The cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico needs procedural and monitoring improvement and lacks sufficient data and participation to draw safety conclusions, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General’s latest audit.
The oversight agency’s Aug. 16 report included the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s formal response to recommendations auditors made concerning the 11-month old program. The FMCSA disagreed with the OIG’s call for revision to quality assurance procedures for pre–authorization safety audits or PASAs. These carrier reviews verify compliance in areas that include drug and alcohol testing, hours-of-service, insurance, vehicle maintenance and driver qualification.
Auditors reported that in two of three instances they reviewed, FMCSA’s quality assurance personnel approved PASA results for Mexican carriers before verifying that Mexico’s transportation ministry had tested 18 prospective pilot program driver qualifications for commercial driver’s licenses.
By law, the agency must verify Mexico has tested prospective drivers’ qualifications. The oversight did not result in Federal Register publications of PASA results or approval of unqualified drivers, but showed FMCSA had not updated its quality assurance PASA procedures to reflect this requirement, the auditors wrote.
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