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Administration of the TCSP Program
Felicia Young, Team Leader, Community Programs, Federal Highway Administration
discussed roles and responsibilities for administering the TCSP program. Federal, state, and local staff are involved. FHWA Division Offices play a key role, assisting grantees with applications and implementation; reviewing applications; and coordinating the administration of grants. Applicants are also encouraged to coordinate their applications and projects with states and MPOs. |
The TCSP program consists of federal, state, and local partners. Federal partners participate in the technical review panel for grant applications, assist in program outreach, and assist in developing the research agenda. The FHWA Office of Human Environment, Office of Finance and Budget, and Division Office staff comprise a team that administers the TCSP program, provides technical assistance to grantees, and oversees the TCSP web site.
FHWA Division staff are "on the front line on a day-to-day basis." Grant applications go to Divisions, who do an initial review and submit the applications to FHWA headquarters. The Divisions also work with grantees on adjustments to the scope of work that may be required once awards are made. The TCSP program is implemented like other federal-aid programs, which means expenses are reimbursable rather than paid for up front. Grant funds can be administered through the state DOT by FHWA or through agreements with other Federal agencies.
FHWA encourages coordination of grant applications and projects with states and MPOs. Coordination will result in a greater likelihood of the projects being included in transportation plans. Completed applications are required for all grants, even for those that receive earmarked funds. Evaluation plans are a key component of the application, and must be included in the initial application as well as revised scope. Division staff will work with grantees to strengthen their evaluation plans.
FHWA is currently in the process of updating the TCSP web site to allow posting information received from the grantees. In 2001, FHWA will be printing a third-year report on the TCSP program, which will describe awards through 2001 and present the available results of TCSP grants. FHWA will also hold roundtables to help grantees identify other funding opportunities for transportation and community preservation projects.
Ms. Young concluded the session by noting that through evaluation, the TCSP program will be identifying and documenting best practices and lessons learned. This sharing of information will help to move the successful "experiments" funded by the TCSP program into widespread use. Information on best practices and lessons learned will be placed on the web site as it is available.