Summary: S.2412 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/03/2000)

National Transportation Safety Board Amendments Act of 2000 - Amends Federal transportation law to authorize the National Transportation Safety Board to: (1) negotiate and enter into agreements with individuals and private entities and departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of Federal, 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 (2) require (as under current law) that such entities provide appropriate consideration for the reasonable costs of any facilities, goods, services, or (new law) training provided by the Board. Requires any amounts received as such consideration to be credited to the Board's appropriations as offsetting collections.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes the Board, for an employee whose basic pay equals or exceeds the minimum rate for GS-10 of the General Schedule, to establish an overtime hourly rate of time-and-a-half (which shall be considered premium pay), up to a specified annual limit, with respect to work performed at the scene of an accident (including travel to or from the scene) and other work critical to an accident investigation. Limits the total amount of overtime pay that can be paid out in any given fiscal year.

(Sec. 5) Extends to cockpit video recordings or written depictions of visual information the same disclosure limitations and requirements (including those applicable to discovery and use of such recordings or written depictions in judicial proceedings) that apply to cockpit voice recordings or transcripts of them. Extends such disclosure limitations and requirements to surface vehicle voice or video recorder recordings or transcripts 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.

(Sec. 6) Revises the Board's current investigative priority over other Federal agencies to require the Board to relinquish such priority to the Federal Bureau of Investigation if the Attorney General determines that circumstances reasonably indicate that the accident may have been caused by an intentional criminal act. Requires the Board to take necessary actions to ensure that evidence is preserved if a Federal law enforcement agency suspects and notifies the Board that an accident the Board is investigating may have been caused by an intentional criminal act.

(Sec. 7) Revises the duties and powers of the Board with respect to accidents involving public aircraft.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Board and the U.S. Coast Guard to revise their Memorandum of Understanding governing major marine accidents to: (1) to redefine or clarify the standards used to determine when the Board will lead an investigation; and (2) develop new standards to determine when a major marine accident involves significant safety issues relating to Coast Guard safety functions.

(Sec. 9) Directs the Chairman of the Board to establish annual fiscal year budgets for approved non-accident-related travel expenditures for Board members, and report annually to specified congressional committees on the non-accident-related travel of each Board member, with separate accounting for foreign and domestic travel.

(Sec. 10) Requires the Board Chairman to designate an officer or employee of the Board as the Chief Financial Officer, who shall perform specified duties.

(Sec. 11) Directs the Board to 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. Requires the improved internal audit controls, at a minimum, to address Board asset management systems, including systems for accounting management, debt collection, travel, and property and inventory management and control.

(Sec. 12) Grants the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation authority to review only the Board's financial management, property management, and business operations.

(Sec. 13) Authorizes appropriations for the Board through FY 2002. Increases from $1 million to $2 million the Board's emergency fund for accident investigations.

(Sec. 14) Requires the Secretary in determining whether a pilot meets certain aeronautical experience requirements for a pilot certificate or rating to take into account time spent by such pilot operating a public aircraft that meets certain criteria.

(Sec. 16) Declares that the publication by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of an interim final rule concerning Fees for FAA Services for Certain Flights (Docket No. FAA-00-7018) in the Federal Register of June 6, 2000, shall be deemed in compliance with certain publication and public comment requirements.

(Sec. 17) Sets forth requirements with respect to: (1) the continuation of sale prices (in effect as of September 30, 2000) for aeronautical maps and charts produced by the Office of Aeronautical Charting and Cartography of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and (2) the crediting of amounts received from the sale of aeronautical charts and related products and services.