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OIG: Low participation hinders cross-border trucking program

September 5, 2012

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Washington – Low participation in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking pilot program may affect the agency’s ability to adequately predict the safety impact of opening the border to Mexican trucks for commercial trade, according to an Aug. 16 Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General interim audit (.pdf file).

OIG estimated that at least 4,100 inspections and 46 carriers over three years would be necessary for an adequate sample. At the time of the audit, FMCSA had completed 89 inspections and admitted four carriers in a one-year period. OIG also stated that FMCSA has not adequately ensured carriers have met program rules, such as testing requirements for English language or drugs and alcohol.

In a letter to OIG following the audit, FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro agreed that additional carriers will be necessary to attain “statistically valid results” and said her agency is working with the Mexican government to generate interest among potential carriers.

On Aug. 30, OIG announced (.pdf file) a follow-up audit to evaluate FMCSA’s progress on program improvements, including new program rule compliance measures.

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