Award: Pre-Employment Screening

January 1, 2017

Innovations in American Government Awards

Since its establishment in January 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s primary mission has been to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. In support of this goal, FMCSA is responsible for providing commercial driver safety information to the motor carrier industry. In 2005, a congressional mandate required FMCSA to begin offering electronic access to this data for pre-employment screening purposes. Prior to the mandate, commercial driver safety information was only available via paper-based Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. FMCSA fulfilled legislative requirements by developing the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), launched in May 2010, which provides motor carriers and background screening companies with immediate online access to driver safety data. As Congress did not provide specific funding for the development and maintenance of the PSP program, FMCSA found a solution through the use of an innovative no-cost contract. FMCSA is responsible for all of the program’s data and general oversight, while the contractor handles daily operations. The contractor is paid via fees charged to end users that go toward answering hundreds of thousands of inquiries, attending industry events, ensuring the security of the system, and developing system enhancements to encourage widespread usage of PSP data. Within the first few years following PSP’s inception, the program produced measurable improvement in safety on the nation’s roads. A 2013 safety impact analysis study revealed that motor carriers using PSP averaged an 8% reduction in crash rates and a 17% decrease in driver out-of-service rates during the study timeframe. Due in large part to the results of the PSP safety impact analysis, motor carriers continue to enroll in PSP every day, and request more and more drivers’ PSP records each year.