< Back to H.R. 1295 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Commission Act of 1997

This bill was introduced on April 10, 1997, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 10, 1997 (Introduced).

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HR 1295 IH

105th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1295

To establish a Commission to make recommendations for the reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation of Department of Energy National Energy Laboratories, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 10, 1997

Mr. KLUG (for himself, Mr. MINGE, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota, Mr. SOLOMON, Mr. LOBIONDO, Mr. FOLEY, and Mr. RAMSTAD) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committees on National Security, and Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To establish a Commission to make recommendations for the reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation of Department of Energy National Energy Laboratories, 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 ‘National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Commission Act of 1997’.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL ENERGY LABORATORIES REORGANIZATION COMMISSION.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established an independent commission to be known as the ‘National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Commission’, for the purpose of reorganizing the Department of Energy National Energy Laboratories, and programs at those laboratories, through reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation, while preserving the traditional role the energy laboratories have contributed to the national defense.

    (b) DUTIES- The Commission shall carry out the duties specified for the Commission in this Act.

    (c) APPOINTMENT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall be composed of 7 members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President shall transmit to the Senate the nominations for appointment to the Commission not later than 1 month after the date of the enactment of this Act.

      (2) CONSULTATION- In selecting individuals for nominations for appointments to the Commission, the President should consult with--

        (A) the Speaker of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of 2 members; and

        (B) the Majority Leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of 2 members.

      (3) CHAIRPERSON- At the time the President nominates individuals for appointment to the Commission, the President shall designate one such individual who shall serve as Chairperson of the Commission.

    (d) TERMS- The term of each member of the Commission shall expire on the termination of the Commission under subsection (l).

    (e) MEETINGS- Each meeting of the Commission, other than meetings in which classified information is to be discussed, shall be open to the public.

    (f) VACANCIES- A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

    (g) PAY AND TRAVEL EXPENSES-

      (1) BASIC PAY-

        (A) PAY OF MEMBERS- Each member, other than the Chairperson, shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Commission.

        (B) PAY OF CHAIRPERSON- The Chairperson shall be paid for each day referred to in subparagraph (A) at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Members shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

    (h) DIRECTOR-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall appoint a Director who--

        (A) has not served as a civilian employee of the Department of Energy during the 2-year period preceding the date of such appointment;

        (B) has not been an employee of an energy laboratory during the 5-year period preceding the date of such appointment; and

        (C) has not been an employee of a contractor operating an energy laboratory during the 5-year period preceding the date of such appointment.

      (2) PAY- The Director shall be paid at the rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

    (i) STAFF-

      (1) APPOINTMENT BY DIRECTOR- Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Director, with the approval of the Commission, may appoint and fix the pay of additional personnel.

      (2) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE LAWS- The Director may make such appointments without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and any personnel so appointed may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that an individual so appointed may not receive pay in excess of the annual rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

      (3) LIMITATIONS- Not more than one-third of the personnel employed by or detailed to the Commission shall be individuals employed by the Department of Energy on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act. No employee of an energy laboratory, or of a contractor who operates an energy laboratory, may be detailed to the Commission.

      (4) SUPPORT FROM OTHER AGENCIES- Upon request of the Director, the head of a Federal agency may detail any of the personnel of that agency to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this Act.

      (5) SUPPORT FROM COMPTROLLER GENERAL- The Comptroller General of the United States shall provide assistance, including the detailing of employees, to the Commission in accordance with an agreement entered into with the Commission.

    (j) OTHER AUTHORITY-

      (1) TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES- The Commission may procure by contract, to the extent funds are available, the temporary or intermittent services of experts or consultants pursuant to section 3109 of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) AUTHORITY TO LEASE SPACE AND ACQUIRE CERTAIN PROPERTY- The Commission may lease space and acquire personal property to the extent funds are available. To the extent practicable, the Commission shall use suitable real property available under the most recent inventory of real property assets published by the Resolution Trust Corporation under section 21A(b)(11)(F) of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1441a(b)(12)(F)).

    (k) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such funds as are necessary to carry out its duties under this Act. Such funds shall remain available until expended.

    (l) TERMINATION- The Commission shall terminate not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LABORATORY REORGANIZATION.

    (a) SELECTION CRITERIA- In making recommendations for the reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation of energy laboratories and termination of programs at such laboratories under this Act, the Commission shall--

      (1) give strong consideration to the recommendations for reorganization and corporatization expressed in the Galvin Report;

      (2) eliminate duplication of effort by energy laboratories and reduce overhead costs as a proportion of program benefits distributed through an energy laboratory;

      (3) define appropriate missions for each energy laboratory, and ensure that the activities of each such laboratory are focused on its mission or missions;

      (4) seek to achieve cost savings for the overall budget for such laboratories;

      (5) consider the program costs and program distributions on a State and county basis, including real and personal property costs associated with each energy laboratory considered;

      (6) consider the number of participants in programs conducted through an energy laboratory and staff resources involved;

      (7) estimate the cost savings and increased costs that would accrue through the reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, or consolidation of energy laboratories;

      (8) consider the potential of each energy laboratory to generate revenues or to offset costs;

      (9) consider the transfer of energy laboratories to other Federal agencies; and

      (10) consider the privatization of the energy laboratories as an alternative to closure or reconfiguration.

    (b) EQUAL CONSIDERATION OF LABORATORIES- In considering energy laboratories for reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation, the Commission shall consider all such laboratories equally without regard to whether a laboratory has been previously considered or proposed for reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, or consolidation.

    (c) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION- The Secretary shall make available to the Commission all information requested by the Commission.

    (d) INDEPENDENT AUDIT- (1) Within 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall issue a request for proposals for the performance of an audit under paragraph (3).

    (2) Within 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, proposals shall be due in response to the request under paragraph (1).

    (3) Within 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall enter into a contract with an independent financial consulting firm for an audit of the energy laboratories and their programs, facilities, and assets. Such audit shall assess the commercial potential of the energy laboratories and their programs and make recommendations on how the Government could best realize such potential. The audit shall be completed and transmitted to the Commission and the congressional energy committees within 6 months after the contract is entered into under this subsection.

    (e) REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE COMMISSION-

      (1) PUBLIC COMMENT- The Commission shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the recommendations in the Galvin Report for a 30-day period.

      (2) INITIAL REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall publish in the Federal Register an initial report containing the Commission’s findings and conclusions based on a review and analysis of--

        (A) the recommendations made in the Galvin Report;

        (B) the audit conducted pursuant to subsection (d); and

        (C) the comments received under paragraph (1),

      together with the Commission’s recommendations for reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation of energy laboratories. In conducting such review and analysis, the Commission shall consider all energy laboratories.

      (3) DEVIATION FROM RECOMMENDATIONS- In making its recommendations, the Commission may make changes in any of the recommendations made in the Galvin Report. The Commission shall explain and justify in the report any recommendation made by the Commission that is different from the recommendations made in the Galvin Report.

      (4) FINAL REPORT- After providing a 30-day period for the public to comment following publication of the initial report under paragraph (2), and after full consideration of such public comment, the Commission shall, within 15 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, transmit to the Secretary and the congressional energy committees a final report containing the recommendations of the Commission.

      (5) PROVISION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION- After transmitting the final report under paragraph (4), the Commission shall promptly provide, upon request, to any Member of Congress information used by the Commission in making its recommendations.

SEC. 4. RECONFIGURATION, CORPORATIZATION, PRIVATIZATION, AND CONSOLIDATION OF ENERGY LABORATORIES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall--

      (1) reconfigure, within 1 year after the date of the transmittal of the final report under section 3(e)(4), all energy laboratories recommended for reconfiguration by the Commission in such report;

      (2) provide for and complete the corporatization, within 1 year after the date of the transmittal of the final report under section 3(e)(4), of all energy laboratories recommended for corporatization by the Commission in such report;

      (3) provide for and complete the privatization, within 1 year after the date of the transmittal of the final report under section 3(e)(4), of all energy laboratories recommended for privatization by the Commission in such report; and

      (4) provide for and complete the consolidation, within 1 year after the transmittal of the final report under section 3(e)(4), of all energy laboratories recommended for consolidation by the Commission in such report.

    (b) CONGRESSIONAL DISAPPROVAL-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may not carry out any reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, or consolidation of an energy laboratory recommended by the Commission in the report transmitted pursuant to section 3(e)(4) if a joint resolution is enacted, in accordance with the provisions of section 8, disapproving the recommendations of the Commission before the earlier of--

        (A) the end of the 45-day period beginning on the date on which the Commission transmits the report; or

        (B) the adjournment of Congress sine die for the session during which the report is transmitted.

      (2) LEGISLATIVE DAYS- For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection and subsections (a) and (c) of section 8, the days on which either House of Congress is not in session because of an adjournment of more than three days to a day certain shall be excluded in the computation of a period.

SEC. 5. IMPLEMENTATION OF RECONFIGURATION, CORPORATIZATION, PRIVATIZATION, AND CONSOLIDATION ACTIONS.

    (a) IMPLEMENTATION- In reconfiguring, corporatizing, privatizing, or consolidating an energy laboratory under this Act, the Secretary shall--

      (1) take such actions as may be necessary to reconfigure, corporatize, privatize, or consolidate the energy laboratory;

      (2) take such steps as may be necessary to ensure the safe keeping of all records stored at the energy laboratory; and

      (3) reimburse other Federal agencies for actions performed at the request of the Secretary with respect to any such reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, or consolidation, and may use for such purpose funds in the Account or funds appropriated to the Department of Energy and available for such purpose.

    (b) MANAGEMENT AND DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Administrator of General Services shall delegate to the Secretary with respect to excess and surplus real property and facilities located at an energy laboratory reconfigured, corporatized, privatized, or consolidated under this Act--

        (A) the authority of the Secretary to utilize excess property under section 202 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 483);

        (B) the authority of the Secretary to dispose of surplus property under section 203 of that Act (40 U.S.C. 484);

        (C) the authority of the Secretary to grant approvals and make determinations under section 13(g) of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 (50 U.S.C. App. 1622(g)); and

        (D) the authority of the Secretary to determine the availability of excess or surplus real property for wildlife conservation purposes in accordance with the Act of May 19, 1948 (16 U.S.C. 667b).

      (2) EXERCISE OF AUTHORITY-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall exercise the authority delegated to the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1) in accordance with--

          (i) all regulations in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act governing the utilization of excess property and the disposal of surplus property under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949; and

          (ii) all regulations in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act governing the conveyance and disposal of property under section 13(g) of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 (50 U.S.C. App. 1622(g)).

        (B) REGULATIONS- The Secretary, after consulting with the Administrator of General Services, may issue regulations that are necessary to carry out the delegation of authority required by paragraph (1).

        (C) LIMITATION- The authority required to be delegated by paragraph (1) to the Secretary by the Administrator of General Services shall not include the authority to prescribe general policies and methods for utilizing excess property and disposing of surplus property.

    (c) WAIVER- The Secretary may reconfigure, corporatize, privatize, or consolidate energy laboratories under this Act without regard to any provision of law restricting the use of funds for reconfiguring, corporatizing, privatizing, or consolidating such energy laboratories included in any appropriations or authorization Act.

SEC. 6. ACCOUNT.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is hereby established on the books of the Treasury an account to be known as the ‘National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Account’ which shall be administered by the Secretary as a single account.

    (b) CONTENT OF ACCOUNT- There shall be deposited into the Account--

      (1) funds authorized for and appropriated to the Account;

      (2) any funds that the Secretary may, subject to approval in an appropriation Act, transfer to the Account from funds appropriated to the Department of Energy for any purpose, except that such funds may be transferred only after the date on which the Secretary transmits written notice of, and justification for, such transfer to the congressional energy committees; and

      (3) proceeds received from the transfer or disposal of any property at an office reconfigured, corporatized, privatized, or consolidated under this Act.

    (c) USE OF FUNDS- The Secretary may use the funds in the Account only for the purposes described in section 5(a).

    (d) REPORTS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year in which the Secretary carries out activities under this Act, the Secretary shall transmit a report to the congressional energy committees of the amount and nature of the deposits into, and the expenditures from, the Account during such fiscal year and of the amount and nature of other expenditures made pursuant to section 5(a) during such fiscal year.

      (2) UNOBLIGATED FUNDS- Unobligated funds shall be held in the Account until transferred by law.

SEC. 7. REPORTS ON IMPLEMENTATION.

    As part of the budget request for each fiscal year in which the Secretary is authorized to carry out activities under this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the congressional energy committees--

      (1) a schedule of the reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, and consolidation actions to be carried out under this Act in the fiscal year for which the request is made and an estimate of the total expenditures required and cost savings to be achieved by each such reconfiguration, corporatization, privatization, or consolidation and of the time period in which these savings are to be achieved in each case; and

      (2) a description of the energy laboratories to which functions are to be transferred as a result of such reconfigurations, corporatizations, privatizations, and consolidations.

SEC. 8. CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION OF COMMISSION REPORT.

    (a) TERMS OF THE RESOLUTION- For purposes of section 4(b), the term ‘joint resolution’ means only a joint resolution which is introduced within the 10-day period beginning on the date on which the Commission transmits the report to the Congress under section 3(e)(4), and--

      (1) which does not have a preamble;

      (2) the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: ‘That Congress disapproves the recommendations of the National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Commission as submitted on XXX.’, the blank space being filled in with the appropriate date; and

      (3) the title of which is as follows: ‘Joint resolution disapproving the recommendations of the National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Commission.’.

    (b) REFERRAL- A resolution described in subsection (a) that is introduced in the House of Representatives shall be referred to the Committee on National Security and the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives. A resolution described in subsection (a) introduced in the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

    (c) DISCHARGE- If the committee to which a resolution described in subsection (a) is referred has not reported such resolution (or an identical resolution) by the end of the 20-day period beginning on the date on which the Commission transmits the report to the Congress under section 3(e)(4), such committee shall be, at the end of such period, discharged from further consideration of such resolution, and such resolution shall be placed on the appropriate calendar of the House involved.

    (d) CONSIDERATION-

      (1) IN GENERAL- On or after the third day after the date on which the committee to which such a resolution is referred has reported, or has been discharged (under subsection (c)) from further consideration of, such a resolution, it is in order (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) for any Member of the respective House to move to proceed to the consideration of the resolution (but only on the day after the calendar

day on which such Member announces to the House concerned the Member’s intention to do so). All points of order against the resolution (and against consideration of the resolution) are waived. The motion is highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is not subject to amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or to a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the resolution is agreed to, the respective House shall immediately proceed to consideration of the joint resolution without intervening motion, order, or other business, and the resolution shall remain the unfinished business of the respective House until disposed of.

      (2) DEBATE- Debate on the resolution, and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 2 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the resolution. An amendment to the resolution is not in order. A motion further to limit debate is in order and not debatable. A motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the resolution is not in order. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution is agreed to or disagreed to is not in order.

      (3) QUORUM CALL- Immediately following the conclusion of the debate on a resolution described in subsection (a) and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested in accordance with the rules of the appropriate House, the vote on final passage of the resolution shall occur.

      (4) APPEALS FROM DECISION OF CHAIR- Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to a resolution described in subsection (a) shall be decided without debate.

    (e) CONSIDERATION BY OTHER HOUSE-

      (1) IN GENERAL- If, before the passage by one House of a resolution of that House described in subsection (a), that House receives from the other House a resolution described in subsection (a), then the following procedures shall apply:

        (A) The resolution of the other House shall not be referred to a committee and may not be considered in the House receiving it except in the case of final passage as provided in subparagraph (B)(ii).

        (B) With respect to a resolution described in paragraph (1) of the House receiving the resolution--

          (i) the procedure in that House shall be the same as if no resolution had been received from the other House; but

          (ii) the vote on final passage shall be on the resolution of the other House.

      (2) CONSIDERATION AFTER DISPOSITION BY OTHER HOUSE- Upon disposition of the resolution received from the other House, it shall no longer be in order to consider the resolution that originated in the receiving House.

    (f) RULES OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE- This section is enacted by Congress--

      (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, and as such it is deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House in the case of a resolution described in subsection (a), and it supersedes other rules only to the extent that it is inconsistent with such rules; and

      (2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) The term ‘Account’ means the National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Account established in section 6(a).

      (2) The term ‘Commission’ means the National Energy Laboratories Reorganization Commission.

      (3) The term ‘congressional energy committees’ means the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate, the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

      (4) The term ‘corporatize’ means to transfer functions to a wholly owned Government corporation established for the purpose of performing those functions.

      (5) The term ‘energy laboratory’ means the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Sandia National Laboratories, the Argonne National Laboratory, the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest Laboratory, or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

      (6) The term ‘Galvin Report’ means the report of the Task Force on Alternative Futures for the Department of Energy National Laboratories (commonly known as the Galvin Commission).

      (7) The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Energy.