S. 2166 (104th): Local Empowerment and Flexibility Pilot Act of 1996

104th Congress, 1995–1996. Text as of Sep 30, 1996 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

S 2166 IS

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2166

To increase the overall economy and efficiency of Government operations and enable more efficient use of Federal funding by enabling State, local and tribal governments and private, nonprofit organizations to use amounts available under certain Federal assistance programs in accordance with approved flexibility plans.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 30, 1996

Mr. HATFIELD introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs


A BILL

To increase the overall economy and efficiency of Government operations and enable more efficient use of Federal funding by enabling State, local and tribal governments and private, nonprofit organizations to use amounts available under certain Federal assistance programs in accordance with approved flexibility plans.

    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 ‘Local Empowerment and Flexibility Pilot Act of 1996’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--

      (1) historically, Federal programs have addressed the Nation’s problems by providing categorical financial assistance with detailed requirements relating to the use of funds;

      (2) while the assistance described in paragraph (1) has been directed at critical problems, some program requirements may inadvertently impede the effective delivery of services;

      (3) the Nation’s State, local, and tribal governments and private, nonprofit organizations are dealing with increasingly complex problems which require the delivery of many kinds of services;

      (4) our Nation’s communities are diverse and many have innovative planning and community involvement strategies to comprehensively meet their particular service needs for providing services, but Federal, State, and local grant and other requirements often hamper effective implementation of such strategies; and

      (5) it is more important than ever to provide programs that--

        (A) promote more effective and efficient delivery of services at all levels of government to meet the full range of needs of individuals, families, and society;

        (B) respond flexibly to the diverse needs of the Nation’s communities;

        (C) reduce the barriers between programs that impede the State, local, and tribal governments’ ability to effectively deliver services; and

        (D) empower State, local, and tribal governments and private, nonprofit organizations to be innovative in creating programs that meet the unique needs of their communities while continuing to address national policy goals.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are to--

      (1) improve the delivery of services to the public;

      (2) promote State, local and tribal governments and private, non-profit organizations and consortiums to identify goals to improve their communities and the lives of their citizens;

      (3) enable eligible applicants to adapt programs of Federal financial assistance to the particular needs of their communities by integrating programs and program funds across existing Federal financial assistance programs that have similar goals and purposes;

      (4) more effectively meet the goals and purposes of Federal, State and local financial assistance programs;

      (5) empower eligible applicants to work together to build stronger cooperative, intergovernmental and private partnerships to address critical service problems;

      (6) place less emphasis in Federal financial assistance programs on complying with procedures and more emphasis on achieving Federal, State, local and tribal policy goals;

      (7) facilitate State, local, and tribal government efforts to develop regional or metropolitan solutions to shared problems; and

      (8) improve intergovernmental efficiency.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) AFFECTED FEDERAL AGENCY- The term ‘affected Federal agency’ means the Federal agency with principal authority for the administration of an eligible Federal financial assistance program included in a plan.

      (2) AFFECTED STATE AGENCY- The term ‘affected State agency’ means--

        (A) any State agency with authority for the administration of any State program or eligible Federal financial assistance program; and

        (B) with respect to education programs, the term shall include the State Education Agency as defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act.

      (3) APPROVED FLEXIBILITY PLAN- The term ‘approved flexibility plan’ means a flexibility plan or that part of a flexibility plan, that is approved by the Community Empowerment Board under section 8.

      (4) BOARD- The term ‘Board’ means the Community Empowerment Board established under section 5.

      (5) DIRECTOR- The term ‘Director’ means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

      (6) ELIGIBLE APPLICANT- The term ‘eligible applicant’ means a State, local, or tribal government, qualified organization, or qualified consortium that is eligible to receive financial assistance under 1 or more eligible Federal financial

assistance program.

      (7) ELIGIBLE FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM- The term ‘eligible Federal financial assistance program’--

        (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), means a domestic assistance program (as defined under section 6101(4) of title 31, United States Code) under which financial assistance is available, directly or indirectly, to a State, local, or tribal government or a qualified organization to carry out activities consistent with national policy goals; and

        (B) does not include--

          (i) a Federal program under which direct financial assistance is provided by the Federal Government directly to an individual beneficiary of that financial assistance, or to a State to provide direct financial assistance, or to a State to provide direct financial or food voucher assistance directly to an individual beneficiary;

          (ii) a program carried out with direct spending (as defined in section 250(c)(8) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 900(c)(8));

          (iii) a program of assistance referred to in section 6101(4)(A)(ix) of title 31, United States Code, or section 3(10) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974; or

          (iv) any project specially designated in an appropriations Act or its accompanying report.

      (8) FLEXIBILITY PLAN- The term ‘flexibility plan’ means a comprehensive plan or part of such plan for the coordination or integration and the administration by an eligible applicant of financial assistance provided by the Federal Government under 2 or more eligible Federal financial assistance programs that includes funds from Federal, State, local, or tribal government or private sources to address the service needs of a community.

      (9) GOALS AND PURPOSES- The term ‘goals and purposes’ means the goals and purposes embodied in an eligible Federal financial assistance program, including the targeted population embodied in that program.

      (10) LOCAL GOVERNMENT- The term ‘local government’ means--

        (A) a political subdivision of a State that is a unit of general local government (as defined under section 6501 of title 31, United States Code);

        (B) any combination of political subdivisions described in subparagraph (A) that submits an application to the Board; or

        (C) a local educational agency as defined under section 14101(18) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801(18)).

      (11) QUALIFIED CONSORTIUM- The term ‘qualified consortium’ means a group that is composed of 2 or more qualified organizations, State, local, or tribal agencies that receive federally appropriated funds.

      (12) QUALIFIED ORGANIZATION- The term ‘qualified organization’ means a private, nonprofit organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(a)).

      (13) SMALL GOVERNMENT- The term ‘small government’ means any small governmental jurisdiction defined in section 601(5) of title 5, United States Code, and a tribal government.

      (14) STATE- The term ‘State’ means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

      (15) STATE LEGISLATIVE OFFICIAL- The term ‘State legislative official’ means--

        (A) the presiding officer of a chamber of a State legislature; and

        (B) the minority leader of a chamber of a State legislature.

      (16) TRIBAL GOVERNMENT- The term ‘tribal goverment’ means the governing entity of an Indian tribe, as that term is defined in the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT BOARD.

    (a) IN GENERAL- There is established a Community Empowerment Board, which shall consist of--

      (1) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

      (2) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

      (3) the Secretary of Agriculture;

      (4) the Secretary of Transportation;

      (5) the Secretary of Education;

      (6) the Secretary of Commerce;

      (7) the Secretary of Labor;

      (8) the Secretary of the Treasury;

      (9) the Attorney General;

      (10) the Secretary of the Interior;

      (11) the Secretary of Energy;

      (12) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;

      (13) the Secretary of Defense;

      (14) the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency;

      (15) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

      (16) the Director of the National Drug Control Policy;

      (17) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration;

      (18) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

      (19) the Administrator of General Services; and

      (20) other officials of the executive branch as directed by the President.

    (b) CHAIR- The President shall designate the Chair of the Board from among its members.

    (c) FUNCTIONS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Board shall--

        (A) no later than 180 days after implementation of this Act, select 6 States to participate in this Act;

        (B) receive, review, and approve or disapprove flexibility plans in accordance with section 7;

        (C) consider all requests for technical assistance from eligible applicants and, when appropriate, provide or direct that an affected Federal agency

provide the head of an agency that administers en eligible Federal financial assistance program under which substantial Federal financial assistance would be provided under the plan to provide technical assistance to the eligible applicant, and to the extent permitted by law, special assistance to interested small governments to support the development and implementation of a flexibility plan, which may include expedited processing;

        (D) in consultation with the Director, monitor the progress of development and implementation of flexibility plans;

        (E) in consultation with the Director, coordinate and assist Federal agencies in identifying regulations of eligible Federal financial assistance programs for revision, repeal and coordination;

        (F) evaluate performance standards and evaluation criteria for eligible Federal financial assistance programs, and make specific recommendations to agencies regarding how to revise such standards and criteria in order to establish specific performance and outcome measures upon which the success of such programs and the success of the plan may be compared and evaluated; and

        (G) designate a Federal agency to be primarily responsible for the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of the implementation of a plan.

      (2) QUALIFICATIONS FOR STATES- Of the 6 States selected for participation under paragraph 1:

        (A) 3 States shall each have a population of 3,500,000 or more as determined under the most recent decennial census; and

        (B) 3 States shall each have a population of 3,500,000 or less as determined under the most recent decennial census.

    (d) COORDINATION AND ASSISTANCE- The Director, in consultation with the Board, shall coordinate and assist Federal agencies in creating--

      (1) a uniform application to be used to apply for assistance from eligible Federal financial assistance programs;

      (2) a release form to be used by grantees to facilitate, where appropriate and otherwise lawful, the sharing of information across eligible Federal financial assistance programs; and

      (3) a system wherein an organization or consortium of organizations may use one proposal to apply for funding from multiple eligible Federal financial assistance programs.

    (e) DETAILS AND ASSIGNMENTS TO BOARD- At the request of the Board and with the approval of the appropriate Federal agency, staff of the agency may be detailed or assigned to the Board on a nonreimbursable basis.

    (f) INTERAGENCY FINANCING- Notwithstanding any other law, interagency financing is authorized to carry out the purposes of this Act.

    (g) JUDICIAL REVIEW- The actions of the Board shall not be subject to judicial review.

SEC. 6. APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF FLEXIBILITY PLAN.

    (a) IN GENERAL- An eligible applicant may submit to the Board in accordance with this section an application for approval of a flexibility plan.

    (b) CONTENTS OF APPLICATION- An application submitted under this section shall include--

      (1) a proposed flexibility plan that complies with subsection (c);

      (2) written certification by the chief executive of the applicant, and such additional assurances as may be required by the Board, that--

        (A) the applicant has the ability, authority, and resources to implement the proposed plan, throughout the geographic area in which the proposed plan is intended to apply;

        (B) amounts are available from non-Federal sources to pay the non-Federal share of all eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the proposed plan; and

        (C) the flexibility plan prohibits the integration or combination of program funds across existing Federal financial assistance programs which do not have similar goals and purposes;

      (3) written certification that each entity with legal authority over a Federal financial assistance program included in the plan has consented to the terms of the plan;

      (4) all comments on the proposed plan submitted under subsection (d) by a Governor, affected State agency, State legislative official, or a chief executive of a local or tribal government that would be directly affected by implementation of the proposed plan, and the applicant’s responses to those comments;

      (5) written documentation that the eligible applicant informed the affected community of the contents of the plan, made the plan available for public inspection for a reasonable period of time and gave the public and the affected population the opportunity to comment upon the plan, including at least one public hearing involving agencies, qualified organizations, eligible intended beneficiaries of the plan, and others directly affected by the plan;

      (6) the public comments, which shall include the comments of the affected population, received on the plan and the applicant’s responses to the significant comments; and

      (7) other relevant information the Board may require to review or approve the proposed plan.

    (c) CONTENTS OF PLAN- A flexibility plan submitted by an eligible applicant under this section shall include--

      (1) the geographic area and timeframe to which the plan applies and the rationale for selecting the area and timeframe;

      (2) the particular groups of individuals and subgroups of the targeted population, by service needs, economic circumstances, or other defining factors, who currently receive services and benefits under the eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan and the particular groups of individuals, by service needs, economic circumstances, or other defining factors who would receive services and benefits under the plan;

      (3) the specific goals and measurable performance criteria that demonstrate how the plan is expected to improve the delivery and effectiveness of services to the targeted population, including--

        (A) a description of how performance shall be measured under the plan

when compared to the current performance of the eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan; and

        (B) a system for the comprehensive evaluation of the impact of the plan on individuals who receive services and benefits in the community affected by the plan, that shall include--

          (i) a list of goals to improve the community and the lives of its citizens in the geographic area covered by the plan;

          (ii) a list of goals identified by the State in which the plan is to be implemented, if such goals have been established by the State; and

          (iii) a description of how the plan will--

            (I) attain the goals listed in clauses (i) and (ii);

            (II) measure performance;

            (III) collect and maintain data including, where appropriate, data measuring the impact of the plan on those subgroups identified in section 6(c)(2); and

            (IV) publicly disseminate data collected under III within the geographic area covered by the plan;

      (4) the eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan and the specific services and benefits to be provided under the plan under such programs, including--

        (A) criteria for determining eligibility for services and benefits under the plan;

        (B) the services and benefits available under the plan;

        (C) the amounts and form (such as cash, in-kind contributions, or financial instruments) of non-service benefits; and

        (D) any other descriptive information the Board considers necessary to approve the plan;

      (5) a description of the goals and purposes of each Federal financial assistance program included in the plan and how the goals and purposes of such programs shall more effectively be met at the State, local and tribal level;

      (6) a general description of how the plan appropriately addresses any effect that administration of each eligible Federal financial assistance program included in the plan would have on the administration of programs not included in the plan;

      (7) a description of how the flexibility plan will adequately achieve the purposes of this Act;

      (8) except for the requirements described under section 7(f)(3), any Federal statutory or regulatory requirement of an eligible Federal financial assistance program included in the plan, the waiver of which is necessary to implement the plan, and the detailed justification for the waiver request;

      (9) any State, local, or tribal statutory, regulatory, or other requirement, the waiver of which is necessary to implement the plan, and an indication of commitment of the appropriate State, local, or tribal governments to grant such waivers;

      (10) a description of the Federal fiscal control and related accountability procedures to be followed under the flexibility plan and, as necessary, an explanation of how such procedures will not diminish existing Federal requirements;

      (11) a description of the sources and amounts of all non-Federal funds that are required to carry out eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan;

      (12) verification that Federal funds made available under the plan will not supplant non-Federal funds for existing services and activities that promote the goals of the plan;

      (13) verification that none of the Federal funds under the plan would be used to--

        (A) meet maintenance of effort requirements of such an activity; or

        (B) meet State, local, or tribal matching shares; and

      (14) any other relevant information the Board may require to approve the plan.

    (d) PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING-

      (1) SUBMISSION TO AFFECTED STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS- An eligible applicant shall submit an application for approval of a proposed flexibility plan to each State, local and tribal government and affected State agency that the applicant deems to be directly affected by the plan, at least 60 days before submitting the application to the Board.

      (2) REVIEW BY AFFECTED GOVERNMENT- The Governor, affected State agency head, State legislative official, and the chief executive officer of a local government that receives an application submitted under paragraph (1) may each, by no later than 60 days after the date of that receipt--

        (A) prepare comments on the proposed flexibility plan included in the application;

        (B) describe and make commitments to waive any State or local laws for other requirements which are necessary for successful implementation of the proposed plan; and

        (C) submit the comments and commitments to the eligible applicant.

      (3) SUBMITTAL TO BOARD- Applications for approval of a flexibility plan shall only be submitted to the Board between--

        (A) October 1, 1997 and March 31, 1998; or

        (B) October 1, 1998 and March 31, 1999.

      (4) ACTION BY AFFECTED GOVERNMENT- If the Governor, affected State agency head, State legislative official or the chief executive officer of a local government--

        (A) fails to act on or otherwise endorse a plan application within 60 days after receiving an application under paragraph (1);

        (B) does not make and submit to the eligible applicant the commitments described in paragraphs (2) (A) and (B); or

        (C) disagrees with all or part of the proposed flexibility plan; the eligible applicant may submit the application to the Board if the application is amended as necessary for the successful implementation of the proposed plan without the commitment made under paragraph (2)(B), including by adding an updated description of the ability of the proposed flexibility plan to meet plan goals and satisfy performance criteria in the absence of statutory and regulatory waivers and financial and technical support from the State or local government.

    (e) TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY- Nothing under this Act shall be construed to affect, or otherwise alter, the sovereign relationship between tribal governments and the Federal Government.

    (f) ELIGIBILITY FOR OTHER ASSISTANCE- Disapproval by the Board of a flexibility plan submitted by an eligible applicant under this Act shall not affect the eligibility of the applicant for assistance under any Federal program.

    (g) STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL AUTHORITY- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to grant the Board, Federal agency, or any eligible applicant authority to waive or otherwise preempt--

      (1) any State, local, or tribal law or regulation including the legal authority under State law of any affected State agency, State entity, or public official over programs that are under the jurisdiction of the agency, entity or official; or

      (2) the existing authority of a State, State affected agency, local, or tribal government or qualified organization or qualified consortium with respect to an eligible Federal financial assistance program included in the plan unless such entity has consented to the terms of the plan.

SEC. 7. REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF FLEXIBILITY PLANS AND WAIVER REQUESTS.

    (a) REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS- Upon receipt of an application for approval of a proposed flexibility plan, the Board shall notify the eligible applicant as to whether or not the plan is complete. If the Board determines a plan is complete, the Board shall--

      (1) establish procedures for consultation with the applicant and other interested parties during the review process;

      (2) publish notice of the application for approval in the Federal Register and make available the contents to any interested party upon written request;

      (3) if appropriate, coordinate public hearings on the plan by either the Board or the appropriate Federal agency;

      (4) approve or disapprove plans submitted under--

        (i) section 6(d)(3)(A) no later than July 31, 1998; or

        (ii) section 6(d)(3)(B) no later than July 31, 1999;

      (5) in the case of any disapproval of a plan, include written justification of the reasons for disapproval in the notice of disapproval sent to the applicant;

      (6) publicly announce and forward to Congress on July 31, 1998 and July 31, 1999, the list of approved flexibility plans, including an identification of approved plans that request statutory or regulatory waivers and the identification of such requested waivers.

    (b) APPROVAL-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Board may approve a flexibility plan for which an application is submitted by an eligible applicant under this Act, if the Board determines that--

        (A) the contents of the application for approval of the plan comply with the requirements of this Act; and

        (B) the contents of the flexibility plan indicate that the plan will effectively achieve the purposes of this Act described in section 3 by adhering to the conditions described in sections 6 and 7.

      (2) RESTRICTION- (A) The Board may approve no more than 30 plans; and

      (B) only three approved plans may be submitted by state applicants.

      (3) REQUIREMENT TO DISAPPROVE PLAN- The Board must disapprove a flexibility plan if the Board determines that--

        (A) implementation of the plan would result in any increase in the total amount of obligations or outlays of discretionary appropriations or direct spending under Federal financial assistance programs, over the amounts of such obligations and outlays that would occur under those programs without implementation of the plan; or

        (B) the flexibility plan fails to comply with paragraph (1).

      (4) SPECIFICATION OF PERIOD OF EFFECTIVENESS- In approving any flexibility plan, the Board shall specify the period during which the plan is effective, which in no case shall be greater than 5 years from the date of approval.

    (c) MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING REQUIRED-

      (1) IN GENERAL- An approved flexibility plan may not take effect until the Board receives a signed memorandum of understanding agreed to by the eligible applicant that would receive Federal financial assistance administered under the flexibility plan and by each affected Federal agency.

      (2) CONTENTS- A memorandum of understanding under this subsection shall specify all understandings that have been reached by the affected Federal agencies and the eligible applicant. The memorandum shall include understandings with respect to--

        (A) the conditions described in sections 6 and 7;

        (B) the effective dates of all State, local or tribal government waivers;

        (C) technical or special assistance being provided to the eligible applicant;

        (D) the effective date and timeframe of the plan and each Federal waiver approved in the plan; and

        (E)(i) the total amount of Federal funds that will be provided as services and benefits under or used to administer eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan; or

        (ii) a mechanism for determining that amount, including specification of the total amount of Federal funds that will be provided or used under each eligible Federal financial assistance program included in the plan.

      (3) CONDITION FOR APPROVAL OF WAIVER REQUEST- Prior to entrance into the memorandum with an eligible applicant, the affected federal agencies may approve a waiver if it is consistent with the goals and purposes of the eligible federal financial assistance program included in the plan.

    (d) LIMITATION ON CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENTS- The Board may not, as a condition of approval of a flexibility plan or with respect to the implementation of an approved flexibility plan, establish any confidentiality requirement that would--

      (1) impede the exchange of information needed for the design or provision of services and benefits under the plans; or

      (2) conflict with law.

    (e) LIMITATION ON THE USE OF FUNDS- The Board may not approve any plan

that includes funds under an eligible federal financial assistance program to--

      (1) support tuition vouchers for children to attend private preschool, elementary or secondary schools, including before and after school programs; or

      (2) otherwise pay their cost to attend such schools.

    (f) WAIVERS OF FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other law and subject to the provisions of this Act, including paragraphs (2) and (3), affected Federal agencies may waive, for a period of time not to exceed 5 years from the date the Board receives a signed memorandum of understanding, any statutory or regulatory requirement of an eligible Federal assistance program include in an approved flexibility plan of an eligible applicant if that waiver is--

        (A) necessary for implementation of the flexibility plan;

        (B) not disapproved by the Board; and

        (C) necessary to effectively achieve the purposes of this Act described in section 3 by adhering to the conditions described in sections 6 and 7.

      (2) EFFECTIVE PERIOD OF WAIVER- A waiver granted under this section shall terminate on the earlier of--

        (A) the expiration of a period specified by the affected Federal agency not to exceed five years from the date the Board receives the signed memorandum of understanding; or

        (B) any date on which the flexibility plan for which the waiver is granted ceases to be effective;

      (3) RESTRICTION ON WAIVER AUTHORITY- An affected Federal agency may not grant a wavier for a statutory or regulatory requirement of an eligible Federal financial assistance program requested under this section that--

        (A) may be waived under another provision of law except in accordance with the requirements and limitations imposed by that other provision of law;

        (B) enforces statutory or constitutional rights of individuals including the right to equal access and opportunity in housing and education, including any requirement under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq);

        (C) enforces any civil rights that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or disability;

        (D) protects public health and safety, the environment, labor standards, worker rights, health and pension benefits or worker health and safety;

        (E) provides for a maintenance of effort, matching share or prohibition on supplanting;

        (F) grants any person a cause of action; or

        (G) permits, requires or limits the participation of private schools, private school children, teachers or personnel or religious organizations.

SEC. 8. IMPLEMENTATION, AMENDING AND TERMINATION OF APPROVED FLEXIBILITY PLANS.

    (a) IMPLEMENTATION-

      (1) The Board, in consultation with the Director, shall issue guidance to implement this Act within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

      (2) Notwithstanding any other law, any service or benefit that is provided under an eligible Federal financial assistance program included in an approved flexibility plan shall be paid and administered in the manner specified in the approved flexibility plan.

      (3) The authority provided under this Act to waive provisions of grant agreements may be exercised only as long as the funds provided for the grant program in question are available for obligation by the Federal Government.

    (b) AMENDING OF FLEXIBILITY PLAN-

      (1) In the event that an eligible applicant--

        (A) desires and amendment to an approved flexibility plan in order to better meet the purposes of this Act; or

        (B) requires an amendment to ensure continued implementation of an approved flexibility plan, the applicant shall--

          (i) submit the proposed amendment to the Board for review and approval; and

          (ii) upon approval, enter into a revised memorandum of understanding with the affected Federal agency.

      (2) Approval by the Board and, when appropriate, affected Federal agency, shall be based upon the same conditions required for approval of a flexibility plan.

    (c) TERMINATION OF PLAN-

      (1) TERMINATION OF PLAN BY BOARD-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Board shall terminate an approved flexibility plan, if, after consultation with the affected Federal agencies, the Board determines that--

          (i) the applicant of the approved flexibility plan is unable to meet the commitments under this Act; or

          (ii) audit or oversight activities determine there has been fraud or abuse involving Federal funds under the plan.

        (B) TRANSITION PERIOD- In terminating an approved flexibility plan under this paragraph, the Board shall allow a reasonable period of time for appropriate Federal agencies and eligible applicants to resume administration of Federal programs that are eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan.

      (2) REVOCATION OF WAIVER-

        (A) The Board may recommend that an affected Federal agency, and an affected Federal agency may, revoke a waiver under section 7(f) if the applicant of the approved flexibility plan fails to--

          (i) comply with the requirements of the plan;

          (ii) make acceptable progress towards achieving the goals and performance criteria set forth in the plan; or

          (iii) use funds in accordance with the plan.

        (B) Affected Federal agencies shall revoke all waivers issued under section 7(f) for a flexibility plan if the Board terminates the plan.

        (C) EXPLANATION REQUIRED- In the case of termination of a plan or revocation of a waiver, as appropriate, the Board or affected Federal agencies shall

provide for the former eligible applicant a written justification of the reasons for termination or revocation.

SEC. 9. EVALUATIONS AND REPORTS.

    (a) Approved Applicants-

      (1) IN GENERAL- An applicant of an approved flexibility plan, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board, shall--

        (A) submit any reports on and cooperate in any audits of the implementation of its approved flexibility plan; and

        (B) monitor the effect implementation of the plan has had on--

          (i) individuals and the specific subgroups identified in section 6(c)(2) who receive services and benefits under the plan;

          (ii) communities in which those individuals live;

          (iii) costs of administering and providing assistance under eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan; and

          (iv) performance of the eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in the plan compared to the performance of such programs prior to implementation of the plan.

      (2) INITIAL 1-YEAR REPORT- No later than 90 days after the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date the plan takes effect, and annually thereafter, the approved applicant, respectively, shall submit to the Board a report on the principal activities, achievements, and shortcomings under the plan during the period covered by the report, comparing those achievements and shortcomings to the goals and performance criteria included in the plan under section 6(c)(3).

      (3) FINAL REPORT- No later than 120 days after the end of the effective period of an approved flexibility plan, the approved applicant shall submit to the Board a final report on implementation of the plan, including a full evaluation of the successes and shortcomings of the plan and the effects of that implementation on individuals who receive benefits under the eligible Federal financial assistance programs under the plan.

    (b) BOARD- No later than two years after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Board shall submit a report to the President and the Congress on the Federal statutory and regulatory requirements of eligible Federal financial assistance programs that are most frequently waived under 7(f) with respect to approved flexibility plans. The President shall review the report and identify those statutory and regulatory requirements that the President determines should be amended or repealed.

    (c) DIRECTOR- Two years after this Act goes into effect, and no less than 60 days after repeal of this Act, the Director shall report on its progress in achieving the functions outlined in section 5(d).

    (d) GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE-

      (1) Beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the General Accounting Office shall--

        (A) evaluate the effectiveness of eligible Federal financial assistance programs included in flexibility plans approved pursuant to this Act compared with such programs not included in a flexibility plan;

        (B) establish and maintain, through the effective date of this statute, a program for the ongoing collection of data and analysis of each eligible Federal financial assistance program included in an approved flexibility plan.

      (2) No later than January 1, 2005, the General Accounting Office shall submit a report to Congress and the President that describes and evaluates the results of the evaluations conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) and any recommendations on how to improve flexibility in the administration of eligible Federal financial assistance programs.

    (e) ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS- No later than January 1, 2005, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations shall submit a report to the Congress and President that--

      (1) describes the extent to which this Act has improved the ability of State, local and tribal governments, particularly smaller units of government, to make more effective use of two or more Federal financial assistance programs included in a flexibility plan;

      (2) evaluates if or how the flexibility provided by this Act has improved the system of Federal financial assistance to State, and tribal governments, and enabled governments and community organizations to work together more effectively; and

      (3) includes recommendations with respect to flexibility for State, local and tribal governments.

SEC. 10. REPEAL.

    This Act is repealed on January 1, 2005.