[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 103 (Tuesday, May 29, 2012)]
[Pages 31632-31633]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12957]



Transportation Security Administration

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

AGENCY: Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

ACTION: 60-day notice.


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. The ICR will assess the current security practices in the 
highway and motor carrier industry by way of its Highway Baseline 
Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) program, which encompasses 
site visits and interviews, and is part of the larger domain awareness, 
prevention, and protection program supporting TSA's and the Department 
of Homeland Security's (DHS) missions. This voluntary collection allows 
TSA to conduct transportation security-related assessments during site 
visits with security and operating officials of surface transportation 

DATES: Send your comments by July 30, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be emailed to [email protected] 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.


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

    Under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) and 
delegated authority from the Secretary of Homeland Security, TSA has 
broad responsibility and authority for ``security in all modes of 
transportation including security responsibilities over modes of 
transportation that are exercised by the Department of 
Transportation.'' \1\ TSA is also specifically empowered to develop 
policies, strategies, and plans for dealing with threats to 
transportation,\2\ ensure the adequacy of security measures for the 
transportation of cargo,\3\ oversee the implementation and ensure the 
adequacy of security measures at transportation facilities,\4\ and 
carry out other appropriate duties relating to transportation 

    \1\ See Pub. L. 107-71, 115 Stat. 597 (Nov. 19, 2001), codified 
at 49 U.S.C. 114(d). The TSA Assistant Secretary's current 
authorities under ATSA have been delegated to him by the Secretary 
of Homeland Security. Section 403(2) of the Homeland Security Act 
(HSA) of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2315 (2002), transferred 
all functions of TSA, including those of the Secretary of 
Transportation and the Under Secretary of Transportation of Security 
related to TSA, to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Pursuant to 
DHS Delegation Number 7060.2, the Secretary delegated to the 
Assistant Secretary (now referred to as the Administrator of TSA), 
subject to the Secretary's guidance and control, the authority 
vested in the Secretary with respect to TSA, including that in sec. 
403(2) of the HSA.
    \2\ 49 U.S.C. 114(f)(3).
    \3\ 49 U.S.C. 114(f)(10).
    \4\ 49 U.S.C. 114(f)(11).
    \5\ 49 U.S.C. 114(f)(15).

    In the past, TSA has conducted Corporate Security Reviews (CSRs) 
with organizations engaged in transportation

[[Page 31633]]

by motor vehicle and those that maintain or operate key physical assets 
within the highway transportation community. These CSRs have served to 
evaluate and collect physical and operational preparedness information, 
critical assets and key point-of-contact lists, review emergency 
procedures and domain awareness training, and provide an opportunity to 
share industry best practices.\6\

    \6\ See 74 FR 28264 (June 15, 2009) for the most recent 
reinstatement of the PRA for this program.

    At this time, TSA is consolidating some assessment programs within 
surface modes of transportation. As part of this effort, the Highway 
CSR will become a Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE). 
This will provide for greater consistency as TSA also has a BASE 
program to evaluate the status of security and emergency response 
programs on transit systems throughout the nation; this program 
operates similarly to the CSRs.
    Highway BASE program will continue to be a voluntary, instructive, 
and interactive review used by TSA to assess the adequacy of security 
measures related to highway transportation--such as trucking, school 
bus, and motorcoach industries, privately-owned highway assets that may 
include bridges and tunnels, and other related systems and assets owned 
and operated by state departments of education and transportation. The 
Highway BASE program encompasses site visits and interviews, and is one 
piece of a much larger domain awareness, prevention, and protection 
program in support of the TSA and DHS missions. TSA is seeking to 
obtain OMB approval for this information collection so that TSA can 
ascertain minimum security standards and identify coverage gaps, 
activities critical to carrying out its transportation security 

Description of Data Collection

    In carrying out BASE, Transportation Security Specialists (TSS) 
from TSA's Highway and Motor Carrier Division (HMC) and Transportation 
Security Inspectors-Surface (TSI-S) conduct site visits of trucking 
(excluding hazardous materials shippers and carriers as per agreement 
with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration (FMCSA), school bus, motorcoach companies, bridge 
and tunnel owners, State DOTs, and State Departments of Energy (DOEs) 
throughout the Nation. The TSA representatives analyze the owner's/
operator's security plan, if the owner/operator has adopted one, and 
determines if the mitigation measures included in the plan are being 
properly implemented. In addition to examining the security plan 
document, TSA reviews one or more assets of the private and/or public 
owner/operator. During the site visits, TSA completes a BASE checklist 
form, which contains four (4) topic areas: Management and 
accountability, personnel security, facility security, and vehicle 
security. Within these four topics are twenty-three recommended 
measures, also referred to as Security Action Items (SAIs). TSA 
conducts this collection through voluntary face-to-face visits at the 
headquarters and site facilities of the surface transportation owners/
operators. All BASE reviews are done on a voluntary basis.
    Typically, TSA sends one to two employees to conduct a two to three 
hour discussion/interview with representatives from the owner/operator. 
TSA collects information from businesses of all sizes in the course of 
conducting these surface mode BASEs. TSA conducts these interviews to 
ascertain information on security measures and to identify security 
gaps. The interviews also provide TSA with a method to encourage the 
surface transportation owners/operators affected by the BASE to be 
diligent in effecting and maintaining security-related improvements. 
This program provides TSA with real-time information on current 
security practices within the infrastructure, trucking, school bus, and 
motorcoach modes of the surface transportation sector. This information 
allows TSA to adapt programs to the changing threat dynamically, while 
incorporating an understanding of the improvements owners/operators 
make in their security posture. Without this information, the ability 
of TSA to perform its security mission would be severely hindered. 
Additionally, the relationships these face-to-face contacts foster are 
critical to TSA's ability to reach out to the surface transportation 
stakeholders affected by the BASEs. TSA assures respondents the portion 
of their responses deemed Sensitive Security Information (SSI) will be 
handled consistent with 49 CFR parts 15 and 1520.

Use of Results

    The Highway BASE process will align highway and motor carrier 
security efforts with other TSA risk reduction efforts and provide 
industry partners corrective action options to consider by identifying 
security smart practices to share with others.
    A BASE review evaluates a highway modal entity'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 highway systems by supporting security program development 
(including grant programs) and the analysis/evaluation provides a 
consistent road map for highway systems to address security and 
emergency program vulnerabilities. In addition, each highway entity 
that undergoes a BASE assessment is provided with a report of results 
that is used in security enhancement activities.
    Specifically, the information collected will be used:
    1. To develop a baseline understanding of a highway entity's 
security and emergency management processes, procedures, policies, 
programs, and activities against security requirements and recommended 
security practices published by TSA.
    2. To enhance a highway entity'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 highway 
entity that represent an ``effective'' or ``smart'' security practice 
warranting sharing with the highway community as a whole to foster 
general enhancement of security in the highway surface 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 Intercity Bus Security Grant 
Program (IBSGP) and Trucking Security Program (TSP), to enhance 
security in the Nation's highway modal system.
    While TSA has not set a limit on the number of BASE reviews to 
conduct, TSA estimates approximately 750 visits per year. The annual 
hour burden for this information collection is estimated to be 3,000 
hours. This estimate is based on TSA conducting 750 visits per year, 
each visit lasting two to three hours. TSA estimates no annual cost 
burden to respondents.

    Issued in Arlington, Virginia, on May 22, 2012.
Susan Perkins,
TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
[FR Doc. 2012-12957 Filed 5-25-12; 8:45 am]