What We Looked At
As required by law, we report annually on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) most significant challenges to meeting its mission. We considered several criteria in identifying DOT’s top management challenges for fiscal year 2023, including their impact on safety, documented vulnerabilities, large dollar implications, and the ability of the Department to effect change. Recognizing the unique challenges of a changing environment, our report also discusses DOT’s implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) as well as COVID-19 impacts within the management challenge areas we identified.
What We Found
We identified the following top management challenge areas for fiscal year 2023:
- Aviation safety. Key challenges: improving oversight of aircraft certification, and maintaining confidence in FAA’s ability to oversee air carrier operations and address long unresolved safety issues.
- Surface transportation safety. Key challenges: overcoming oversight challenges to help reduce surface transportation fatalities, and improving monitoring and enforcement of surface transportation safety programs.
- Air traffic control and airspace modernization. Key challenges: meeting staffing needs at the Nation’s most critical air traffic control facilities, ensuring air carriers provide fair and adequate service, and achieving NextGen benefits for airspace users and deploying controller automation tools to improve efficiency.
- Surface transportation infrastructure. Key challenges: managing risks to achieve goals; enhancing award, administration, and oversight processes over new and existing funded programs and projects; and executing Federal priorities related to the impact of climate change, advancing equity, and promoting resilience in infrastructure.
- Contract and grant fund stewardship. Key challenges: establishing sound pricing for contract and grant awards, and verifying contract and grant expenditures are supported and proper, including compliance with Made in America laws.
- Financial management. Key challenges: preventing and detecting increases in improper payments, and enhancing policies and procedures to monitor and report grantee spending.
- Information security. Key challenges: strengthening enforcement and implementation of DOT’s enterprisewide information security program to prevent cyberattacks, and addressing obstacles to moving towards a Zero Trust Architecture.
- Fraud prevention and detection. Key challenges: identifying and assessing fraud, and proactively managing fraud risks through oversight, outreach, and data analysis.
- Innovation and the future of transportation. Key challenges: implementing DOT’s innovation principles, advancing the safe integration of vehicle automation and electric vehicles on our Nation’s roads, and safely integrating new technologies into the National Airspace System.
- Evolving operations and workforce management. Key challenges: coordinating effectively to address DOT and stakeholder capacity challenges to successfully deliver IIJA programs, and maximizing the benefits of workforce flexibilities and the hybrid work environment to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and engagement.