Motor Carrier Financial and Operating Information; Requests for Exemption From Public Release of Reports

Motor Carrier Financial and Operating Information; Requests for Exemption From Public Release of Reports

Federal Register Notice
October 25, 1999
Volume 64, Number 205

AGENCY: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: Class I and Class II motor carriers of property and household goods are required to file annual and quarterly reports with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). As provided by statute, carriers may request that their reports be withheld from public release. BTS is issuing this notice to invite comments on several requests submitted by carriers.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by November 24, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Please send comments to the Docket Clerk, Docket No. BTS-99- 6375, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL- 401, Washington, DC 20590, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

You only need to submit one copy. If you would like the Department to acknowledge receipt of the comments, you must include a self- addressed stamped postcard with the following statement: Comments on Docket BTS-99-6375. The Docket Clerk will date stamp the postcard and mail it back to you.

If you wish to file comments using the Internet, you may use the U.S. DOT Dockets Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov. Please follow the instructions online for more information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Mednick, K-1, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; (202) 366-8871; fax: (202) 366-3640; e-mail:david.mednick@bts.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Under 49 U.S.C. 14123 and its implementing regulations at 49 CFR 1420, BTS collects financial and operating information from for-hire motor carriers of property and household goods. The data are collected on annual Form M, filed by Class I and Class II carriers, and quarterly Form QFR, filed only by Class I carriers. The data are used by the Department of Transportation, other federal agencies, motor carriers, shippers, industry analysts, labor unions, segments of the insurance industry, investment analysts, and the consultants and data vendors that support these users. Among the uses of the data are: (1) Developing the U.S. national accounts and preparing the quarterly estimates of the Gross Domestic Product, which help us better understand the U.S. economy and the motor carrier industry's role in it; (2) measuring the performance of the for-hire motor carrier industry and segments within it; (3) monitoring carrier safety; (4) benchmarking carrier performance; and (5) analyzing motor carrier safety and productivity.

Generally, all data are made publicly available. A carrier can, however, request that its report be withheld from public release, as provided for by statute, 49 U.S.C. 14123(c)(2), and its implementing regulations, 49 CFR 1420.9. BTS will grant a request upon a proper showing that the carrier is not a publicly held corporation or that the carrier is not subject to financial reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and that the exemption is necessary to avoid competitive harm and to avoid the disclosure of information that qualifies as trade secret or privileged or confidential information under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). The carrier must submit a written request containing supporting information. BTS must receive the request by the report's due date, unless it is postmarked by the due date or there are extenuating circumstances. Requests covering the quarterly reports must be received by the due date of the annual report that relates to the prior year.

In accordance with our regulations, after each due date of each annual report BTS then publishes a notice, such as this one, in the Federal Register requesting comments on any requests it has received. After considering the requests and comments, BTS will decide to grant or deny each request no later than 90 days after the request's due date. While a decision is pending, BTS will not publicly release the report except as allowed under 49 CFR 1420.10(c). BTS issued a similar notice and request for comments on September 3, 1999 (64 FR 48452), covering the carrier requests it had received relating to their 1998 annual reports and, in some cases, their 1999 quarterly reports. BTS is issuing this second notice and request for comments for several additional requests. Those carriers received additional time, past the original May 31 report deadline, to make their requests due to extenuating circumstances.

II. Request for Comments

BTS invites comments on several carrier requests for exemption from public release. These requests cover the 1998 annual report and some also cover the 1999 quarterly reports. BTS is withholding portions of one carrier's request. While BTS will consider this material in deciding whether to grant the request, the information is not being released publicly. BTS has determined that some of the information is confidential business information and therefore exempt from public disclosure by 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) and 49 CFR 7.69. Other information would reveal the contents of the carrier's report and therefore releasing it would defeat the purpose of the exemption request. The public version of the request provides adequate notice.

Comments should be made within the context of the governing regulations at 49 CFR 1420.9, which were published in the Federal Register on March 23, 1999 (64 FR 13916). We are inviting your comments on requests from the following carriers:

Annett Holdings, Inc. (MC 115730)
D & A Truck Line, Inc. (MC147545)
LTI, Inc. (MC 170078)
North American Van Lines, Inc. (MC 107012)
The Kaplan Trucking Company (MC 002304)

If you wish the read their exemption requests and the comments submitted in response to this Notice, use the DOT Dockets Management System. This is located at the Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590, and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Internet users can access the Dockets Management System at http://dms.dot.gov. Please follow the instructions online for more information and help.

You must also use the Dockets Management System if you wish to comment on one or more exemption requests. Please follow the instructions listed above under ADDRESSES.

Ashish Sen,
Director.

[FR Doc. 99-27669 Filed 10-22-99; 8:45 am]

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