In late 2011, recognizing the need for faster and more integrated project development and delivery, the FTA rolled out a new and streamlined risk assessment process for New Starts projects. This new process allows and encourages the project sponsors to conduct more risk assessments independently. FTA will also tailor its own risk assessments to the specifics of the projects through a three-tiered system and perform more integrated oversight, as opposed to risk reviews at discrete milestones. It is expected that the revised risk assessment process will cut the New Starts project delivery timeline by as much as six months.
Federal agencies are making steady progress in identifying and managing risks for federal-aid projects. For agencies such as FHWA and FTA, the most serious delays can be attributed to the lack of understanding of the risk assessment/management process on the part of the project sponsor and incomplete or poor quality submittals. The aforementioned regulations, processes, and guidance documents are intended to provide project sponsors with a more thorough understanding of the risk assessment/management process and to better equip them to participate in it. Ultimately, the goal of this guidance is to ensure that project sponsors have the tools to deliver every project on time and under budget.
 FHWA Has Improved Its Risk Management Approach, but Needs to Improve Its Oversight of Project Costs (GAO-09-751) (July 2009), GAO
 Risk Assessment and Allocation for Highway Construction Management (October 2006), FHWA
 Major Project Program Cost Estimating Guidance (January 2007), FHWA;
 Guidance for FHWA Major Project Cost Estimate Reviews (October 2011), FHWA; Annual Summary of Major Projects – Fiscal Year 2012, FHWA
 FHWA Major Project Delivery Process, FHWA
 In a probabilistic or risk-adjusted approach to cost estimating, there is no single, deterministic cost estimate. Rather, there is a distribution of possible costs, each with an associated probability that it will not be exceeded. Higher percentiles translate to increased confidence that the project has not been underestimated. A ‘70th percentile cost’ is predicted to not be exceeded 70% of time or, equivalently, there is a 30% chance that it underestimates final cost of the project.
 Interim Major Project Financial Plan Guidance (September 2012), FHWA; FHWA Financial Plan Guidance (December 2014), FHWA
 Project and Construction Management Guidelines (July 2011), FTA
 Risk Assessment in Fixed Guideway Transit System Construction (DOT-T-95-01) (January 1994), FTA University Research and Training Program
 Oversight Procedure 40 – Risk and Contingency Review (Rev 2) (May 2010), FTA TPM-20 Office of Engineering Project Management Oversight
 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Request for Comments, FTA 49 CFR Part 633 RIN 2132-AA92, Federal Register Vol. 76, No. 177, September 2011
 FTA’s Perspective on the Need for and Benefits of Risk Assessment on Major Capital Projects, ITE Conference Risk Assessment Session (August 2007), Aaron James
 Project and Construction Management Guidelines (Appendix G) (July 2011), FTA
 FTA Administrator’s Policy Letter - Risk Assessment Streamlining, FTA, September 2011
 Risk Assessment – An FTA Update, Presentation on 2011 Rail Conference (June 2011), Aaron James
 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Request for Comments, FTA 49 CFR Part 633 RIN 2132-AA92, Federal Register Vol. 76, No. 177, September 2011.