Limited Progress in Streamlining Field Office Structure
RCED-98-138: Published: Apr 30, 1998. Publicly Released: May 7, 1998.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the results of two of the Department of Transportation's (DOT) streamlining efforts--the field office Colocation Task Force and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHwA) Organization Structure Task Force.
GAO noted that: (1) DOT's colocation effort will not result in the substantial restructuring of its field offices; (2) the 21-month colocation effort narrowly focused on developing an inventory of DOT's office space in the field and identifying opportunities for DOT's field offices to share space; (3) few colocations have occurred as a result of the colocation effort, and additional colocations will take years to accomplish; (4) morever, colocating offices will likely result in limited short-term dollar savings, if any; (5) FHwA's proposal to restructure its nine regional offices into four resource centers does not identify any long-term budgetary savings, and estimates are that in the short-term, the proposal might cost the agency more than $10 million to implement; (6) in addition, the proposal leaves many unanswered questions about the differences between the roles and responsibilities of current regional offices and the roles and responsibilities of the four new resource centers; (7) for example, the agency's report notes that most of the regional offices' responsibilities can be delegated to the agency's 52 division offices; (8) however, the agency envisions that the new resource centers will provide training, technical assistance, and supervision similar to that which the current regional offices provide; and (9) in addition, the agency will not complete the details on its restructuring efforts until June 1998 and projects that these efforts will take 3 to 5 years to complete.