[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 9 (Friday, January 12, 2001)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2827-2828]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-992]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

49 CFR Part 1

[OST Docket No. OST-1999 6189; Amendment-#303].


Organization and Delegation of Powers and Duties; Delegation to 
the Administrator, Federal Highway Administration

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) delegates to the 
Federal Highway Administrator his authority to implement the 
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 
(TIFIA), codified at 23 U.S.C. 181-189. The TIFIA authorizes the 
Department of Transportation (``Department of Transportation'') to 
provide secured direct loans, lines of credit, and loan guarantees to 
public and private sponsors of eligible surface transportation 
projects. The Federal Highway Administrator is delegated authority with 
respect to coordination and management of the day-to-day activities 
associated with implementing the TIFIA program. The Federal Highway 
Administrator may further delegate this authority. The Secretary 
reserves the authority to evaluate and select individual projects to 
receive TIFIA assistance and reserves authority to provide overall 
policy direction and key program decisions for the TIFIA program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule is effective on January 12, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gloria Hardiman-Tobin, Office of the 
Chief Counsel, HCC-40, (202) 366-1397, Department of Transportation, 
Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20590. Blane Workie, Office of the General Counsel, (202) 366-9314, 
Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20590.

ELECTRONIC ACCESS: You can view and download this document by going to 
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type in the last four digits of the docket number shown on the first 
page of this document. Then click on ``search.'' An electronic copy of 
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reach the Office of the Federal Register's home page at: http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's database at: 
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century (TEA-21), Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 241 (1998), created the 
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 
(TIFIA). The TIFIA establishes a new Federal credit program to provide 
credit assistance to surface transportation projects. The TIFIA 
authorizes the Secretary to provide secured (direct) loans, lines of 
credit, and loan guarantees to private and public sponsors of eligible 
transportation projects.
    Funding for TIFIA is limited; therefore, the projects to receive 
financial assistance will be selected on a competitive basis. In fiscal 
years 1999 through 2003, TIFIA authorizes $530 million to be 
appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit 
Account) for the Secretary to provide up to $10.6 billion of credit 
assistance to major surface transportation projects. The TIFIA 
authorizes the Secretary to select the recipients of credit assistance 
and to use up to $2 million of the budget authority provided each 
fiscal year for program administration.
    The TEA-21 Conference Report stated, ``To ensure the financial and 
programmatic success of TIFIA, the conference strongly encourages the 
Secretary to establish an organizational structure within the 
Department in which financial activities and programs can be closely 
coordinated and monitored.'' In June 1999, consistent with the 
Conference Report language, the Secretary and the Administrators of the 
Federal Highway Administration (``FHWA''), the Federal Railroad 
Administration (``FRA''), and the Federal Transit Administration 
(``FTA'') entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (``MOU'') to 
manage the TIFIA program on an interim basis through the creation of a 
TIFIA Working Group.
    In December 2000, the Secretary and the Administrators of FHWA, 
FRA, and FTA entered into an MOU, which amended and superseded the June 
1999 MOU, to establish a TIFIA Joint Program Office (``TIFIA JPO'') to 
coordinate and manage the day-to-day activities associated with 
implementing the TIFIA statutory provisions. According to the 2000 MOU, 
the TIFIA JPO will organizationally be located within FWHA and will 
have a dual reporting structure. The TIFIA JPO will report to the 
Secretary for overall policy direction and key program decisions. The 
TIFIA JPO will report to the Federal Highway Administrator for 
coordination and management of day-to-day operations and funding 
matters.
    In accordance with the December 2000 MOU, the Secretary is 
delegating his authority to operate and manage the financial assistance 
program under TIFIA to the Federal Highway Administrator. Operation and 
management of the program consists of the initial evaluation of each 
project, the negotiation and preparation of the legal documents 
necessary to consummate the transaction, and the continuing oversight 
of the project.
    For instance, the Federal Highway Administrator will act as the 
Executive Agent for the TIFIA Program and will be responsible for 
managing the TIFIA funds, which are authorized to be appropriated from 
the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account), with 
assistance from the other modal agencies and the TIFIA JPO. The Federal 
Highway Administrator will also manage specific accounting and 
budgeting activities to include: recording credit agreement obligations 
into the accounting system; preparing requests for and entering into 
loan agreements with the U.S. Treasury to borrow funds; receiving 
borrower requests (original documents) for fund disbursements; 
disbursing funds to borrowers; collecting and depositing payments from 
borrowers; making interest payments to the U.S. Treasury for borrowed 
funds; and satisfying other necessary budgetary and reporting 
requirements in accordance with the Federal Credit Reform Act (FCRA) 
and other relevant laws, regulations, and OMB guidelines.
    Further, the Federal Highway Administrator will procure any 
necessary financial, legal, or other technical support services to 
assist in implementing and administering the TIFIA program and will 
execute all TIFIA credit instruments, including, but not limited to, 
term sheets, loan agreements, line of credit agreements, and loan 
guarantee agreements under delegated authority from the Secretary to 
the Federal Highway Administrator.

[[Page 2828]]

    This delegation to the Federal Highway Administrator does not 
affect the authority or responsibility of the Secretary to develop 
credit policy and make the final selection of the projects receiving 
assistance. The Secretary and the Administrators of FHWA, FRA, and FTA 
intend to create a TIFIA Credit Council that will assist the Secretary 
in establishing overall policy direction and key program decisions for 
the TIFIA Program. The TIFIA Credit Council, with the approval of the 
Secretary, will select individual projects to receive TIFIA assistance, 
based on the analyses and recommendations of the TIFIA JPO. Formal 
membership of the TIFIA Credit Council will include the following: 
Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs; Assistant Secretary for 
Transportation Policy; Director of the Office of Intermodalism; General 
Counsel; and, Administrators of FHWA, FRA and FTA. The TIFIA Credit 
Council will be chaired by the Assistant Secretary for Budget and 
Programs.
    Since this amendment relates to Departmental organization, 
procedure, and practice, notice and comment on it are unnecessary under 
5 U.S.C. 553(b). Efficient execution of the TIFIA JPO is instrumental 
to ensuring the financial and programmatic success of TIFIA. This 
delegation of authority assists the Federal Highway Administrator in 
establishing an organizational structure within the FHWA in which 
financial activities and programs can be closely coordinated and 
monitored. Further, since the amendment expedites the Department of 
Transportation's ability to meet the statutory intent of the 
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998, the 
Secretary finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) for the final rule 
to be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 1

    Authority delegations (Government agencies), Organization and 
functions (Government agencies).

    In consideration of the foregoing, Part 1 of Title 49, Code of 
Federal Regulations, is amended, effective upon publication, to read as 
follows:

PART 1--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for Part 1 continues to read as follows: 
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322; 46 U.S.C. 2104(a); 28 U.S.C. 2672; 31 U.S.C. 
3711 (a) (2); Pub. L. 101-552, 104 Stat.2736; Pub. L. No. 106-159, 113 
Stat. 1748

    2. In Sec. 1.48, add paragraph (nn) to read as follows:


Sec. 1.48  Delegations to Federal Highway Administrator.

* * * * *
    (nn) Carry out the functions and exercise the authority vested in 
the Secretary by sections 1501-1504 of Public Law 105-178, 112 Stat. 
241, titled Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 
1998 (TIFIA), to manage the day-to-day activities associated with 
implementation of the TIFIA program. The Federal Highway Administrator 
may further delegate this authority.

    Issued on: January 5, 2001.
Rodney E. Slater,
Secretary of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 01-992 Filed 1-11-01; 8:45 am]
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