IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 15, 2008
Mr. Biden (for himself and Mr. Lugar) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To authorize grants to the Eurasia Foundation, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Findings and purposes
Congress finds the following:
There has been
established in the District of Columbia a private, nonprofit corporation known
as the Eurasia Foundation (hereafter in this Act referred to as the
Foundation), which is not an agency or establishment of the
United States Government.
In recognition of the valuable contributions of the Foundation to long-range United States foreign policy interests, the United States Government has, through the United States Agency for International Development and the Department of State, provided financial support for the Foundation.
It is in the interest of the United States, and the further strengthening of cooperation with the countries of Eurasia, to establish a more permanent mechanism for United States Government financial support for the ongoing activities of the Foundation, while preserving the independent character of the Foundation.
The purposes of the Foundation are to—
promote civil society, private enterprise, and sound public administration and policy only in the countries of Eurasia and in lending encouragement and assistance to citizens of such countries in their own efforts to develop more open, just, and democratic societies;
strengthen indigenous institutions only in the countries of Eurasia in order to foster national development, constructive social change, equitable economic growth, and cooperative international relationships that are fully consistent with and supportive of long-term United States interests with respect to the countries of Eurasia; and
conduct programs in response to initiatives in the countries of Eurasia that would be difficult or impossible for an official United States entity, and, as a result of its position in the countries of Eurasia, to respond quickly and flexibly to meet new opportunities.
Grants to the Foundation
The Secretary of State shall award an annual grant to the Foundation to enable the Foundation to carry out the purposes described in section 2(b).
Each grant awarded under paragraph (1) shall—
consist of funds specifically appropriated for grants to the Foundation; and
be contingent upon a grant agreement between the Secretary and the Foundation that requires the Foundation to—
only use grant funds for activities that the Board of Directors of the Foundation determines are consistent with the purposes described in section 2(b); and
otherwise comply with the requirements of this Act.
Rule of construction
Nothing in this Act may be construed to—
make the Foundation an agency or establishment of the United States Government; or
make the members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, or the officers or employees of the Foundation, officers or employees of the United States.
The Foundation and its grantees shall be subject to the appropriate oversight procedures of Congress.
The Foundation may accept funding from non-United States Government sources to complement United States Government funding.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that—
a Foundation, funded for fiscal year 2009 at the levels authorized under section 7, and at appropriate levels in subsequent fiscal years, can contribute significantly to the political, economic, and social development of democracy and human rights in the countries of Eurasia;
notwithstanding the Foundation’s distinguished record of performance, organizations that seek competitive grants typically perform in a more transparent and effective manner; and
to the maximum extent possible, the Foundation should seek competitive grants to supplement appropriations from the United States Government, and at least 20 percent of the funding received in each fiscal year by the Foundation should be from non-United States Government sources to ensure continued strong performance of the Foundation.
Eligibility of the Foundation for grants
Funding for covered programs only
The Foundation may provide funding only for programs that are consistent with the purposes set forth in section 2(b).
Compensation for officers and employees of the foundation
If an individual who is an officer or employee of the United States Government serves as a member of the Board of Directors or as an officer or employee of the Foundation, that individual may not receive any compensation or travel expenses in connection with service performed for the Foundation.
Prohibition respecting financial matters
The Foundation shall not issue any shares of stock or declare or pay any dividends. No part of the assets of the Foundation shall inure to the benefit of any member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, any officer or employee of the Foundation, or any other individual, except as salary or reasonable compensation for expenses incurred in the performance of duties to the Foundation.
Audit of accounts; reporting requirements
Audit of accounts
The accounts of the Foundation shall be audited annually in accordance with chapter 75 of title 31, United States Code.
The report of each such independent audit shall be included in the annual report required under subsection (g). The audit report shall set forth the scope of the audit and include such statements as are necessary to present fairly the Foundation’s assets and liabilities, surplus or deficit, with an analysis of the changes therein during the year, supplemented in reasonable detail by a statement of the Foundation’s income and expenses during the year, and a statement of the application of funds, together with the independent auditor’s opinion of those statements.
Audit of financial transactions
Audit of financial transactions
The Government Accountability Office may audit the financial transactions of the Foundation for each fiscal year in accordance with such principles, procedures, rules, and regulations as may be prescribed by the Comptroller General of the United States.
The Comptroller General of the United States shall simultaneously submit, to the President, the Foundation, and the appropriate congressional committees, a report regarding each audit described in paragraph (1) that contains—
any comments and information as the Comptroller General determines to be necessary to inform the appropriate congressional committees of the financial operations and condition of the Foundation; and
any recommendations that the Comptroller General considers advisable.
Recordkeeping requirements; audit and examination of books
The Foundation shall ensure that each recipient of financial assistance provided through the Foundation under this Act maintains such records as may be reasonably necessary to—
the amount and the disposition by such recipient of the proceeds of such assistance;
the total cost of the project or undertaking in connection with which such assistance is given or used; and
the amount and nature of that portion of the cost of the project or undertaking supplied by other sources; and
facilitate an effective audit.
Audit and examination of books
The Foundation shall ensure that the Foundation, any of its duly authorized representatives, the Comptroller General of the United States, and any duly authorized representative of the Comptroller General has access to any books, documents, papers, and records of the recipient that are pertinent to assistance provided through the Foundation under this Act for the purpose of audit and examination.
Annual report; testimony relating to report
Not later than June 30 of each year, the Foundation shall submit an annual report for the preceding fiscal year to the President and to the appropriate congressional committees.
The report submitted under subparagraph (A)—
shall include a comprehensive, detailed report of the Foundation’s operations, activities, financial condition, and accomplishments under this Act;
should include any information regarding allegations or reports on the misuse of funds and how such allegations or reports were addressed by the Foundation; and
may include such recommendations as the Foundation determines to be appropriate.
Testimony relating to report
The Board members and officers of the Foundation shall be available to testify before appropriate committees of the Congress with respect to—
the report required under paragraph (1);
the report of any audit made by the Comptroller General of the United States pursuant to subsection (e); or
any other matter requested by any such committee.
Grantee; conflict of interest
A member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation who serves as a member of the board of directors or an officer of a grantee of the Foundation—
may not receive compensation for services provided to the grantee; and
shall be entitled to reimbursement for travel and other expenses incurred by the member in connection with the member’s other duties on behalf of such grantee.
Agreement between Foundation and successor or related entity to the U.S. Russia Investment Fund
The Foundation and any successor or related entity to the U.S. Russia Investment Fund shall enter into a memorandum of understanding for the purpose of—
coordinating activities carried out by the Foundation and the successor or related entity; and
ensuring that the activities of 1 entity do not duplicate the activities of the other entity.
The Foundation and the successor or related entity described in subsection (a) shall enter into the memorandum of understanding described in subsection (a) by not later than the later of—
90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, if the successor or related entity is established on or before the date of the enactment of this Act; or
90 days after the date on which the successor or related entity is established, if such entity is established after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Submission to Secretary of State and Congress
Not later than 30 days after the date on which the parties enter into the memorandum of understanding described in subsection (a), the Foundation and the successor or related entity described in subsection (a) shall submit a copy of the memorandum of understanding described in subsection (a) to the Secretary of State and to the appropriate congressional committees.
Successor or related entity to the U.S. Russia Investment Fund defined
In this section, the terms successor or related entity to the U.S. Russia Investment Fund and successor or related entity mean any organization, corporation, limited-liability partnership, foundation, or other corporate structure that receives any or all of the remaining funds of the U.S. Russia Investment Fund after the liquidation of assets upon closure of the U.S. Russia Investment Fund.
In this Act:
Appropriate congressional committees
The term appropriate congressional committees means—
the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
Countries of eurasia
The term countries of Eurasia means Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act—
$15,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010.
Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriation under subsection (a) are authorized to remain available until the date that is 2 years after the last day of the fiscal year for which the amount was appropriated.