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Transportation Research: The Department of Transportation Has Made Progress in Coordinating and Reviewing Its Research Activities
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    Research, development, and technology (RD&T) activities are vital to meeting the Department of Transportation's (DOT) priorities, such as increasing safety, enhancing mobility, and supporting the nation's economic growth. In fiscal year 2008, the department's RD&T budget totaled over $$1.1 billion, primarily for highway and aviation projects. Over the years, concerns have been raised about DOT's capabilities to improve RD&T coordination and evaluation efforts across the agency. In 2004, Congress created DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) to coordinate and review the department's RD&T programs and activities for the purposes of reducing research duplication, enhancing opportunities for joint efforts, and ensuring RD&T activities are meeting goals. In 2006 GAO reported that RITA had made progress toward these ends, but needed to do more. GAO's testimony focuses on (1) the importance of coordinating and evaluating RD&T activities and (2) RITA's progress in implementing GAO's 2006 recommendations.
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