Electronic Baggage Screening Program, 52499-52500 [E9-24608]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 13, 2009 / Notices instructions; or inquiries for additional information should be requested via email to: forms.ice@dhs.gov with ‘‘IEFEmergency Assistance’’ in the subject line. Dated: October 7, 2009. Joseph M. Gerhart, Chief, Records Management Branch, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. E9–24563 Filed 10–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–28–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration Electronic Baggage Screening Program AGENCY: Transportation Security Administration, DHS. ACTION: Notice of waiver. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted a limited nationwide waiver of the buy American provision contained in sec. 1605 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) Public Law 111–5, 123 Stat. 115, 303 (2009) under the authority of sec. 1605(b)(1) (public interest exception) provided that at least 95 percent of the costs of each Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Electronic Baggage Screening Program (EBSP) project will comply with sec. 1605(a). DATES: This notice is effective October 13, 2009. ADDRESSES: Office of Acquisitions/ Acquisitions Policy Office, TSA–25, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598–6025. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald B. Gallihugh, Office of Acquisitions/Acquisitions Policy Office, TSA–25, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598–6025; telephone (571) 227–2402; facsimile (571) 227– 1372; e-mail ronald.gallihugh@dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On February 17, 2009, the Recovery Act was enacted to assist those most impacted by the recession by creating and preserving jobs and promoting economic recovery. The funding was specified for multiple areas of national interest. TSA received $1 billion to invest in the procurement and installation of checked baggage explosives detection systems and checkpoint explosives detection VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:29 Oct 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 equipment to be obligated by September 30, 2010. Approximately $500 million in Recovery Act funding will be allocated to facility modification projects to be administered through TSA’s EBSP. This program directly benefits the traveling public, air carriers, airport authorities, and our Nation as a whole. TSA’s EBSP supports the DHS goals of protecting our Nation from dangerous goods and protecting our Nation’s critical transportation infrastructure by strengthening screening of checked baggage to reduce the probability of a successful terrorist or other criminal attack to the air transportation system. Since December 31, 2002, EBSP has been responsible for ensuring 100 percent screening of checked baggage in the United States. The EBSP’s objective is to deter, detect, mitigate, and prevent transportation of explosives or other prohibited items in checked baggage on commercial aircraft. One significant way EBSP accomplishes its objectives is through the construction of Checked Baggage Inspection Systems (CBIS). These projects form the backbone of TSA’s EBSP and represent the highest level of baggage screening capability in terms of processing efficiency and security. TSA has identified twenty-six airports across the country with ‘‘shovel ready’’ facility modification projects that include CBIS construction. These projects are dependent on Recovery Act funding. Several of these projects, however, are on hold and in jeopardy because of concerns over compliance with sec. 1605(a). Section 1605(a) of the Recovery Act, the buy American provision, states that none of the funds appropriated by the Act, including the funds that have been dedicated to project awards under EBSP, ‘‘may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.’’ Subsections 1605(b) and (c) of the Recovery Act authorize the head of a Federal department or agency to waive the buy American provision by finding that: (1) Applying the provision would be inconsistent with the public interest; (2) the relevant goods are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or (3) the inclusion of the goods produced in the United States will increase the cost of the project by more than 25 percent. If the head of the Federal department or agency waives the buy American provision, then the head of the department or agency is required to PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52499 publish a detailed justification in the Federal Register. Finally, sec. 1605(d) of the Recovery Act states that the buy American provision must be applied in a manner consistent with the United States’ obligations under international agreements. Public Interest Finding The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that it would be inconsistent with the public interest— and particularly with the Recovery Act’s directives to ensure expeditious spending of construction funds consistent with prudent management, as cited above—to apply the buy American requirement to an entire CBIS project where at least 95 percent of the costs of the project will comply with sec. 1605(a). A CBIS is a highly sophisticated electromechanical system for screening checked baggage. It consists of hundreds of mechanical and electrical items. It includes a mechanical conveyor system or baggage handling system (BHS) that transports checked baggage through the system. The CBIS also features a security screening matrix area where baggage is fed through one or more Explosion Detection Systems (EDS) or Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) systems to be analyzed. All of the mechanical and electrical items and processes that make up the CBIS are controlled by a central programmable logic controller (PLC) or programmable controller. The PLC is essentially a computer ‘brain’ used for the automation of electro-mechanical processes, such as the control of machinery on factory assembly lines. The PLC controls all aspects of the CBIS including conveyor belt speeds, baggage tracking and managing the BHS merge points or windows. CBIS projects are comprised of thousands of manufactured goods, such as conveyor, conveyor motor drives, electrical and communications controls, programmable logic controllers, electronic tracking devices, high speed diverters, vertical sorters, specialty fasteners and switches. Not all of these items are domestically available. Furthermore, in many instances, the geographic origin of the equipment is not readily ascertainable. While arguably the Secretary of Homeland Security could have relied on the authority under sec. 1605(b)(2) (nonavailability waiver), the burden placed on TSA and contractors in sourcing and evaluating equipment availability would be unduly burdensome, impracticable and not in keeping with the Recovery Act’s overall goal of expeditious spending of recovery funds. E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1 52500 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 13, 2009 / Notices erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES In the construction of such a sophisticated system as a CBIS, complete adherence to the requirements of section 1605(a) is impracticable, if not impossible. In addition, it has become a serious obstacle to ensuring that all identified airports will be able to sign construction contracts by September 30, 2010. Some airport authorities have simply been unable or unwilling to certify that the construction contracts it signs are compliant with the buy American provisions. The alternative would be for the airports and communities to lose their Recovery Act assistance, requiring TSA to reallocate funds, which is inconsistent with the public interest and the intent and purpose of the Recovery Act. DHS has considered the disproportionate cost and delay that would ensue if a limited waiver is not issued. The exercise of ascertaining whether compliant products exist or can be made to meet these requirements is already becoming a demanding and time-consuming task far out of proportion to the total percentage of project costs. On balance, the public interest in having these projects completed outweighs the Buy American requirement; particularly where the value of noncompliant goods is relatively small when compared to total project cost. CBIS projects significantly benefit aviation security, baggage screening efficiency and the flying public in general. Also, these projects help stimulate job growth for local construction workers, technicians, equipment designers, engineers, and others who will operate and maintain the equipment. Therefore, the Secretary granted a limited, nationwide public interest waiver, having found that it would be inconsistent with the public interest— and particularly with the Recovery Act’s directives—to apply the buy American requirement to an entire CBIS project in which at least 95 percent of the costs of the project will comply with section 1605. The Secretary determined the five percent limit based on research and informed professional judgment as to the maximum total amount of costs used in most CBIS projects. Waiver Accordingly, the Secretary granted a limited, nationwide waiver of the requirements of section 1605(a) of the Recovery Act, Public Law 111–5, buy American requirements, based on the public interest authority of section 1605(b)(1), provided that at least 95 percent of the costs of each TSA EBSP project will comply with section 1605. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:29 Oct 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 This waiver applies to all eligible EBSP projects for which the TSA has awarded or will award a project award using Recovery Act funds, and where at least 95 percent of the costs of the project will comply with sec. 1605. TSA will attempt to obtain 100 percent compliance with the buy American provision on all airport projects. This limited nationwide waiver is available to airports that cannot comply 100 percent with the buy American provision because applying the provision would be inconsistent with the public interest in accordance with sec. 1605(b)(1). TSA will ensure that on all projects at least 95 percent of the costs will comply with section 1605. Recipients who wish to use this waiver should, in consultation with their contractors determine the items to be covered by this waiver, must retain relevant documentation as to those items in their project files, and must summarize in reports to TSA the types and/or categories of items to which this waiver is applied, the total cost of the goods covered by the waiver, and the calculations by which they determined the total cost of materials used in and incorporated into the project. Issued in Arlington, Virginia, on October 7, 2009. Gale D. Rossides, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. E9–24608 Filed 10–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–05–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary Proposed Appointment to the National Indian Gaming Commission ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act provides for a threeperson National Indian Gaming Commission. One member, the chairman, is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Two associate members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. Before appointing members, the Secretary is required to provide public notice of a proposed appointment and allow a comment period. Notice is hereby given of the proposed appointment of Steffani A. Cochran as an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Commission for a term of 3 years. DATES: Comments must be received before November 12, 2009. ADDRESSES: Comments should be submitted to the Director, Office of PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Executive Secretariat, United States Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW., Mail Stop 7229, Washington, DC 20240. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John A. Strylowski, Executive Secretariat, United States Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW., Mail Stop 7229, Washington, DC 20240; telephone 202–208–3071. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., established the National Indian Gaming Commission (Commission), composed of three fulltime members. 25 U.S.C. 2704(b). Commission members serve for a term of 3 years. 25 U.S.C. 2705(b)(2)(4)(A). The Chairman is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. 25 U.S.C. 2704(b)(1)(B). The two associate members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. 25 U.S.C. 2704(b)(1)(B). Before appointing an associate member to the Commission, the Secretary is required to ‘‘publish in the Federal Register the name and other information the Secretary deems pertinent regarding a nominee for membership on the commission and * * * allow a period of not less than thirty days for receipt of public comments.’’ 25 U.S.C. 2704(b)(2)(B). The Secretary proposes to appoint Steffani A. Cochran as an associate member of the Commission for a term of 3 years. Ms. Cochran is well qualified to serve as a member of the Commission, by virtue of her broad background in the law and her work for both State and tribal governments on issues affecting Indian tribes. Her extensive legal experience includes service in New Mexico State government as a Special Counsel for Indian Affairs and as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Oregon. She has also served tribal governments as General Counsel for the Pueblo of Pojoaque and as an Associate Judge for the Isleta Tribal Court and judge pro tem on the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals. Working at different times for tribal and State governments, Ms. Cochran has participated in negotiations and addressed issues of critical importance to both constituencies. She is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. Ms. Cochran does not have any financial interests that would make her ineligible to serve on the Commission under 25 U.S.C. 2704(b)(5)(B) or (C). Any person wishing to submit comments on this proposed appointment of Steffani Cochran may submit written comments to the address SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\13OCN1.SGM 13OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 196 (Tuesday, October 13, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52499-52500]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-24608]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Transportation Security Administration


Electronic Baggage Screening Program

AGENCY: Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of waiver.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted a 
limited nationwide waiver of the buy American provision contained in 
sec. 1605 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(Recovery Act) Public Law 111-5, 123 Stat. 115, 303 (2009) under the 
authority of sec. 1605(b)(1) (public interest exception) provided that 
at least 95 percent of the costs of each Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) Electronic Baggage Screening Program (EBSP) 
project will comply with sec. 1605(a).

DATES: This notice is effective October 13, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Office of Acquisitions/Acquisitions Policy Office, TSA-25, 
Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, 
Arlington, VA 20598-6025.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald B. Gallihugh, Office of 
Acquisitions/Acquisitions Policy Office, TSA-25, Transportation 
Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-
6025; telephone (571) 227-2402; facsimile (571) 227-1372; e-mail 
ronald.gallihugh@dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On February 17, 2009, the Recovery Act was enacted to assist those 
most impacted by the recession by creating and preserving jobs and 
promoting economic recovery. The funding was specified for multiple 
areas of national interest. TSA received $1 billion to invest in the 
procurement and installation of checked baggage explosives detection 
systems and checkpoint explosives detection equipment to be obligated 
by September 30, 2010. Approximately $500 million in Recovery Act 
funding will be allocated to facility modification projects to be 
administered through TSA's EBSP. This program directly benefits the 
traveling public, air carriers, airport authorities, and our Nation as 
a whole.
    TSA's EBSP supports the DHS goals of protecting our Nation from 
dangerous goods and protecting our Nation's critical transportation 
infrastructure by strengthening screening of checked baggage to reduce 
the probability of a successful terrorist or other criminal attack to 
the air transportation system. Since December 31, 2002, EBSP has been 
responsible for ensuring 100 percent screening of checked baggage in 
the United States. The EBSP's objective is to deter, detect, mitigate, 
and prevent transportation of explosives or other prohibited items in 
checked baggage on commercial aircraft. One significant way EBSP 
accomplishes its objectives is through the construction of Checked 
Baggage Inspection Systems (CBIS). These projects form the backbone of 
TSA's EBSP and represent the highest level of baggage screening 
capability in terms of processing efficiency and security. TSA has 
identified twenty-six airports across the country with ``shovel ready'' 
facility modification projects that include CBIS construction. These 
projects are dependent on Recovery Act funding. Several of these 
projects, however, are on hold and in jeopardy because of concerns over 
compliance with sec. 1605(a).
    Section 1605(a) of the Recovery Act, the buy American provision, 
states that none of the funds appropriated by the Act, including the 
funds that have been dedicated to project awards under EBSP, ``may be 
used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or 
repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, 
steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the 
United States.'' Subsections 1605(b) and (c) of the Recovery Act 
authorize the head of a Federal department or agency to waive the buy 
American provision by finding that: (1) Applying the provision would be 
inconsistent with the public interest; (2) the relevant goods are not 
produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available 
quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or (3) the inclusion of the 
goods produced in the United States will increase the cost of the 
project by more than 25 percent. If the head of the Federal department 
or agency waives the buy American provision, then the head of the 
department or agency is required to publish a detailed justification in 
the Federal Register. Finally, sec. 1605(d) of the Recovery Act states 
that the buy American provision must be applied in a manner consistent 
with the United States' obligations under international agreements.

Public Interest Finding

    The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that it would be 
inconsistent with the public interest--and particularly with the 
Recovery Act's directives to ensure expeditious spending of 
construction funds consistent with prudent management, as cited above--
to apply the buy American requirement to an entire CBIS project where 
at least 95 percent of the costs of the project will comply with sec. 
1605(a).
    A CBIS is a highly sophisticated electromechanical system for 
screening checked baggage. It consists of hundreds of mechanical and 
electrical items. It includes a mechanical conveyor system or baggage 
handling system (BHS) that transports checked baggage through the 
system. The CBIS also features a security screening matrix area where 
baggage is fed through one or more Explosion Detection Systems (EDS) or 
Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) systems to be analyzed. All of the 
mechanical and electrical items and processes that make up the CBIS are 
controlled by a central programmable logic controller (PLC) or 
programmable controller. The PLC is essentially a computer `brain' used 
for the automation of electro-mechanical processes, such as the control 
of machinery on factory assembly lines. The PLC controls all aspects of 
the CBIS including conveyor belt speeds, baggage tracking and managing 
the BHS merge points or windows.
    CBIS projects are comprised of thousands of manufactured goods, 
such as conveyor, conveyor motor drives, electrical and communications 
controls, programmable logic controllers, electronic tracking devices, 
high speed diverters, vertical sorters, specialty fasteners and 
switches. Not all of these items are domestically available. 
Furthermore, in many instances, the geographic origin of the equipment 
is not readily ascertainable. While arguably the Secretary of Homeland 
Security could have relied on the authority under sec. 1605(b)(2) (non-
availability waiver), the burden placed on TSA and contractors in 
sourcing and evaluating equipment availability would be unduly 
burdensome, impracticable and not in keeping with the Recovery Act's 
overall goal of expeditious spending of recovery funds.

[[Page 52500]]

    In the construction of such a sophisticated system as a CBIS, 
complete adherence to the requirements of section 1605(a) is 
impracticable, if not impossible. In addition, it has become a serious 
obstacle to ensuring that all identified airports will be able to sign 
construction contracts by September 30, 2010. Some airport authorities 
have simply been unable or unwilling to certify that the construction 
contracts it signs are compliant with the buy American provisions. The 
alternative would be for the airports and communities to lose their 
Recovery Act assistance, requiring TSA to reallocate funds, which is 
inconsistent with the public interest and the intent and purpose of the 
Recovery Act.
    DHS has considered the disproportionate cost and delay that would 
ensue if a limited waiver is not issued. The exercise of ascertaining 
whether compliant products exist or can be made to meet these 
requirements is already becoming a demanding and time-consuming task 
far out of proportion to the total percentage of project costs. On 
balance, the public interest in having these projects completed 
outweighs the Buy American requirement; particularly where the value of 
noncompliant goods is relatively small when compared to total project 
cost. CBIS projects significantly benefit aviation security, baggage 
screening efficiency and the flying public in general. Also, these 
projects help stimulate job growth for local construction workers, 
technicians, equipment designers, engineers, and others who will 
operate and maintain the equipment.
    Therefore, the Secretary granted a limited, nationwide public 
interest waiver, having found that it would be inconsistent with the 
public interest--and particularly with the Recovery Act's directives--
to apply the buy American requirement to an entire CBIS project in 
which at least 95 percent of the costs of the project will comply with 
section 1605. The Secretary determined the five percent limit based on 
research and informed professional judgment as to the maximum total 
amount of costs used in most CBIS projects.

Waiver

    Accordingly, the Secretary granted a limited, nationwide waiver of 
the requirements of section 1605(a) of the Recovery Act, Public Law 
111-5, buy American requirements, based on the public interest 
authority of section 1605(b)(1), provided that at least 95 percent of 
the costs of each TSA EBSP project will comply with section 1605. This 
waiver applies to all eligible EBSP projects for which the TSA has 
awarded or will award a project award using Recovery Act funds, and 
where at least 95 percent of the costs of the project will comply with 
sec. 1605.
    TSA will attempt to obtain 100 percent compliance with the buy 
American provision on all airport projects. This limited nationwide 
waiver is available to airports that cannot comply 100 percent with the 
buy American provision because applying the provision would be 
inconsistent with the public interest in accordance with sec. 
1605(b)(1). TSA will ensure that on all projects at least 95 percent of 
the costs will comply with section 1605. Recipients who wish to use 
this waiver should, in consultation with their contractors determine 
the items to be covered by this waiver, must retain relevant 
documentation as to those items in their project files, and must 
summarize in reports to TSA the types and/or categories of items to 
which this waiver is applied, the total cost of the goods covered by 
the waiver, and the calculations by which they determined the total 
cost of materials used in and incorporated into the project.

    Issued in Arlington, Virginia, on October 7, 2009.
Gale D. Rossides,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. E9-24608 Filed 10-9-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-05-P