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Public Papers - 1990

Statement on Signing the Independent Safety Board Act Amendments of 1990

1990-11-28

Today I am signing S. 3012, the ``Independent Safety Board Act Amendments of 1990.'' This Act will enable the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to continue in its role as the world's leading transportation investigative agency. Through the Board's efforts, everything from air transportation to pipelines will continue to be subjected to the Board's careful scrutiny and thoughtful recommendations.

My endorsement of this Act is based on my understanding that the amendment contained in section 3, which grants ``sole authority'' over certain testing to this agency, is intended, as the Senate report notes, to address NTSB's ``difficulty with respect to courts interfering in the investigatory process with respect to testing. . . .'' Accordingly, the amendment does not purport to limit the constitutional authority of the President.

I am also concerned that the provisions in S. 3012 dealing with the disclosure of airline cockpit voice recorder transcripts and recordings be interpreted in a manner that is fair to all parties. It is important to protect these materials from sensationalism and unwarranted disclosure, but it is also important that courts provide prompt and complete disclosure to litigants with an interest in judicial proceedings involving aircraft accidents. Every effort should be made to construe the provisions in S. 3012 in a way that preserves an appropriate balance between these goals.

George Bush

The White House,

November 28, 1990.

Note: S. 3012, approved November 28, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 641. The statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 29.

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