Text: S.579 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 108-168 (12/06/2003)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 168]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ168.108]

[[Page 2031]]

    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2003

[[Page 117 STAT. 2032]]

Public Law 108-168
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To reauthorize the National Transportation Safety Board, and for other 
              purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 6, 2003 -  [S. 579]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: National Transportation 
Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2003.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 49 USC 1101 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Transportation Safety Board 
Reauthorization Act of 2003''.
SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) Fiscal Years 2003-2006.--Section 1118(a) of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking ``and''; and
            (2) by striking ``such sums to'' and inserting the 
        following: ``$73,325,000 for fiscal year 2003, $78,757,000 for 
        fiscal year 2004, $83,011,000 for fiscal year 2005, and 
        $87,539,000 for fiscal year 2006. Such sums shall''.

    (b) Emergency Fund.--Section 1118(b) of such title is amended by 
striking the second sentence and inserting the following: ``In addition, 
there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to 
increase the fund to, and maintain the fund at, a level not to exceed 
$4,000,000.''.
    (c) NTSB Academy.--Section 1118 of such title is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(c) Academy.--
            ``(1) Authorization.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Board for necessary expenses of the National 
        Transportation Safety Board Academy, not otherwise provided for, 
        $3,347,000 for fiscal year 2003, $4,896,000 for fiscal year 
        2004, $4,995,000 for fiscal year 2005, and $5,200,000 for fiscal 
        year 2006. Such sums shall remain available until expended.
            ``(2) Fees.--The Board may impose and collect such fees as 
        it determines to be appropriate for services provided by or 
        through the Academy.
            ``(3) Receipts credited as offsetting collections.--
        Notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, any fee collected 
        under this subsection--
                    ``(A) shall be credited as offsetting collections to 
                the account that finances the activities and services 
                for which the fee is imposed;
                    ``(B) shall be available for expenditure only to pay 
                the costs of activities and services for which the fee 
                is imposed; and
                    ``(C) shall remain available until expended.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2033]]

            ``(4) Refunds.--The Board may refund any fee paid by mistake 
        or any amount paid in excess of that required.

    ``(d) Report on Academy Operations.--The National Transportation 
Safety Board shall transmit an annual report to the Congress on the 
activities and operations of the National Transportation Safety Board 
Academy.''.
SEC. 3. ASSISTANCE TO FAMILIES OF PASSENGERS INVOLVED IN AIRCRAFT 
                    ACCIDENTS.

    (a) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--Section 1136 of title 
49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(j) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--
            ``(1) General rule.--This section (other than subsection 
        (g)) shall not apply to an aircraft accident if the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority under section 1131(a)(2)(B) 
        and the Federal agency to which the Board relinquished 
        investigative priority is willing and able to provide assistance 
        to the victims and families of the passengers involved in the 
        accident.
            ``(2) Board assistance.--If this section does not apply to 
        an aircraft accident because the Board has relinquished 
        investigative priority with respect to the accident, the Board 
        shall assist, to the maximum extent possible, the agency to 
        which the Board has relinquished investigative priority in 
        assisting families with respect to the accident.''.

    (b) Revision of MOU.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline. 49 USC 1131 
note.>> later than 1 year after the date of 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 section and 
shall submit a copy of the revised agreement to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
SEC. 4.  <<NOTE: 49 USC 1113 note.>> RELIEF FROM CONTRACTING 
                    REQUIREMENTS FOR INVESTIGATIONS SERVICES.

    (a) In General.--From <<NOTE: Effective date. Termination 
date.>> the date of enactment of this Act through September 30, 2006, 
the National Transportation Safety Board may enter into agreements or 
contracts under the authority of section 1113(b)(1)(B) of title 49, 
United States Code, for investigations conducted under section 1131 of 
that title without regard to any other provision of law requiring 
competition if necessary to expedite the investigation.

    (b) Report on Usage.--On <<NOTE: Deadline.>> February 1, 2006, the 
National Transportation Safety Board shall transmit a report to the 
House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, the Senate 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the Senate 
Committee on Governmental Affairs that--
            (1) describes each contract for $25,000 or more executed by 
        the Board to which the authority provided by subsection (a) was 
        applied; and
            (2) sets forth the rationale for dispensing with competition 
        requirements with respect to such contract.

[[Page 117 STAT. 2034]]

SEC. 5. ACCIDENT AND SAFETY DATA CLASSIFICATION AND PUBLICATION.

    Section 1119 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(c) Appeals.--
            ``(1) Notification of rights.--In any case in which an 
        employee of the Board determines that an occurrence associated 
        with the operation of an aircraft constitutes an accident, the 
        employee shall notify the owner or operator of that aircraft of 
        the right to appeal that determination to the Board.
            ``(2) Procedure.--The Board shall establish and publish the 
        procedures for appeals under this subsection.
            ``(3) Limitation on applicability.--This subsection shall 
        not apply in the case of an accident that results in a loss of 
        life.''.
SEC. 6. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION'S RESPONSES TO SAFETY 
                    RECOMMENDATIONS.

    Section 1135(d) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read 
as follows:
    ``(d) Reporting Requirements.--
            ``(1) Annual <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> secretarial regulatory 
        status reports.--On February 1 of each year, the Secretary shall 
        submit a report to Congress and the Board containing the 
        regulatory status of each recommendation made by the Board to 
        the Secretary (or to an Administration within the Department of 
        Transportation) that is on the Board's `most wanted list'. The 
        Secretary shall continue to report on the regulatory status of 
        each such recommendation in the report due on February 1 of 
        subsequent years until final regulatory action is taken on that 
        recommendation or the Secretary (or an Administration within the 
        Department) determines and states in such a report that no 
        action should be taken.
            ``(2) Failure to report.--If on March 1 of each year the 
        Board has not received the Secretary's report required by this 
        subsection, the Board shall notify the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate of the Secretary's failure to 
        submit the required report.
            ``(3) Termination.--This subsection shall cease to be in 
        effect after the report required to be filed on February 1, 
        2008, is filed.''.
SEC. 7. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

    Section 1131(a)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
moving subparagraphs (B) and (C) 4 ems to the left.
SEC. 8. DOT INSPECTOR GENERAL INVESTIGATIVE AUTHORITY.

    (a) In General.--Section 228 of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement 
Act of 1999 (113 Stat. 1773) <<NOTE: 5 USC app. 4 note; 49 USC 354.>> is 
transferred to, and added at the end of, subchapter III of chapter 3 of 
title 49, United States Code, as section 354 of that title.

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) The caption of the section is 
amended to read as follows:

[[Page 117 STAT. 2035]]

``Sec. 354. Investigative authority of Inspector General''.

    (2) The chapter analysis for chapter 3 of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``354. Investigative authority of Inspector General.''.

SEC. 9.  <<NOTE: Deadline. 49 USC 1135 note.>> REPORTS ON CERTAIN 
                    OPEN SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS.

    (a) Initial Report.--Within 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit a report to 
Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board containing the 
regulatory status of each open safety recommendation made by the Board 
to the Secretary concerning--
            (1) 15-passenger van safety;
            (2) railroad grade crossing safety; and
            (3) medical certifications for a commercial driver's 
        license.

    (b) Biennial Updates.--The Secretary shall continue to report on the 
regulatory status of each such recommendation (and any subsequent 
recommendation made by the Board to the Secretary concerning a matter 
described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a)) at 2-year 
intervals until--
            (1) final regulatory action has been taken on the 
        recommendation;
            (2) the Secretary determines, and states in the report, that 
        no action should be taken on that recommendation; or
            (3) the report, if any, required to be submitted in 2008 is 
        submitted.

    (c) Failure To Report.--If the Board has not received a report 
required to be submitted under subsection (a) or (b) within 30 days 
after the date on which that report is required to be submitted, the 
Board shall notify the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

    Approved December 6, 2003.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 579:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-53 (Comm. on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
            Nov. 21, considered and passed Senate and House.

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