ATA backs single process for screening transportation workers

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The Transportation Security Administration should implement a single, coordinated process for screening all transportation workers and should work to avoid unnecessary costs and procedures, the American Trucking Associations said May 16 in written testimony to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The committee held a hearing on TSA’s plan for a transportation worker identification card (TWIC) program.

Multiple background checks for transportation workers and TSA’s “stovepipe” approach to security programs create excessive costs for the transportation industry, ATA said.

“ATA does not oppose background checks of individuals in the trucking industry,” ATA said in its testimony. “ATA does oppose the wasteful expenditure of resources – both government and private sector – that comes with conducting multiple background checks of the same individual against the same databases.”

Since concerns over terrorism escalated, the transportation industry has faced multiple background checks that require applicants to appear at different enrollment facilities, adapt to different administrative procedures, and pay steep user fees have been imposed on truck drivers, the association said. For example, TSA has implemented different background check processes for truckers obtaining hazmat endorsements and going to secure airport areas and now is implementing TWIC for truckers transporting cargo into and out of seaports.

For more on the hearing, including a link to the archived webcast, visit http://commerce.senate.gov and click on “Hearings.”