Interstate Commerce Commission

Impacts of Eliminating or Transferring Motor Carrier and Other Functions Gao ID: T-RCED-95-119 March 3, 1995

Virtually all the options GAO reviewed for transferring the Interstate Commerce Commission's (ICC) functions offer opportunities for budget savings--ranging from $16 million to $28 million. Of potentially greater significance, however, is the matter of how ICC's remaining regulatory duties would be handled in the future. If Congress decides that there is still a need for a high degree of independence and substantial expertise to carry out the remaining regulatory processes, a merger with the Federal Maritime Commission or incorporating the functions into the Transportation Department (DOT) under a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-like model might be preferable. On the other hand, if Congress decides that an independent regulatory agency is no longer necessary, then greater savings might be realized by integrating the remaining ICC functions into the DOT or by dividing them among several agencies. Congress may wish to distinguish between rail and motor carrier regulatory activities. It may be appropriate to establish a FERC-like entity to handle rail matters and to integrate the remaining carrier functions primarily into DOT. This could save money and preserve independent decisionmaking where necessary.

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