability to manage for results and achieve the goals of the President’s Management Agenda.
In support of the President’s Management Agenda, the Department has adopted the following RD&T strategy to advance organizational excellence:
Consistently apply the President’s R&D Investment Criteria—relevance, quality, and performance—to all DOT-sponsored and in-house research. Supports all outcomes.
The following sections summarize the primary RD&T activities that will advance this RD&T strategy. Appendix C shows anticipated funding levels for FY 2006 through 2010.
Through the RD&T Planning Council and RD&T Planning Team, RITA conducts annual reviews of operating administrations’ RD&T programs to ensure effective implementation of the R&D Investment Criteria of relevance, quality, and performance and to ensure that research programs are evaluated according toestablished best practices. These reviews also enable the operating administrations to identify areas of mutual interest and to prevent unnecessary duplication.
As described in Chapter 10, the Department’s operating administrations also have processes in place to ensure that research is relevant to stakeholder and national needs, is peer-reviewed, and is meeting performance objectives. The primary RD&T programs that will support these processes are shown below. Table 8-1 lists program milestones.
System Planning and Resource Management. Meets the Administration’s criteria for addressing customer needs, increasing program efficiency, and reducing management and operating costs. The program will continue to produce the annual National Aviation Research Plan; administer the congressionally mandated Research, Development, and Engineering Advisory Committee; conduct external program coordination; and undertake strategic planning for FAA research programs.
RD&T Review and Evaluation. Ensures that stakeholders are engaged throughout the RD&T planning process and supports external review of research programs. Among other activities, this work will support the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Research and Technology Coordinating Committee and an independent assessment process for FHWA’s 24 laboratories by panels of external experts. (This activity will be funded through other FHWA RD&T programs.)
Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence. Improves the performance and excellence of FMCSA’s research and technology program. This effort will develop and update strategic and tactical plans for research and technology; engage stakeholders in program planning and execution; produce technical reports, briefs, and web-based information; and develop and monitor fiscal and performance accountability.
Review of FRA RD&T Programs. Through a committee established by the TRB, reviews the management structure and approach of FRA research programs; the direction and allocation of research funds; and whether there is an appropriate balance of Federal, State, and private-sector input and cost sharing. This committee will be refocused to assist with developing an updated five-year plan for railroad research. (This activity will be funded through other FRA RD&T programs.)
Provide Transit Research Leadership. Ensures FTA’s ability to lead transit research in partnership with the transit industry. Activities will include continued support for the Transit Research Analysis Committee, which provides stakeholder review of FTA research programs; the transit-related activities of the TRB; and technical support for research activities, including program evaluations and reporting.
NHTSA RD&T Planning and Outreach. Develops the five-year report on safety rulemaking and supporting research priorities and conducts public meetings to share research results. In addition to these activities, NHTSA will develop a five-year strategic research plan. (This activity will be funded through other NHTSA RD&T programs.)
Stakeholder and Peer Review. Supports ongoing stakeholder input into the development of PHMSA’s pipeline safety and hazardous materials safety RD&T programs. Efforts will support pipeline safety R&D Forums, the work of the pipeline safety research Blue Ribbon Panel, and implementation of peer-review requirements for highly influential and influential research. (This activity will be funded through other PHMSA RD&T programs.)
RD&T Coordination (R&D Planning and Management). Implements an integrated planning process for RD&T aligned with Departmental goals. The program will continue to work through the DOT RD&T Planning Council and RD&T Planning Team to coordinate and provide strategic direction for DOT’s research programs, to promote efficient use of RD&T resources, and to prevent unnecessary research duplication.