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Commercial Vehicle Security: Risk-Based Approach Needed to Secure the Commercial Vehicle Sector

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2009
113 pages
This report to the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security in the U.S. House of Representatives, examines the security risks associated with the commercial vehicle sector.
In an audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) between October 2006 and February 2009, it was found that while the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has started conducting risk assessments of the commercial vehicle sector, these assessments have not been completed nor have the results been used to support the agency's security strategy developed to protect the commercial vehicle sector. In addition, the audit found that while key stakeholders in government and industry have taken actions to strengthen the security of commercial vehicles, TSA has not performed a complete assessment of the effectiveness of Federal efforts. Finally, the audit revealed that TSA could implement additional measures to strengthen its efforts to improve coordination between Federal, State, and industry stakeholders. This report to the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Homeland Security examines the security risks associated with the commercial vehicle sector. The report begins with an overview of Federal agencies responsible for securing the Nation's transportation sectors. The 2001 passage of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) conferred broad responsibility to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure the safety of the Nation's commercial vehicles, while the Department of Transportation (DOT) maintained its responsibility for regulating the transportation sector with regards to hazardous materials. A later memorandum of understanding between DOT and the Department of Homeland Security established TSA as the lead Federal entity responsible for the security of the transportation of hazardous materials, while DOT maintained responsibility for the development of regulations ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials. The results of an audit conducted by the GAO to assess the work of the TSA regarding the security of the commercial vehicle sector are discussed along with recommendations for improving the agency's efforts. Tables, figures, and appendixes