Collapse to view only § 322. General powers

§ 321.
Definitions

In this subchapter, “aeronautics”, “air commerce”, and “air navigation facility” have the same meanings given those terms in section 40102(a) of this title.

(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2422; Pub. L. 98–216, § 2(2), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 103–272, § 5(m)(8), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1376; Pub. L. 103–429, § 6(2), Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4378.)
§ 322.
General powers
(a) The Secretary of Transportation may prescribe regulations to carry out the duties and powers of the Secretary. An officer of the Department of Transportation may prescribe regulations to carry out the duties and powers of the officer.
(b) The Secretary may delegate, and authorize successive delegations of, duties and powers of the Secretary to an officer or employee of the Department. An officer of the Department may delegate, and authorize successive delegations of, duties and powers of the officer to another officer or employee of the Department. However, the duties and powers specified in sections 103(c)(1),1
1 See References in Text note below.
104(c)(1), and 106(g)(1) of this title may not be delegated to an officer or employee outside the Administration concerned.
(c)
On a reimbursable basis when appropriate, the Secretary may, in carrying out aviation duties and powers—
(1) use the available services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of other civilian or military departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government, with their consent;
(2) cooperate with those departments, agencies, and instrumentalities in establishing and using aviation services, equipment, and facilities of the Department; and
(3) confer and cooperate with, and use the services, records, and facilities of, State, territorial, municipal, and other agencies.
(d)
The Secretary may make expenditures to carry out aviation duties and powers, including expenditures for—
(1) rent and personal services;
(2) travel expenses;
(3) office furniture, equipment, supplies, lawbooks, newspapers, periodicals, and reference books, including exchanges;
(4) printing and binding;
(5) membership in and cooperation with domestic or foreign organizations related to, or a part of, the civil aeronautics industry or the art of aeronautics;
(6) payment of allowances and other benefits to employees stationed in foreign countries to the same extent authorized for members of the Foreign Service of comparable grade;
(7) investigations and studies about aeronautics; and
(8) acquiring, exchanging, operating, and maintaining passenger-carrying aircraft and automobiles and other property.
(e)
The Secretary may negotiate, without advertising, the purchase of technical or special property related to air navigation when the Secretary decides that—
(1) making the property would require a substantial initial investment or an extended period of preparation; and
(2) procurement by advertising would likely result in additional cost to the Government by duplication of investment or would result in duplication of necessary preparation that would unreasonably delay procuring the property.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2422.)
§ 323.
Personnel
(a) The Secretary of Transportation may appoint and fix the pay of officers and employees of the Department of Transportation and may prescribe their duties and powers.
(b) The Secretary may procure services under section 3109 of title 5. However, an individual may be paid not more than $100 a day for services.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2423.)
§ 324.
Members of the armed forces
(a)
The Secretary of Transportation—
(1) to ensure that national defense interests are safeguarded properly and that the Secretary is advised properly about the needs and special problems of the armed forces, shall provide for participation of members of the armed forces in carrying out the duties and powers of the Secretary related to the regulation and protection of air traffic, including providing for, and research and development of, air navigation facilities, and the allocation of airspace; and
(2) may provide for participation of members of the armed forces in carrying out other duties and powers of the Secretary.
(b) A member of the Coast Guard on active duty may be appointed, detailed, or assigned to a position in the Department of Transportation, except the position of Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or Assistant Secretary for Administration. A retired member of the Coast Guard may be appointed, detailed, or assigned to a position in the Department.
(c) The Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of a military department may make cooperative agreements, including agreements on reimbursement as may be considered appropriate by the Secretaries, under which a member of the armed forces may be appointed, detailed, or assigned to the Department of Transportation under this section. The Secretary of Transportation shall send a report each year to the appropriate committees of Congress on agreements made to carry out subsection (a)(2) of this section, including the number, rank, and position of each member appointed, detailed, or assigned under those agreements.
(d) The Secretary of a military department does not control the duties and powers of a member of the armed forces appointed, detailed, or assigned under this section when those duties and powers pertain to the Department of Transportation. A member of the armed forces appointed, detailed, or assigned under subsection (a)(2) of this section may not be charged against a statutory limitation on grades or strengths of the armed forces. The appointment, detail, or assignment and service of a member under this section to a position in the Department of Transportation does not affect the status, office, rank, or grade held by that member, or a right or benefit arising from that status, office, rank, or grade.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2423.)
§ 325.
Advisory committees
(a) Without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointment in the competitive service, the Secretary of Transportation may appoint advisory committees to consult with and advise the Secretary in carrying out the duties and powers of the Secretary.
(b) While attending a committee meeting or otherwise serving at the request of the Secretary, a member of an advisory committee may be paid not more than $100 a day. A member is entitled to reimbursement for expenses under section 5703 of title 5. This subsection does not apply to individuals regularly employed by the United States Government.
(c) A member of an advisory committee advising the Secretary in carrying out aviation duties and powers may serve for not more than 100 days in a calendar year.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2424.)
§ 326.
Gifts
(a) The Secretary of Transportation may accept and use conditional or unconditional gifts of property for the Department of Transportation. The Secretary may accept a gift of services in carrying out aviation duties and powers. Property accepted under this section and proceeds from that property must be used, as nearly as possible, under the terms of the gift.
(b)
The Department has a fund in the Treasury. Disbursements from the fund are made on order of the Secretary. The fund consists of—
(1) gifts of money;
(2) income from property accepted under this section and proceeds from the sale of that property; and
(3) income from securities under subsection (c) of this section.
(c) On request of the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of the Treasury may invest and reinvest amounts in the fund in securities of, or in securities whose principal and interest is guaranteed by, the United States Government.
(d) Property accepted under this section is a gift to or for the use of the Government under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.).
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2424; Pub. L. 99–514, § 2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095.)
§ 327.
Administrative working capital fund
(a)
The Department of Transportation has an administrative working capital fund. Amounts in the fund are available for expenses of operating and maintaining common administrative services the Secretary of Transportation decides are desirable for the efficiency and economy of the Department. The services may include—
(1) a central supply service for stationery and other supplies and equipment through which adequate stocks may be maintained to meet the requirements of the Department;
(2) central messenger, mail, telephone, and other communications services;
(3) office space;
(4) central services for document reproduction, and for graphics and visual aids; and
(5) a central library service.
(b) Amounts in the fund are available without regard to fiscal year limitation. Amounts may be appropriated to the fund.
(c)
The fund consists of—
(1) amounts appropriated to the fund;
(2) the reasonable value of stocks of supplies, equipment, and other assets and inventories on order that the Secretary transfers to the fund, less the related liabilities and unpaid obligations;
(3) amounts received from the sale or exchange of property; and
(4) payments received for loss or damage to property of the fund.
(d) The fund shall be reimbursed, in advance, from amounts available to the Department or from other sources, for supplies and services at rates that will approximate the expenses of operation, including the accrual of annual leave and the depreciation of equipment. Amounts in the fund, in excess of amounts transferred or appropriated to maintain the fund, shall be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. All assets, liabilities, and prior losses are considered in determining the amount of the excess.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2425.)
§ 328.
Transportation Systems Center working capital fund
(a) The Department of Transportation has a Transportation Systems Center working capital fund. Amounts in the fund are available for financing the activities of the Center, including research, development, testing, evaluation, analysis, and related activities the Secretary of Transportation approves, for the Department, other agencies, State and local governments, other public authorities, private organizations, and foreign countries.
(b) Amounts in the fund are available without regard to fiscal year limitation. Amounts may be appropriated to the fund.
(c)
The capital of the fund consists of—
(1) amounts appropriated to the fund;
(2) net assets of the Center as of October 1, 1980, including unexpended advances made to the Center for which valid obligations were incurred before October 1, 1980;
(3) the reasonable value of property and other assets transferred to the fund after September 30, 1980, less the related liabilities and unpaid obligations; and
(4) the reasonable value of property and other assets donated to the fund.
(d)
The fund shall be reimbursed or credited with—
(1)
advance payments from applicable funds or appropriations of the Department and other agencies, and with advance payments from other sources, the Secretary authorizes, for—
(A) services at rates that will recover the expenses of operation, including the accrual of annual leave and overhead; and
(B) acquiring property and equipment under regulations the Secretary prescribes; and
(2) receipts from the sale or exchange of property or in payment for loss or damage of property held by the fund.
(e) The Secretary shall deposit at the end of each fiscal year, in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts, amounts accruing in the fund that the Secretary decides are in excess of the needs of the fund.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2425.)
§ 329.
Transportation information
(a) The Secretary of Transportation may collect and collate transportation information the Secretary decides will contribute to the improvement of the transportation system of the United States. To the greatest practical extent, the Secretary shall use information available from departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government and other sources. To the extent practical, the Secretary shall make available to other Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities and to the public the information collected under this subsection.
(b)
The Secretary shall—
(1) collect and disseminate information on civil aeronautics (other than that collected and disseminated by the National Transportation Safety Board under chapter 11 of this title) including, at a minimum, information on (A) the origin and destination of passengers in interstate air transportation (as that term is used in part A of subtitle VII of this title), and (B) the number of passengers traveling by air between any two points in interstate air transportation; except that in no case shall the Secretary require an air carrier to provide information on the number of passengers or the amount of cargo on a specific flight if the flight and the flight number under which such flight operates are used solely for interstate air transportation and are not used for providing essential air transportation under subchapter II of chapter 417 of this title;
(2) study the possibilities of developing air commerce and the aeronautical industry; and
(3) exchange information on civil aeronautics with governments of foreign countries through appropriate departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government.
(c)
(1)
On the written request of a person, a State, territory, or possession of the United States, or a political subdivision of a State, territory, or possession, the Secretary may—
(A) make special statistical studies on foreign and domestic transportation;
(B) make special studies on other matters related to duties and powers of the Secretary;
(C) prepare, from records of the Department of Transportation, special statistical compilations; and
(D) provide transcripts of studies, tables, and other records of the Department.
(2) The person or governmental authority requesting information under paragraph (1) of this subsection must pay the actual cost of preparing the information. Payments shall be deposited in the Treasury in an account that the Secretary shall administer. The Secretary may use amounts in the account for the ordinary expenses incidental to getting and providing the information.
(d) To assist in carrying out duties and powers under part A of subtitle VII of this title, the Secretary of Transportation shall maintain separate cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the timely exchange of information on their programs, policies, and requirements directly related to carrying out that part.
(e)
Incidents and Complaints Involving Passenger and Baggage Security Screening.—
(1)
Publication of data.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall publish data on incidents and complaints involving passenger and baggage security screening in a manner comparable to other consumer complaint and incident data.
(2)
Monthly reports from secretary of homeland security.—
To assist in the publication of data under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Transportation may request the Secretary of Homeland Security to periodically report on the number of complaints about security screening received by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2426; Pub. L. 98–216, § 2(2), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 98–443, § 5(a), Oct. 4, 1984, 98 Stat. 1705; Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(7), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1366; Pub. L. 104–287, § 5(3), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3389; Pub. L. 108–176, title IV, § 421, title VIII, § 805(a), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2551, 2587.)
§ 330.
Research activities
(a)
In General.—
The Secretary of Transportation may make contracts with educational institutions, public and private agencies and organizations, and persons for scientific or technological research into a problem related to programs carried out by the Secretary. Before making a contract, the Secretary must require the institution, agency, organization, or person to show that it is able to carry out the contract.
(b)
Responsibilities.—
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—
(1) give advice and assistance the Secretary believes will best carry out the duties and powers of the Secretary;
(2) participate in coordinating all research started under this section;
(3) indicate the lines of inquiry most important to the Secretary; and
(4) encourage and assist in establishing and maintaining cooperation by and between contractors and between them and other research organizations, the Department of Transportation, and other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government.
(c)
Publications.—
The Secretary may distribute publications containing information the Secretary considers relevant to research carried out under this section.
(d)
Duties.—
The Secretary shall provide for the following:
(1) Coordination, facilitation, and review of Department of Transportation research and development programs and activities.
(2) Advancement, and research and development, of innovative technologies, including intelligent transportation systems.
(3) Comprehensive transportation statistics research, analysis, and reporting.
(4) Education and training in transportation and transportation-related fields.
(5) Activities of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.
(6) Coordination in support of multimodal and multidisciplinary research activities.
(e)
Additional Authorities.—
The Secretary may—
(1) enter into grants and cooperative agreements with Federal agencies, State and local government agencies, other public entities, private organizations, and other persons to conduct research into transportation service and infrastructure assurance and to carry out other research activities of the Department of Transportation;
(2)
carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development to encourage innovative solutions to multimodal transportation problems and stimulate the deployment of new technology with—
(A) non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, foreign governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, institutions, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and trade associations that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State;
(B) Federal laboratories; and
(C) other Federal agencies; and
(3) directly initiate contracts, grants, cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12(d) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a(d))), and other agreements to fund, and accept funds from, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, State departments of transportation, cities, counties, institutions of higher education, associations, and the agents of those entities to carry out joint transportation research and technology efforts.
(f)
Federal Share.—
(1)
In general.—
Subject to paragraph (2), the Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out under subsection (e)(3) shall not exceed 50 percent.
(2)
Exception.—
If the Secretary determines that the activity is of substantial public interest or benefit, the Secretary may approve a greater Federal share.
(3)
Non-federal share.—
All costs directly incurred by the non-Federal partners, including personnel, travel, facility, and hardware development costs, shall be credited toward the non-Federal share of the cost of an activity described in subsection (e)(3).
(g)
Program Evaluation and Oversight.—
For each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020, the Secretary is authorized to expend not more than 1 ½ percent of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for the coordination, evaluation, and oversight of the programs administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.
(h)
Use of Technology.—
The research, development, or use of a technology under a contract, grant, cooperative research and development agreement, or other agreement entered into under this section, including the terms under which the technology may be licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall be subject to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).
(i)
Waiver of Advertising Requirements.—
Section 6101 of title 41 shall not apply to a contract, grant, or other agreement entered into under this section.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2427; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title VI, § 6011(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1568.)
§ 331.
Service, supplies, and facilities at remote places
(a)
When necessary and not otherwise available, the Secretary of Transportation may provide for, construct, or maintain the following for officers and employees of the Department of Transportation and their dependents stationed in remote places:
(1) emergency medical services and supplies.
(2) food and other subsistence supplies.
(3) messing facilities.
(4) motion picture equipment and film for recreation and training.
(5) living and working quarters and facilities.
(6) reimbursement for food, clothing, medicine, and other supplies provided by an officer or employee in an emergency for the temporary relief of individuals in distress.
(b) The Secretary shall prescribe reasonable charges for medical treatment provided under subsection (a)(1) of this section and for supplies and services provided under subsection (a)(2) and (3) of this section. Amounts received under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation from which the expenditure was made.
(c) When appropriations for a fiscal year for aviation duties and powers have not been made before June 1 immediately before the beginning of the fiscal year, the Secretary may designate an officer, and authorize that officer, to incur obligations to buy and transport supplies to carry out those duties and powers at installations outside the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia. The amount obligated under this subsection in a fiscal year may be not more than 75 percent of the amount available for buying and transporting supplies to those installations for the then current fiscal year. Payment of obligations under this subsection shall be made from appropriations for the next fiscal year when available.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2427; Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(8), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1367.)
§ 332.
Minority Resource Center
(a) In this section, “minority” includes women.
(b)
The Department of Transportation has a Minority Resource Center. The Center may—
(1) include a national information clearinghouse for minority entrepreneurs and businesses to disseminate information to them on business opportunities related to the maintenance, rehabilitation, restructuring, improvement, and revitalization of the railroads of the United States;
(2) carry out market research, planning, economic and business analyses, and feasibility studies to identify those business opportunities;
(3) assist minority entrepreneurs and businesses in obtaining investment capital and debt financing;
(4) design and carry out programs to encourage, promote, and assist minority entrepreneurs and businesses in getting contracts, subcontracts, and projects related to those business opportunities;
(5)
(6) participate in, and cooperate with, United States Government programs and other programs designed to provide financial, management, and other forms of support and assistance to minority entrepreneurs and businesses; and
(7) make arrangements to carry out this section.
(c) The Center has an advisory committee of 5 individuals appointed by the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary shall make the appointments from lists of qualified individuals recommended by minority-dominated trade associations in the minority business community. Each of those trade associations may submit a list of not more than 3 qualified individuals.
(d) The United States Railway Association, the Consolidated Rail Corporation, and the Secretary shall provide the Center with relevant information (including procurement schedules, bids, and specifications on particular maintenance, rehabilitation, restructuring, improvement, and revitalization projects) the Center requests in carrying out this section.
(e)
Bonding Assistance.—
(1)
In general.—
The Secretary, acting through the Minority Resource Center established under subsection (b), shall provide assistance in obtaining bid, payment, and performance bonds by disadvantaged business enterprises pursuant to subsection (b)(4).
(2)
Authorization of appropriation.—
There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 to carry out activities under this subsection.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2428; Pub. L. 109–59, title I, § 1951, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1514.)
§ 333.
Responsibility for rail transportation unification and coordination projects
(a) The Secretary of Transportation may develop and make available to interested persons any plans, proposals, and recommendations for mergers, consolidations, reorganizations, and other unification or coordination projects for rail transportation (including arrangements for joint use of tracks and other facilities and acquisition or sale of assets) that the Secretary believes will result in a rail system that is more efficient and consistent with the public interest.
(b) To achieve a more efficient, economical, and viable rail system in the private sector, the Secretary, when requested by a rail carrier and under this section, may assist in planning, negotiating, and carrying out a unification or coordination of operations and facilities of at least 2 rail carriers.
(c)
(1)
The Secretary may conduct studies to determine the potential cost savings and possible improvements in the quality of rail transportation that are likely to result from unification or coordination of at least 2 rail carriers, through—
(A) elimination of duplicating or overlapping operations and facilities;
(B) reducing switching operations;
(C) using the shortest or more efficient and economical routes;
(D) exchanging trackage rights;
(E) combining trackage and terminal or other facilities;
(F) upgrading tracks and other facilities used by at least 2 rail carriers;
(G) reducing administrative and other expenses; and
(H) other measures likely to reduce costs and improve rail transportation.
(2) When the Secretary requests information for a study under this section, a rail carrier shall provide the information requested. In carrying out this section, the Secretary may designate an officer or employee to get from a rail carrier information on the kind, quality, origin, destination, consignor, consignee, and routing of property. This information may be obtained without the consent of the consignor or consignee notwithstanding section 11904 of this title. When appropriate, the designated officer or employee has the powers described in section 203(c) of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 to carry out this section, but a subpena must be issued under the signature of the Secretary.
(d)
(1)
When requested by a rail carrier, the Secretary may hold conferences on and mediate disputes resulting from a proposed unification or coordination project. The Secretary may invite to a conference—
(A) officers and directors of an affected rail carrier;
(B) representatives of rail carrier employees who may be affected;
(C) representatives of the Surface Transportation Board;
(D) State and local government officials, shippers, and consumer representatives; and
(E) representatives of the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General.
(2) A person attending or represented at a conference on a proposed unification or coordination project is not liable under the antitrust laws of the United States for any discussion at the conference and for any agreements reached at the conference, that are entered into with the approval of the Secretary to achieve or determine a plan of action to carry out the unification or coordination project.
(e) When the approval of a proposal submitted by a rail carrier for a merger or other action is subject to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board under section 11323(a) of this title, the Secretary may study the proposal to decide whether it satisfies section 11324(b) of this title. When the proposal is the subject of an application and proceeding before the Board, the Secretary may appear in any proceeding related to the application.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2429; Pub. L. 104–88, title III, § 308(b), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 946; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32932(a)(3), (4), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 829.)
[§§ 334, 335.
Repealed. Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(9)(A), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1367]
§ 336.
Civil penalty procedures
(a) After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, a person found by the Secretary of Transportation to have violated a provision of law that the Secretary carries out through the Maritime Administrator or the Commandant of the Coast Guard or a regulation prescribed under that law by the Secretary for which a civil penalty is provided, is liable to the United States Government for the civil penalty provided. The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other matters that justice requires.
(b) The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without consideration, a civil penalty until the assessment is referred to the Attorney General.
(c) If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become final, the Secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General for collection in an appropriate district court of the United States.
(d)
The Secretary may refund or remit a civil penalty collected under this section if—
(1) application has been made for refund or remission of the penalty within one year from the date of payment; and
(2) the Secretary finds that the penalty was unlawfully, improperly, or excessively imposed.
(Added Pub. L. 101–225, title III, § 305(1), Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1924.)
§ 337.
Budget request for the Director of Intelligence and Security

The annual budget the Secretary of Transportation submits shall include a specific request for the Office of the Director of Intelligence and Security. In deciding on the budget request for the Office, the Secretary shall consider recommendations in the annual report submitted under section 44938(a) of this title.

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(10)(A), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1367.)