Considerations in Implementing a Performance

Report
Considerations in
Implementing a
Performance-Based
Federal-aid Program
Jeffrey F. Paniati
Secretary, Standing Committee On
Performance Management
February 23, 2009
FHWA Perspective
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Time is right for performance-based
program
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
Considerations
Key performance areas
 Most appropriate performance
measures
 National goals
 State performance targets
 Accountability for performance
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Goals of PerformanceBased Program
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Improve performance in key areas of
national interest
 Shift emphasis of Federal oversight
from process to performance
 Improve decision making
 Improve accountability
Performance Areas
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What are the most appropriate areas to be
managed for performance?
Want a relatively few performance areas
that broadly reflect national interests
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Safety
Pavement and bridge condition
Congestion
Freight
Environment (?)
Other (?)
Performance Measures
Directly related to highway investment
 Outcome oriented
 Reflect most important aspects of
performance
 Not unduly burdensome to collect
 Understood by public
 Change within acceptable timeframe

National Performance
Goals
Who sets national goals: Congress?
USDOT? States? Collaborative
process?
 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

Accountability
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
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Phased Implementation
Aggressive but realistic timeframe
 Improve States’ capabilities to link
investment to performance in key areas
 Improve data required to measure
performance
 Perhaps institute pilot programs for
more advanced States
 Phase in measures to promote improved
performance
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Federal-State
Relationships
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Could represent significant change in
Federal-State relationships
 FHWA
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
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Currently developing authorization proposal
with underlying themes of performance and
accountability
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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