Guidelines on Collaboration and Information Security for State DOTs

State departments of transportation (state DOTs) and other such agencies engage in a wide and evolving range of business activities that require collaboration and access to many types of data and information from among various units within a state DOT and with other public- and private-sector entities and the public. Expectations for collaboration to facilitate multimodal and multidisciplinary decision-making and public engagement are increasing. Collaboration and sharing of information are often essential in the relationships among, for example, the state DOT and others in private and public sectors, such as metropolitan planning organizations, personnel and construction contractors, academia, and other state and federal government agencies. In each case, however, concerns for the security, integrity, reliability, and timeliness of data and information often motivate agencies to adopt such practices as “zero trust” that make collaboration, information access, and knowledge sharing frustrating and ineffective. Diverse security requirements and lack of mechanisms for accessing information across multiple agencies, for example, can lead to clandestine exchanges of information among practitioners that threaten security. While lax or ineffective security can have dire consequences, excessively restrictive security that obstructs information exchange can thwart good decision-making, increase workloads by limiting legitimate access to business-critical data, and stimulate public disclosure requests. For state DOTs, the issues of balance between collaboration and information security cut across all modes, jurisdictions, and users. Research is needed to support informed state DOT decision-making about the (a) balance to be achieved between information access and protection and (b) tradeoffs to be made between risks associated with information security and meeting needs for information sharing in collaborative working environments that engage all state DOT stakeholders. The objective of this research was to describe the organizational motivations for collaboration and develop guidelines for state DOT leadership, staff, and others on effective practices for balancing concerns for collaboration and for information security in support of the state DOT’s evolving business needs.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jared, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    Southwest Research Institute

    6220 Culebra Road, P.O. Drawer 28510
    San Antonio, TX  United States  78228-0510
  • Principal Investigators:

    Randolph, Lynne

  • Start Date: 20200709
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220708
  • Actual Completion Date: 20220708

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01707525
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-02
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2019 3:20AM