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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed proposals to restructure the Department of Transportation (DOT), focusing on the: (1) consolidation of transportation grant programs; (2) future of Amtrak; (3) plans to corporatize the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control system; and (4) status of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). GAO noted that: (1) as DOT restructures its organization, it will need to reexamine its field structure to determine if field office consolidation is needed and whether its structure still meets its overall mission; (2) if DOT consolidates its transportation grant programs into block grants as planned, it will need to determine what controls will be needed to ensure that federal funds are spent effectively and how block grants will affect states' ability to implement future transportation plans and projects; (3) Amtrak's ability to provide quality intercity passenger service is at risk because of the widening gap between Amtrak revenues and expenses; (4) proposals to corporatize and make the air traffic control system more self-sufficient depend largely on reliable needs assessments and accurate revenue and expenditure projections; and (5) if proposals to eliminate or merge ICC are implemented, ICC functions will need to be transferred to other agencies.

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