H.R. 5043 (103rd): Missing Service Personnel Act of 1994

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Sep 13, 1994 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

HR 5043 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5043

To amend title 10, United States Code, to establish procedures for determining that status of certain missing members of the Armed Forces and certain civilians, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 13, 1994

Mr. MURPHY introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


A BILL

To amend title 10, United States Code, to establish procedures for determining that status of certain missing members of the Armed Forces and certain civilians, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Missing Service Personnel Act of 1994’.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to ensure that any member of the Armed Forces and any civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government who serves with or accompanies an Armed Force in the field under orders is fully accounted for by the Federal Government and, as a general rule, is not declared dead solely because of the passage of time.

SEC. 3. DETERMINATION OF WHEREABOUTS AND STATUS OF CERTAIN MISSING PERSONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 53 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end of the following new section:

‘Sec. 1060a. Missing persons: informal investigations; inquiries; determinations of death; personnel files

    ‘(a) INFORMAL INVESTIGATIONS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- After receiving factual information that the whereabouts or status of a person described in paragraph (2) is uncertain and that the absence of the person may be involuntary, the military commander of the unit, facility, or area to or in which the person is assigned shall conduct an investigation into the whereabouts and status of the person.

      ‘(2) COVERED PERSONS- Paragraph (1) applies to the following individuals:

        ‘(A) Any member of the armed forces who disappears during a time or war or national emergency, or during a period of such other hostilities as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe.

        ‘(B) Any civilian employee of the Federal Government (including an employee of a contractor of the Federal Government) who--

          ‘(i) serves with or accompanies an armed force in the field during such a time or period; and

          ‘(ii) disappears during such service or accompaniment.

      ‘(3) FURTHER ACTIVITIES- As a result of an investigation into the whereabouts and status of a person under paragraph (1), a commander shall--

        ‘(A) place the person in a missing status;

        ‘(B) submit a notice that the person has been placed in a missing status to--

          ‘(i) in the case of a person who is a member of the armed forces, the officer having general court-martial authority over the person;

          ‘(ii) in the case of a person who is a civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government, the Secretary of the department employing the person or contracting with the contractor;

        ‘(C) retain and safeguard for official use any information, documents, records, statements, or other evidence relating to the whereabouts or status of the person that result from the investigation or from actions taken to locate the person; and

        ‘(D) submit to the officer having general court-martial authority over the person, in the case of a member of the armed forces, or to the Secretary of the department employing the person or contracting with the contractor, in the case of a civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government, as the case may be--

          ‘(i) not later than 48 hours after the date on which the absence of the person is officially noted, a report that--

            ‘(I) contains information on the absence or disappearance of the person;

            ‘(II) describes the actions taken to locate the person; and

            ‘(III) sets forth any information relating to the whereabouts or status of the person not contained in any previous report;

          ‘(ii) not later than 7 days after such date, a report that--

            ‘(I) summarizes the actions taken to locate the person; and

            ‘(II) sets forth any information relating to the whereabouts or status of the person not contained in any previous report;

          ‘(iii) not later than 30 days after such date, a report that--

            ‘(I) summarizes the continuing actions to locate the person; and

            ‘(II) sets forth any information on the whereabouts or status of the person that results from such actions; and

          ‘(iv) at any other time, a report that sets forth any other information that may be relevant to the whereabouts or status of the person.

    ‘(b) INITIAL INQUIRY-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 7 days after receiving notification under subsection (a)(3)(B) that a person has been placed in missing status, the officer having general court-martial authority over the person, in the case of a person who is a member of the armed forces, or the Secretary of the department employing the person or contracting with the contractor, in the case of a person who is a civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government, shall appoint a board to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts and status of the person.

      ‘(2) SCOPE OF CERTAIN INQUIRIES- If it appears to the official who appoints a board under this subsection that the absence or missing status of two or more persons is factually related, the official may appoint one board under this subsection to conduct the inquiry into the whereabouts or status of the persons.

      ‘(3) COMPOSITION-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- A board appointed under this subsection shall consist of at least one individual described in subparagraph (B) who has experience with and understanding of military operations or activities similar to the operation or activity in which the person or persons disappeared.

        ‘(B) REQUIRED MEMBER- An individual referred to in subparagraph (A) is the following:

          ‘(i) A military officer, in the case of an inquiry with respect to a member of the armed forces.

          ‘(ii) A civilian, in the case of an inquiry with respect to a civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government.

        ‘(C) ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION- Each member of a board appointed for an inquiry under this subsection shall have a security clearance that affords the member access to all information relating to the whereabouts and status of the missing person or persons covered by the inquiry.

      ‘(4) ACTIVITIES- A board appointed to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts or status of a missing person or persons under this subsection shall--

        ‘(A) collect, develop, and investigate all facts and evidence relating to the disappearance, whereabouts, or status of the person or persons;

        ‘(B) collect appropriate documentation of the facts and evidence covered by the investigation;

        ‘(C) analyze the facts and evidence, make findings based on the analysis, and draw conclusions as to the current whereabouts and status of the person or persons; and

        ‘(D) recommend to the officer having general court-martial authority over the person, in the case of a person who is a member of the armed forces, or the Secretary of the department employing the person or contracting with the contractor, in the case of a person who is a civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government, that--

          ‘(i) the person or persons continue to have a missing status; or

          ‘(ii) the person or persons be declared (I) to have deserted, (II) to be absent without leave, or (III) to be dead.

      ‘(5) INQUIRY PROCEEDINGS- During the proceedings of an inquiry under this subsection, a board shall--

        ‘(A) collect, record, and safeguard all classified and unclassified facts, documents, statements, photographs, tapes, messages, maps, sketches, reports, and other information relating to the whereabouts or status of the person or persons covered by the inquiry;

        ‘(B) gather facts and information relating to actions taken to find the person or persons, including any evidence of the whereabouts or status of the person or persons that arises from such actions; and

        ‘(C) maintain a record of the proceedings.

      ‘(6) COUNSEL FOR MISSING PERSON-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The official who appoints a board to conduct an inquiry under this subsection shall appoint counsel to represent the person or persons covered by the inquiry.

        ‘(B) QUALIFICATIONS- An individual appointed as counsel under this paragraph shall--

          ‘(i) meet the qualifications set forth in section 827(b) of this title (article 27(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice); and

          ‘(ii) have a security clearance that affords the individual access to all information relating to the whereabouts or status of the person or persons covered by the inquiry.

        ‘(C) RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES- An individual appointed as counsel under this paragraph--

          ‘(i) shall have access to all facts and evidence considered by the board during the proceedings under the inquiry for which the counsel is appointed;

          ‘(ii) shall observe all official activities of the board during such proceedings;

          ‘(iii) may question witnesses before the board;

          ‘(iv) shall monitor the deliberations of the board;

          ‘(v) shall review the report of the board under paragraph (9); and

          ‘(vi) shall submit to the official who appointed the board an independent review of such report.

        ‘(D) TREATMENT OF REVIEW- A review of the report of a board on an inquiry that is submitted under subparagraph (C)(vi) shall be made an official part of the record of the board with respect to the inquiry.

      ‘(7) ACCESS TO MEETINGS- The proceedings of a board during an inquiry under this subsection shall be closed to the public, including to any member of the immediate family, dependent, primary next of kin, or previously designated person of the person or persons covered by the inquiry.

      ‘(8) RECOMMENDATION ON STATUS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Upon completion of an inquiry into the whereabouts or status of a person or persons under this subsection, a board shall make a recommendation to the official who appointed the board as to the current whereabouts or status of the person or persons.

        ‘(B) RECOMMENDATION OF STATUS AS DEAD-

          ‘(i) IN GENERAL- A board may not recommend under subparagraph (A) that a person or persons be declared dead unless conclusive proof of the death of the person or persons is established by the board.

          ‘(ii) DEFINITION- In this subparagraph, the term ‘conclusive proof of death’, in the case of a person or persons, means evidence establishing that death is the only plausible explanation for the absence of the person or persons.

      ‘(9) REPORT-

        ‘(A) REQUIREMENT- A board appointed under this subsection shall submit to the official who appointed the board a report on the inquiry carried out by the board. Such report shall include--

          ‘(i) a discussion of the facts and evidence considered by the board in the inquiry; and

          ‘(ii) the recommendation of the board under paragraph (8).

        ‘(B) SUBMITTAL DATE- A board shall submit a report under this paragraph not later than 45 days after the date of the first official notice of the disappearance of the person or persons covered by the inquiry described in the report.

        ‘(C) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- A report submitted under this paragraph may not be made public until 1 year after the date referred to in subparagraph (B).

      ‘(10) ACTIONS BY APPOINTING OFFICIAL-

        ‘(A) REVIEW- Not later than 15 days after the date of the receipt of a report from a board under paragraph (9), the official who appointed the board shall review--

          ‘(i) the report; and

          ‘(ii) the review submitted under paragraph (6)(C)(vi) by the counsel for the person or persons covered by the inquiry described in the report.

        ‘(B) SCOPE OF REVIEW- In conducting a review of a report under subparagraph (A), the official receiving the report shall determine whether or not the report is complete and free of administrative error.

        ‘(C) RETURN- If an official determines under subparagraph (B) that a report is incomplete, or that a report is not free of administrative error, the official may return the report to the board for further action on the report by the board.

        ‘(D) DETERMINATION OF STATUS- Upon a determination by the official concerned that a report reviewed by the official under this paragraph is complete and free of administrative error, the official shall make a determination of the status of the person or persons covered by the report.

      ‘(11) REPORT TO INTERESTED PERSONS- Not later than 90 days after the first official notice of the disappearance of a person or persons, the official who appoints a board of inquiry into the whereabouts or status of the person or person under this subsection shall--

        ‘(A) provide an unclassified summary of the report of the board to the members of the immediate family, dependents, primary next of kin, and previously designated persons of the person or persons; and

        ‘(B) inform the individuals referred to in subparagraph (A) that the Federal Government will conduct a subsequent inquiry into the whereabouts or status of the person or persons not earlier than 1 year after the date of the first official notice of the disappearance of the person or persons, unless information becomes available sooner that would result in a substantial change in the official status of the person or persons.

      ‘(12) ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATION-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- If information on the whereabouts or status of a person or persons covered by an inquiry under this subsection becomes available within 1 year after the date of the first official notice of the disappearance of the person or persons, the official who appointed the board to inquire into the whereabouts or status of the person or persons under this subsection shall appoint an additional board to conduct an inquiry into the information

        ‘(B) CONDUCT OF INQUIRY- The appointment and activities of a board under this paragraph shall be subject to the provisions of this subsection.

    ‘(c) SUBSEQUENT INQUIRY-

      ‘(1) REQUIREMENT-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- If as a result of an inquiry under subsection (b) an official determines under paragraph (10)(D) of that subsection that a person or persons retain or be placed in a missing status, the Secretary concerned shall appoint a board under this subsection to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts and status of the person or persons.

        ‘(B) DEFINITION- For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘Secretary concerned’ means the following:

          ‘(i) In the case of a member of the armed forces, the Secretary of the military department having jurisdiction over the armed force of the member.

          ‘(ii) In the case of a civilian employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Government, the Secretary of the department employing the employee or contracting with the contractor, as the case may be.

      ‘(2) DATE OF APPOINTMENT- The Secretary concerned shall appoint a board under this subsection to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts and status of a person or persons on or about 1 year after the date of the first official notice of the disappearance of the person or persons.

      ‘(3) SCOPE OF CERTAIN INQUIRIES- If it appears to the Secretary concerned that the absence or status of two or more persons is factually related, the Secretary may appoint one board under this subsection to conduct the inquiry into the whereabouts or status of the persons.

      ‘(4) COMPOSITION-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), a board appointed under this subsection shall consist of the following:

          ‘(i) In the case of a board appointed to inquire into the whereabouts or status of a member or members of the armed forces, not less than three officers having a grade O-4 or higher.

          ‘(ii) In the case of a board appointed to inquire into the whereabouts or status of a civilian employee or employees of the Federal Government or contractor of the Government--

            ‘(I) not less than three civilian employees of the Federal Government whose rate of annual pay is equal to or greater than the rate of annual pay payable for grade GS-13 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5; and

            ‘(II) such members of the armed forces as the Secretary concerned and the Secretary of Defense jointly determine advisable.

        ‘(B) PRESIDENT OF BOARD- The Secretary concerned shall designate one member of each board appointed under this subsection as President of the board. The President shall have a security clearance that affords the President access to all information relating to the whereabouts and status of the person or persons covered by the inquiry.

        ‘(C) REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER MEMBERS-

          ‘(i) ATTORNEY- One member of each board appointed under this subsection shall be an attorney, or judge advocate, who has expertise in the public law relating to missing persons, the determination of death of such persons, and the rights of family members and dependents of such persons.

          ‘(ii) OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALIST- One member of each board appointed under this subsection shall be an individual who has--

            ‘(I) an occupational specialty similar to that of one or more of the persons covered by the inquiry; and

            ‘(II) an understanding of and expertise in the official activities of one or more such persons at the time such person or persons disappeared.

          ‘(iii) EXPERT IN TRANSPORTATION- If the person or persons covered by an inquiry disappeared in transit, one member of the board appointed for the inquiry shall be an individual whose occupational specialty relates to the piloting, navigation, or operation of the mode of transportation in which the person or persons were travelling at the time such person or persons disappeared.

      ‘(5) ACTIVITIES- A board appointed under this subsection to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts or status of a person or persons shall--

        ‘(A) review the report under paragraph (9) of subsection (b) of the board appointed to conduct the inquiry into the status or whereabouts of the person or persons under subsection (b) and the determination under paragraph (10)(D) of that subsection of the official who appointed the board under that subsection as to the status of the person or persons;

        ‘(B) collect and evaluate any documents, facts, or other evidence with respect to the whereabouts or status of the person or persons that have become available since the completion of the inquiry under subsection (b);

        ‘(C) draw conclusions as to the whereabouts or status of the person or persons;

        ‘(D) determine on the basis of the activities under subparagraphs (A) and (B) whether the status of the person or persons should be continued or changed; and

        ‘(E) issue a report to the Secretary concerned describing the findings and conclusions of the board, together with a recommendation on the whereabouts or status of the person or persons.

      ‘(6) COUNSEL FOR MISSING PERSON OR PERSONS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary who appoints a board to conduct an inquiry under this subsection shall appoint counsel to represent the person or persons covered by the inquiry.

        ‘(B) QUALIFICATIONS- An individual appointed as counsel under this paragraph shall--

          ‘(i) meet the qualifications set forth in section 827(b) of this title (article 27(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice); and

          ‘(ii) have a security clearance that affords the individual access to all information relating to the whereabouts or status of the person or persons.

        ‘(C) RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES- An individual appointed as counsel under this paragraph--

          ‘(i) shall have access to all facts and evidence considered by the board during the proceedings under the inquiry for which the counsel is appointed;

          ‘(ii) shall observe all official activities of the board during such proceedings;

          ‘(iii) may question witnesses before the board;

          ‘(iv) shall monitor the deliberations of the board;

          ‘(v) shall review the report of the board under paragraph (11); and

          ‘(vi) shall submit to the Secretary concerned an independent review of the recommendation of the board under paragraph (10).

        ‘(D) TREATMENT OF REVIEW- The review of the report of a board on an inquiry that is submitted under subparagraph (C)(vi) shall be made an official part of the record of the board with respect to the inquiry.

      ‘(7) PARTICIPATION OF CERTAIN INTERESTED PERSONS IN PROCEEDINGS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the members of the immediate family, dependents, primary next of kin, and previously designated persons of the person or persons covered by an inquiry under this subsection may participate at the proceedings of the board during the inquiry.

        ‘(B) NOTIFICATION OF PERSONS- The Secretary concerned shall notify the individuals referred to in subparagraph (A) of the opportunity to participate at the proceedings of a board not later than 60 days before the first meeting of the board.

        ‘(C) RESPONSE- An individual who receives notice under subparagraph (B) shall notify the Secretary of the intent, if any, of the individual to participate at the proceedings of a board not later than 21 days after the date of the individual’s receipt of the notice.

        ‘(D) SCHEDULE AND LOCATION OF PROCEEDINGS- The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, provide that the schedule and location of the proceedings of a board under this subsection be established so as to be convenient to the individuals who notify the Secretary under subparagraph (C) of their intent to participate at such proceedings.

        ‘(E) MANNER OF PARTICIPATION- Individuals who notify the Secretary under subparagraph (C) of their intent to participate at the proceedings of a board--

          ‘(i) in the case of individuals whose entitlement to the pay or allowances (including allotments) of a missing person could be reduced or terminated as a result of a revision in the status of the missing person, may attend the proceedings of the board with private counsel;

          ‘(ii) shall have access to the personnel file of the missing person, to unclassified reports (if any) of the board appointed under subsection (b) to conduct the inquiry into the whereabouts and status of the person, and to any other unclassified information or documents relating to the whereabouts and status of the person;

          ‘(iii) shall be afforded the opportunity to present information at the proceedings that such individuals consider to be relevant to the proceedings; and

          ‘(iv) subject to subparagraph (F), shall be afforded the opportunity to submit in writing objections to the recommendations of the board under paragraph (10) as to the status of the missing person.

        ‘(F) OBJECTIONS- Objections to the recommendations of the board under subparagraph (E)(iv) shall be submitted to the President of the board not later than 24 hours after the date on which such recommendations are made. The President shall include the objections in the report of the board to the Secretary concerned under paragraph (12).

        ‘(G) PROHIBITION ON REIMBURSEMENT- Individuals referred to in subparagraph (A) who participate in the proceedings of a board under this paragraph shall not be entitled to reimbursement by the Federal Government for any costs incurred by such individuals in attending such proceedings, including travel, lodging, meals, local transportation, legal fees, transcription costs, witness expenses, and other expenses.

      ‘(8) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO BOARDS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- In conducting proceedings in an inquiry under this subsection, a board may secure directly from any department or agency of the Federal Government any information that the members of the board consider necessary in order to conduct the proceedings.

        ‘(B) AUTHORITY TO RELEASE- Upon written request from the President of a board, the head of a department or agency of the Federal Government shall release information covered by the request to the board. In releasing such information, the head of the department or agency shall--

          ‘(i) declassify to an appropriate degree classified information; or

          ‘(ii) release the information in a manner not requiring the removal of markings indicating the classified nature of the information.

        ‘(C) TREATMENT OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION-

          ‘(i) RELEASE- If a request for information under subparagraph (B) covers classified information that cannot be declassified, cannot be removed before release from the information covered by the request, or cannot be summarized in a manner that prevents the release of classified information, the classified information shall be made available only to the President of the board making the request and the counsel for the missing person appointed under paragraph (6).

          ‘(ii) USE IN PROCEEDINGS- The President of a board shall close to persons who do not have appropriate security clearances the proceeding of the board at which classified information is discussed. Participants at a proceeding of a board at which classified information is discussed shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to the disclosure of classified information. The Secretary concerned shall assist the President of a board in ensuring that classified information is not compromised through board proceedings.

      ‘(9) BOARD MEETINGS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), the proceedings of a board under this subsection shall be open to the public.

        ‘(B) EXCEPTIONS- A proceeding of a board shall be closed to the public at the request of the following:

          ‘(i) The counsel appointed under paragraph (6) for the person or persons covered by the proceeding.

          ‘(ii) Any member of the immediate family, dependent, primary next of kin, or previously designated person of the person or persons.

          ‘(iii) The Secretary who appointed the board, but only if such Secretary determines that a proceeding open to the public could jeopardize the health and well-being of other missing persons or impair the activities of the Federal Government to recover missing persons in the theater of operations or the area in which the missing person or persons are thought to have disappeared.

          ‘(iv) The President of the board, but only for discussion of classified information.

      ‘(10) RECOMMENDATION ON STATUS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Upon completion of proceedings in an inquiry under this subsection, a board shall make a recommendation as to the current whereabouts or status of the missing person or persons covered by the inquiry.

        ‘(B) RECOMMENDATION OF DEAD STATUS-

          ‘(i) IN GENERAL- A board may not recommend under subparagraph (A) that a person or persons be declared dead unless--

            ‘(I) conclusive proof of death is established by the board; and

            ‘(II) in making the declaration, the board complies with subsection (f).

          ‘(ii) DEFINITION- In this subparagraph, the term ‘conclusive proof of death’, in the case of a person or persons, means evidence establishing that death is the only plausible explanation for the absence of the person or persons.

      ‘(11) REPORT-

        ‘(A) REQUIREMENT- A board appointed under this subsection shall submit to the Secretary concerned a report on the inquiry carried out by the board, together with the evidence considered by the board during the inquiry.

        ‘(B) CLASSIFIED ANNEX- The report may include a classified annex.

      ‘(12) ACTIONS BY SECRETARY-

        ‘(A) REVIEW- Not later than 30 days after the receipt of a report from a board under paragraph (11), the Secretary concerned shall review--

          ‘(i) the report;

          ‘(ii) the review submitted to the Secretary under paragraph (6)(C)(vi) by the counsel for the person or persons covered by the report; and

          ‘(iii) the objections, if any, to the report submitted to the President of the board under paragraph (7)(F).

        ‘(B) SCOPE OF REVIEW- In reviewing the report, review, and objections under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall determine whether or not the report is complete and free of administrative error.

        ‘(C) FURTHER ACTION- If the Secretary determines under subparagraph (B) that a report is incomplete, or that a report is not free of administrative error, the Secretary may return the report to the board for further action on the report by the board.

        ‘(D) DETERMINATION OF STATUS- Upon a determination by the Secretary that a report reviewed by the Secretary under this paragraph is complete and free of administrative error, the Secretary shall make a determination of the status of the person or persons covered by the report.

      ‘(13) REPORT TO INTERESTED PERSONS- Not later than 90 days after a board submits a report on a person or persons under paragraph (11), the Secretary concerned shall--

        ‘(A) provide an unclassified summary of the report to the members of the immediate family, the dependents, the primary next of kin, and the previously designated persons of the person or persons covered by the report; and

        ‘(B) in the case of a person or persons who continue to be in missing status, inform the members, dependents, kin, and persons of the person or persons that the Federal Government will conduct a further investigation into the whereabouts or status of the person or persons not later than 3 years after the date of the official notice of the disappearance of the person or persons, unless information becomes available within that time that would result in a substantial change in the official status of the person or persons.

      ‘(14) RECONVENING OF BOARD-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- If the Secretary concerned recommends that a person or persons continue in missing status, or that a missing person previously declared dead be given a missing status, the Secretary shall reconvene the board when information becomes available that would directly lead to a determination of status of the missing person or persons.

        ‘(B) CONDUCT OF PROCEEDINGS- The provisions of this subsection shall apply to the activities of a board convened under this paragraph.

    ‘(d) FURTHER REVIEW-

      ‘(1) SUBSEQUENT REVIEW-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary concerned shall appoint a board to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts or status of any person or persons determined by the Secretary under subsection (c)(12)(D) to be a person or persons in missing status.

        ‘(B) FREQUENCY OF APPOINTMENT- Subject to subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall appoint a board to conduct an inquiry with respect to a person or persons under this paragraph--

          ‘(i) on or about 3 years after the date of the official notice of the disappearance of the person or persons; and

          ‘(ii) not later than every 3 years thereafter.

        ‘(C) DELIMITING DATE- The Secretary shall not be required to appoint a board under this paragraph more than 12 years after the end of the time of war or emergency or period of hostilities in which the missing person or persons disappeared.

      ‘(2) REVIEW OF PROBATIVE INFORMATION- Upon receipt of information that could result in a change or revision of status of a missing person or persons, the Secretary concerned shall appoint a board to evaluate the information and make a recommendation as to the status of the person or persons to which the information relates.

      ‘(3) CONDUCT OF PROCEEDINGS- The appointment of and activities before a board appointed under this subsection shall be governed by the provisions of subsection (c).

    ‘(e) PERSONNEL FILES-

      ‘(1) INFORMATION IN FILES- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of the department having jurisdiction over a missing person at the time of the person’s disappearance shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that the personnel file of the person contains all information in the possession of the Federal Government relating to the disappearance and whereabouts or status of the person.

      ‘(2) CLASSIFIED INFORMATION-

        ‘(A) AUTHORITY TO WITHHOLD- The Secretary concerned may withhold classified information from a personnel file under this subsection.

        ‘(B) NOTICE OF WITHHOLDING- If the Secretary concerned withholds classified information from the personnel file of a person, the Secretary shall ensure that the file contains the following:

          ‘(i) A notice that the withheld information exists.

          ‘(ii) A notice of the date of the most recent review of the classification of the withheld information.

      ‘(3) WRONGFUL WITHHOLDING- Any person who knowingly and willfully withholds from the personnel file of a missing person any information (other than classified information) relating to the disappearance or whereabouts or status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in title 18, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

      ‘(4) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION- The Secretary concerned shall, upon request, make available the contents of the personnel file of a missing person to members of the immediate family, dependents, primary next of kin, or previously designated person of the person.

    ‘(f) RECOMMENDATION OF STATUS OF DEATH-

      ‘(1) REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO RECOMMENDATION- A board appointed under subsection (c) or (d) may not recommend that a person be declared dead unless--

        ‘(A) evidence (other than the passage of a period of time of less than 50 years) exists to suggest that the person is dead;

        ‘(B) the Federal Government possesses no evidence that reasonably suggests that the person is alive;

        ‘(C) representatives of the Federal Government have made a complete search of the area where the person was last seen (unless, after making every good faith effort to obtain access to such area, such representatives are not granted such access); and

        ‘(D) representatives of the Federal Government have examined the records of the government or entity having control over the area where the person was last seen (unless, after making every good faith effort to obtain access to such records, such representatives are not granted such access).

      ‘(2) SUBMITTAL OF INFORMATION ON DEATH- If a board appointed under subsection (c) or (d) makes a recommendation that a missing person be declared dead, the board shall include in the report of the board with respect to the person under such subsection (c) or (d) the following:

        ‘(A) A detailed description of the location where the death occurred.

        ‘(B) A statement of the date on which the death occurred.

        ‘(C) A description of the location of the body, if recovered.

        ‘(D) If the body has been recovered, a certification by a licensed practitioner of forensic medicine that the body recovered is that of the missing person.

    ‘(g) JUDICIAL REVIEW-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL-

        ‘(A) JUDICIAL REVIEW- A person referred to in subparagraph (B) may obtain review of a finding described in subparagraph (C) by the court of appeals of the United States for the circuit in which the person resides or in which the finding was made.

        ‘(B) AVAILABILITY OF REVIEW- Subparagraph (A) applies to any of the following persons with respect to a missing person subject to a finding described in subparagraph (C):

          ‘(i) A member of the immediate family of the person.

          ‘(ii) A dependent of the person.

          ‘(iii) The primary next of kin of the person.

          ‘(iv) A person previously designated by the person.

        ‘(C) COVERED FINDINGS- Subparagraph (A) applies to the following findings:

          ‘(i) A finding by a board appointed under subsection (c) or (d) that a missing person is dead.

          ‘(ii) A finding by a board appointed under subsection (h) that confirms that a missing person formerly declared dead is in fact dead.

        ‘(D) COMMENCEMENT OF REVIEW- A person referred to in subparagraph (B) shall request review of a finding under this paragraph by filing with the appropriate court a written petition requesting that the finding be set aside.

      ‘(2) APPEAL AND FINALITY OF REVIEW- The decision of the court of appeals on a petition for review under paragraph (1) shall be final, except that it shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court upon certiorari, as provided in section 1254 of title 28.

      ‘(3) ADDITIONAL REVIEW-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), upon request by a person referred to in paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary concerned shall appoint a board to review the status of a person covered by a finding described in paragraph (1)(C) if the court of appeals sets aside the finding and--

          ‘(i) the time allowed for filing a petition for certiorari has expired and no such petition has been duly filed;

          ‘(ii) the petition for certiorari has been denied; or

          ‘(iii) the decision of the court of appeals has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.

        ‘(B) DELIMITING DATE- A person referred to in subparagraph (A) shall make a request referred to in that subparagraph not later than 3 years after the date of the event under that subparagraph that entitles the person to request the appointment of a board.

    ‘(h) PERSONS PREVIOUSLY DECLARED DEAD-

      ‘(1) REVIEW OF STATUS-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1994, a person referred to in subparagraph (B) may submit to the appropriate Secretary a request for appointment by the Secretary of a board to review the status of a person previously declared dead.

        ‘(B) AVAILABILITY- A board shall be appointed under this paragraph based on the request of any of the following persons:

          ‘(i) An adult member of the immediate family of a person previously declared dead.

          ‘(ii) An adult dependent of such person.

          ‘(iii) The primary next of kin of such person.

          ‘(iv) A person previously designated by such person.

        ‘(C) APPROPRIATE SECRETARY- A request under this paragraph shall be submitted to the Secretary of the department of the Federal Government that had jurisdiction over the person covered by the request at the time of the person’s disappearance.

      ‘(2) APPOINTMENT OF BOARD- Upon request of a person under paragraph (1), the Secretary concerned shall appoint a board to review the status of the person covered by the request.

      ‘(3) ACTIVITIES OF BOARD- A board appointed under paragraph (2) to review the status of a person shall--

        ‘(A) conduct an investigation to determine the status of the person; and

        ‘(B) issue a report describing the findings of the board under the investigation and the recommendations of the board as to the status of the person.

      ‘(4) SUBSEQUENT REVIEW- If the Secretary concerned is apprised of any information which would directly lead to a determination of the status of a missing person, the Secretary shall reconvene a board to consider the information.

      ‘(5) EFFECT OF CHANGE IN STATUS- If a board appointed under this subsection recommends placing a person previously declared dead in a missing status such person shall accrue no pay or allowances as a result of the placement of the person in such status.

    ‘(i) RETURN ALIVE OF PERSON DECLARED MISSING OR DEAD-

      ‘(1) PAY AND ALLOWANCES- Any person in a missing status or declared dead under the Missing Persons Act of 1942 (56 Stat. 143) or by a board appointed under this section who is found alive and returned to the control of the United States shall be paid for the full time of the absence of the person while given that status or declared dead under the law and regulations relating to the pay and allowances of persons returning from a missing status.

      ‘(2) EFFECT ON GRATUITIES PAID AS A RESULT OF STATUS- Paragraph (1) shall not be interpreted to invalidate or otherwise affect the receipt by any person of a death gratuity or other payment from the United States on behalf of a person referred to in paragraph (1) before the date of the enactment of the Missing Service Personnel Act of 1994.

    ‘(j) EFFECT ON STATE LAW- Nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate or limit the power of any State court or administrative entity, or the power of any court or administrative entity of any political subdivision thereof, to find or declare a person dead for purposes of the such State or political subdivision.

    ‘(k) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

      ‘(1) The term ‘classified information’ means any information the unauthorized disclosure of which (as determined under applicable law and regulations) could reasonably be expected to damage the national security.

      ‘(2) The term ‘dependent’, in the case of a missing person, mean any individual who would, but for the status of the person, be entitled to receive the pay and allowances (including allotments) of the person.

      ‘(3) The term ‘member of the immediate family’, in the case of a missing person, means the spouse, adopted or natural child, parent, and sibling of the missing person.

      ‘(4) The term ‘missing person’ means--

        ‘(A) a member of the armed forces on active duty who is missing; or

        ‘(B) a civilian employee serving with or accompanying an armed force under orders who is missing.

      ‘(5) The term ‘missing status’ means the status of a missing person who is determined to be absent in a status of--

        ‘(A) missing;

        ‘(B) missing in action;

        ‘(C) interned in a foreign country;

        ‘(D) captured, beleaguered, or besieged by a hostile force; or

        ‘(E) detained in a foreign country against his or her will.

      ‘(6) The term ‘primary next of kin’, in the case of a missing person, means--

        ‘(A) the principal individual who, but for the status of the person, would receive financial support from the person; or

        ‘(B) in the case of a missing person for whom there is no individual meeting the requirement of subparagraph (A), the family member or other individual designated by the missing person to receive death gratuities.

      ‘(7) The term ‘previously designated person’, in the case of a missing person, means an individual (other than an individual who is a member of the immediate family of the missing person) designated by the missing person as the individual to be notified of all matters relating to the status of the missing person.

      ‘(8) The term ‘State’ means any State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.’.

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 53 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding the end the following:

      ‘1060a. Missing persons: informal investigations; inquiries; determinations of death; personnel files.’.

    (c) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- (1)(A) Section 555 of title 37, United States Code, is repealed.

    (B) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 10 of such title is amended by striking out the item relating to section 555.

    (2) Section 552 of such title is amended--

      (A) in the second sentence of the flush matter following paragraph (2) in subsection (a), by striking out ‘for all purposes,’ and all that follows through the end of the sentence and inserting in lieu thereof ‘for all purposes.’;

      (B) in striking out paragraph (2) of subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

      ‘(2) that his death is determined under section 1060a of title 10.’; and

      (C) in subsection (e), by striking ‘section 555 of this title’ and inserting ‘section 1060a of title 10’.

    (3) Section 553 of such title is amended--

      (A) in subsection (f), by inserting ‘under section 1060a of title 10’ after ‘When the Secretary concerned’;

      (B) by striking out ‘the Secretary concerned receives evidence’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘a board convened under section 1060a of title 10 reports’; and

      (C) in subsection (g), by striking out ‘section 555 of this title’ and inserting ‘section 1060a of title 10’.

    (4) Section 556 of such title is amended--

      (A) in subsection (a)--

        (i) by inserting ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (3);

        (ii) by striking out the semicolon at the end of paragraph (4) and inserting in lieu thereof a period; and

        (iii) by striking paragraphs (1), (5), (6), and (7) and redesignating paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) as paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), respectively;

      (B) by striking out subsection (b) and redesignating subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) as subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g), respectively; and

      (C) in subsection (g), as so redesignated--

        (i) by striking out the second sentence; and

        (ii) by striking ‘status’ and inserting ‘pay’.

    (5) Section 557(a)(1) of such title is amended by striking out ‘, 553, and 555’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘and 553’.

    (6) Section 559(b)(4)(B) of such title is amended by striking out ‘section 556(f)’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘section 556(e)’.