On-demand car service and logistics company Uber has retained former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani to conduct an audit on its driver background check process.
Recently, some of Uber’s drivers have stirred up negative press with stories of passengers being kidnapped and causing accidents. Uber says it wants to be the “gold standard” of safety, and it has been mulling over a third-party audit for a long time. It has asked Giuliani and his team at Giuliani Partners to look into its process of retaining drivers for the next few months, after which Uber will make the results public.
Uber currently requires all its drivers, even Uber Black and SUV drivers who are obtained through licensed livery partners, to undergo a three-prong security screening at the county, multi-state and federal levels.
In 2014, Uber is expected to conduct 2 million background checks. Walmart, by comparison, conducts about 1 million per year. Giuliani Partners specialises in safety, which is why Uber selected the former mayor for the audit.
“Being a leader means putting our processes under scrutiny of outside parties,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick writes of the audit. “Therefore, we are undergoing an audit by former Mayor of New York City Rudolph W. Giuliani and his security team at Giuliani Partners, who will review Uber’s driver background check process and related systems. The result will be a checkup on existing processes and a series of recommendations for potential improvement — which Mayor Giuliani will work with us to implement — as we continue to build and scale strong, industry-leading safety systems.”
Giuliani Partners spokesperson Joann Zafonte could not immediately be reached for comment.
Here’s the full Uber blog post about the audit:
— Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Safety is foundational to the Uber experience — for both riders and drivers. From GPS-pinpointing and tracking of rides to safe, cashless payments and rider safety ratings and feedback, we’re putting technology to work to deliver the safest ride on the road.
Part of putting safety first is our process for screening every driver on the platform. We have developed a multi-component background check process that leads the industry. All ridesharing and licensed livery partners must undergo background checks, which include three levels of screening — county, multi-state and federal. This is in addition to regulatory agency background checks required for licensed livery partners.
But being a leader means putting our processes under scrutiny of outside parties. Therefore, we are undergoing an audit by former Mayor of New York City Rudolph W. Giuliani and his security team at Giuliani Partners, who will review Uber’s driver background check process and related systems. The result will be a checkup on existing processes and a series of recommendations for potential improvement — which Mayor Giuliani will work with us to implement — as we continue to build and scale strong, industry-leading safety systems.
“Uber’s leadership is not only open to, but eager to identify avenues for improved safety and security for its customers. As Uber moves into its next phase of growth, they are poised to elevate the safety experience for the entire transportation industry.”
Mayor Giuliani’s review will be rigorous and span months, and we are confident he will bring his renowned toughness to this review.
As a four-year-old startup, we work hard to learn quickly from challenges and deploy solutions. Uber will complete an estimated 2 million background checks in 2014, more than nearly any other private company. The sheer volume of trips and large number of drivers on the system are responsibilities we take seriously — and we remain committed to continually raising the bar on safety.
For more information, please visit our safety information site.