Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2910 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 2910 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 2910

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for 
 the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 
                   and 2002, and for other purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2910

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for 
 the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 
                   and 2002, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``National 
Transportation Safety Board Amendments Act of 1999''.
    (b) References.--Except as otherwise specifically provided, 
whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an 
amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision of law, the 
reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other 
provision of title 49, United States Code.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 1101 is amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 1101. Definitions
    ``Section 2101(17a) of title 46 and section 40102(a) of this title 
apply to this chapter. In this chapter, the term `accident' includes 
damage to or destruction of vehicles in surface or air transportation 
or pipelines, regardless of whether the initiating event is accidental 
or otherwise.''.

SEC. 3. AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 1113(b)(1)(I) is amended to read as 
follows:
            ``(I) negotiate and enter into agreements with private 
        entities and departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of 
        the Government, State and local governments, and governments of 
        foreign countries for the provision of technical services or 
        training in accident investigation theory and technique, and 
        require that such entities provide appropriate consideration 
        for the reasonable costs of any goods, services, or training 
        provided by the Board.''.
    (b) Deposit of Amounts.--Section 1114(a) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' before ``Except''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(2) The Board shall deposit in the Treasury amounts received 
under paragraph (1). Such amounts shall be available to the Board as 
provided in appropriations Acts.''.

SEC. 4. OVERTIME PAY.

    Section 1113 is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(g) Overtime Pay.--
            ``(1) In general.--Subject to the requirements of this 
        section and notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 
        5542(a) of title 5, for an employee of the Board whose basic 
        pay is at a rate which equals or exceeds the minimum rate of 
        basic pay for GS-10 of the General Schedule, the Board may 
        establish an overtime hourly rate of pay for the employee with 
        respect to work performed at the scene of an accident 
        (including travel to or from the scene) and other work that is 
        critical to an accident investigation in an amount equal to one 
        and one-half times the hourly rate of basic pay of the 
        employee. All of such amount shall be considered to be premium 
        pay.
            ``(2) Limitation on overtime pay to an employee.--An 
        employee of the Board may not receive overtime pay under 
        paragraph (1), for work performed in a calendar year, in an 
        amount that exceeds 15 percent of the annual rate of basic pay 
        of the employee for such calendar year.
            ``(3) Limitation on total amount of overtime pay.--The 
        Board may not make overtime payments under paragraph (1), for 
        work performed in a calendar year, in a total amount that 
        exceeds $570,000.
            ``(4) Basic pay defined.--In this subsection, the term 
        `basic pay' includes any applicable locality-based 
        comparability payment under section 5304 of title 5 (or similar 
        provision of law) and any special rate of pay under section 
        5305 of title 5 (or similar provision of law).
            ``(5) Annual report.--Not later than January 31, 2001, and 
        annually thereafter, the Board shall transmit to Congress a 
        report identifying the total amount of overtime payments made 
        under this subsection in the preceding fiscal year and the 
        number of employees whose overtime pay under this 
subsection was limited in such fiscal year as a result of the 15 
percent limit established by paragraph (2).''.

SEC. 5. RECORDERS.

    (a) Cockpit Video Recordings.--Section 1114(c) is amended--
            (1) in the subsection heading by striking ``Voice'';
            (2) in paragraphs (1) and (2) by striking ``cockpit voice 
        recorder'' and inserting ``cockpit voice or video recorder''; 
        and
            (3) in the second sentence of paragraph (1) by inserting 
        ``or any written depiction of visual information'' after 
        ``transcript''.
    (b) Surface Vehicle Recordings and Transcripts.--
            (1) In general.--Section 1114 is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as 
                subsections (e) and (f), respectively; and
                    (B) by inserting after subsection (c) the 
                following:
    ``(d) Surface Vehicle Recordings and Transcripts.--
            ``(1) Confidentiality of recordings.--The Board may not 
        disclose publicly any part of a surface vehicle voice or video 
        recorder recording or transcript of oral communications by or 
        among drivers, train employees, or other operating employees 
        responsible for the movement and direction of the vehicle or 
        vessel, or between such operating employees and company 
        communication centers, related to an accident investigated by 
        the Board. However, the Board shall make public any part of a 
        transcript or any written depiction of visual information that 
        the Board decides is relevant to the accident--
                    ``(A) if the Board holds a public hearing on the 
                accident, at the time of the hearing; or
                    ``(B) if the Board does not hold a public hearing, 
                at the time a majority of the other factual reports on 
                the accident are placed in the public docket.
            ``(2) References to information in making safety 
        recommendations.--This subsection does not prevent the Board 
        from referring at any time to voice or video recorder 
        information in making safety recommendations.''.
            (2) Conforming amendment.--The first sentence of section 
        1114(a) is amended by striking ``and (e)'' and inserting ``(d), 
        and (f)''.
    (c) Discovery and Use of Cockpit and Surface Vehicle Recordings and 
Transcripts.--
            (1) In general.--Section 1154 is amended--
                    (A) in the section heading by striking ``cockpit 
                voice and other material'' and inserting ``cockpit and 
                surface vehicle recordings and transcripts'';
                    (B) in subsection (a)--
                            (i) by striking ``cockpit voice recorder'' 
                        each place it appears and inserting ``cockpit 
                        or surface vehicle recorder'';
                            (ii) by striking ``section 1114(c)'' each 
                        place it appears and inserting ``section 
                        1114(c) or 1114(d)''; and
                            (iii) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(6) In this subsection--
            ``(A) the term `recorder' means a voice or video recorder; 
        and
            ``(B) the term `transcript' includes any written depiction 
        of visual information obtained from a video recorder.''.
            (2) Conforming amendment.--The table of sections for 
        chapter 11 is amended by striking the item relating to section 
        1154 and inserting the following:

``1154. Discovery and use of cockpit and surface vehicle recordings and 
                            transcripts.''.
    (d) Requirements for Installation and Use of Recording Devices.--
Section 329 is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e) Requirements for Installation and Use of Recording Devices.--
A requirement for the installation and use of an automatic voice, 
video, or data recording device on an aircraft, vessel, or surface 
vehicle shall not be construed to be the collection of information for 
the purpose of any Federal law or regulation, if the requirement--
            ``(1) meets a safety need for the automatic recording of 
        realtime voice or data experience that is restricted to a fixed 
        period of the most recent operation of the aircraft, vessel, or 
        surface vehicle;
            ``(2) does not place a periodic reporting burden on any 
        person; and
            ``(3) does not necessitate the collection and preservation 
        of data separate from the device.''.

SEC. 6. PRIORITY OF INVESTIGATIONS.

    (a) In General.--Section 1131(a)(2) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(2) An investigation'' and inserting 
        ``(2)(A) Subject to the requirements of this paragraph, an 
        investigation''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(B) If the Attorney General, in consultation with the Chairman of 
the Board, determines and notifies the Board that circumstances 
reasonably indicate that the accident may have been caused by an 
intentional criminal act, the Board shall relinquish investigative 
priority to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The relinquishment of 
investigative priority by the Board shall not otherwise affect the 
authority of the Board to continue its investigation under this 
section.
    ``(C) If a law enforcement agency suspects and notifies the Board 
that an accident being investigated by the Board under paragraph (1)(A) 
through (D) may have been caused by an intentional criminal act, the 
Board, in consultation with the law enforcement agency, shall take 
necessary actions to ensure that evidence of the criminal act is 
preserved.''.
    (b) Revision of 1977 Agreement.--Not later than 1 year after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the National Transportation Safety 
Board and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall revise their 1977 
agreement on the investigation of accidents to take into account the 
amendments made by this Act.

SEC. 7. PUBLIC AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATION CLARIFICATION.

    Section 1131(d) is amended by striking ``1134(b)(2)'' and inserting 
``1134(a), (b), (d), and (f)''.

SEC. 8. AUTHORITY OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 11 of subtitle II is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 1137. Authority of the Inspector General
    ``(a) In General.--The Inspector General of the Department of 
Transportation, in accordance with the mission of the Inspector General 
to prevent and detect fraud and abuse, shall have authority to review 
only the financial management and business operations of the National 
Transportation Safety Board, including internal accounting and 
administrative control systems, to determine compliance with applicable 
Federal laws, rules, and regulations.
    ``(b) Duties.--In carrying out this section, the Inspector General 
shall--
            ``(1) keep the Chairman of the Board and Congress fully and 
        currently informed about problems relating to administration of 
        the internal accounting and administrative control systems of 
        the Board;
            ``(2) issue findings and recommendations for actions to 
        address such problems; and
            ``(3) report periodically to Congress on any progress made 
        in implementing actions to address such problems.
    ``(c) Access to Information.--In carrying out this section, the 
Inspector General may exercise authorities granted to the Inspector 
General under subsections (a) and (b) of section 6 of the Inspector 
General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).
    ``(d) Reimbursement.--The Inspector General shall be reimbursed by 
the Board for the costs associated with carrying out activities under 
this section.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for such 
subchapter is amended by adding at the end the following:

``1137. Authority of the Inspector General.''.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    Section 1118(a) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated for the 
purposes of this chapter $57,000,000 for fiscal year 2000, $65,000,000 
for fiscal year 2001, and $72,000,000 for fiscal year 2002. Such sums 
remain available until expended.''.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 30, 1999.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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