[Federal Register: November 7, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 214)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Part 385
[Docket No. FMCSA-1998-3639]
Safety Fitness Procedures; Withdrawal
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM); withdrawal.
SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [formerly
Office of Motor Carriers (OMC) within Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA)] withdraws its July 20, 1998 ANPRM and request for comments
pertaining to the future evolution of the safety fitness rating system.
After the ANPRM was published, FMCSA began the Comprehensive Safety
Analysis 2010 Initiative (CSA 2010), a comprehensive review and
analysis of FMCSA's current commercial motor carrier safety compliance
and enforcement programs. FMCSA held a series of public listening
sessions pertaining to CSA 2010 in September and October 2004. Many
commenters at those listening sessions suggested that FMCSA delay
publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) until the agency
makes its final decisions regarding its long-term plan for monitoring
motor carrier safety under CSA 2010. Therefore, this rulemaking is no
longer necessary because, as CSA 2010 proceeds, FMCSA expects to
publish a rulemaking that would propose a new and improved safety
compliance and monitoring methodology based on more recent information
DATES: The ANPRM with request for comments published July 20, 1998 is
withdrawn as of November 7, 2005.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Nicole McDavid, Office of
Enforcement and Program Delivery, (202) 366-0831, Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-
0001. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
On November 6, 1997, FHWA (now FMCSA) published a final rule
incorporating its safety fitness rating methodology (SFRM) as Appendix
B to 49 CFR 385. In that document, the agency identified its ultimate
goal as creating a more performance-based means of determining the
fitness of motor carriers to conduct commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
operations in interstate commerce. The final rule announced that FHWA
would soon publish an ANPRM that would address the future evolution of
its rating system methodology. Since that final rule, Congress
substantially heightened the importance of Unsatisfactory ratings by
amending 49 U.S.C. 31144 to prohibit transportation of any property in
interstate commerce by motor carriers with Unsatisfactory ratings.
(Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century [Pub. L. 105-178, June
9, 1998, 112 Stat. 107])
On July 20, 1998, FHWA issued an ANPRM titled "Safety Fitness
Procedures" (63 FR 38788) seeking comments and supporting data on what
issues should be considered in developing a future safety fitness
rating system. Specifically, the ANPRM invited responses to 21 detailed
questions focusing on what a future SFRM should include.
On October 9, 1999, the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary)
rescinded his authority to FHWA to carry out most of the motor carrier
functions and operations (64 FR 56270, October 19, 1999) and
redelegated that authority to the Director of the new Office of Motor
Carriers. On October 29, 1999, the Secretary rescinded his authority to
FHWA to carry out other duties and powers related to motor carrier
safety vested in the Secretary by statute (64 FR 58356). Then, on
January 1, 2000, responsibility for motor carrier [[Page 67406]]
functions, operations, and safety within the Department of
Transportation was transferred from FHWA to the Administrator of a new
agency--FMCSA (65 FR 220, January 4, 2000).
In August 2004, FMCSA embarked on CSA 2010--a comprehensive review
and analysis of FMCSA's current commercial motor vehicle safety
compliance and enforcement programs that aims to identify better
methods of improving highway safety (69 FR 51748, August 20, 2004).
Currently, FMCSA and State agencies are able to conduct compliance
reviews on only a small percentage of the more than 675,000 motor
carriers listed in FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System
(MCMIS). Therefore, FMCSA is looking for ways to: (1) Improve
monitoring of motor carriers, (2) make agency processes more efficient,
and (3) expand its enforcement and compliance reach in the regulated
community. These actions would improve FMCSA's ability to meet its goal
of significantly reducing crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving
large trucks and buses. The intent of CSA 2010 is to establish an
operational model that could be used to confirm that a motor carrier
has a safe operation as well as to identify unsafe motor carrier
operations that should be targeted for compliance and enforcement
activities. This new operational model will be critical to ensuring
FMCSA can keep pace with the burgeoning motor carrier industry and
continue to provide for the safe transportation of people and goods on
the nation's highways. Moreover, this new operational model will
directly affect any future SFRM.
In September and October 2004, FMCSA held a series of public
listening sessions pertaining to CSA 2010. Specifically, FMCSA was
soliciting input on ways that it could improve its process of
monitoring and assessing the safety of the motor carrier industry and
how that information should be presented to the public. Although
broader in scope than the ANPRM, the public listening sessions included
much input regarding improving FMCSA's safety and compliance programs.
Specific to the Safety Fitness Procedures rulemaking initiative, many
commenters offered suggestions and recommendations regarding safety
indicators, compliance reviews, data gathering, performance measures,
safety fitness ratings, regulatory compliance, rewards versus penalties
to encourage compliance, and the use of third-party resources.
Moreover, many commenters at those listening sessions suggested that
FMCSA delay publishing a NPRM under the Safety Fitness Procedures
rulemaking action until FMCSA makes its final decision regarding its
long-term plan for monitoring motor carrier safety under CSA 2010. For
further detail on the public listening sessions, see FMCSA's final
report, "Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 Listening Sessions"
(Docket No. FMCSA-2004-18898).
Summary of Comments to the ANPRM
The 1998 ANPRM invited responses to 21 specific questions focusing
on how the future FMCSA SFRM should look. FMCSA received 37 public
comments on this rulemaking. An Appendix to this notice lists the
questions asked in the ANPRM and provides a summary of the comments
received to date on each question.
After reviewing the public comments on the Safety Fitness
Procedures ANPRM and the public's input at the CSA 2010 public
listening sessions, FMCSA has determined that it is in the public's
interest to withdraw the ANPRM and defer further rulemaking activity in
this area until FMCSA establishes its revised operational model under
CSA 2010 that will set forth the methodology for a future safety
fitness rating system. As noted above, the agency has reviewed and
summarized all of the comments received to date. FMCSA will address the
comments received in response to this ANPRM in the context of the CSA
2010 initiative and in any SFRM rulemaking growing out of that
comprehensive safety analysis.
Because numerous comments in response to the ANPRM addressed the
use of third-party contractors, we think it informative to note FMCSA
has been using contractors to conduct safety audits since January 2004.
The use of contractors was, and is, necessary to address the need for
heightened safety compliance monitoring under the New Entrant Safety
Assurance Process. FMCSA has built into its contracts with third-party
contractors effective safeguards against fraud and other abuses. It
requires private contractors to meet the same minimum certification
requirements as Federal and State safety auditors, including certain
education, experience, and testing requirements.
FMCSA anticipates publishing a new rulemaking addressing a motor
carrier safety fitness rating system consistent with the new
methodology for monitoring motor carrier safety developed as part of
the CSA 2010 initiative. FMCSA will consider fully all comments to this
ANPRM in developing any new rulemaking document addressing a motor
carrier safety fitness rating system or methodology. Therefore, FMCSA
is withdrawing its July 20, 1998 ANPRM on Safety Fitness Procedures.
Issued on: October 31, 2005.
Annette M. Sandberg,
Appendix--Discussion of Comments to the ANPRM
FMCSA's 1998 ANPRM on Safety Fitness Procedures invited
responses to 21 specific questions focusing on how the agency's
future SFRM should look. FMCSA received responses from 37 commenters
\1\. Listed below are the questions asked in the ANPRM and, under
each, a summary of the public comments the agency has received to
date. As noted in the preamble to this notice, FMCSA will address
these comments in the context of the CSA 2010 initiative and in any
SFRM rulemaking growing out of that study.
\1\ Comments were received from the following: 11 State
governmental organizations (Arizona Department of Public Safety;
Colorado Department of Public Safety, Colorado State Patrol;
Department of California Highway Patrol; Idaho Department of Law
Enforcement, State Police Division; Iowa Department of
Transportation; Louisiana Department of Public Safety and
Correction, Louisiana State Police; Michigan Department of State
Police; Michigan Public Service Commission; Oregon Department of
Transportation; Oregon Freight Advisory Committee; and Public
Utilities Commission of Ohio, Transportation Department), 9 motor
carriers (ABC Bus Companies, Inc.; CoachUSA; Duplainville Transport;
Frozen Food Express Industries, Inc.; HCI U.S.A. Distribution
Companies, Inc.; Interstate Distributor Co.; Thompson Trucking,
Inc.; Werner Enterprises, Inc.; and Yellow Corporation and
subsidiaries), 8 trade associations (American Insurance Association;
American Trucking Associations (ATA); Association of Waste Hazardous
Materials Transporters; Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance; National
Private Truck Council (NPTC); National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.;
Transportation Lawyers Association; and Truckload Carriers
Association), 3 consulting groups (Consolidated Safety Services,
Inc.; International Motor Carrier Audit Commission; and Tran
Services), a utility company (Alabama Power Company), a safety
advocacy group (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety), a labor
union (International Brotherhood of Teamsters), an insurance company
(Great West Casualty Company), the Canadian Council of Motor
Transport Administrators, and an individual.
Question 1. What do you believe should be the principal
ingredients of a rating system? What kind of a rating system would
best suit your needs? Why?
Many commenters asserted that crash involvement should be the
principal criterion used in a rating system with regulatory
compliance mentioned nearly as often and vehicle inspections
following as a close third. Other commenters mentioned driver
qualifications, out-of-service violations, moving violations, and
general (unspecified) performance data. Several commenters believed
the factors used in FMCSA's current rating system are appropriate.
Most commenters wanted a rating system that encourages safety,
reduces motor carrier crash risk, and recognizes safe motor
carriers. ATA would like to see a safety fitness rating [[Page 67407]]
system that reflects safety performance rather than regulatory
compliance. The State of Louisiana asserted that the rating system
allows the State to fulfill its obligation of ensuring motorists'
Question 2. What benefits do you expect to gain from a rating
system? What business decisions do you presently base on carrier
Commenters cited the following benefits from a rating system:
Improved safety for commercial motor vehicle drivers
and other motorists,
Lower insurance rates,
Greater marketing potential and more business for safer
More efficient use of State and local resources to
target unsafe motor carriers,
Community recognition, and
Ability to obtain a hazardous materials permit.
One commenter stated the current system is acceptable.
With regard to business decisions, many commenters reported that
the rating system assists them in hiring motor carriers. The Arizona
Department of Public Safety; Michigan Department of State Police,
Michigan Public Service Commission; and Oregon Department of
Transportation noted that the rating system supports their
enforcement strategies. Another commenter indicated that the rating
system should help motor carriers improve their performance and
compliance. Thompson Trucking, Inc. remarked that the rating system
would not affect its business decisions.
Question 3. Are there differences in the way ratings should be
used? (e.g., by FHWA [FMCSA]? by shippers? by others?)
Most commenters agreed that safety fitness ratings have
different uses. Some commenters suggested that FMCSA use the ratings
as part of the compliance review in determining which motor carriers
have adequate safety controls in place. Others commented that
shippers could use ratings to determine whether a motor carrier is
responsible and adheres to the same standards as the shipper.
Two commenters contended that safety ratings should not have
different uses. One commenter added that only FMCSA should use the
Question 4. If ratings must impact the continued operations of
rated carriers, what is the appropriate threshold for determining
that a carrier is unsatisfactory, meaning "unfit to operate"?
Commenters deemed the following events or factors as appropriate
Abnormally high crash rate,
Failure to correct a problem after receiving notice of
Lack of safety management controls,
Continued violation of the FMCSRs, and
Use of unqualified drivers.
Other commenters, including the Association of Waste Hazardous
Materials Transporters and ATA, stated that only violations of
performance-related regulations, as opposed to paperwork-related
violations, should result in an Unsatisfactory rating. The Michigan
Department of State Police went further by suggesting that in
assigning Unsatisfactory ratings, FMCSA count only those
performance-related regulations which, if violated, could expose the
driver or the public to imminent harm.
The Colorado Department of Public Safety, Colorado State Patrol
suggested using a weighted point system such as that employed by
SafeStat. Several other commenters recommended setting a minimum
standard rather than ranking motor carriers against one another.
Question 5. Should the FHWA [FMCSA] continue to maintain the
three ratings: Satisfactory, Conditional, or Unsatisfactory? If yes,
what benefits do you perceive in maintaining the three ratings?
Commenters, including motor carriers, trade associations, and
State governments, were split almost evenly on this question. Those
commenters who supported keeping the current three ratings of
Satisfactory, Conditional, and Unsatisfactory gave reasons such as:
(1) The ratings are easy to understand and adequately serve their
intended purpose and (2) the ratings provide essential information
to the public, shippers, and motor carriers. One commenter noted
that if FMCSA changed the rating system, past ratings might become
irrelevant. Another commenter suggested FMCSA keep at least the
Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory ratings but add intermediate levels
(besides the Conditional rating used in the current methodology).
Among those commenters taking the opposite position, most
recommend limiting the ratings to Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory.
Several commenters also suggested placing new motor carriers in a
probationary or provisional status until they receive a rating.
Other commenters recommended replacing the current rating system
Question 6. What should be the highest tier in such a system,
and what should it connote?
Commenters agreed that Satisfactory should be the highest tier
in the rating system and suggested a Satisfactory rating connote
that the motor carrier
Is doing a good job of decreasing crashes and moving
violations and maintaining regulatory compliance.
Has acceptable compliance and management efforts.
Has acceptable performance measures.
Is safe enough to be in business.
Meets the requisite criteria for the class.
Is 90- to 100-percent compliant with the regulations.
Has an acceptable level of compliance.
Question 7. How long should any rating last?
Opinions on this question varied considerably. Commenters
suggested timeframes ranging from 6 months to indefinitely or until
some indicator falls below an acceptable level. Most commenters
believed the duration should be tailored to the rating. Many
commenters suggested using SafeStat as a model.
Question 8. Do you see any benefit to a single rating system by
the FHWA [FMCSA] which would be concerned only with unsatisfactory
carriers that would have to improve or cease operating?
Most commenters did not support a system focusing solely on the
Unsatisfactory rating. They believed such a system would be
inadequate and potentially misleading as well as make a negative
impression on the public. The Association of Waste Hazardous
Materials Transporters noted that a single rating system would not
fulfill FMCSA's obligation to both Congress and the States to
provide affirmative evidence of compliance.
In contrast, several commenters contended that a single-rating
system would be more efficient. One commenter suggested that FMCSA
use such a system if the resources are unavailable to support a
tiered rating system.
Question 9. Should such ratings be determined entirely by
objective (performance-based) criteria? Why?
Commenters were almost evenly split with slightly more
commenters, including the Arizona Department of Public Safety;
Colorado Department of Public Safety, Colorado State Patrol;
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Correction, Louisiana
State Police; and Michigan Department of State Police, favoring the
use of performance-based criteria in conjunction with the motor
carrier's level of regulatory compliance. Many commenters in this
group noted that performance data and regulatory compliance are
complementary measures of safety fitness because performance data
are indicators of past behavior while regulatory compliance points
to future behavior.
Among the commenters who suggested using only performance-based
criteria, several contended that performance and effort correlate
directly with safety whereas regulatory compliance must be assessed
more indirectly through the motor carrier's compliance with
paperwork requirements. In contrast, one commenter suggested basing
the safety rating solely on regulatory compliance.
Question 10. What data elements best reveal the safety
performance of the motor carrier and should receive consideration in
future safety fitness determinations?
Commenters suggested using the following data elements (in order
of the frequency with which they were mentioned) to make safety
(1) Crashes (taking into account fault versus no fault),
(2) Inspections/out-of-service violations,
(3) Regulatory compliance,
(4) Moving violations,
(5) Use of qualified drivers,
(6) Management controls (such as training and substance abuse
(7) Hazardous materials compliance and/or violations,
(8) Current data elements, and
(9) Financial condition of the motor carrier.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Michigan Department
of State Police contended public opinion regarding these data
elements would inevitably show bias. In their view, FMCSA should
conduct research to identify the salient risk factors and use those
factors as the data elements.
Question 11. How should regulatory compliance be treated in
safety fitness determinations? Which regulations are most important
in evaluating safety fitness?
Nearly all commenters believed FMCSA should consider regulatory
compliance in [[Page 67408]] determining a motor carrier's safety fitness rating. Many commenters
suggested that the motor carrier's desire and ability to operate
within the regulations be considered a safety benchmark.
A number of commenters believed FMCSA should distinguish between
violations of acute and critical regulations. Those commenters
believed paperwork errors should not be considered a compliance
violation for safety fitness purposes. ATA and Werner Enterprises,
Inc. recommended FMCSA conduct research to verify a link between
compliance and safety before using compliance violations in
determining safety fitness ratings.
With regard to the regulations most important to the evaluation
of safety fitness, commenters cited the following issues (in
descending order of the frequency with which they were mentioned):
(1) Vehicle inspections (related both to repair and
(2) Qualifications of drivers,
(3) Reporting of crashes,
(4) Drug and alcohol testing,
(5) Logbook violations, and
(6) Hazardous materials violations.
The NPTC suggested that any regulations regarding management
controls would be most important to safety fitness determinations.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Correction, Louisiana
State Police contended that all the regulations are important
because they represent the minimum safety standards.
Question 12. How should poor compliance be reconciled with good
safety experience? Should a motor carrier be rated unsatisfactory
even if it has a low accident rate?
A number of commenters supported giving Unsatisfactory ratings
to motor carriers with poor compliance but good safety experience.
Two of those commenters added that FMCSA should differentiate
between motor carriers making paperwork mistakes and those that
ignore the regulations. In contrast, four commenters opposed
assigning Unsatisfactory ratings to motor carriers with low crash
Commenters who contended that noncompliance with the safety
regulations should be evaluated independently of crash rates gave
the following reasons:
There appears to be a correlation between compliance
and future safety fitness,
A low crash rate could simply be a matter of luck, and
Allowing noncompliant motor carriers to escape an
Unsatisfactory rating would be unfair to motor carriers that comply
with the regulations.
Seven commenters maintained that FMCSA must consider both
regulatory compliance and safety performance. However, they did not
suggest specific ways to achieve this.
One commenter posited that if poor compliance coexists with good
safety experience, this could mean the regulations have little
impact on safety.
Question 13. Do you believe there is presently sufficient data
available to make judgments about a motor carrier's ability to stay
Most commenters believed FMCSA has sufficient performance and
compliance data to determine whether it is safe to allow a motor
carrier to stay in business. However, several commenters expressed
reservations about the sufficiency, accuracy, and quality of the
data collected by FMCSA. NPTC argued that SafeStat seriously
underreports crashes for two reasons: (1) The current database is
limited to crashes meeting the National Governors Association
reporting standards, which exclude less-severe crashes, and (2)
States and local jurisdictions have inadequate reporting procedures.
NPTC also recommended that FMCSA expand and prioritize the types of
data it presently captures on driver behavior and vehicle condition.
ATA considered the safety rating so important that it believed
FMCSA's data must be impeccable. ATA urged the agency to work with
law enforcement, the States, and the trucking industry to help
improve the accuracy and quality of the data. ATA asserted that in
the interest of fairness and uniformity, FMCSA should take
responsibility for correcting data errors or discrepancies instead
of referring the motor carrier to the State(s) that provided the
data. In addition, ATA noted the importance of keeping MCS-150 forms
current as many performance measures are based on information motor
carriers provide on the forms.
The Transportation Lawyers Association criticized the adequacy
of FMCSA's data and contended that there are due process concerns
when a safety rating based on questionable data carries severe
Other commenters cited a need for better controls on the data
collections, noting that many inspectors record only inspections
with negative results keeping no record of positive inspections. One
commenter questioned whether FMCSA has enough inspectors to review
all the available data.
Question 14. Should carriers be grouped by similarity of
operations? By size?
A majority of commenters supported grouping motor carriers in
some way. The most frequently recommended sorting criteria were
operating environment (rural versus urban), size, and type of
transport. One commenter suggested grouping motor carriers by MCS-
150 filing categories.
Of those commenters opposed to sorting motor carriers into
groups, some argued that FMCSA should apply uniform standards to all
motor carriers. The Colorado Department of Public Safety, Colorado
State Patrol contended that grouping motor carriers would be
unnecessary if FMCSA rated all motor carriers against a particular
standard rather than ranking them.
Question 15. Are there significant benefits to be derived from a
third-party [private contractor] on-site review system for
evaluating motor carriers? What do you perceive them to be?
Commenters were almost evenly split between supporting and
opposing the use of private contractors. Those commenters favoring
the concept believed it would garner industry support and represent
a better use of FMCSA's resources. Several commenters recommended
contracting with trade associations or insurance companies, provided
they were of the same caliber as U.S. Department of Transportation
inspectors. Most commenters in this group also recommended that
Federal and State Governments maintain the right to conduct
inspections under certain circumstances. One commenter suggested
using private contractors exclusively for data collection and not
for enforcement actions.
Those commenters opposing the use of private contractors
believed it would open the door to inappropriate interpretations of
the rating methodology. They also contended that any resource
savings could be canceled by FMCSA expenditures for training and
monitoring of the contractors. The Transportation Lawyers
Association noted that in an Office of the Inspector General's
Report, dated March 26, 1997, the U.S. Department of Transportation
stated its opposition to the use of private contractors because of
legal considerations and the cost and complexity of developing and
monitoring such a system.
Two commenters stated they would need more information about who
pays and controls the private contractors, what role the Federal and
State Governments would play, and who enforces the regulations
before they can adequately respond to this question.
Question 16. If a third-party [private contractor] review system
were to start up, what should be the Federal role in such a system?
Most commenters stated that the Federal Government should have
significant involvement with private contractors by setting
standards and providing guidance, certification, and training.
However, a significant minority believed the Federal Government
should take a more limited role, such as by monitoring private
contractors through random audits and other methods. Several
commenters asserted that the Federal Government should focus solely
on compliance and enforcement issues.
Question 17. Could and should a private third-party [contractor]
review system coexist with a Federal system? What would be their
respective roles? What relationships should there be, if any,
between coexisting Federal and private review systems?
Commenters had a range of opinions on this question. The most
frequent recommendation was for the Federal Government to audit
private contractors. Many commenters suggested using private
contractors solely to collect data or, at the very most, to conduct
an initial review that would be subject to FMCSA review. Other
commenters recommended using private contractors only as
consultants, who would assist motor carriers with improving their
safety performance. In contrast, some commenters recommended
training and certifying private contractors to conduct complete
reviews in place of FMCSA.
Many commenters did not support a private contractor system
because they doubted it could be implemented successfully. One
commenter contended that such a system would likely increase the
incidence of litigation against the agency by motor carriers
receiving Unsatisfactory ratings.
Question 18. What should be the effect of the third-party
[private contractor] rating on the carrier's operation? What kind of
review procedures would be required?
Many commenters stated that a private contractor review should
have the same effect on the motor carrier's operation as one
conducted by the Federal Government. Other commenters advocated
using private contractors strictly as consultants--the contractor
would not rate the motor carrier. Still other commenters suggested
the role of private contractors be limited to data collection. One
commenter suggested making private contractor reviews voluntary but
publishing the results for the benefit of the public.
Two commenters opposed the use of private contractors. One
commenter argued that large motor carriers would have an economic
advantage because they could more easily afford these private
With respect to review procedures, several commenters
recommended establishing an appeals process for private contractor
compliance reviews. One commenter recommended that FMCSA
automatically review any Unsatisfactory rating assigned by a private
contractor. Another commenter stated that private contractors should
not be allowed to assign ratings.
Question 19. Should the information from third-party [private
contractor] on-site reviews become a part of the FHWA [FMCSA]
database? How should such information be treated?
Most, but not all, commenters supported including private
contractor review information in the FMCSA database provided data-
collection controls are in place. In addition, a majority of the
commenters recommended using private contractor review data in the
same way as the data collected by FMCSA. However, several commenters
added that information collected by private contractors should be
coded and continuously monitored to ensure safety data integrity and
Question 20. Should a third-party reviewer [private contractor]
have direct access to the FHWA's [FMCSA's] database to a greater
extent than such information is presently available to the public?
Most commenters supported such access so long as a
confidentiality agreement is in place. Other commenters suggested
that private contractors be allowed access only to publicly
available information in the FMCSA database. Several commenters
specifically opposed allowing private contractors access to FMCSA
databases. A few commenters said that private contractors should
have access only to the motor carrier information needed to complete
Question 21. Should there be standards for third-party [private
contractor] reviews, including the identification of the relevant
data elements to be employed for evaluative purposes? How should
such standards be developed?
Nearly all commenters supported holding private contractors to
defined standards. Most commenters believed contractor standards
should mirror those standards used by FMCSA and its MCSAP-funded
enforcement partners. One commenter recommended a task group to
develop separate standards for private contractors.
[FR Doc. 05-22062 Filed 11-4-05; 8:45 am]
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