The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created and launched its new CSA safety enforcement program with a small number of staff, outside contractors and existing budget, but now that the program is ramping up it will require considerably more resources, said the Government Accountability Office.

GAO prepared the report to answer concerns in Congress about delays in CSA implementation, and whether or not the agency has the resources to get the program up to speed.

In 2007, when CSA (then called CSA 2010) was still being planned and tested, the program had budgetary obligations of $2.3 million. Obligations increased to $6.6 million in 2008, and rose to $11.8 million in 2009 to cover software modernization.

Last year the obligation was $9.5 million, and the agency has requested $14.3 million for this fiscal year.

The agency has used just 5 full-time staff on the program so far, although as many as 40 staff have worked on it part-time. Much of the program was developed by contractors, GAO noted.
Starting in fiscal year 2012, however, the burden will rise steeply. The agency is requesting $78 million and 98 new full-time positions in addition to existing staff to fully implement CSA and integrate it into its operations, GAO said.

The report went to Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Reps. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, and John Olver, D-Mass. They are the leaders of the transportation appropriations subcommittees in the Senate and House.