FMCSA Generally Complies With Statutory Requirements, but Actions Are Needed Prior To Initiating Its NAFTA Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program
On August 19, 2011, we issued a report on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) pilot program authorizing long–haul, cross–border trucking services between the United States and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This audit was required by Section 6901 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veteran's Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007. Our objective was to assess FMCSA's policy, procedures, and processes for granting operating authority to Mexico–domiciled motor carriers under the pilot program and for monitoring and ensuring the carriers' compliance with United States laws and regulations. We found that FMCSA has not identified the specific process it will use to comply with five requirements for conducting fifty percent of the pre-authority safety audits and compliance reviews onsite in Mexico. FMCSA plans to abide by the law, but has not finalized where it will conduct the reviews. We also found that FMCSA has not yet addressed certain issues for implementing the pilot program. Specifically, FMCSA has not: (1) issued site–specific plans for checking drivers and trucks at the border; (2) established a system to verify driver and truck eligibility for the pilot program; (3) issued an implementation plan nor acquired electronic monitoring devices for use in the pilot program; and (4) conducted pilot program training for inspection personnel at the border and within the United States.
The Secretary is required by law to submit a report to Congress detailing the actions the Department is taking to address each of the issues raised in our report. We made a recommendation to FMCSA's Administrator to ensure that the Secretary's report addresses these issues. FMCSA concurred with the recommendation and provided a completion date for its planned actions.