Audit Reports

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The Department of Transportation's Rulemaking Process

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This report presents the results of our review of the Department of Transportation’s Rulemaking Process. This review was performed at the request of Congressman James L. Oberstar, ranking Democratic member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Congressman Oberstar, concerned that the Department of Transportation (DOT) was not completing rulemaking actions in a timely manner, specifically requested we: (1) evaluate whether the rulemaking process has improved or grown worse since 1993, when previous reviews by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of General Counsel were completed; (2) assess the status of recommendations from the OIG and Office of General Counsel reports; (3) determine if delays are caused by the use of advisory or negotiated rulemaking committees; and (4) identify "best practices," both within the Department and in other Federal agencies, that could be used as models for improving the Department's rulemaking process. The scope of our audit and methodology used to achieve our objectives, as well as the acronyms used in the report are discussed in Exhibit B.