[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 110 (Wednesday, June 7, 2000)]
[Pages 36215-36218]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-14362]



Coast Guard


Recreational Boating Safety Projects, Programs and Activities 
Funded Under Provisions of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century; Accounting of

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Subsection (c) of section 7405 of the Transportation Equity 
Act for the 21st Century makes $5,000,000 available each of five fiscal 
years to the Secretary of Transportation for personnel and activities 
directly related to coordinating and carrying out the national 
recreational boating safety program. The Act also requires that the 
Secretary publish annually in the Federal Register a detailed 
accounting of the projects, programs, and activities under this 
subsection. This is the first report.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of this notice by calling the U. S. 
Coast Guard Infoline at 1-800-368-5647. This notice is available on the 
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or at the Web Site for the Office of 
Boating Safety at URL address www.uscgboating.org.

Chief, Office of Boating Safety, telephone 202-267-1077, fax 202-267-
4285, or Mr. Albert J. Marmo, Chief, Program Management Division, 
telephone 202-267-0950, fax 202-267-4285.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century became law on June 9, 1998. The Act requires that of the $5 
million made available to carry out the national recreational boating 
safety program, $2,000,000 shall be available only to ensure compliance 
with chapter 43 of title 46, U.S. Code--Recreational Vessels. This 
responsibility is delegated to the Commandant of the United States 
Coast Guard. The statute directs that no funds available to the 
Secretary under this subsection may be used to replace funding 
traditionally provided through general appropriations, nor for any 
purposes except those purposes authorized by this section. Amounts made 
available each fiscal year, 1999-2003, shall remain available until 
expended. Upon passage of the Act the U.S. Coast Guard Office of 
Boating Safety began the process of developing basic spending plans for 
this new source of revenue. For accounting purposes, funding was 
divided into two program elements: Boat Safety Compliance and National 
Recreational Boating Safety Program. Use of these funds entails 
compliance with standard Federal contracting rules with associated lead 
and processing times resulting in a lag time between available funds 
and spending. An accounting of the use of the funds to date follows, 
including a narrative summary and a table that reflects commitment, 
obligation, or expenditure of fiscal years 1999 and 2000 funds.

Boat Safety Compliance

Factory Visit Program

    A contract was awarded to establish a national recreational boat 
factory visit program using contractor personnel. The contract includes 
the development

[[Page 36216]]

of a plan of action and a pilot program to validate the elements of the 
plan and the concept of the program. The plan was completed at a cost 
of $133,912.55 using fiscal year 1999 funding. The pilot program will 
commence in the summer of 2000. The factory visit program will allow 
contractor personnel, acting on behalf of the Coast Guard, to visit 
approximately 2,000 recreational boat manufacturers each year to 
communicate with the manufacturers as to why they need to comply with 
the Federal regulations, educate them, as necessary, on how to comply 
with the Federal regulations, and inspect for compliance with the 
Federal regulations.

Associated Equipment Compliance Testing

    Currently, the Office of Boating Safety conducts compliance testing 
by purchasing recreational boats in the open market and testing them 
for compliance with the Federal flotation standards. As a new 
initiative, the Office of Boating Safety is planning to buy 
recreational boat ``associated equipment,'' e.g., starters, 
alternators, fuel pumps, bilge pumps, etc., and test this equipment for 
compliance with Federal safety regulations. The anticipated annual cost 
of this multi-year effort is estimated at $100,000. To date $44,000 of 
fiscal year 1999 funds have been expended, and $83,000 of fiscal year 
2000 funds has been committed for this testing.

Articulated Mannequins/Computer Simulation Model

    The objective of this multi-year program is to improve the safety 
of recreational boaters by encouraging the design of new/unique 
personal flotation devices (PFDs) through the development of a computer 
simulation program to evaluate the effectiveness of new/unique PFD 
designs. The computer simulation program will be validated through the 
use of a family of anthropomorphic articulated mannequins. Fiscal year 
1999 funding for this effort is $300,000.

Compliance Associated Travel

    Travel is being performed to carry out additional compliance 
actions and to gather background and planning information for proposed 
compliance initiatives or to research possible new compliance 
initiatives. Fiscal year 1999 funding for this travel has amounted to 

New Boat Manufacturer Outreach Package

    A fiscal year 1999 contract for $357,582.34 was awarded to design 
and develop a comprehensive and user friendly outreach package for 
distribution to new recreational boat manufacturers. Included will be a 
brochure and video that will outline the many facets of the 
recreational boat manufacturing business, including, Federal 
regulations, voluntary standards, self-certification, financial 
aspects, insurance concerns, liability issues, points of contact and 
the steps necessary to become a new recreational boat manufacturer. The 
package will also include plain language guidelines that help clarify 
Federal requirements. The new outreach package is expected to increase 
the level of compliance with the Federal regulations among new 
recreational boat manufacturers.

Risk Analysis Study

    This effort will develop a risk-based compliance approval process 
for Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) using a Life Saving Index 
methodology. Fiscal year 1999 funding for this project amounted to 
$229,465.64. The results of this effort will provide a formal structure 
and consistency to the process for accepting new approaches to 
designing devices for drowning prevention. The risk-based process 
identifies critical factors for evaluating PFD lifesaving potential and 
defines the minimum level of performance necessary for approval.

Virtual Reality Personal Watercraft (PWC)

    A contract was awarded to develop a virtual reality personal 
watercraft. If this application of virtual reality technology proves to 
be effective it will provide a platform to gather valuable data in many 
areas that would otherwise be unobtainable or would require more costly 
methods and sources. The data from this effort will give greater 
insight into the human/machine interface related to PWC and will assist 
in the effort to attempt to reduce PWC accidents. The contract award 
amount using fiscal year 2000 funds was $133,620.

National Recreational Boating Safety Program

Boating Accident Report Database (BARD)

    The BARD system is aimed at effectively providing the capability to 
all States and the Coast Guard for the successful exchange of 
recreational boating accident data and information using BARD software. 
New fiscal year 1999 funding of $392,234 allows software module 
development, software module rework and unit testing, module 
integration testing and system testing associated with this innovative 
program, and for providing the software to the 50 States, five 
territories, and the District of Columbia.

Transfer of Funds to the Seventeenth Coast Guard District

    A non-recurring transfer of $25,000 fiscal year 1999 funds was made 
to the Seventeenth Coast Guard District in support of a Coast Guard 
Boating Safety Detachment to assist in the transition of State of 
Alaska assumption of Recreational Boating Safety Program 

National Boating Registration System

    As a service for States/Territories that currently have inadequate 
(or no) computer software program to maintain their vessel numbering 
system information, $24,000 has been transferred to the U.S. Coast 
Guard Operations Systems Center (OSC) to develop a National Boating 
Registration System software program. OSC will modify an existing 
program currently used by the Coast Guard in Alaska (the only State 
that does not have a Coast Guard-approved vessel numbering system) to 
develop a generic version that can easily be adapted by any State/
Territory for their own use. The software, which will be provided to 
interested States/Territories at no cost, will include a function to 
automatically generate the annual report on numbered vessels that must 
be submitted to the Coast Guard each year, which currently can be a 
very time-consuming process for States whose systems are not automated. 
The current schedule calls for delivery of the beta version system in 
July 2000.

Federal Requirements Publication

    A customer friendly ``Federal Requirements and Safety Tips for 
Recreational Boaters'' publication is being developed based on easy to 
read high visibility graphics, focusing on provision of subject 
specific safety tips with retention factors built in. Support for this 
effort using fiscal year 1999 funds is $73,000. The Coast Guard 
anticipates expanding this development effort and intends to evaluate 
recreational boater retention factors for Federal regulations in August 
2000. The end result will be publication of both hard copy and 
electronic interactive versions for public use.

[[Page 36217]]

Coast Guard Infoline/Office of Boating Safety Website

    This effort provides both technology and educational enhancements 
to the Coast Guard Infoline, a toll free 800 telephone number 
(including a dedicated line for the hearing impaired) accessible to 
callers anywhere in the United States. The Infoline provides 
information about safety, regulations, communications, Coast Guard 
policy, and available material related to boating safety issues. 
Additionally, this effort provides a complete interactive recreational 
boating safety website that offers the public and boating safety 
agencies and organizations with up-to-the-minute information on every 
aspect of recreational boating safety. One of the goals of this program 
is to create a ``one-stop'' customer service center for all users. 
Fiscal year 1999 funding amounted to $186,435.

Marine Dealer Display Kiosks

    An expenditure of $23,950 of fiscal year 1999 funds supports the 
Hunters and Anglers Outreach Program and supplies marine dealers with 
U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary literature display 
racks, including associated boating safety information pertaining to 
the hazards associated with Boating Under the Influence (BUI) as well 
as discipline specific information to this target group. Additional 
target group research and testing will be conducted during calendar 
year 2000 validating outreach components. This research will result in 
the release of a national ``point-of-purchase'' kiosk system, serving 
as an extension to the Office of Boating Safety's ``one-stop'' 
information system.
    There are three new projects that are in final stages for 
commitment of funds.

The Vessel Safety Check Program

    Fiscal year 2000 funding, estimated at less than $50,000 will be 
used to support the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. 
Power Squadrons and the National Association of State Boating Law 
Administrators in providing free safety inspections of recreational 
boats. The ``safety check'' provides a complete review of a 
recreational vessel ensuring that the vessel is in compliance with all 
Federal and State specific carriage requirements. Ultimately the end 
result will lead to fewer recreational boating accidents, injuries and 

Knowledge Management System and SEAFIT (State Electronic 
Administrative, Financial and Information Technology System)

    This effort will enable the Coast Guard to reduce the amount of 
paper transactions required and obtained by its external customers. The 
States are one of the Coast Guard's largest external customer groups. 
The Knowledge Management and SEAFIT systems will provide for quicker 
more effective and efficient program oversight while providing each 
customer with the ability to electronically do business with the Coast 
Guard. This system will assist in the electronic monitoring, storage 
and daily use of all multi-disciplined information and materials within 
the Office of Boating Safety. We plan to convert current business 
processes that support activity in grant administration, program 
oversight, financial payments and requested program information to an 
electronic format and be web-based compatible.

National Boating Survey

    The contracting process is being initiated for a comprehensive 
major national recreational boating survey. The survey will provide 
information on boats, boaters and their activities. In order to avoid 
taking the large amount of money required for a large-scale survey from 
available funds for a single fiscal year, we will escrow funds each 
year. We placed $900,000 of fiscal year 1999 funds and $400,000 of 
fiscal year 2000 funds in escrow.
    The following table reflects commitment, obligation, or expenditure 
to date of fiscal years 1999 and 2000 funds.

             Recreational Boating Safety Programs Accounting
                                         FY 1999            FY 2000
                         Boat Safety Compliance
Factory visit program.............        $133,912.55
Associated equipment compliance             44,000.00         $83,000.00
Articulated mannequins/computer            300,000.00
 simulation model.................
Compliance associated travel......          13,332.44
New boat manufacturer outreach             357,582.34
Risk analysis study...............         229,465.64
Virtual reality personal                                      133,620.00
    Total boat safety compliance..       1,078,292.97         216,620.00
              National Recreational Boating Safety Program
Boating accident report database           392,234.00
17th CG District boating safety             25,000.00
National boating registration               24,000.00
Federal requirements publication..          73,000.00
CG Infoline/Office of boating              186,435.00
 safety website...................
Marine dealer display kiosks......          23,950.00
    Total recreational boating             724,619.00
National boating survey escrow....         900,000.00         400,000.00
    Grand total...................       2,702,911.97        616,620.00
Note: This Chart Shows FY 1999 and FY 2000 Dedicated Funds Committed,
  Obligated, or Expended for the Individual Projects Listed.

[[Page 36218]]

    Dated: June 2, 2000.
Kenneth T. Venuto,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Operations Policy.
[FR Doc. 00-14362 Filed 6-6-00; 8:45 am]