< Back to H.R. 2699 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the Peace Corps Volunteer Service Improvement Act of 2011

This bill was introduced on September 21, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 29, 2011 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2699

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 29, 2011

(for herself, Mrs. Schmidt, Mr. Poe of Texas, and Ms. Buerkle) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To establish policies and procedures in the Peace Corps to provide for the safety and security of volunteers from rape and sexual assault, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Peace Corps Volunteer Service Improvement Act of 2011.

2.

Confidentiality of reports of rape or sexual assault

(a)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall establish and maintain policies and procedures that clearly establish a process for volunteers to make confidential reports of rape or sexual assault.

(b)

Penalty

Any Peace Corps volunteer or staff member who is responsible for maintaining confidentiality under subsection (a) and who breaches such duty shall be subject to disciplinary action, including termination, and in the case of a staff member, ineligibility for re-employment with the Peace Corps.

(c)

Inclusion

In this Act, Peace Corps volunteers includes trainees and Peace Corps staff members include any employee, contractor, expert, consultant, or Foreign Service national employed or contracted by the Peace Corps, whether in the United States or in a foreign country.

3.

Safety and security agreement regarding Peace Corps volunteers serving in foreign countries

(a)

In general

Not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Peace Corps shall consult with the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and enter into a memorandum of understanding that specifies the duties and obligations of the Peace Corps and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security of the Department of State with respect to the protection of Peace Corps volunteers and staff members serving in foreign countries, including with respect to investigations of safety and security incidents and crimes committed against such volunteers and staff members.

(b)

Inspector General review

(1)

Review

The Inspector General of the Peace Corps shall review the memorandum of understanding described in subsection (a) and be afforded the opportunity to recommend changes that advance the safety and security of Peace Corps volunteers before its entry into force.

(2)

Report

The Director of the Peace Corps shall consider the recommendations of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps regarding the memorandum of understanding described in subsection (a). If the Director enters into such memorandum without implementing a recommendation of the Inspector General, the Director shall submit to the Inspector General a written explanation relating thereto.

(3)

Failure to meet deadline

(A)

Requirement to submit report

If, by the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Director of the Peace Corps is unable to obtain agreement with the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and certification by the Inspector General of the Peace Corps, the Director shall submit to the committees of Congress specified in subparagraph (C) a report explaining the reasons for such failure.

(B)

Limitation on funds

If, by the date that is 9 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the memorandum of understanding described in subsection (a) has not entered into force, no funds available to the Peace Corps may be obligated or expended to extend to Peace Corps volunteers invitations for service or to deploy Peace Corps trainees overseas unless the Director of the Peace Corps certifies to the committees of Congress specified in subparagraph (C) that—

(i)

significant progress is being made toward finalizing such memorandum; and

(ii)

the Peace Corps is using best efforts to provide volunteers with the training, support, and information they need to stay safe and secure.

(C)

Committees of Congress specified

The committees of Congress specified in this subparagraph are the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

4.

Independence of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps

The limitations specified in section 7(a)(2)(A) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2506(a)(2)(A)) on the length of appointment or assignment under section 7(a)(2) of such Act, section 7(a)(2)(B) of such Act on reappointment or reassignment of an individual whose appointment or assignment under section 7(a)(2) of such Act has been terminated, and section 7(a)(5) of such Act on the circumstances under which an appointment or assignment under section 7(a)(2) of such Act may exceed five years shall not apply to—

(1)

the Inspector General of the Peace Corps; and

(2)

officers and employees of the Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps.

5.

Safety and security reports

(a)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall annually submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on the safety of Peace Corps volunteers. Each such report shall at a minimum include the following information:

(1)

The incidence of crimes, together with the number of arrests, prosecutions, and incarcerations for every country in which volunteers serve for the preceding year.

(2)

A three year trend analysis of the types and frequency of crimes committed against volunteers for every country in which the Peace Corps has operated for at least the three preceding years.

(b)

Inspector General audit

Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this section and at least once every five years thereafter (or more frequently as appropriate), the Inspector General of the Peace Corps shall perform an audit of Peace Corps implementation of safety and security protocols, including the status of any Inspector General findings and recommendations from previous audits that have not been adequately remediated or implemented.

6.

Portfolio reviews

(a)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall, at least once every three years (or more frequently as appropriate), perform a review to evaluate the allocation and delivery of resources across the countries the Peace Corps serves or is considering for service. Such portfolio reviews shall at a minimum include the following with respect to each such country:

(1)

An evaluation of the country’s commitment to the Peace Corps program.

(2)

An analysis of the safety and security of volunteers.

(3)

An evaluation of the country’s need for assistance.

(4)

An analysis of country program costs.

(5)

An evaluation of the effectiveness of management of each post within a country.

(6)

An evaluation of the country’s congruence with the Peace Corps’ mission and strategic priorities.

(b)

Report

The Director of the Peace Corps shall prepare a report on each portfolio review required under subsection (a). Each such report shall discuss performance measures and sources of data used (such as project status reports, volunteer surveys, impact studies, reports of Inspector General of the Peace Corps, and any relevant external sources) in making such review’s findings and conclusions. The Director shall make each such report available upon request to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate in a manner consistent with the protection of classified information if determined necessary to protect sensitive information.