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Dec 7 -- The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT), invites comments by February 5, 2024 regarding a new information collection titled: FTA Program Evaluation for Processes and Outcomes.

The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Pub. L.115–435) requires Federal agencies to develop evidence to support policymaking. Federal agencies, including FTA, must systematically collect and analyze data to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of their programs through evaluation. According to the Act, “an evaluation is an assessment, using systematic data collection and analysis, of one or more programs, policies, and/or organizations intended to assess their effectiveness and efficiency.” Evidence resulting from evaluations and other evidence-building activities should be used to inform leaders about whether Federal programs and activities are achieving their intended results and contribute to improved use of data and evidence-based decision making.

To effectively evaluate programs, FTA needs to collect data directly from program participants, such as State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transit authorities, State and local government units, and Indian tribes, to understand their experiences and benefits of program participation. Participants may be engaged through surveys or focus groups to collect relevant data. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) strongly advocate for stakeholder engagement in evaluation design. See: OMB Memorandum M–19–23, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/​wp-content/​uploads/​2019/​07/​M-19-23.pdf and OMB Memorandum M–21–27, available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/​wp-content/​uploads/​2021/​06/​M-21-27.pdf.

To ensure alignment with ongoing efforts, this information request seeks to support FTA in meeting the Evidence Act's requirements and contribute to FTA's broader framework of evidence-based decision-making. This is a voluntary data and information collection, with no participation requirement to receive Federal benefits. The survey portion of this information collection differs from other similar efforts, such as the FTA Stakeholder Survey which targets grant recipients and inquires on customer satisfaction with a range of FTA services and knowledge of rulemaking. Current and previous information collections for grant applicants and recipients to provide routine program planning and metrics on plans and deliverables are separate from this collection. Rather, this information collection will allow FTA decision makers to understand challenges and barriers to program implementation, identify opportunities for improving program communications and outreach, and make stronger linkages between program progress and outcomes.

Respondents: State departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transit authorities, States and local government units, and Indian tribes.
Estimated Annual Respondents: 1444 respondents.
Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 2166 responses.

Draft data collection instruments and technical documentation requested from FTA by AEAStat. FTA writes: "The draft ICR is still in development as we hope to incorporate feedback and input from the public on both the program and the instrument. As a new ICR, the materials you requested, including the draft data collection instruments and supporting statements Parts A and B, will be available for public review with the publication of the 30-Day (FRN). We welcome your review at that time.  In the interim, feel free to provide a comment with the federal register."
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-26839

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