Chapter 1: Introduction

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Section 1: Overview

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Purpose of Manual

The purpose of this manual is to establish program and project management procedures for subgrants and contracts in support of the Texas Traffic Safety Program. This manual does not, however, address all Traffic Safety Program regulations in regard to program content or other technical criteria. Occasional references to other Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) functional manuals are also necessary.

The TxDOT Traffic Operations Division (TRF) will review this manual on an annual basis to ensure that procedures remain current and accurate. Revisions will be made as soon as possible to accommodate any changes in state or federal laws or regulations.

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Users of Manual

This manual is intended for use by TxDOT personnel, state and local government officials, subgrantees and contractors, researchers, and any others interested in procedures in support of the Texas Traffic Safety Program.

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Definition of Subgrantee

Unless otherwise indicated, all references to “grants” in this manual refer to traffic safety grants. Likewise, all references to “subgrantees” refer to recipients of traffic safety grants.

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Availability of Manual

This manual is available online through the TxDOT intranet at: http://gsd-ultraseek/txdotmanuals/tfc/index.htm

and on the Internet at:

http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/tfc/index.htm.

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Electronic Documents and Forms (eGrants)

eGrants is a web-based system supporting proposal submission, proposal scoring, grant awards, grant cycle project management, and monthly project reporting for the Texas Traffic Safety Program.

The system allows subgrantees to electronically create and submit project proposals, manage projects, and submit monthly Performance Reports and Requests for Reimbursement (RFRs), and provides a tool for Texas Traffic Safety Program staff to electronically review, score and award grants, monitor project performance, generate reports, and manage ongoing program activities.

The benefits and features of TRF eGrants include:

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  • Flexibility & Modularization. Provides the ability to support multiple grants and project types by allowing for easy creation and modification of templates, business flows and user profiles that leverage a single underlying platform.
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  • Role-based Security. Provides a role-based security and encryption facility that allows all levels of access to the system by administrators, subgrantees, Project Managers, peer reviewers, and various other end-users, while protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access.
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  • Integrated Reporting. Makes it easy to generate different types of reports, both routine and ad hoc.
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  • User Friendly Interface. Allows for easy use by a wide variety of users, i.e., program staff, subgrantees, and other customers (state and federal agencies).
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  • Consistent Formatting. Consistently provides an efficient format across pages and forms to make the process easier to navigate.
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  • Electronic File of Record. Serves as main repository for collection and management of program information in a centralized relational database that is accessible through commonly available technology, such as a web browser.
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  • Electronic Signatures. Requires all grant contracts to be signed electronically.
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  • Paperwork/Data Entry Reduction. Effectively reduces or eliminates duplicate data entry, hard copy distributions, and storage of hard copy documentation.
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  • Increased Accuracy of Data. Automatically applies business rules, calculations, and error-checking to minimize mathematical errors.
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  • Improved Documentation. Email capability, system messaging, and online notes and comments provide efficient communication and project documentation.

NOTE: Wherever this manual requires grant-related submissions of documents to TRF “in writing” or “in written form,” these documents may be uploaded into the eGrants system.

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Texas Traffic Safety Program is to identify traffic safety problem areas and implement programs to reduce the number and severity of vehicular crashes through the statewide Traffic Safety Program.

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Program Goal and Objective

The goal of the Texas Traffic Safety Program is to use information, data, technology, resources, and skills to identify priority traffic safety issues, plan initiatives, generate coordinated action, and evaluate and communicate results. The program objective is to operate the program in a manner that reduces crashes, injuries, deaths, and their related losses.

For additional information on the Texas Traffic Safety Program, see:

https://www.txdot.gov/apps/eGrants/eGrantsHelp/rfp.html.

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Funding

The Texas Traffic Safety Program uses federal, state and local funds. Federal traffic safety funds are primarily administered and distributed to the states by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Proposals selected for inclusion in the Highway Safety Plan (HSP) become cost reimbursable grant-in-aid agreements.

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Internal Ethics and Compliance Required

Organizations must demonstrate compliance with Title 43 Texas Administrative Code § 25.906(b) by certifying adoption of an internal ethics and compliance program that satisfies the requirements of Title 43 Texas Administrative Code § 10.51 (relating to Internal Ethics and Compliance Program).

TxDOT's Compliance Division will need to review and approve each agency's Internal Compliance Program prior to any grant execution.

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Organization

The Texas Traffic Safety Program is administered by the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division, Traffic Safety Section (TRF-TS) in Austin.

Within TRF-TS, there are 30 Traffic Safety Specialists (TSSs) located in 25 TxDOT district offices. These TSSs coordinate and manage the Texas Traffic Safety Program, and in some instances manage statewide programs, with direction and guidance from TRF headquarters in Austin.

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Responsibilities

Core program responsibilities include:

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  • Developing and administering the annual HSP.
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  • Managing traffic safety projects in federally designated priority program areas and in other areas as determined by problem identification processes.
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  • Providing oversight and assistance in the development and implementation of traffic safety projects statewide and at the local level.
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  • Developing traffic safety policies and procedures using district, division, and other stakeholder input.
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  • Communicating and coordinating Traffic Safety Program activities.
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  • Providing state agency and federal liaisons.
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  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.
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  • Administering traffic safety evaluation and research.
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  • Providing legislative information on traffic safety issues.
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  • Reviewing, approving, and executing grants, contracts, and subcontracts.
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  • Maintaining an inventory listing of accountable equipment purchased by subgrantees with federal funds.
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  • Providing operational oversight to assure conformity with program and project management policies and procedures.
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  • Monitoring the activities, results, and expenditures of approved state agency grant agreements.
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  • Implementing and maintaining an internal project monitoring system.
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  • Closing out traffic safety project and program areas as appropriate.
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  • Reporting to the governor’s highway safety representative and federal oversight agencies on the status of traffic safety projects.
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  • Preparing and submitting an Annual Report to NHTSA.
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  • Negotiating and preparing grant agreements.
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  • Processing, administering, and monitoring grants.
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  • Processing and recommending Requests for Reimbursement (RFRs) for approval.
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  • Reviewing and approving Performance Reports.
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  • Providing information regarding local activities as may be required or requested by the state or federal grantor agency.
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  • Assisting in the development, implementation, and monitoring of projects and activities, such as procedures development, needs assessments, and public education campaigns.
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  • Conducting child safety seat inspections and distributing seats as needed.
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  • Representing TxDOT at various state and local committee and task force meetings.
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Titles and Office Designations

This manual uses the following titles and abbreviations to designate individuals and offices involved in the Texas Traffic Safety Program:

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Title

Description

Program Manager

Staff member responsible for managing one or more program areas.

Project Manager

Staff member responsible for managing project grant agreements.

Project Director

Subgrantee or contract person responsible for the oversight and management of a project grant agreement.

TxDOT

Texas Department of Transportation (also referred to as “the Department”).

TRF

Traffic Operations Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.

TRF-TS

Traffic Safety Section within the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division.

TSS

TRF-TS Traffic Safety Specialist (TSS), designated within a TxDOT district.



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