[USC02] 49 USC 44920: Screening partnership program
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49 USC 44920: Screening partnership program Text contains those laws in effect on November 21, 2019
From Title 49-TRANSPORTATIONSUBTITLE VII-AVIATION PROGRAMSPART A-AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETYsubpart iii-safetyCHAPTER 449-SECURITYSUBCHAPTER I-REQUIREMENTS

§44920. Screening partnership program

(a) In General.-An airport operator may submit to the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration an application to carry out the screening of passengers and property at the airport under section 44901 by personnel of a qualified private screening company pursuant to a contract entered into with the Transportation Security Administration.

(b) Approval of Applications.-

(1) In general.-Not later than 60 days after the date of receipt of an application submitted by an airport operator under subsection (a), the Administrator shall approve or deny the application.

(2) Standards.-The Administrator shall approve an application submitted by an airport operator under subsection (a) if the Administrator determines that the approval would not compromise security or detrimentally affect the cost-efficiency or the effectiveness of the screening of passengers or property at the airport.

(3) Reports on denials of applications.-

(A) In general.-If the Administrator denies an application submitted by an airport operator under subsection (a), the Administrator shall provide to the airport operator, not later than 60 days following the date of the denial, a written report that sets forth-

(i) the findings that served as the basis for the denial;

(ii) the results of any cost or security analysis conducted in considering the application; and

(iii) recommendations on how the airport operator can address the reasons for the denial.


(B) Submission to congress.-The Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives a copy of any report provided to an airport operator under subparagraph (A).


(c) Qualified Private Screening Company.-A private screening company is qualified to provide screening services at an airport under this section if the company will only employ individuals to provide such services who meet all the requirements of this chapter applicable to Federal Government personnel who perform screening services at airports under this chapter and will provide compensation and other benefits to such individuals that are not less than the level of compensation and other benefits provided to such Federal Government personnel in accordance with this chapter.

(d) Selection of Contracts and Standards for Private Screening Companies.-

(1) In general.-The Administrator shall, upon approval of the application, provide the airport operator with a list of qualified private screening companies.

(2) Contracts.-The Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, enter into a contract with a private screening company from the list provided under paragraph (1) for the provision of screening at the airport not later than 120 days after the date of approval of an application submitted by the airport operator under subsection (a) if-

(A) the level of screening services and protection provided at the airport under the contract will be equal to or greater than the level that would be provided at the airport by Federal Government personnel under this chapter;

(B) the private screening company is owned and controlled by a citizen of the United States, to the extent that the Administrator determines that there are private screening companies owned and controlled by such citizens; and

(C) the selected qualified private screening company offered contract price is equal to or less than the cost to the Federal Government to provide screening services at the airport.


(3) Waivers.-The Administrator may waive the requirement of paragraph (2)(B) for any company that is a United States subsidiary with a parent company that has implemented a foreign ownership, control, or influence mitigation plan that has been approved by the Defense Security Service of the Department of Defense prior to the submission of the application. The Administrator has complete discretion to reject any application from a private screening company to provide screening services at an airport that requires a waiver under this paragraph.


(e) Supervision of Screening Personnel.-The Administrator shall-

(1) provide Federal Government supervisors to oversee all screening at each airport at which screening services are provided under this section and provide Federal Government law enforcement officers at the airport pursuant to this chapter; and

(2) undertake covert testing and remedial training support for employees of private screening companies providing screening at airports.


(f) Termination or Suspension of Contracts.-The Administrator may suspend or terminate, as appropriate, any contract entered into with a private screening company to provide screening services at an airport under this section if the Administrator finds that the company has failed repeatedly to comply with any standard, regulation, directive, order, law, or contract applicable to the hiring or training of personnel to provide such services or to the provision of screening at the airport.

(g) Operator of Airport.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an operator of an airport shall not be liable for any claims for damages filed in State or Federal court (including a claim for compensatory, punitive, contributory, or indemnity damages) relating to-

(1) such airport operator's decision to submit an application to the Secretary of Homeland Security under subsection (a) or such airport operator's decision not to submit an application; and

(2) any act of negligence, gross negligence, or intentional wrongdoing by-

(A) a qualified private screening company or any of its employees in any case in which the qualified private screening company is acting under a contract entered into with the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary's designee; or

(B) employees of the Federal Government providing passenger and property security screening services at the airport.


(3) Nothing in this section shall relieve any airport operator from liability for its own acts or omissions related to its security responsibilities, nor except as may be provided by the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 shall it relieve any qualified private screening company or its employees from any liability related to its own acts of negligence, gross negligence, or intentional wrongdoing.


(h) Evaluation of Screening Company Proposals for Award.-

(1) In general.-Except as provided in paragraph (2), notwithstanding any other provision of law, including title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), an airport operator that has applied and been approved to have security screening services carried out by a qualified private screening company under contract with the Administrator may nominate to the head of the contracting activity an individual to participate in the evaluation of proposals for the award of such contract.

(2) Participation on a proposal evaluation committee.-Any participation on a proposal evaluation committee under paragraph (1) shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 21 of title 41.


(i) 1 Innovative Screening Approaches and Technologies.-The Administrator shall encourage an airport operator to whom screening services are provided under this section to recommend to the Administrator innovative screening approaches and technologies. Upon receipt of any such recommendations, the Administrator shall review and, if appropriate, test, conduct a pilot project, and, if appropriate, deploy such approaches and technologies.

(i) 1 Definition of Administrator.-In this section, the term "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.

(Added Pub. L. 107–71, title I, §108(a), Nov. 19, 2001, 115 Stat. 612 ; amended Pub. L. 109–90, title V, §547, Oct. 18, 2005, 119 Stat. 2089 ; Pub. L. 112–95, title VIII, §830(a)–(c), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 135 ; Pub. L. 115–254, div. K, title I, §§1946(a), 1991(d)(17), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3585 , 3636.)

References in Text

The Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002, referred to in subsec. (g)(3), is subtitle G (§§861–865) of title VIII of Pub. L. 107–296, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2238 , also known as the SAFETY Act, which is classified generally to part G (§441 et seq.) of subchapter VIII of chapter 1 of Title 6, Domestic Security. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 101 of Title 6 and Tables.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (h)(1), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770 , which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

2018-Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(1), substituted "Screening partnership program" for "Security screening opt-out program" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(2), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "On or after the last day of the 2-year period beginning on the date on which the Under Secretary transmits to Congress the certification required by section 110(c) of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, an operator of an airport may submit to the Under Secretary an application to have the screening of passengers and property at the airport under section 44901 to be carried out by the screening personnel of a qualified private screening company under a contract entered into with the Under Secretary."

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(3)(A), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Not later than 120 days after the date of receipt of an application submitted by an airport operator under subsection (a), the Under Secretary shall approve or deny the application."

Subsec. (b)(2), (3). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(3)(B), substituted "Administrator" for "Under Secretary" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(A), substituted "Selection of Contracts and Standards" for "Standards" in heading.

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(C)(i), substituted "The Administrator shall, upon approval of the application, provide the airport operator with a list of qualified private screening companies." for "The Under Secretary may enter into a contract with a private screening company to provide screening at an airport under this section only if the Under Secretary determines and certifies to Congress that-". Former subpars. (A) and (B) of par. (1) redesignated subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, of par. (2).

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(C)(ii), inserted par. (2) designation, heading, and introductory provisions before former subpars. (A) and (B) of par. (1), thereby making them part of par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).

Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(D)(ii)(I), substituted "Administrator" for "Under Secretary".

Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(D)(i), (ii)(II), (iii), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(E), substituted "Administrator" for "Under Secretary" in two places and "paragraph (2)(B)" for "paragraph (1)(B)".

Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(4)(B), redesignated par. (2) as (3).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(5)(B)–(E), substituted "The Administrator shall-" for "The Under Secretary shall", inserted par. (1) designation before "provide Federal Government", realigned margins, and added par. (2).

Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(5)(A), substituted "Screening" for "Screened" in heading.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(6), inserted "or Suspension" after "Termination" in heading, and, in text, substituted "Administrator" for "Under Secretary" in two places and "suspend or terminate, as appropriate," for "terminate".

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, §1991(d)(17)(A), substituted "subsection (a)" for "subsection (a) or section 44919".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(7), added subsec. (h) and struck out former subsec. (h). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "As part of any submission of an application for a private screening company to provide screening services at an airport, the airport operator shall provide to the Under Secretary a recommendation as to which company would best serve the security screening and passenger needs of the airport, along with a statement explaining the basis of the operator's recommendation."

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 115–254, §1991(d)(17)(B), added subsec. (i) defining "Administrator".

Pub. L. 115–254, §1946(a)(7), added subsec. (i) relating to innovative screening approaches and technologies.

2012-Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–95, §830(a), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Under Secretary may approve any application submitted under subsection (a)."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–95, §830(b), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, redesignated former pars. (1) and (2) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, of par. (1), realigned margins, and added par. (2).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 112–95, §830(c), added subsec. (h).

2005-Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 109–90 added subsec. (g).

Applications Submitted Before the Date of Enactment of Pub. L. 115–254

Pub. L. 115–254, div. K, title I, §1946(c), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3587 , provided that: "Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 2018], the Administrator [of the Transportation Security Administration] shall approve or deny, in accordance with section 44920(b) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this Act, each application submitted before the date of enactment of this Act, by an airport operator under subsection (a) of that section, that is awaiting such a determination."

1 So in original. Two subsecs. (i) have been enacted.