July 15, 2004

Speedier Title XI decisions?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has set up a Credit Council to "enhance oversight and management" of the direct loan and loan guarantee programs administered by the Maritime Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

The Maritime Administration's Maritime Guaranteed Loan (Title XI) Program is among those that, it is said, "will greatly benefit from the Credit Council's emphasis on solid financial analysis and review."

DOT says the establishment of the DOT Credit Council will lead to a more expedient and streamlined application review process while preserving autonomy within each operating administration. Applications for the Title XI Loan Guarantee Program will continue to be submitted to the Maritime Administration and decisions to approve ordisapprove an application will continue to reside with the Administrator.

"Shipbuilders and shipowners should be pleased to note that the Department has developed a process that encourages and enhances efficiency, transparency and reliability from the time an application arrives to the point when a decision is made," said Captain William G. Schubert, Maritime Administrator.

"The Council will offer a fully coordinated and integrated review of incoming applications and current loan portfolios by standardizing the Department's oversight of the financial review process," said Linda Combs, Assistant Secretary of Budget and Programs/Chief Financial Officer.

The DOT Credit Council is scheduled to meet quarterly and is modeled after the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Credit Council that will now be combined into the department-wide Council.

The DOT Credit Council is comprised of the Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs/CFO, who serves as chair, the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, the General Counsel, the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, the Federal Highway Administrator, the Federal Transit Administrator, the Federal Railroad Administrator, the Maritime Administrator, and the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business

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