// /70 - DOCUNbff BaU1 01786 - C 10518921 (Restricted) (Comments on R.3. 1157, A Bill to Provide Cargo Security for Property Transported in- !'terstate and. Foreign ComeEtce].. B-169347. Blach 29, 191i. W9. - Report to Rep. John s.o ruphy. Chirman, ouose ComiCttee on merchant marine and fieries -byb tobert P. Keller, Deput! Comptcoller goneral. Issue A*ra: Transportation System a4 Policelss: anagesent Practices in Transportation ricus (2605). Contacts Office of the General Coua 'lstransportation iew. Budget Function:. COserCOe and Trmsopottati ra: Other Advacesent and Regulat o0n of Commerce (403). Organizatio Concorned: Office of tSaeqooat and Budget; Interstate Commerce Commission; Deoprtment of the Treamsr'; Department of Trnsportation. Congressional Relevance: louse Committee on merchant a'aIne and Fisheries. Authority: Interstate Commerce Act, sec. 206, 220 (49 U.S.C. 304 _; 9 U.S.C. 320); 49 C.f.R. 1249; 40 Ped. lg. 51645. Federal Aviation Act (49 B.S.C. 13261 49 0.S.C. 1372: 49 U.S.C. 1377); 1- C.P.R. 239. rFderal Reports Act (P.L. 93-153; 64 U.S.C. 3501 (Supp. *)). 1.3. 10473 (96th Cong.). B.R. T17t (9Sth Cong.). 3R.. 1157, a bill to provide for improved cargo security for property transporCed nlinterstate and foreign, commerce, woual impose a degree of unreasonable and unnecesoary regulation and reporting on catrsle. Findings/Conclusions: Bzxsting statutory provisions e-pouer regulatory aqecies 'to requix fron carriers whatever loss and damage reports would be considered neeessary by the bill, The regulatory agencies would have no apparent use for the infonaotion they would colloct under certain sections of the bill. he. agencies that would use such infornation ought to collect it in. order to accomplish the purpose intended by the bill.. ke doubl. tier reporting requirements by two different agmRcies aS suggested in the proposed bill would perilt posible apl$i.tion and conflicts in standards of control. the responsibility for program evaluation should rest initally upon the responsible agencies, since such evaluation is a fundamental part of effective progasm administration. Recomaen-ations: Since the Office of Management and Budget (0B3) would review initial Department of Transportation plans requiring los and damage reports to be made to the regulatory agencies, OM ought to review all plans for the collection of loss and damage information. Congress should attempt to specify the kinds of information and tests needed to enable it to better assoa how such programs are working. (3RS) ·O ·at -r . Robert ghitsm -rwspe 2g~~R . 8-169347 "CE7-264 The Honorable John M. Murphy Chairman, Cmtittee on Merchant. Narine and Fkherles House of Represuntatives Dear Ir. Chairman: . I Your letter of Feor*;sy 3, 1977, requested our views and comments on H.R. 1157, 95th Congress, a bill To provide a comprehensive program- to improve cargo security for property being transported in interstate and foreign'commerce. H.R. 1157 is identical -to H.R. 10473, 94th Congress, on which our Office commented in a letter dated March 8, 1976, to the former Chairman of the Committee, the Honorable Leonor K. Sullivan. We believe '-hat our comments on H.R. 10473 are applicable to H.R. 1157, and these -mments are summarized herein. We recognize the probable need forincreased Federal-.involvement in the cargo security field in order to preserve the free flow of commerce. However, in our overall -view, the bill as drafted would Impose a degree of unreasonable and unnecessary regulation and reporting because of a decentralized flow. of information, possible duplication of reporting requirements, and duplication of review under the Federal Reports Act. Public Caw 93-153, 44 U.S.C. 3501 (Supp. V 1975). There are statutory provisions that seem to empower the regulatory agenc' es to require from carriers whatever loss and damage reports would be considered necessary by the bill; these agencies have published regulations, subject to our review, requiring such reports from many carriers. Examples include the ICC's regulations in 49 C.F.R. 1249.15 -(1974) as lmended 40 Fed. Reg. 51645, November 6, 1975, published under authority of sections 204 and 220 of the Interstate Commerce Act,. 49 'U.S.C. 304, 320; the.-FMC's regulations published under authority of 46 U.S.C. 812, 816, 820, and 841a in C.F.R. Part 546; and the CAB's regulations published in 14 C.F.R. Part 239 under sections 204, 402 and 407 of the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. 1324, 1372 and 1377. 8-169347 CED7-264 The regulatory agencies would have no apparent use for the end information they would collect pursuant to sections 101(a), 108, 109 of tne bill. These agencies would act as collecting agencies or as corduits for the flow of information under section 107(a) to DOT security and section 207(a) to the Treasury for use in the preparation of section standrds by DOT under section 101(a) and by the Treasury under 202(a); for use in the preparation of annual reports to the Congress under sections 105 and 205; and for use by the Office of Cargo Security for study and publication under section 302. To accomplish the purpose intended by the bill, perhaps the agencies that ould use the information ought to collect it. S;nce DOT and Treasury would promulgate the regulations containing the security standards with which the carriers would be required to comply, these Departments ~wold be in a better positon to know what information they wanted, and they would obtain it faster by obtaining it directly from the sources. It ;;so'appears that the regulations that would be issued by DOT the would be subject to review by OMB under the Federal Reports Act whileby reporting requirements of the regulatory agencies would be reviewed the Comptroller General. This double tier review of reporting require- ents by two different agencies would permit possible duplication and conflicts in standards of control and mright compound any duplication and complexity in reporting requirements. To avoid this we recommend loss that, since the OMB wnld review the initial DOT plans requiring · and damage reports to be made to the regulatory agencies, COB ought to review all plans and forms for the collection of loss and damage information including those proposed'under the bill and those that have been reviewed by the Comptroller General under Public Law 93-153 since 1973. Following are certain ardttional comments for consideration by the Comi ttee. Sections 101 and 202 of the bill provide for the issuance of cargo security and safety regulations by the Secretaries of Transportation and Treasury, respectively. Section 202 states that regulations issued under this section shall become effective 6 months after publication (unless additional time is granted by the Secretary of the Treasury) and provides procedures for the withdrawal of regulations previously issued under the section. A'e believe that similar provisions should be included in Section 101 of the bill. We also note that sections 101 and 202 do not prescribe maximum by the time frames for the initial issuance of Federal regulationsnecessary Secretaries. Since the issuance of such regulations is a precedent for implementation of otner provisions of the bill, the 2 B-169347' CED7-264 Coimttee my witsh to specify that the initial regulations be issued within a certain period. Since the begnning of the present cargo s-cu- rity program nearly 6 years ago, the epartment of Transportation has issued only three Cargo Security Advisory Standards, *.e last in February 1974. A nuiber of others have been under consideration fbr several years. Consideration also should be given to Including In sections 101 and 202 provisions for individual waivers of regulations issued. Experience with other regulatory program has shown that there are sometims circu- stances which my warrant the issuance of individual waivers for good cause, without doing violence '. the purpose of the act. Section 201 of the bill defines the tern person as used in title II, sections 203 and 204. The term should also be defined for use in title I, sections 102 and 103. Sections 105 and 205 of the bill would require separate annual re- ports to the Congress on the administration of titles I and II. These two titles pertain only tn the issuance and enforcment of regulations. We suggest that the bitll be amnded to require the Secretary of Trans- portation to subilt consolidated annual reports on the administration of the entire act, including, and perhaps most Importantly, titles III and IV which deal, respectively, with the establishment and operations of an Office of Cargo Security and an Interagency Council on Cargo Security, It .s our view that program evaluation. is.a fundamental part of ef- fective program administration and that the responsibility for evaluation should rest initially upon the responsible agencies. In line with this concept, we believe the Congress should attempt to specify the kinds of Information and tests which will enable it to better assess how well pro- gram are working and whether alternative approaches my offer greater promitse. Such informationrmight include: -- A compilation of cargo losses and trends; -- A lsltt of the regulations Issued, withdrawn, or waived during the year; -An evaluation of compliance with the regulations, includ1i^ the status of enforcement actions taken; -An analysis and evaluation of the research and deveiopment, education, and cooperation activtttes that took place during the year; and -- A sumary of outstanding problems facing administration of the act, along with proposed solutions. B-169347., CED7-264 We will be happy to work with the Camittee in developing specific language ifyou wish. Sections 108 and 109 of the bill would require reporting by water and motor carriers. We believe these sections should be Imnded to claritfy the following matters. (1) Will all cargo losses, by whatever mode of transportation, be reported in comparable tenrs (e.g., maged as a result of theft or atteapted theft, lost, mitssng, stolen, or pre- sumed stolen,' etc.), and in comparable time frames? (2) Siction 108, which deals with water carriers, speaks of 'periodic' reports o' 'cargo damaged, lost...' There ap- pears to be a need to iDecify the required reporting'period (e.g., 'quarterly' or "'annually') and to modify the term "cargo damaged" to specifically require reporting of cargo 'damaged as a result of theft or attemted theft.' (3) Similarly. section 109, which deals with motor carriers, speaks of reoorts of 'freight loss and damage claim.' We believe such reports should clearly show theft-related losss and cla'ms. Ti.le III of the bill would establish within the Department of Transpnrtation a separate 'Office of Cargo Security,' and transfer to It the runctions, powers, and duties of the present Office of Transportation Serurity. From 3n administrative efficiency standpoint, the Comnmttee '~sy wish to retain the present' Office of Transportato0n Security because i:s current responsibilities relate to both cargo and passenger security an'as. The passenger security activities are not involved in this bill. Sinsqly yours, [kpmt7 Comptroller General of the United States
Comments on H.R. 1157, A Bill To Provide Cargo Security for Property Transported in Interstate and Foreign Commerce
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-03-29.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)