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U.S. Coast Guard Oversight of Recognized Organizations

September 27, 2021 - September 29, 2021

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A study committee appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard’s oversight of recognized organizations (ROs) and its impact on compliance and on the safety of vessels inspected by such organizations.

This is a closed session involving the committee members and Transportation Research Board staff only.


The committee will assess the Coast Guard’s actions to oversee, guide, monitor, assess, and otherwise strengthen the performance of ROs in carrying out their delegated statutory certifications and other services. Consideration will be given to changes that have been made, or that are planned, in areas such as institutional and organizational structures; roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures; guidance and compliance documents; data and analytic systems; training; communications; and performance reporting.

The committee will also compare the main features of the Coast Guard’s oversight program with those of the oversight programs of other regulatory agencies that delegate regulatory or statutory authority to third parties from both the transportation and non-transportation domains. To the extent that sufficient data are available, the committee will benchmark the Coast Guard’s program with other programs.

Informed by this review and comparison, the committee will consider the effectiveness of the Coast Guard’s RO oversight program and identify needs and potential opportunities to strengthen it. In identifying these needs and opportunities, the committee will, as a minimum, consider:

• The Coast Guard’s marine inspection workforce’s size, training, competency levels, and qualifications for conducting RO oversight;
• The degree of data analysis and sharing among the Coast Guard and ROs, including the integration of RO data into Coast Guard decisionmaking processes concerning the RO and/or the vessels the RO performs work on behalf of the Coast Guard;
• The functionality, usability, and utility of the Coast Guard vessel inspection database [Marine Information System for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE)]; and
• The prospects for introducing a more automated risk-based program for the RO oversight program and associated vessels.

Based on the findings from its review, the committee will make recommendations, as appropriate, on any additional steps the Coast Guard should consider to ensure the effective oversight and performance of ROs in carrying out their delegated statutory certifications and services and to further compliance by vessel owners and operators.


September 27, 2021
September 29, 2021
Event Category:


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)
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