DOT's Rulemaking Process and Tracking System
We issued an audit of DOT’s effectiveness in managing its rulemaking process and tracking system. The audit, which follows up on our July 2000 report, was performed at the request of Representative James Oberstar, ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. We found that DOT has taken positive steps to improve the rulemaking process and has shown significant improvement in overall timeliness. For example, final rules currently take less time to issue on average than they did in 1999.
Our recommendations to the Acting Deputy Secretary and Chief of Staff included requiring compliance with the directives in the Secretary’s memorandum of August 12, 2003. That memo instructed the Operating Administrations to: (1) enter reliable data in the tracking system; (2) use the tracking system to monitor rules; (3) modify the system so mid-course adjustments can be made for rules that miss their original issuance date; (4) review pending rulemakings over ten years old to determine whether they should be retained; and (5) analyze the age of pending rules in order to complete the oldest ones.