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Headquarters Agreement on Transportation Planning Program Coordination

FHWA Office of Planning
FTA Office of Systems Planning

February 11, 2005

I. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE

The Secretary of Transportation delegated the oversight and administration of Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning programs to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Since 1976, FHWA and FTA have jointly developed regulations, guidance, and outreach to ensure effective, accountable administration of the corresponding program elements.

On August 24, 2003 and September 2, 2003, the Federal Transit Administrator and Federal Highway Administrator, respectively, signed the FHWA/FTA Planning Collaboration Initiative (PCI) National Memorandum of Action (MOA) to facilitate the fulfillment of these joint Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning program obligations. The goal of the National MOA is to establish a fundamental framework to improve the collective effectiveness of FHWA/FTA planning units and staffs, based on a set of guiding principles.

The National MOA calls for the respective FHWA and FTA field offices to develop and implement field-level MOAs that utilize the National MOA's guiding principles. Along similar lines, the FHWA Office of Planning and FTA Office of Systems Planning have developed this Headquarters-level agreement on the general conduct of business related to each office's core operating areas: (a) planning program oversight and stewardship and (b) transportation planning capacity building.

II. GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THIS AGREEMENT

The provisions, conditions, and terms of this Headquarters agreement are based on the guiding principles in the FHWA/FTA PCI National MOA, as summarized below:

  1. Clearly define agency roles and responsibilities at the office and program levels;
  2. Improve coordination and communication at the office and program levels to promote the delivery of timely, high-quality transportation planning products and outcomes to external customers;
  3. Leverage available agency resources;
  4. Utilize technology to increase efficiency of program administration and delivery;
  5. Create opportunities to build the program and technical capacity and skills of each office through formal and informal mechanisms;
  6. Systematically measure performance at the office and program levels; and
  7. Promote collaboration through the establishment of protocols that facilitate conflict resolution.

III. TYPES OF PRODUCTS COVERED UNDER THIS AGREEMENT

The FHWA Office of Planning and FTA Office of Systems Planning jointly develop and disseminate a wide variety of products and materials pertaining to Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning programs that speak to two core business functions: (a) planning program oversight and stewardship and (b) transportation planning capacity building. Although not all-inclusive, the following is an illustrative list of the jointly-developed products generally covered under this agreement:

  1. Planning Program Oversight and Stewardship:
    • Notifications and informational correspondence to FHWA/FTA field offices;
    • Guidance/policy memorandums to all FHWA/FTA field offices;
    • Topic-specific guidance to a small number of FHWA/FTA field offices;
    • Field office reference tools (e.g., handbooks, guidebooks, and checklists);
    • Program-level analyses and reports;
    • Training courses, seminars, and workshops;
    • Research proposals;
    • General announcements to national stakeholder association groups; and
    • Implementing rules and regulations.

  2. Transportation Planning Capacity Building:
    • Peer Program applications and reports;
    • Transportation Planning Capacity Annual Reports;
    • Planning Excellence Awards applications and reports;
    • Training courses, seminars, and workshops;
    • Informational brochures and pamphlets;
    • Marketing materials;
    • Handbooks and reports;
    • Website updates;
    • Research proposals;
    • Notifications and informational correspondence to FHWA/FTA field offices; and
    • General announcements to national stakeholder association groups.

IV. PROVISIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT

The following provisions outline relationships and responsibilities between the FHWA Office of Planning and FTA Office of Systems Planning on the general conduct of business in our previously-stated joint areas of responsibility. FHWA and FTA agree to proceed with development and dissemination of the aforementioned products according to the terms set forth below:

V. INTER-OFFICE COORDINATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

To the maximum extent practicable, coordination and collaboration under the terms of this agreement between the FHWA Office of Planning and FTA Office of Systems Planning shall be conducted at the staff and/or team leader levels. In the event that mutual agreement cannot be achieved at the team leader levels within the specified timeframes, the respective Office Directors shall engage in dialogue to resolve these differences. At all organizational levels, each member of the parties to this agreement is expected to seek solutions that are mutually beneficial.

VI. OTHER TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT

Nothing in this agreement is intended to diminish or otherwise affect the authority of either agency to execute its respective statutory functions.

This agreement is not intended to be so rigid as to prevent logical, practical, and responsible actions by the FHWA Office of Planning and the FTA Office of Systems Planning, but rather to outline the general responsibilities, procedures, or actions for most joint projects and activities related to Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning.

Renegotiation of any part of this agreement can be initiated at any time by either party. Subsequent modifications to this agreement must be mutually agreed upon in writing by the respective Directors of FHWA's Office of Planning and FTA's Office of Systems Planning.

This agreement shall take effect on the date of the last approving signature.

original signed by Cynthia J. Burbank original signed by David J. Vozzolo
________________________________ ________________________________
Cynthia J. Burbank David J. Vozzolo
FHWA Associate Administrator for
Planning, Environment & Realty
FTA Deputy Associate Administrator for
Planning and Environment
Date: 2/11/05 Date: 2/11/05
Updated: 12/03/2012
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