49 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2019 Edition
Sec. 6501 - Annual modal research plans
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

§6501. Annual modal research plans

(a) Modal Plans Required.—

(1) In general.—Not later than May 1 of each year, the head of each modal administration and joint program office of the Department of Transportation shall submit to the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology of the Department of Transportation (referred to in this chapter as the "Assistant Secretary") a comprehensive annual modal research plan for the upcoming fiscal year and a detailed outlook for the following fiscal year.

(2) Relationship to strategic plan.—Each plan submitted under paragraph (1), after the plan required in 2016, shall be consistent with the strategic plan developed under section 6503.

(b) Review.—

(1) In general.—Not later than September 1 of each year, the Assistant Secretary, for each plan and outlook submitted pursuant to subsection (a), shall—

(A) review the scope of the research; and

(B)(i) approve the plan and outlook; or

(ii) request that the plan and outlook be revised and resubmitted for approval.

(2) Publications.—Not later than January 30 of each year, the Secretary shall publish on a public website each plan and outlook that has been approved under paragraph (1)(B)(i).

(3) Rejection of duplicative research efforts.—The Assistant Secretary may not approve any plan submitted by the head of a modal administration or joint program office pursuant to subsection (a) if any of the projects described in the plan duplicate significant aspects of research efforts of any other modal administration.

(c) Funding Limitations.—No funds may be expended by the Department of Transportation on research that has been determined by the Assistant Secretary under subsection (b)(3) to be duplicative unless—

(1) the research is required by an Act of Congress;

(2) the research was part of a contract that was funded before the date of enactment of this chapter;

(3) the research updates previously commissioned research; or

(4) the Assistant Secretary certifies to Congress that such research is necessary, and provides justification for such certification.

(d) Certification.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary shall annually certify to Congress that—

(A) each modal research plan has been reviewed; and

(B) there is no duplication of study for research directed, commissioned, or conducted by the Department of Transportation.

(2) Corrective action plan.—If the Secretary, after submitting a certification under paragraph (1), identifies duplication of research within the Department of Transportation, the Secretary shall—

(A) notify Congress of the duplicative research; and

(B) submit to Congress a corrective action plan to eliminate the duplicative research.

(Added Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title VI, §6019(b)(1), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1578.)

References in Text

The date of enactment of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 114–94, which was approved Dec. 4, 2015.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 1, 2015, see section 1003 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as an Effective Date of 2015 Amendment note under section 5313 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.


Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title VI, §6019(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1577, provided that: "Congress finds that—

"(1) Federal transportation research planning—

"(A) should be coordinated by the Office of the Secretary [of Transportation]; and

"(B) should be, to the extent practicable, multimodal and not occur solely within the sub-agencies of the Department [of Transportation];

"(2) managing a multimodal research portfolio within the Office of the Secretary will—

"(A) help identify opportunities in which research could be applied across modes; and

"(B) prevent duplication of efforts and waste of limited Federal resources;

"(3) the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the Department of Transportation will—

"(A) give stakeholders a formal opportunity to address concerns;

"(B) ensure unbiased research; and

"(C) improve the overall research products of the Department; and

"(4) increasing transparency of transportation research and development efforts will—

"(A) build stakeholder confidence in the final product; and

"(B) lead to the improved implementation of research findings."