Continuing Work and a View Toward the Future
As one of the designated Federal Statistical Agencies, BTS is a member of the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, chaired by the Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Council meets regularly to discuss best practices, national data needs, and developments throughout the statistical community. Detailed information on the Federal statistical agencies is available from the report Statistical Programs of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2010. An electronic version can be accessed through the OMB website (www.whitehouse.gov/OMB).
BTS will continue to explore techniques for more efficient and less costly data collection, including online survey submission and data automation methods. The collection of airline data will be made more efficient through the use of the internet (e.g., e-filing of reports and data), which promises to expedite data processing and ease the reporting burden on the airlines.
BTS continues to look for new ways to assess and meet the varied needs of its customers. The Bureau is developing strategies for responding to recognized needs and identifying pressing issues within the transportation community.
In 2009, BTS senior leadership focused on human capital management and developed a workforce plan that includes outreach and recruitment. This planning effort also involved reviewing the critical knowledge and skills needed to maintain a productive and innovative statistical organization.
BTS Advisory Council in Transportation Statistics will reconvene in FY 2010 to exercise its duties and responsibilities to: ;1) advise the BTS Director on the quality, reliability, consistency, objectivity, and relevance of transportation statistics and analyses collected, supported, or disseminated by BTS and the Department; 2) provide input to and review the congressional report required by 49 U.S.C. Section 111(d)(4); and 3) advise the Director on methods to encourage cooperation and interoperability of transportation data collected by BTS, the operating administrations of the Department, States, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and private sector entities.
BTS data is vital to improve transportation decision making, as well as evaluations of performance and "what works" in the nation's transportation systems. As BTS continues its course of producing relevant, accurate, and timely transportation data and analyses, it will pursue new opportunities for partnering, collaborating, and sharing information within the U.S. Department of Transportation and with external constituencies and stakeholders to meet the Nation's present and future transportation statistical needs.