ATA wants improved process for trucker IDs
May 23, 2006 9:04 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is calling for the Transportation Security Administration to implement a single, coordinated, cost-effective process for screening transportation workers that would enhance the nation's security while minimizing unnecessary screening costs and procedures.
In written testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, ATA said multiple background checks for transportation workers, coupled with TSA's "stovepipe" approach to security programs, generates excessive costs for the transportation industry. The trucking industry is willing to bear the cost of one, but not multiple, background checks and security credentials, ATA said.
ATA does not oppose background checks of individuals in the trucking industry, but is against what it said is wasteful expenditure of resources -- both government and private sector -- that comes with conducting multiple background checks of the same individual against the same databases."
In recent years, multiple background checks that require applicants to appear at different enrollment facilities, adapt to different administrative procedures, and pay steep user fees have been imposed on truck drivers under a variety of mandates. TSA, for example, has implemented different background check processes for truckers obtaining hazmat endorsements and going to secure airport areas, and now is implementing Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) for truckers transporting cargo in and out of seaports, ATA said.
ATA believes that the TWIC should streamline the screening process while trimming superfluous costs. The TWIC should consolidate the current multitude of federally mandated background checks into one check that granted access to areas or goods in the transportation supply chain and prevented individual states from adding additional security checks or credentials. Costs also should be minimized and spread evenly across all users.
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