Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2412 (es) To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Senate] ...

S. 2412 (es) To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Senate] ...


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        S.2412

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
 To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for 
 the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 
                 2002, and 2003, 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 2000''.
    (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 individuals 
        and private entities and departments, agencies, and 
        instrumentalities of the Government, State and local 
        governments, and governments of foreign countries for the 
        provision of facilities, accident-related and technical 
        services or training in accident investigation theory and 
        techniques, and require that such entities provide appropriate 
        consideration for the reasonable costs of any facilities, 
        goods, services, or training provided by the Board.''.
    (b) Deposit of Amounts.--
        (1) Section 1113(b)(2) is amended--
            (A) by inserting ``as offsetting collections'' after ``to 
        be credited''; and
            (B) by adding after ``Board.'' the following: ``The Board 
        shall maintain an annual record of collections received under 
        paragraph (1)(I) of this subsection.''.
        (2) Section 1114(a) is amended--
            (A) by inserting ``(1)'' before ``Except''; and
            (B) by adding at the end thereof the following:
        ``(2) The Board shall deposit in the Treasury amounts received 
    under paragraph (1) to be credited to the appropriation of the 
    Board as offsetting collections.''.
        (3) Section 1115(d) is amended by striking ``of the `National 
    Transportation Safety Board, Salaries and Expenses''' and inserting 
    ``of the Board''.

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 any fiscal year in a total amount that exceeds 1.5 
    percent of the amount appropriated to carry out this chapter for 
    that fiscal year.
        ``(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, 2002, and 
    annually thereafter, the Board shall transmit to the Senate 
    Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House 
    Transportation and Infrastructure Committee 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 that 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) by striking ``Voice'' in the subsection heading;
        (2) by striking ``cockpit voice recorder'' in paragraphs (1) 
    and (2) and inserting ``cockpit voice or video recorder''; and
        (3) by inserting ``or any written depiction of visual 
    information'' after ``transcript'' in the second sentence of 
    paragraph (1).
    (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 (e) 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) by striking the section heading and inserting the 
        following:
``Sec. 1154. Discovery and use of cockpit and surface vehicle 
    recordings and transcripts'';
            (B) by striking ``cockpit voice recorder'' each place it 
        appears in subsection (a) and inserting ``cockpit or surface 
        vehicle recorder'';
            (C) by striking ``section 1114(c)'' each place it appears 
        in subsection (a) and inserting ``section 1114(c) or 1114(d)''; 
        and
             (D) by adding at the end the following:
        ``(6) In this subsection:
            ``(A) Recorder.--The term `recorder' means a voice or video 
        recorder.
            ``(B) Transcript.--The term `transcript' includes any 
        written depiction of visual information obtained from a video 
        recorder.''.
        (2) Conforming amendment.--The chapter analysis 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.''.

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 Federal law enforcement agency suspects and 
        notifies the Board that an accident being investigated by the 
        Board under subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) 
        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. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING.

    Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the National Transportation Safety Board and the United States Coast 
Guard shall revise their Memorandum of Understanding governing major 
marine accidents--
        (1) to redefine or clarify the standards used to determine when 
    the National Transportation Safety Board will lead an 
    investigation; and
        (2) to develop new standards to determine when a major marine 
    accident involves significant safety issues relating to Coast Guard 
    safety functions.

SEC. 9. TRAVEL BUDGETS.

    The Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board shall 
establish annual fiscal year budgets for non-accident-related travel 
expenditures for Board members which shall be approved by the Board and 
submitted to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation and to the House of Representatives Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure together with an annual report 
detailing the non-accident-related travel of each Board member. The 
report shall include separate accounting for foreign and domestic 
travel, including any personnel or other expenses associated with that 
travel.

SEC. 10. CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER.

    Section 1111 is amended--
        (1) by redesignating subsection (h) as subsection (i); and
        (2) by inserting after subsection (g) the following:
    ``(h) Chief Financial Officer.--The Chairman shall designate an 
officer or employee of the Board as the Chief Financial Officer. The 
Chief Financial Officer shall--
        ``(1) report directly to the Chairman on financial management 
    and budget execution;
        ``(2) direct, manage, and provide policy guidance and oversight 
    on financial management and property and inventory control; and
        ``(3) review the fees, rents, and other charges imposed by the 
    Board for services and things of value it provides, and suggest 
    appropriate revisions to those charges to reflect costs incurred by 
    the Board in providing those services and things of value.''.

SEC. 11. IMPROVED AUDIT PROCEDURES.

    The National Transportation Safety Board, in consultation with the 
Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, shall develop 
and implement comprehensive internal audit controls for its financial 
programs based on the findings and recommendations of the private 
sector audit firm contract entered into by the Board in March, 2000. 
The improved internal audit controls shall, at a minimum, address Board 
asset management systems, including systems for accounting management, 
debt collection, travel, and property and inventory management and 
control.

SEC. 12. 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, property 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 

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