Statement of the Administrator
I am proud to present the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA or Agency) 2014 Budget Request of $572M. This budget request supports the new Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Authorization and aligns with the Agency’s new 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Strategic Framework and Roadway Safety Plan (RSP). Within that framework, FMCSA’s safety programs comprise 97% or $552M of the overall budget request. Our mission is clear. We are committed to saving lives by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicle (CMV) transportation. I, along with all of FMCSA’s employees, seek to achieve that mission and the purposes set forth in our authorizing legislation.
Since the inception of FMCSA in 2000, we have witnessed a drop in the fatality rate from 0.205 fatalities in large truck and bus crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles to 0.133 in 2010. Fatalities in large truck and bus crashes dropped from 5,620 in 2000 to 3,944 in 2010, a reduction of 1,676. The successes we have realized in reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities are great, but there is more to be done. Every life is precious, and even one fatality is one too many.
Safety has always been and will continue to be our highest priority; therefore, we are increasing our focus and determination through a new strategic framework. That framework shapes our efforts into four Strategic Focus Areas: CMV “Safety 1st” Culture, Exponential Safety Power (SafetyX Power), Comprehensive Data Utilization and Leveraging Technology, and One FMCSA. It employs three core principles: raise the bar to enter the motor carrier industry; maintain high safety standards to remain in the industry; and remove high-risk carriers, drivers, and service providers from operation. This budget requests additional resources needed to support our strategic framework and maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our safety programs.
We will continue to strengthen our partnerships with Federal, State, local, tribal, and foreign governments; reach out to all stakeholders–our citizens, the industry and related associations, drivers, victims and advocacy groups; and collaborate effectively with other DOT safety agencies. Further, FMCSA is partnering with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to leverage and pool our resources to enhance roadway safety based on the premise that the loss of even one life on our roadways is unacceptable. Working together, we hope to eliminate crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving CMVs. Together we will “Raise the safety bar!”
Enforcement and Compliance
Our largest program is Enforcement and Compliance Intervention, which oversees the operation of over 500,000 companies and seven million drivers. This program includes our Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The CSA program has improved operational efficiencies resulting in more industry contacts to address regulatory compliance and safety performance deficiencies. The Agency exceeded its fiscal year 2012 intervention goal with more than 12,107 compliance reviews, and it continued the CSA process improvements that have brought safety to the forefront of industry’s actions. Overall violation rates are down 8%, driver violations are down 10%, and safety awareness in the industry is up exponentially. Additionally, the Agency’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) provides the industry with near real time access to their safety and compliance performance and provides the public with the same information so they can make informed consumer decisions.
Through the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program (NESAP), FMCSA completed more than 1,600 safety audits (SAs) and developed new streamlined procedures, using contract resources to dramatically reduce our backlog of overdue carriers. This complemented the more than 30,000 SA’s completed by our state partners. In addition, we soon will be piloting a new approach for SAs that more closely ties our NESAP work to our CSA program. FMCSA, together with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) also led efforts to address the transportation impacts associated with vastly increased oil and gas drilling. The North Dakota Division formed a strong partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to look at crashes between trucks and trains due to growing oilfield activity in western North Dakota. The Colorado Division completed a special project to investigate claims that existing regulatory exceptions and guidance related to the oil and gas industry were not being uniformly applied in various parts of the country.
Another priority we have is to ensure that only carriers with a demonstrated commitment to safety are permitted to operate on our nation’s roadways. They must clearly meet our safety requirements for “fitness” to continue operating. FMCSA is taking steps to identify applicants for operating authority that may be “reincarnated” or “chameleon”, motor carriers that attempt to operate under a new name, USDOT number, and operating authority to evade enforcement actions. This initiative will be an integral part of ongoing FMCSA efforts to establish the Unified Registration System (URS) which replaces the current registration information system with a single, online Federal system.
FMCSA published the Final Rule for a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners on April 20, 2012. Based on estimates of roughly 400,000 drivers who undergo medical exams each month and the 900,000 healthcare providers who are eligible to be medical examiners, FMCSA anticipates a need for 40,000 certified medical examiners to be on the National Registry by mid-2014 when the requirement goes into effect. Also in 2014, we will develop the functionality and requirements for medical examiners to transmit data from the medical examiner’s certificate to the State Driver Licensing Agency for commercial driver licensing holders. After the compliance date of May 21, 2014, FMCSA will require all CMV drivers to have their physical examinations performed only by certified medical examiners listed on the National Registry.
Information Development and Sustainment
Our Information Technology (IT) systems are critical to our data-driven enforcement and compliance program and provide real-time access to data for the enforcement community,
industry, stakeholders, and the public. The IT sustainment program will focus on the operations and maintenance of our core systems, meet all Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements, implement the Motor Carrier Safety Enhanced and Expanded Vetting Initiative, operate FMCSA call centers, operate and maintain the National Registry (Phase I), and replace aging network and server infrastructure to meet IPv6 requirements.
We are leveraging technologies by conducting transformative research that focuses on risk factors and safety technologies to inform and enhance enforcement and compliance. We are identifying, testing, and deploying smart roadside technologies in partnership with Federal, State, and local safety agencies while accelerating the deployment of onboard safety systems by promoting the benefits to fleets and insurance carriers.
Although our roadways are getting safer, FMCSA’s focus on operator safety has never been sharper. FMCSA is dedicated to working with our state partners to aggressively pursue safety initiatives in areas like fatigue management, texting and hand-held cell phone use, and seat belt use to decrease the number of crashes and fatalities involving large trucks and buses on our nation’s roadways. Taken together, our safety programs and oversight activities will refine and strengthen this mission.
It has now been five years since the Department, (FMCSA, FHWA, NHTSA, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the Office of the Secretary) produced its first Motorcoach Safety Action Plan which we recently updated. Drivers, company owners, safety managers, tour group organizers, safety advocates, and educators helped shape the 2012 Update by identifying actions necessary to increase motorcoach safety awareness, enforcement, and education. FMCSA continues to expand its efforts for motorcoach safety and find ways to ensure that passenger carrier travel is safe. FMCSA is also committed to ensuring accessible services, as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are adhered to and implemented.
FMCSA oversees the safety of trucks and buses entering the U.S. from Mexico and Canada including Federal safety enforcement activities at the U.S./Mexico border to ensure the Mexican carriers entering the U.S. are in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). As important as this effort is, a lack of facilities and poor infrastructure makes the job dangerous. Therefore, we are requesting vitally needed resources to improve our border infrastructure so that inspectors have safe facilities to accomplish their safety critical job.
Safety Mission Support (Improvements and Efficiencies)
As part of our continuous improvement effort, the FMCSA values its employees as its number one resource. To ensure continuity in our mission related activities, and minimize Agency costs, the Agency is emphasizing recruitment and retention programs to help maintain an experienced workforce. The Agency’s primary recruitment and retention program is the Training Academy for new field investigators, auditors and inspectors. In FY 2013, the Academy Training program was revamped leading to accreditation in FY 2014.
The Agency has a more robust summer intern program, a mentoring and coaching program geared towards our investigators and border inspectors and an enhanced manager and supervisor training program to include 360 degree1 assessments and coaching. Additionally, FMCSA has a comprehensive program of Professional and Leadership Development for employees to ensure the staff has the most current skill set to perform the job function and to provide a supply of future leaders for the Agency through succession planning.
FMCSA fully supports the Department’s Environmental Sustainability goal through compliance with Executive Order 13514 to include working to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, eliminate waste, and prevent pollution. FMCSA is replacing its vehicle fleet with environmentally-friendly vehicles, including hybrids and those using alternative fuels.
Further, the Agency continues to encourage the use of telework and alternative work schedules to reduce congestion and pollution. Finally, we are committed to a results-oriented transparent business model that measures performance through managing for results and reporting outcomes. FMCSA will strive to build a high-performance business process capable of addressing the challenges of the 21st century.
The American people deserve a government that works, where the public interest is the highest priority, the impact of government spending is transparent and held to high, objective standards, and where measurable results and good management matter.
With the resources in this 2014 Budget Request, we can more effectively and efficiently meet our vision for a future with zero CMV crashes, fatalities, and injuries by striving towards a crashfree and fully accountable CMV transportation life cycle.
In support of the Administration’s Accountable Government Initiative, the Agency has identified current and on-going cost saving initiatives that support the Campaign to Cut Waste. All savings generated from this initiative will be used to fulfill mission FMCSA’s mission critical priorities. Currently, FMCSA is investigating Agency policy that would reduce printing activities in the areas of personal desktop printers, color printing, and curtailing late print jobs that carry a rush job fee. Once the policy is finalized, FMCSA will vigorously monitor usage. With the attrition of existing personal desktop printers, FMCSA will no longer purchase nor replace new individual office/cubicle printers other than to comply with ADA rules. Savings anticipated to the Agency at $20,000, includes ink cartridge purchases.
FMCSA National Training Center (NTC) has a new approach to offer instructor course refreshers by use of webinars. The NTC conducted refresher-training webinars of North
American Standards Parts A & B in the first quarter FY 2012 for 10 Federal instructors and 225 State instructors, saving approximately $20,000 in Federal travel costs and $338,000 in State travel costs. Additionally, another $63,000 in Federal travel savings was produced when, In an effort to better develop our leaders and executives, FMCSA has institutionalized a robust effort to assess the current capabilities of our leadership team and provide them with the coaching and access to training as well as other performance improvement tools. The 360 assessment is a statistically reliable and comprehensive feedback tool providing each participant with a full 360 degree view of themselves and their performance.
NTC leveraged the re-certification training of 60 FMCSA Hazardous Materials (HazMat) instructors to coincide with the existing Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Cooperative
Hazardous Materials Enforcement Division (COHMED) conference. The Agency’s annual contract review process identified a savings of $300,000 in travel for FY
13 Grant management support; and a streamlining review of the Finance/Acquisitions Undelivered Orders (UDO) and the Close-out UDO contract produced a $200,000 administrative cost savings.
Currently, the IT-mobile support contract cost is $789,000. The estimated cost savings realized from limiting IT devices is approximately $300,000 from FY 2010 to date.
FMCSA is pursuing, to the maximum extent practical, the effort to reduce the cost of rented space by reviewing the space requirements in field offices as more and more employees’ telework. There are 13 expiring rental agreements in FY 2013 for open review and potential space downsizing. Estimated savings are unknown at this point, and some offices will likely need additional space.
FMCSA has rigorously examined attendance at conferences and the resources that go into organizing and hosting conferences. We are reviewing annually recurring conferences and making recommendations for alternative venues. The current FY 2014 travel budget for conferences has a substantial reduction in travel events saving approximately $50,000.
Additionally, hosting conference events in federal facilities reduced costs by 75%, producing a savings of more than $180,000 from FY 2012 to FY 2014. FMCSA continues to support the Executive Order 13589, Promoting Efficient Spending.