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Reporting to SafeOCS

SafeOCS – Industry Safety Data Program

Who is BTS and what is CIPSEA?

Who is the BTS?
  • The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) was established in 1992 as an independent Federal statistical agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation with the mission to serve the public and other Federal agencies
  • As a Federal statistical agency, BTS’ primary function is the compilation and analysis of relevant and accurate data and the dissemination of information for statistical purposes, thereby allowing the users to make informed decisions
  • Principles for all Federal statistical agencies include relevance to policy issues, credibility among data users, trust among data providers, and independence from political or other undue external influence
  • BTS is policy-neutral (i.e., an objective broker for the facts)
  • BTS is not a regulatory agency and has no authority to issue fines or penalties
  • BTS has authority and obligation per statute and CIPSEA to protect confidentiality of data
Why CIPSEA Protection?
  • In 2002, Congress passed into law the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA)
  • Stipulates that an agency may collect information under pledge of confidentiality for statistical purposes
  • CIPSEA protections include:
    • o    No government agency may require, for any reason, a copy of a respondent’s report
    • o    Court cannot require a copy of any respondent’s report
    • o    Reports are immune from the legal process and cannot be admitted as evidence
    • o    Reports are exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
    • o    Information may not be disclosed in identifiable form for any non-statistical purpose without the informed consent of a respondent
  • Willful disclosure of confidential information by Federal employees, agents, and contractors may incur sanctions and penalties o Breach of confidentiality can occur through either direct (names, telephone numbers, etc.) or indirect identifiers (geographical location, equipment, linking of electronic files, etc.)
  • Data requiring confidentiality protection include sensitivity, proprietary, or private data; examples include:
    • o   Original SafeOCS reports provided directly to BTS
    • o    Any BTS working documents
    • o    Sections of root cause analysis reports development by designated subject matter experts
    • o    All of the above whether paper or electronic
  • Non-confidential information includes preventative safety actions recommended for implementation by subject matter experts or stakeholders, and any documents developed for public dissemination using confidential data (e.g., annual reports of aggregated data to stakeholders)
  • Federal statistical agencies can designate agents to assist in data collection
What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
  • Addresses conduct and responsibilities of BTS staff, contractors, and agents
  • Ensures that no one outside of designated BTS staff, contractors, and agents has access to confidential data
  • Requires individuals accessing detailed data to understand responsibility and obligation to protect confidential information, and adhere to BTS confidentiality procedures
  • Requires completion of annual confidentiality training provided by BTS
Send email icon  SafeOCS@dot.gov Phoneicon  1-844-OCS-FRST (1-844-627-3778) Location icon  SafeOCS, BTS-USDOT, P.O. Box 23295, Washington, DC 20026-3295