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Federal Transportation Administration Program
US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration
Washington, DC USA

The US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is responsible for the administration and oversight of grants to assist state and local institutions in financing acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and improvements of transit systems nationwide.

The FTA awards contracts to project management oversight contractors (PMOCs) to assist the FTA in monitoring and ensuring the successful development and completion of its major capital projects with an estimated total value of US$70 billion.

The FTA is also responsible for ensuring federally funded transit projects are effectively and efficiently executed in regard to scope, cost, and schedule as well as managing the performance of the PMOCs. The FTA's quality assurance surveillance (QAS) program serves as the basis for the management of the PMOCs' performance.

The FTA awarded Helmes&Co a 4.5-year contract to provide program management oversight services. The scope of our contract included:

  • Assisting the FTA in the management of its QAS program
  • Supporting the FTA in improving the accountability and effectiveness of the PMO program by conducting assessments, advising of necessary corrections, and reporting on PMO contractor management controls and their reported results, activities, and data.
  • Providing technical support in developing statements of work, technical evaluations, draft documentation and correspondence, performance evaluation materials, and evaluation criteria
  • Developing and launching a web-based document management system to assist the FTA in organizing and storing the massive reports produced by its PMOCs

Helmes&Co worked closely with FTA headquarters staff in the planning and execution of several projects. Activities related to these projects included:

  • Developing performance measurement criteria as a means to increase the accountability of the agency's PMOCs, which were incorporated into all PMO oversight procedures and then used to evaluate the PMOCs performance of specific tasks
  • Reviewing PMOC products and performance evaluations and reporting on PMOC performance year to year
  • Assisting in the development and refinement of oversight procedures for PMOCs monitoring and reporting on project scope, cost, schedule, and risk as well as the management capability and technical capacity of the project's grantee throughout all phases of project development and execution
  • Initiating several projects with FTA headquarters staff to improve operational efficiencies within the Office of Program Management

Each of these projects entailed communications with FTA headquarter and regional staff, and PMOC representatives. Our personnel attended and presented our findings at FTA sponsored meetings. We provided the FTA with detailed annual reports on the results of our evaluations of the PMOCs' performance and presented our findings at the annual PMO meetings.

During our multi-year oversight engagement with the FTA, Helmes&Co initiated numerous strategies that streamlined FTA's PMO program. These strategies reduced overall program costs and greatly enhanced the oversight of numerous federal transportation capital projects.

Note: To ensure client confidentiality is maintained, certain project details have been sanitized.