In late 2018, STC advised its readers that FMCSA was planning to expand the use of “off-site” compliance audits to all 50 states during FY 2019. We explained that FMCSA had been using off-sites audits in only 10 states (the CSA pilot states) for several years and, with growing evidence that this focused, remotely-conducted audit was efficient and cost-effective, we predicted the number of off-site audits would increase rapidly in 2019 and beyond.
FMCSA recently posted its final FY 2019 compliance audit numbers, and off-site audits increased more than 400% year-over-year. In FY 2019, FMCSA and its state partners conducted 1,012 off-site audits compared to just 238 in FY 2018. These numbers are still small compared to the total number of annual DOT audits, but there’s little doubt they will continue to rise sharply. Greater use of this tool means FMCSA will be reaching out to more carriers to check their compliance. As a reminder and a heads up, off-site reviews are typically initiated by FMCSA when a carrier has elevated scores in only 1 or 2 CSA BASICs.