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115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      115-623

======================================================================



 
                    FRA SAFETY DATA IMPROVEMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

 April 5, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4925]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4925) to require the Administrator 
of the Federal Railroad Administration to implement certain 
recommendations for management and collection of railroad 
safety data, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of Legislation...........................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Legislative History and Consideration............................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Advisory of Earmarks.............................................     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Federal Mandate Statement........................................     5
Preemption Clarification.........................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability of Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation.......................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                         PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION

    H.R. 4925, the FRA Safety Data Improvement Act, requires 
the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to develop a timeline 
and plan to implement improvements to its safety data 
collection and reporting. The bill requires FRA to implement 
recommendations from the Department of Transportation Inspector 
General (DOT IG) Report Number ST2017045.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Railroad safety is a top priority for the Committee, and 
effectively tracking and identifying safety risks helps to 
mitigate future accidents and incidents. In May 2017, the DOT 
IG published a report that outlined issues with FRA's 
collection and reporting of safety data. The report assessed 
FRA's: (1) guidance for reporting accident and incident data; 
and (2) audits for ensuring compliance with accident and 
incident reporting requirements. The DOT IG's report made a 
series of recommendations to help FRA improve its safety data 
collection and reporting, outlining seven main areas of 
concern.
    Railroads are required to report information on accidents 
and incidents to FRA that meet or exceed parameters listed in 
Part 225. In 2015, there were over 100 Part 225 violations and 
more than 1,600 reporting defects identified by FRA inspectors. 
The DOT IG reported that differences in reporting requirements 
led to confusion for railroads and caused issues in accurate 
data reporting. FRA should update reporting guidance so users 
can more efficiently and accurately identify reporting 
requirements for different accident and incident types and 
better understand the definitions of terms used on reporting 
forms.
    The DOT IG found that FRA lacks routine training, Web-
accessible training, or other outreach programs available to 
railroad reporting officers. According to the DOT IG, this 
training could enhance reporting officers' understanding of key 
reporting requirements and common reporting errors. The lack of 
universal training can result in railroad reporting officers 
inadvertently omitting pertinent information. The DOT IG also 
articulated that the organization of FRA's Guide for Preparing 
Accident/Incident Reports increases the risk that a reporting 
officer may miss a requirement or interpret it differently.
    Additionally, the DOT IG recommends that FRA develop and 
implement a standard method for identifying and listing 
railroads in each FRA region subject to 49 CFR Part 225 
requirements; create and implement procedures for tracking 49 
CFR Part 225 audits of non-Class I railroads and identifying 
entities exempt from 49 CFR Part 225 reporting requirements; 
and establish a risk-based prioritization for auditing non-
Class I railroads every 5 years, which should include a 
determination of whether any higher-risk non-Class I railroads 
should be audited more frequently. The DOT IG also recommended 
that FRA formalize the 49 CFR Part 225 audit process with 
written guidance that identifies basic procedures, standards of 
evidence, and common sources of information, along with a 
process to update these standards and reevaluate audit 
priorities or scope when necessary. Lastly, the DOT IG 
recommended that FRA develop and initiate regular training to 
FRA staff responsible for 49 CFR Part 225 audits and establish 
a procedure to update the training when necessary.
    Effective tracking of rail accidents and incidents is 
integral to improving rail safety. FRA must strive to reduce 
reporting violations and defects, and underscore the importance 
of quality data. While FRA has guidance established for 
railroads, improvements can be made to ensure that reporting 
requirements are better understood by railroads.

                                HEARINGS

    There were no hearings related to this legislation in the 
House.

                 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND CONSIDERATION

    On February 5, 2018, Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) 
introduced H.R. 4925, the FRA Safety Data Improvement Act. On 
February 14, 2018, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 4925. The 
Committee reported the bill without amendment favorably to the 
House by voice vote with a quorum present.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes associated with this 
bill.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

               NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974, included below.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4925 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 7, 2018.
Hon. Bill Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4925, the FRA 
Safety Data Improvement Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sarah Puro.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4925--FRA Safety Data Improvement Act

    H.R. 4925 would require the Federal Railroad Administration 
(FRA) to develop a plan to comply with seven recommendations of 
the Department of Transportation's inspector general regarding 
the management and collection of safety data. The bill would 
require FRA to report annually to the Congress on compliance 
with the recommendations.
    Under current law, CBO expects that FRA will implement the 
recommendations of the inspector general regarding the 
management and collection of safety data. FRA has already 
complied with five of those recommendations and using 
information from FRA, CBO expects that the agency will comply 
with the remaining two during 2018. As a result, CBO estimates 
that enacting the provisions of the bill would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget over the 2018-2022 
period.
    Enacting H.R. 4925 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4925 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 4925 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Sarah Puro. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of this legislation are to 
ensure that the FRA implement improvements to its safety data 
collection and reporting.

                          ADVISORY OF EARMARKS

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. No 
provision in the bill, as amended, includes an earmark, limited 
tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit under clause 9(e), 9(f), 
or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                    DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Pursuant to section 3(g) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 4925 establishes 
or reauthorizes a program of the federal government known to be 
duplicative of another federal program, a program that was 
included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-
139, or a program related to a program identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 4925, as amended, 
does not specifically direct the completion of a specific rule 
making within the meaning of section 551 of title 5, United 
States Code.

                       FEDERAL MANDATE STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 4925, as amended, 
does not preempt any state, local, or tribal law. H.R. 4925, as 
amended, preserves the rights and permitting authorities of 
states.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation, as amended.

                  APPLICABILITY OF LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation, as amended, does 
not relate to the terms and conditions of employment or access 
to public services or accommodations within the meaning of 
section 102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act 
(Public Law 104-1).

               SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    This section designates the short title of the bill as the 
``FRA Safety Data Improvement Act''.

Section 2. Recommendations for management and collection of railroad 
        safety data

    This section directs the Administrator of FRA to develop a 
plan, and a timeline to carry out the plan, to implement the 
recommendations from the DOT IG Report Number ST2017045.
    No later than 180 days after the date the bill is enacted, 
the FRA must submit the plan and timeline to Congress.
    The FRA must annually update Congress on its implementation 
progress until it is completed.

Section 3. No additional funds authorized

    This section lays out that no additional funds are 
authorized to carry out the requirements of the bill.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 4925 makes no changes in existing law.

                                  [all]