oversight

Department of Transportation: Credit Assistance for Surface Transportation Projects

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-06-09.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States

GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Office of the General Counsel



      B-282864



      June 9, 1999

      The Honorable John McCain
      Chairman
      The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Bud Shuster
      Chairman
      The Honorable James L. Oberstar
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      House of Representatives

      Subject: Department of Transportation: Credit Assistance for Surface Transportation
               Projects

      Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a
      major rule promulgated by Department of Transportation (DOT), entitled “Credit
      Assistance for Surface Transportation Projects” (RIN: 2125-AE49). We received the
      rule on May 27, 1999. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on
      June 2, 1999. 64 Fed. Reg. 29742.

      The final rule implements the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation
      Act of 1998 (TIFIA) to provide credit assistance to surface transportation projects.
      The Act authorizes the Department to provide secured (direct) loans, lines of credit,
      and loan guarantees to public and private project sponsors of eligible surface
      transportation projects.

      Enclosed is our assessment of the DOT’s compliance with the procedural steps
      required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our
      review indicates that DOT complied with the applicable requirements.

      On January 14, 1999, GAO issued a report entitled: SURFACE TRANSPORTATION:
      High Speed Rail Projects in the United States (GAO/RCED-99-44) which discussed the
      TIFIA program.



                                                                                 GAO/OGC-99-50
If you have any questions about this report, please contact James W. Vickers,
Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO
evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule is John Anderson, Director,
Transportation Issues. Mr. Anderson can be reached at (202) 512-2834.

Sincerely yours,




Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel

Enclosure

cc: Ms. Joanne Petrie
    Senior Attorney
    Department of Transportation




Page 2                                                                   GAO/OGC-99-50
                                                                           ENCLOSURE

        ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                                 ISSUED BY
                   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
                                 ENTITLED
                        "CREDIT ASSISTANCE FOR
                  SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS"
                             (RIN: 2125-AE49)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

DOT has evaluated the economic impact of the final rule. However, because the
number, nature, and size of the projects to be assisted will not be known until the
specific project applicants come forward, the analysis is an estimate.

The TIFIA is authorized to receive $530 million of budget authority to support up to
$10.6 billion in nominal amounts of credits.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605, 607,
and 609

The Secretary of Transportation has certified that the final rule will not have a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535

The final rule will not impose an intergovernmental or private sector mandate, as
defined in title II of the Act, of over $100 million in any one year.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

The final rule was issued using the notice and comment procedures contained at
5 U.S.C. 553. On February 8, 1999, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in
the Federal Register. 64 Fed. Reg. 5996. The comments received from various
transportation authorities and private concerns are discussed in the preamble to the
final rule.




                                                                            GAO/OGC-99-50
Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520

The final rule does not contain any information collections which are required to be
approved by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction
Act.

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule is promulgated under the authority contained in sections 1501 et seq. of
the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-178,
112 Stat. 107, 241, as amended; 23 U.S.C. 181-189 and 315.

Executive Order No. 12866

The final rule has been determined to be an “economically significant” regulatory
action under the Order and has been reviewed and approved by the Office of
Management and Budget.




Page 2                                                                   GAO/OGC-99-50