Improvements Needed in FMCSA’s Plan for Inspecting Buses at the United States-Mexico Border
On November 26, 2013, we issued a report on FMCSA’s compliance with certain congressionally mandated safety requirements for cross-border transportation. FMCSA generally complies with the requirements, as it has staffing, facilities, equipment, and procedures in place to conduct inspections of Mexico-domiciled carriers, vehicles, and drivers. FMCSA had a backlog of conviction data on Mexican drivers due to a computer software issue, but it has now fixed the problems and no drivers had to be disqualified after convictions were posted. In addition, FMCSA has taken steps to improve passenger carrier safety at the border but has not taken sufficient actions to fully address our prior recommendations for improving its capacity to inspect buses. FMCSA updated its bus safety plan, but the plan does not adequately address bus inspection frequency or identify actions to eliminate inspection obstacles. FMCSA also worked with other agencies to identify alternative inspection space at certain locations, but it has not negotiated interagency agreements with United States Customs and Border Protection to establish standard bus inspection protocols or completed facility and staffing assessments needed to fully address inspection safety and efficiency issues.
We made five recommendations to improve FMCSA’s implementation of the NAFTA cross-border provisions and its bus safety plan. FMCSA concurred with all five recommendations. This report has a 15-day congressional hold prior to public release.