Marine Link
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Gao Report News

Cruise Safety Enviro Record Good

Despite a rash of failures at sea and high-profile legal cases regarding illegal dumping, cruise shipping remains one of the safest and environmentally conscious modes of transportation available, according to a recently released report. The International Council of Cruise Lines cited the General Accounting Office (GAO) Report released to Congress as acknowledgement of the high degree of compliance by the cruise industry with U.S. environmental regulations. The GAO report, "Fewer Incidents by Cruise Ships Reported, But Important Issues Remain,'' states that, during the period from 1993-1998, the U.S. Coast Guard recorded 2,395 illegal discharges from all non-U.S. vessels, of which only 87 were from passenger ships.

Hearing to Address US Coast Guard Needs

The U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), will hold a hearing next week on U.S. Coast Guard mission needs and a recently completed Government Accountability Office (GAO) review of how the Service allocates its resources.   The GAO report, entitled Coast Guard: Actions Needed to Improve Strategic Allocation of Assets and Determine Workforce Requirements, reviewed the extent to which the Coast Guard employs an effective process to strategically allocate assets to meet its mission responsibilities.  The release of the GAO report will coincide with Tuesday’s hearing.   The Subcommittee hearing, entitled, “Coast Guard Mission Needs and Resources Allocation,” is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

GAO Says Mariner Rights Protected in Law Hearings

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report Friday detailing its findings following a review of the Coast Guard's Administrative Law Judge Program that was requested by Congress and welcomed by the Coast Guard. The GAO conducted an independent and objective review of 1,675 suspension and revocation cases opened and closed by the Coast Guard from Nov. 10, 2005, through Sept. 30, 2008. •    Sixty two percent of suspension and revocation cases are disposed through settlement agreements between the Coast Guard and mariners. Click here to view or download a chart showing the disposition of all cases reviewed by the GAO. •    Roughly three percent, or just 45 cases, were disposed through a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

CLIA President Comments on Government’s Cruise Report

Christine Duffy, CLIA president and CEO, said, "The [GAO] report recognizes that the industry adopted 10 wide-ranging safety policies in 2012, each of which are mandatory for membership in CLIA, and have been incorporated into International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards.  As a result of the industry’s relentless focus on passenger comfort and safety, cruising is one of the most enjoyable, affordable and safe holiday vacation experiences available today.”

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today issued a statement from President and CEO Christine Duffy on the recently released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on implementation of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010 and cruise industry safety practices. Below is Duffy’s statement in full. “We are pleased the GAO concluded that cruise lines are complying with the requirements of the CVSSA, and implementation of the law is progressing as intended.

GAO report – Smart Card Technology

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on implementation of smart card technology by federal agencies. It discusses, among other things, plans by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to issue Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) to an estimated 6 million workers. GAO-04-948 (HK Law).

NCL Comments on GAO Report

Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Colin Veitch Responds to GAO Report on NCL’s Project America. The GAO report released today confirms what Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has known from the beginning – Project America is good for American workers and for consumers. It means more competition in the cruise industry and will result in more choices for vacationing families. It is good for the U.S. economy because it has already created more than 1,000 new jobs and will add badly needed tax revenues to federal and state treasuries. Once fully implemented, this project will generate more than 20,000 jobs and over $800 million annually in economic activity. NCL made the decision to have a real presence in Hawai`i despite its bigger and more established competitors.

GAO Report Examines Corps Restrictions on Hopper Dredges

The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report entitled -'Corps of Engineers Effects of Restrictions on Corps Hopper Dredges Should be Comprehensively Analyzed

GAO Report: Some Cutters in Declining Condition

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report stating that some Coast Guard cutters engaged in aids-to-navigation and domestic icebreaking are in declining condition. source: HK Law

GAO: U.S. Can Do Better on Arctic Policy

The U.S. needs a better strategy to coordinate and prioritize its policies related to the Arctic region, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study out today that was released by Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Tim Bishop (NY-01), John Garamendi (CA-03) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK). The GAO study focused on U.S. participation in the Arctic Council, a voluntary body started in 1996 that includes the eight Arctic nations—Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S., as well as indigenous groups and other stakeholders.

Jones Act Seems Beneficial to Puerto Ricans Finds GAO

American Maritime Partnership (AMP) member, Crowley Maritime Corp. The long-awaited General Accountability Office (GAO) study on the Jones Act in Puerto Rico shows that the U.S. domestic container shipping fleet has provided regular, reliable service while offering significant rate reductions, according to the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), an industry trade group. "GAO disproved charges that the Jones Act raises prices for consumers in Puerto Rico," AMP said in a statement shortly after the release of the report today. "As such, GAO's report confirmed that previous estimates of the so-called 'cost' of the Jones Act are not verifiable and cannot be proven.

GAO: Ending Crude Export Ban Could Ease 'Price at the Pump'

As the energy profile of the U.S. continues to improve and evolve daily, fresh debate in favor of exporting oil and gas products -- which would have a significant impact on the U.S. Maritime Trade -- are gaining steam. A new report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) will surely add fuel to the "export oil" fire now, as GAO reports that U.S. consumers could save on gasoline if the ban on crude oil exports were lifted, even if such a move creates uncertain environmental risks. Allowing more domestic fuel to reach the global energy market would probably boost the national economy and ease the U.S. trade deficit, but other implications are less clear, the GAO said.

GAO Reports on Great Lakes Water Quality

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a Report regarding efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the quality of waters of the Great Lakes. The report states that the EPA Great Lakes Initiative has limited potential to improve overall water quality in the Great Lakes Basin because it primarily focuses on regulated point sources of pollution, while nonpoint sources (such as air deposition and agricultural runoff) are greater sources of pollution. Note: This is just one more in a long string of reports showing that ships are a minor source of water pollution – even while ships continue to be the primary focus of attention by law enforcement and by environmental advocacy groups. GAO-05-829 (HK Law)

Navy Shipbuilding: U.S. GAO on Getting Things Right

LCS Sea Trial: Image courtesy of USN

A recent report US Government Audit Office (GAO) report, mandated by the House, discussed amongst other issues:  (1) quality problems in constructing recently delivered ships and Navy actions to improve quality and (2) key practices employed by leading commercial ship buyers and shipbuilders to ensure quality and how these compared with Navy practices. The Navy has experienced significant quality problems with several ship classes over the past several years. It has focused on reducing the number of serious deficiencies at the time of delivery…

Report Confirms Increased Assessments on Maritime Industry

U.S. ports got confirmation at its Annual Convention meeting from a just-released General Accounting Office (GAO) Report that both the number and the dollar amount of fees assessed on the maritime industry have increased since the last study was released in 1993. The GAO Report, Federal Assessments on the Maritime Industry, states 11 federal agencies collect 124 different fees and assessments on maritime commerce, for a total of almost $22 billion ($21 billion of which is collected by U.S. Customs alone). Total collections have increased from $18.2 billion in fiscal 1991 to $21.9 billion in fiscal 1998. "This confirms what we've been saying for years: Shippers, vessel owners, operators, importers and exporters are already heavily taxed," said Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA president.

Legislation Aimed at Reducing TWIC Red Tape

Bill Would Reform Enrollment Process in Flawed TWIC Program. U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced legislation today that would reform the burdensome enrollment process of the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) program, which provides biometric identification cards to mariners and other transportation workers in order to allow them unescorted access to secure areas of ports, vessels, and other maritime facilities. Under current rules, merchant mariners, port employees, truck drivers, and other workers are required to make repeated visits to a TWIC enrollment center in order to apply for and obtain credentials.

Report Confirms Increased Assessments on Maritime Industry

U.S. ports got confirmation at its Annual Convention meeting from a just-released General Accounting Office (GAO) Report that both the number and the dollar amount of fees assessed on the maritime industry have increased since the last study was released in 1993. The GAO Report, Federal Assessments on the Maritime Industry, states 11 federal agencies collect 124 different fees and assessments on maritime commerce, for a total of almost $22 billion ($21 billion of which is collected by U.S. Customs alone). Total collections have increased from $18.2 billion in fiscal 1991 to $21.9 billion in fiscal 1998. "This confirms what we've been saying for years: Shippers, vessel owners, operators, importers and exporters are already heavily taxed," said Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA president.

Navy CNO Defends LCS Shipbuilding Program

Navy CNO at Marinetter Marine: Photo credit USN

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program has come under the microscope after news of an electrical problem resulted in a brief loss of power for USS Freedom (LCS 1) over the weekend and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a critical, 72-page report today scrutinizing the cost of the program. However, top Navy leadership including the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert view the performance problems as common for any first-in-class platform--especially…

Navy Cancels Combat Ship Contract

Just six months after pulling the plug on a contract to build a combat ship in Lockport, the Navy announced that it canceled a contract to build another ship in Alabama for the same class of vessels. Continued problems with government shipbuilding programs have cost Louisiana shipyards, but there does not appear to be a shortage of other such work to go around, particularly from the private sector. News of the canceled contract follows heavy criticism by Congress in the last year of the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship, or LCS, program, which aims to build a new fleet of ships for close-to-shore combat. The first two LCS ships incurred $603m in cost overruns, 128 percent more than the program's initial budget, according to a July report by the General Accounting Office.

NOAA Awards $315K for Great Lakes Restoration Program

National Sea Grant College Program. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. strategies used by other regions. $473,000. environment," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. administrator. Lakes. need for additional funding. revitalized Great Lakes ecosystem," said Sen. said Sen. share jurisdiction. of Great Lakes Governors' restoration initiative.

GAO: USCG Deepwater Acquisition Schedule Update Needed

The General Accounting Office has called for the US Coast Guard to update it Acquisition Schedule in keeping with the many changes that have been made to the $17 billion program that was announced in 2002. each budget submission. linking assets.

GAO – USCG Deepwater Program

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a Report concerning the Coast Guard's Deepwater Program to improve its offshore vessels and aircraft and related assets. The report found significant improvement in program management, but recommends continued vigilance. GAO-06-546 Source: HK Law

Challenges to Verify Security Ops

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report stating that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has enhanced its partnership with import trade sectors, but that challenges remain in verifying security practices.  It recommends that CBP improve its electronic validation instrument, improve the validation process, enhance its records management system, and establish performance measures for improving supply chain security.  The report also notes that CBP considered implementing tiered benefits for international carriers, but was not able to identify additional benefits to offer carriers in a tiered structure.  GAO-08-240 (HK Law).

GAO Issue Report on Homeland Security and Information Technology

The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) issued its report entitled Homeland Security: Information Technology Funding and Associated Management Issues

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News