Page 11 - Final_AS-REP Citi 2012 v5

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S ec t i on I I : T ran s portat i on S p end Managemen t Cha l l enge s i n t he Gov ernmen t S ec tor
Transportation Management in the Federal Government
| Best Practices Report: 2012
When it comes to innovation and policy improvements, government
bears a significant responsibility, especially compared to the private sector.
This makes civil sector decisions often more risk averse and burdensome.
Rules, regulations, and protocols also provide an effective shield against
selecting carriers that aren’t able to meet the strict requirements of the
government, whether they are restrictions on employees, vehicles,
clearances, or loads. Most of these roadblocks come from the risk-
averse mindset instigated by legislation and regulations that react to
a past negative event or problem associated with freight transportation
management, as opposed to the private sector’s sometimes more
entrepreneurial nature. These restrictions may prevent potential harm,
but they also continually narrow the available pool of carrier partners.
If this fear of risk leads to too harsh or strict regulations and penalties,
the civil space runs the potential of losing carrier partners and not being
able to replace them quickly. This could lead to much bigger problems
for the agency, including higher costs.
A risk-averse mentality also affects the individual employee. There is
a resistance in government to adopt new technologies and new ways,
especially when it comes to automation, because many think this means
the loss of jobs. This can lead agency employees without a transport
group to sticking with the same old practices, regardless of what’s
available and the associated opportunity costs.
The ability to navigate the procedures of government transportation
moves and freight payment is a valuable skill that takes years to develop.
It’s not uncommon for federal agencies to face meaningful setbacks
when this expertise is suddenly lost.
The causes of turnover within government transportation management
offices vary. One frequent concern is retirement of those individuals with
many years of expertise and no one to pass that knowledge onto. Essen-
tially, many agencies—particularly those lacking a strategic interest in
transportation management—lack an effective talent-nurturing program
that one would find among many private sector shippers.