Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2412 (is) 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. [Introduced in Senate] ...

S. 2412 (is) 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. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2412

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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.

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