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Promotion of Cargo Security Receives Limited Support (From Cargo Security - Hearing, P 24-47, 1980 - See NCJ-78075)

NCJ Number
Date Published
Findings are reported from the General Accounting Office's assessment of Department of Transportation cargo security activities.
The Department of Transportation established the Office of Transportation Security in 1971 to help combat the widespread problem of cargo theft. Working through a voluntary program, the office coordinates and promotes cargo security activities in 15 metropolitan area city campaigns and encourages industry to use various cargo security measures. The office also provides data on the extent of the cargo theft problem. The assessment found that the effectiveness of the office's program has been hindered by a small budget. In 1976, the office had 13 employees; now it has 9. Its fiscal year 1980 budget of $181,000, which funds research and demonstration projects, data use, and support for the city campaigns, is the lowest since 1975. Further, inadequate staff resources have been committed to the city campaigns. Because the office has only a headquarters staff, it relies on cargo security representatives from the Department's modal administrations to coordinate and promote cargo security activities in the city campaigns. Five of the six representatives interviewed said they do not have time to assist industry in the cargo security area, and four of the six said they did not have the expertise to assist industry. Also, the office's cargo security activities have been inhibited by industry's minimal interest. Industry often views theft as a cost of doing business and prefers to absorb the smaller claims and rely on insurance to cover large losses. The Department of Transportation is currently considering various alternatives for modifying the voluntary cargo security program. Appended are a copy of the assessment request letter, and Executive Order 11836, designed to increase the effectiveness of the Transportation Cargo Security Program. (Author abstract modified)