Considerations in Implementing a Performance

Considerations in
Implementing a
Federal-aid Program
Jeffrey F. Paniati
Secretary, Standing Committee On
Performance Management
February 23, 2009
FHWA Perspective
Time is right for performance-based
SAFETEA-LU Commissions, GAO,
Congressional Committees, AASHTO, USDOT
all agree
Must not only refocus Federal program, but
also establish accountability for performance
Clear expectation that performance
approach will be implemented aggressively
Key performance areas
 Most appropriate performance
 National goals
 State performance targets
 Accountability for performance
Goals of PerformanceBased Program
Improve performance in key areas of
national interest
 Shift emphasis of Federal oversight
from process to performance
 Improve decision making
 Improve accountability
Performance Areas
What are the most appropriate areas to be
managed for performance?
Want a relatively few performance areas
that broadly reflect national interests
Pavement and bridge condition
Environment (?)
Other (?)
Performance Measures
Directly related to highway investment
 Outcome oriented
 Reflect most important aspects of
 Not unduly burdensome to collect
 Understood by public
 Change within acceptable timeframe
National Performance
Who sets national goals: Congress?
USDOT? States? Collaborative
 My Perspective: National goals should
be set by USDOT in consultation with
States and other stakeholders
 USDOT then shares accountability for
meeting those goals
Performance Goals, Targets
Performance targets should be aligned
with available resources
 Targets should recognize differences
among States
 Targets should have short enough
timeframe to allow effective oversight
Should influence decision making
 Should be based on reasonable targets
and expectations
 Should be consequences for failure to
meet targets
 Options include funding flexibility and
level of oversight
 Loss of Federal funds generally not an
effective option
Phased Implementation
Aggressive but realistic timeframe
 Improve States’ capabilities to link
investment to performance in key areas
 Improve data required to measure
 Perhaps institute pilot programs for
more advanced States
 Phase in measures to promote improved
Could represent significant change in
Federal-State relationships
traditionally has managed for
process, not performance
 Not necessarily more oversight, just a
different kind of oversight
 “Performance Partnership” with both
FHWA and the States being accountable
On-Going FHWA Efforts
Currently developing authorization proposal
with underlying themes of performance and
Two major research projects
One to provide support for developing
legislative proposal
Another to provide technical basis for
regulations to implement performancebased program
Must get this right for it to be effective

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