This week members of the ATA met with representatives of the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s (I.G.) Office and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in separate meetings on their respective investigations of FMCSA’s Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program. The I.G.’s investigation is being conducted in response to a request from the House of Representative’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that was advocated by ATA. The GAO’s review is pursuant to a Congressional Appropriations Committee request.
During both meetings, it was explained how the ATA is supportive of CSA and its objectives, but has serious concerns about the accuracy, reliability, and significance of carriers’ CSA scores. The ATA contingency also presented data and analysis demonstrating the relationship between scores and crash risk, the substantial lack of data feeding CSA, flaws in the assignment of violation severity weights, and regional enforcement disparities that hinder the system. The I.G.’s office and the GAO are coordinating their reviews to avoid duplication. The I.G. is focusing on data quality and the effectiveness of enforcement interventions, while the GAO is evaluating data and methodology problems that affect the relationship between carrier’s CSA scores and crash risk. The I.G.’s report is expected by mid-summer; the GAOs’ report by September.