Background checks require agencies' cooperation
May 16, 2005 2:59 PM
The effective and efficient implementation of hazmat driver background checks will require "strong" cooperation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), states, industry groups, and other stakeholders, according to testimony by the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General.
Todd Zinser, deputy inspector general, made the comments May 11 to the House Subcommittee on Highways, Transit, and Pipelines.
He noted that TSA estimates that there are 2.7 million commercial driver license (CDL) holders authorized to carry hazardous materials.
However, criminal history record checks and intelligence checks of these individuals have only recently begun and are far from completed.
Zinser suggested that any future oversight reviews of state implementation will need to address the operation of computer systems that are used to communicate information on hazardous materials endorsements among TSA, FMCSA, and the states. The OIG has found in the past that systems did not always work properly.
He also recommended monitoring the data to identify problems; in-depth oversight of states’ adherence to the rules; and checks by FMCSA to ensure that states capture and record the results of CDL holders’ background records checks in a consistent and uniform manner.
The new deadline for beginning background records checks for new CDL hazardous materials endorsement applicants was January 31, 2005; and May 31, 2005, for CDL holders who wish to renew their existing hazardous materials endorsement when it expires and for CDL holders who wish to transfer their existing hazardous materials endorsement to another state and have not received a background records check.
TSA estimates that for each year from 2004 to 2013, 407,000 fingerprint applications will be collected from new applicants, renewals, and transfers. To see the testimony in its entirety, click here.
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