[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 104 (Wednesday, May 30, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31866-31867]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12959]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Transportation Security Administration


Intent To Request Approval From OMB of One New Public Collection 
of Information: Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) 
Program for Public Transportation Systems

AGENCY: Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

ACTION: 60-day Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invites 
public comment on a new Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted 
below that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for approval in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The 
ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected 
burden. This voluntary collection allows TSA to conduct transportation 
security-related assessments during site visits with security and 
operating officials of transit agencies.

DATES: Send your comments by July 30, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be emailed to TSAPRA@dhs.gov or delivered to 
the TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, 
Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, 
Arlington, VA 20598-6011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Perkins at the above address, or 
by telephone (571) 227-3398.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is 
not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it 
displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available 
at www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and 
approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting 
comments to--
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms 
of information technology.

Information Collection Requirement

Purpose of Data Collection

    Approximately 6,000 transit service providers, commuter railroads, 
and long distance passenger railroad providers operate in the United 
States.\1\ Mass transit and passenger rail systems provide 
transportation services through buses, rail transit, commuter rail, 
long-distance rail, and other, less common types of service (cable 
cars, inclined planes, funiculars, and automated guideway systems). 
These systems can also include ``demand response services'' for seniors 
and persons with disabilities, as well as vanpool/rideshare programs 
and taxi services operated under contract with a public transportation 
agency.
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    \1\ TSA, ``Transportation Sector-Specific Plan Mass Transit 
Modal Annex'', page 4 (May 2007).
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    TSA is required to ``assess the security of each surface 
transportation mode and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of 
current Federal Government surface transportation

[[Page 31867]]

security initiatives.'' E.O. 13416, sec. 3(a) (Dec. 5, 2006). While 
many transit systems have security and emergency response plans or 
protocols in place, no single database exists, nor is there a 
consistent approach to evaluating the extent to which security programs 
are in place across public transportation systems.
    TSA developed the Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement 
(BASE) program for public transportation systems to evaluate the status 
of security and emergency response programs throughout the nation.\2\ 
In particular, a BASE review assesses the security measures of public 
transportation systems and gathers data used by TSA to address its 
responsibilities, such as evaluating ``effectiveness and efficiency of 
current Federal Government surface transportation security 
initiatives'' and developing modal specific annexes to the 
Transportation Systems Sector Specific Plan that include ``an 
identification of existing security guidelines and requirements and any 
security gaps * * *'' E.O. 13416, sec. 3(c)(i). Reflecting its risk-
based prioritization, TSA primarily conducts BASE reviews on the top 
100 transit systems in the country, as identified by the Federal 
Transit Administration (FTA).\3\
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    \2\ A separate program within TSA also conducts BASE reviews to 
assess security measures related to highway transportation, notice 
of which will be published separately in the Federal Register.
    \3\ A current list of the top 100 transit systems can be viewed 
on the National Transit Database Web site at http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/.
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Description of Data Collection

    TSA's Surface Transportation Security Inspectors (STSIs) conduct 
BASE reviews during site visits with security and operating officials 
of transit and passenger rail systems. The STSIs capture and document 
relevant information using a standardized electronic checklist. Advance 
coordination and planning ensures the efficiency of the assessment 
process. As part of this, transit and passenger rail systems may also 
obtain a checklist in advance from TSA and conduct self-assessments of 
their security readiness. All BASE reviews are done on a voluntary 
basis.
    The BASE checklist guides the collection of information and 
encompasses review of security plans, programs, and procedures employed 
by transit and passenger rail systems in implementing the recommended 
TSA/FTA Security and Emergency Management Action Items for Transit 
Agencies (Action Items).\4\ During a review, STSIs collect information 
from the review of transit and passenger rail system documents, plans, 
and procedures; interviews with appropriate public transportation 
agency personnel, to gain process insight; and system observations 
prompted by questions raised during the document review and interview 
stages. TSA subject matter experts can then analyze this information. 
If information in completed assessments meets the requirements of 49 
CFR parts 15 and 1520, which would mean that disclosure of the 
information would be detrimental to the security of transportation, TSA 
will designate and mark the data as ``Sensitive Security Information,'' 
and protect it in accordance with the requirements set forth in those 
regulations.
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    \4\ Action Items are available for download at http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/mass_transit_action_items.pdf.
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Use of Results

    A BASE review evaluates a public transportation agency's security 
program components using a two-phased approach: (1) Field collection of 
information, and (2) analysis/evaluation of collected information. The 
information collected by TSA through BASE reviews strengthens the 
security of transit and passenger rail systems by supporting security 
program development (including grant programs), and the analysis/
evaluation provides a consistent road map for transit and passenger 
rail systems to address security and emergency program vulnerabilities. 
In addition, a public transportation system that undergoes a BASE 
assessment review is provided with a report of results that can be used 
by the system to identify and prioritize vulnerabilities to enhance 
security.
    Specifically, the information collected will be used as follows:
    1. To develop a baseline understanding of a public transportation 
agency's security and emergency management processes, procedures, 
policies, programs, and activities against security requirements and 
recommended security practices published by TSA and FTA.
    2. To enhance a public transportation agency's overall security 
posture through collaborative review and discussion of existing 
security activities, identification of areas of potential weakness or 
vulnerability, and development of remedial recommendations and courses 
of action.
    3. To identify programs and protocols implemented by a public 
transportation agency that represent an ``effective'' or ``smart'' 
security practice warranting sharing with the transit and passenger 
rail community as a whole to foster general enhancement of security in 
the mass transit and passenger rail mode.
    4. To inform TSA's development of security strategies, priorities, 
and programs for the most effective application of available resources, 
including funds distributed under the Transit Security Grant Program, 
to enhance security in the Nation's transit and passenger rail systems.
    While TSA has not set a limit on the number of public 
transportation system BASE program reviews to conduct, TSA estimates it 
will conduct approximately 100 public transportation system BASE 
reviews on an annual basis and does not intend to conduct more than one 
BASE review per transit or passenger rail system in a single year. The 
total hour burden dedicated to the assessment and collection of 
security-related documents for review varies depending upon the size of 
the system and scope of its security program and activities. The hours 
estimated represent a sampling of BASE reviews completed in 2010. The 
sampling was derived from 15 public transportation agencies varying in 
size from small to large. Actual inspection hours were utilized in the 
sampling. TSA estimates that the hour burden per public transportation 
agency to engage its security and/or operating officials with 
inspectors in the interactive BASE program review process is 
approximately 18 hours for a small public transportation agency, 
approximately 144 hours for a large public transportation agency, and 
approximately 46 hours for a moderately-sized agency. Thus, the total 
annual hour burden for the BASE program review (140 agencies 
identified) is estimated on the low end of 2520 hours (140 x 18 = 2520) 
annually and the high end of 6440 hours (140 x 46 = 6440) annually. 
This number will most likely increase as additional public 
transportation agencies volunteer to participate.

    Issued in Arlington, Virginia, on May 23, 2012.
Susan Perkins,
TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
[FR Doc. 2012-12959 Filed 5-29-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-05-P