Department of Transportation
Federico Peña, Secretary
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is vital to our economy and quality of life. DOT will Tie America Together with
a safe, technologically advanced, and efficient transportation system that promotes economic growth and international
competitiveness now and in the future and that contributes to a healthy and secure environment.
To accomplish this overall mission, DOT has identified seven primary goals:
- Tie America Together through an effective intermodal transportation system;
- invest strategically in transportation infrastructure, which will increase productivity, stimulate the economy,
and create jobs;
- create a new alliance between the nation's transportation and technology industries, to make them both more efficient
and internationally competitive;
- promote safe and secure transportation;
- actively enhance our environment through wise transportation decisions;
- put people first in our transportation system by making it relevant and accessible to users; and
- transform DOT by empowering employees in a new team effort to achieve our goals.
Summary Budget Information
|FY 1993 (Actual) || FY 1996 (Budgeted) |
|Budget || Staff ||Budget || Staff|
|$36.681 billion ||109,242 ||$37.504 billion ||101,232|
Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation provides safety oversight and infrastructure and technology investment
that keep the U.S. transportation system the safest and most efficient in the world.
When President Clinton took office, the Department's ability to maintain this leadership was under stress. Red tape,
outdated programs, and misplaced requirements wasted money, burdened our partners, and hindered our ability to serve the
American people. Major project delays and cost overruns, like those of the initiative to automate air traffic control
technology, were only the most visible problems.
I saw that we needed to do two things. First, clearly define the Department's mission to focus our resources on core
responsibilities. Second, change the Department's culture to one that views transportation system users, state and local
governments, and the American people themselves as our customers.
Redefining Mission. I developed a strategic plan that clarified the Department's mission, outlined the challenges we
faced to fulfill that mission, and then set seven primary goals to meet those challenges. This strategic plan is focused
on results, not process, and has guided us in everything we've since done to help America's transportation systems prepare
for the 21st century.
The plan's results can be seen in many ways: the increase of infrastructure and research investment to its highest
levels ever, the establishment of three-dozen international aviation agreements to open markets and create jobs for
American airlines, to increase opportunities for travelers, and to improve in the health of America's aerospace and
Changing the Culture. The effort to change our culture is based on Vice President Gore's National Performance Review,
which focuses on making the federal government work better, cost less, and be more responsive to its customers. To do so,
we're implementing a wide range of new initiatives and operational improvements.
The most dramatic of these is a restructuring of the Department to put front line service as our top priority. The
Federal Highway, Transit, and Railroad Administrations and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- which have
many functions in common -- are streamlining their field offices to provide one-stop shopping for our customers and move
us towards a seamless system in which the different forms of transportation are fully integrated.
The Coast Guard is carrying out a streamlining that will eliminate layers and better align its programs and command
structure. Shifting headquarters staff to the field, decommissioning inefficient older ships and aircraft, and
consolidating unneeded offices will not only improve performance but also save $400 million from 1994 to 1998 while
freeing hundreds of millions of dollars in property for other uses.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is streamlining its operations to focus on key areas such as air traffic
control and aircraft safety inspections and is making sure that the right people are in the right jobs right away.
Personnel reforms are cutting outside hiring times from seven months to six weeks, reducing 155,000 job descriptions to
fewer than 2,000, and replacing a foot-thick stack of personnel rules with a 41-page booklet.
Focusing on Customers and Results. Improving customer service through streamlining has allowed us to reduce our
workforce by more than 8,000 overall, saving hundreds of millions of dollars a year in salaries and overhead. However,
our focus on improving customer service goes beyond restructuring.
The examples I've cited are only a few of the ways the Department of Transportation is reinventing its operations to
focus on its core mission and to improve customer service. As we continue these initiatives, we're keeping our eye on the
goal: a leaner, less costly government that better serves the American people. I'm proud to say that we're well on the way
to doing that.
- We're Listening to Our Customers. For example, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which
authorizes federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs expires in 1997. We're already holding numerous public
forums and meetings with our customers so that our proposals for reauthorization meet their needs.
- We're Changing Our Focus From Process to Results. The FAA's flexible new procurement system cuts the time and cost
of buying systems and services. Paperwork has been slashed from 233 documents to fewer than 50 and the time required to
award contracts has been reduced by half, cutting the cost to vendors -- and, ultimately, to taxpayers. Most importantly,
new technologies will come on line sooner to make our skies safer.
- We're Managing by Performance. We've built on the Government Performance and Results Act to target our resources
better and are developing specific, measurable goals and plans to achieve them. The Coast Guard threw out its old
"activity standards" and held its field offices accountable for specific results such as a five-year, 20-percent
reduction in accidental maritime workers deaths and injuries. Focusing on specifics in this way has already freed up a
half-million work hours.
- We're Introducing Common Sense to Our Operations. Our telephone directory "blue pages" are no longer based on
bureaucratic organizational charts but on things people can logically relate to. A businesswoman calling about hazardous
materials can look up "HazMat," and not waste time by figuring out she needs to call our Research and Special Programs
- We're Slashing Red Tape. We've already cut more than 1,200 pages of unnecessary public regulations, such as rules
about how a truck driver should climb into his sleeper berth. An additional 3,000 pages have been simplified or improved.
All told, nearly half of the Department's regulations are being cut or reworked, and new regulations are being deve-loped
in partnership with industry through negotiated rulemaking instead of by fiat.
- We're Building New Partnerships to Pay for Infrastructure. Our Partnership for Transportation Investment uses
innovative financing methods to cut red tape and stretch federal dollars by attracting private funds. In Michigan, the
owners of an industrial park are putting up part of the funding for a nearby highway interchange, letting work get under
way faster and freeing state funds for other projects. We have 74 such projects, worth about $4 billion, under way in 35
states. More advanced concepts, such as infrastructure banks, will enable states to use federal seed money to leverage
private funds. These strategies can be used not only for infrastructure but also in other areas in which public funding
could be limited, such as technology research and development.