49 U.S. Code § 40123. Protection of voluntarily submitted information

(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, nor any agency receiving information from the Administrator, shall disclose voluntarily-provided safety or security related information if the Administrator finds that—
the disclosure of the information would inhibit the voluntary provision of that type of information and that the receipt of that type of information aids in fulfilling the Administrator’s safety and security responsibilities; and
withholding such information from disclosure would be consistent with the Administrator’s safety and security responsibilities.
(b) Regulations.—
The Administrator shall issue regulations to carry out this section.
Effective Date

Except as otherwise specifically provided, section applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1996, and not to be construed as affecting funds made available for a fiscal year ending before Oct. 1, 1996, see section 3 of Pub. L. 104–264, set out as an Effective Date of 1996 Amendment note under section 106 of this title.

Improved Voluntary Disclosure Reporting System

Pub. L. 112–95, title III, § 344, Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 81, provided that:

“(a) Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program Defined.—
In this section, the term ‘Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program’ means the program established by the Federal Aviation Administration through Advisory Circular 00–58A, dated September 8, 2006, including any subsequent revisions thereto.
“(b) Verification.—The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall modify the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program to require inspectors to—
verify that air carriers are implementing comprehensive solutions to correct the underlying causes of the violations voluntarily disclosed by such air carriers; and
confirm, before approving a final report of a violation, that a violation with the same root causes, has not been previously discovered by an inspector or self-disclosed by the air carrier.
“(c) Supervisory Review of Voluntary Self-Disclosures.—
The Administrator shall establish a process by which voluntary self-disclosures received from air carriers are reviewed and approved by a supervisor after the initial review by an inspector.
“(d) Inspector General Study.—
“(1) In general.—
The Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall conduct a study of the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program.
“(2) Review.—In conducting the study, the Inspector General shall examine, at a minimum, if the Administration—
conducts comprehensive reviews of voluntary disclosure reports before closing a voluntary disclosure report under the provisions of the program;
evaluates the effectiveness of corrective actions taken by air carriers; and
effectively prevents abuse of the voluntary disclosure reporting program through its secondary review of self-disclosures before they are accepted and closed by the Administration.
“(3) Report to congress.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 14, 2012], the Inspector General shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the study conducted under this section.”