DATE: August 16, 2023
TO: Unified Planning Work Program Committee
FROM: Tegin Teich, Executive Director
Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
RE: Recommended Revisions to the Unified Planning Work Program
The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is a one-year budget and planning document representing the entire body of work that that the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff expect to undertake over the next federal fiscal year (FFY). The work described in the UPWP includes our core MPO programs, research projects, technical assistance, and professional development activities, among other initiatives. Each UPWP represents staff’s best understanding at the time of how federal and matching funds should be allocated to best meet the needs of the region in the following year. Each year during the third quarter, staff assess progress and recommend a slate of budget adjustments for the fourth quarter of the current FFY. Those recommended adjustments are summarized in Table 1, which forms Amendment Two to the FFY 2023 UPWP. The adjustments represent a transfer of funds between line items, resulting in a net zero impact on the UPWP budget.
Each UPWP must be substantially developed in the third quarter of the prior FFY so that a draft can be presented in July and approved in August. As a result, initial budget estimates for the work of the MPO staff in any given FFY are developed approximately six months before the work commences. During the FFY, MPO staff track spending and summarize updates for the UPWP Committee on a quarterly basis using the Schedule of Operations. Once work is in progress, needs or expectations may shift, and staff’s understanding of those needs and the best approach to completing work evolves. To adapt to these conditions throughout the FFY, in the third quarter, staff perform a thorough assessment and make recommendations on adjustments to the fourth quarter budgets. The assessment includes analyzing past spending patterns and anticipating specific fourth quarter needs.
In addition to the normal evolution of work as it progresses, unanticipated influences on spending budgets described in the UPWP include staff attrition and the time it takes to recruit and train new staff. While we use and reallocate staff capacity as fluidly as possible to meet project needs, staffing gaps can result in lower expenditures than initially expected on certain UPWP line items. Over the past year, the context of the highly competitive job market has made recruitment more challenging. To be responsive to the job market, we have also increased staff salaries more than initially assumed. Both of these factors have significantly impacted project budgets. One example includes the increased budget in the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which is due to an unanticipated delay in FFY 2022 work because of staff capacity and then the departure of the staff managing the LRTP in FFY 2023 resulting in the need to engaging multiple staff on an interim basis to further support the process.
Thank you for your time in reviewing these recommended adjustments and considering them for recommending to the full MPO board for approval. MPO staff would be happy to discuss and to answer any questions from UPWP Committee members.
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.
The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.
A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination.
To request this information in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact
Title VI Specialist
For people with hearing or speaking difficulties, connect through the state MassRelay service:
For more information, including numbers for Spanish speakers, visit https://www.mass.gov/massrelay