Interstate Commerce Commission:
Budget and Other Impacts of Eliminating or Transferring Functions
T-RCED-95-111, Feb 22, 1995
GAO discussed the impacts of eliminating the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and transferring its functions to other federal agencies. GAO noted that: (1) there is a general consensus that a number of ICC motor carrier and rail activities could be eliminated, but the extent of the reductions varies among the interested parties; (2) eliminating or reducing ICC regulatory functions could produce cost savings of up to $39 million; (3) options for transferring ICC functions include transferring all remaining functions to the Department of Transportation (DOT), transferring most functions to DOT, giving the Department of Justice authority over rail mergers and the Federal Trade Commission authority over consumer protection for household goods transport, combining ICC with the Federal Maritime Commission, creating an independent regulatory body within DOT, and repealing ICC authority entirely; (4) important considerations for each transfer option besides its budgetary impact include how the successor agencies would perform their new functions, conflicts of interest, and the option's impact on the interstate market; and (5) if Congress decides to retain any ICC functions, it needs to consider the trade-off between budgetary savings and the desirability of maintaining an independent regulatory body.