The Western States Transparent Borders Project involved an assessment of the institutional barriers to implementing transparent border technologies for interstate commercial vehicle operations (CVO) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The results of the fact finding and associated analysis were documented in two sets of reports. Two reports were produced for each participating state, and reflected the individual structure, needs, and operations of that state. These reports are "Description of Current State Practices" and "Institutional Barriers and Recommended Actions." This report provides a summary of these two sets of reports, as well as conclusions drawn since the publishing of those reports.
The project team determined that the key barriers to transparent border system implementation are 1) a lack of a mandate from top management or the low priority for commercial vehicle operations within various state agencies; 2) a lack of communication about the status of, need for, cost of, and benefits from intelligent vehicle highway system (IVHS) CVO initiatives between and within state agencies; 3) a lack of a compelling argument to expend scarce resources on IVHS CVO initiatives; and 4) a lack of standards for technologies and procedures needed for IVHS CVO.
To surmount these barriers requires that any selected course of action provide for: 1) affordable participation for both state agencies and private firms; 2) national leadership to initiate the program; 3) small and incremental program development steps to keep initial costs low, demonstrate early success, and build support for the system; 4) development of compelling arguments for implementation of the transparent borders program; 5) top management support for program implementation; and 6) dedicated funding for system development and implementation.
The project team recommends a phased implementation of an electronic credential verification system for all seven participating states. A description of the proposed system is included in this report.