WASHINGTON — The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Transportation said Tuesday it had initiated an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program intended to improve commercial motor vehicle safety by focusing enforcement efforts on higher risk carriers.
The audit is the result of a Sept. 13, 2012, hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Highway and Transit Subcommittee at which members of Congress and the trucking industry expressed concerns about the implementation of CSA, particularly the Safety Measurement System evaluation of carrier performance and risk.
The centerpiece of CSA is SMS, which uses seven safety improvement categories called Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) to evaluate carriers’ performance and assess their potential crash risks.
CSA also includes a wide array of enforcement interventions, such as targeted roadside inspections and compliance reviews, aimed at improving carrier safety.
At the September 13, 2012, hearing on truck and bus safety programs before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Highways and Transit Subcommittee, members of Congress and the trucking industry expressed concerns about CSA implementation, particularly the SMS evaluation of carrier performance and risk.
Following the hearing, the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee requested that the OIG evaluate FMCSA’s implementation of CSA.
“Specifically, our audit will assess whether FMCSA has (1) established adequate controls to ensure the quality of the data used to evaluate carrier performance and risk, and (2) effectively implemented CSA enforcement interventions,” the OIG said in a memo to FMCSA officials announcing initiation of the audit. “The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is currently reviewing CSA’s identification of the highest risk carriers, and we will coordinate with GAO during our audit to avoid duplication of work.”
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