S. 1280 (112th): Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Sep 21, 2011 (Reported by Senate Committee).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

Calendar No. 176

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1280

[Report No. 112–82]

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 27, 2011

(for himself, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Coons, Mr. Franken, Mr. Brown of Massachusetts, Mrs. Feinstein, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Barrasso, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Casey, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mrs. McCaskill, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Burr, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Wyden, and Mr. Bennet) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

September 21, 2011

Reported by , with an amendment

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

A BILL

To amend the Peace Corps Act to require sexual assault risk-reduction and response training, the development of sexual assault protocol and guidelines, the establishment of victims advocates, the establishment of a Sexual Assault Advisory Council, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.

2.

Peace Corps volunteer protection

The Peace Corps Act is amended by inserting after section 8 (22 U.S.C. 2507) the following new sections:

8A.

Sexual assault risk-reduction and response training

(a)

In general

As part of the training provided to all volunteers under section 8(a), the Director of the Peace Corps shall develop and implement comprehensive sexual assault risk-reduction and response training that conforms to best practices in the sexual assault field as appropriate for first responders and other staff.

(b)

Development and consultation with experts

In developing the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training under subsection (a), the Director of the Peace Corps shall consult with and incorporate, as appropriate, the recommendations and views of experts in the sexual assault field.

(c)

Subsequent training

Once a trainee has arrived in the trainee’s country of service, the Director of the Peace Corps shall provide the trainee with training tailored to the country, including cultural training relating to gender relations, risk-reduction strategies, a safety plan in the event of an assault, treatment available in such country (such as forensic rape exams, PEP for HIV exposure, STD screening, and pregnancy testing), MedEvac procedures, and information regarding the legal process for pressing charges against an attacker.

(d)

Historical analysis

The Director of the Peace Corps shall provide each applicant for enrollment with a historical analysis of crimes and risks against volunteers in the country in which the applicant has been invited to serve.

(e)

Contact information

The Director of the Peace Corps shall provide each trainee, before each such trainee enrolls as a volunteer, with—

(1)

the contact information of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps for purposes of reporting violations of the sexual assault protocol under section 8B or any other criminal or administrative wrongdoing by volunteers, personnel (including experts and consultants), or other individuals (including contractors) who do business with the Peace Corps; and

(2)

clear, written guidelines regarding whom to contact, including the direct telephone number for a victim advocate and what steps to take in the event of a sexual assault.

(f)

Definitions

In this section and sections 8B through 8G:

(1)

Assault

(A)

In general

The term assault means an act that—

(i)

creates an apprehension in an individual of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact; or

(ii)

is a harmful or offensive touching.

(B)

Inclusion

The term assault includes stalking and sexual assault.

(2)

Sexual assault

The term sexual assault means any conduct described in chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code, relating to aggrevated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual conduct, whether or not the conduct occurs in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and includes both assaults committed by offenders who are strangers to the victim and assaults committed by offenders who are known or related by blood or marriage to the victim.

(3)

Stalking

The term stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—

(A)

fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

(B)

suffer substantial emotional distress.

(4)

Inclusion of trainees

The term volunteers includes trainees.

8B.

Sexual assault protocol and guidelines

(a)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall develop and implement comprehensive sexual assault protocol and guidelines that—

(1)

conform to best practices in the sexual assault field; and

(2)

are applicable to all posts at which volunteers serve.

(b)

Development and consultation with experts

In developing the sexual assault policy under subsection (a), the Director of the Peace Corps shall consult with and incorporate, as appropriate, the recommendations and views of experts in the sexual assault field.

(c)

Elements

The sexual assault protocol and guidelines developed under subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the following services with respect to a volunteer who has been a victim of sexual assault:

(1)

Protection of such volunteer’s confidentiality.

(2)

Provision of a victim’s advocate to the volunteer.

(3)

Provision of a sexual assault forensic evidence kit to the volunteer upon request.

(4)

Provision of emergency health care to the volunteer, including, to the greatest extent practicable, a choice of medical providers and a mechanism for such volunteer to evaluate such provider.

(5)

Provision of counseling and psychiatric medecine.

(6)

Completion of a safety and treatment plan with the volunteer.

(7)

Evacuation of the volunteer, accompanied by a Peace Corps staffer at the request of such volunteer.

(8)

An explanation to the volunteer of available law enforcement, prosecutorial options, and legal representation.

(d)

Distribution and training

The Director of the Peace Corps shall distribute to and train all in-country staff regarding the sexual assault protocol and guidelines developed under subsection (a).

(e)

Removal and assessment and evaluation

(1)

In general

If a volunteer feels at risk of imminent bodily harm and requests removal from the site in which such volunteer is serving, the Director of the Peace Corps shall, as expeditiously as practical after receiving such request, remove the volunteer from the site. If the Director of the Peace Corps receives such a request, the Director of the Peace Corps shall assess and evaluate the safety of such site and may not assign another volunteer to the site until such time as the assessment and evaluation is complete and the site has been determined to be safe.

(2)

Determination of site as unsafe

Volunteers may remain at a site during an assessment and evaluation under paragraph (1). If the Director the Peace Corps determines that a site is unsafe, the Director of the Peace Corps shall, as expeditiously as practical, remove all volunteers from the site.

(f)

Sexual assault response teams

The Director of the Peace Corps shall establish sexual assault response teams, including Safety and Security Officers, medical staff, and a victim advocate, that can respond to reports of sexual assault against a volunteer.

(g)

Case review

The Director of the Peace Corps shall conduct case reviews of a statistically significant number of cases on a quarterly basis to determine if proper procedures were followed in accordance with the sexual assault protocols and guidelines developed under subsection (a) and including the elements specified in subsection (c).

(h)

Tracking and recording

The Director of the Peace Corps shall establish a global tracking and recording system to track and record incidents of assault against volunteers.

(i)

Prohibition on combining incidents

The Director of the Peace Corps may not combine into one incident for purposes of tracking and recording under subsection (h) reports by different volunteers of assault against such volunteers even if such assaults were committed by one individual against such volunteers at any one time.

(j)

Alternative systems

The Director of the Peace Corps shall establish an alternative reporting system and hotline access system through which volunteers who are victims of assault can report and receive support on an anonymous basis. The alternative systems shall be published in the Volunteer Handbook.

8C.

Victims advocates

(a)

Victims advocates

(1)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall assign a certified victims advocate in Peace Corps headquarters who shall report directly to the Director. The Director of the Peace Corps shall assign not fewer than three additional certified victims advocates to assist the victims advocate. The additional victims advocates shall have regional expertise and may be posted abroad if the victims advocate determines that it is necessary.

(2)

Prohibition

Peace Corps Medical Officers, Safety and Security Officers, and program staff may not serve as victims advocates. The victims advocate and additional victims advocates may not have any other duties in the Peace Corps.

(3)

Exemption

The victims advocate and additional victims advocates shall be exempt from the five year rule on appointments and assignments under section 7(a)(5).

(b)

Responsibilities

The victims advocate and additional victims advocates shall help develop and implement the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training described in section 8A and the sexual assault protocol and guidelines described in section 8B and ensure such training and such protocol and guidelines are being properly updated and followed. The victims advocate and additional victims advocates shall assist volunteers who are victims of assault by making such victims aware of the services specified in section 8B(c) available to them and facilitating their access to such services.

(c)

Status updates

The victims advocate and additional victims advocates shall provide to volunteers who are victims of assault regular updates on the status of their cases if such volunteers have opted to pursue prosecution.

(d)

Transition

A victims advocate who is working with a volunteer who is a victim of assault and who relocates back to the United States shall assist the volunteer to receive the services specified in section 8B(c) required by such volunteer, including through the duration of the claim with the Department of Labor, even after the volunteer is medically separated.

8D.

Establishment of Sexual Assault Advisory Council

(a)

Establishment

There is established in the Peace Corps a Sexual Assault Advisory Council (in this section referred to as the Council).

(b)

Membership

The Council shall be composed of individuals selected by the Director of the Peace Corps who are returned volunteers (including volunteers who were victims of sexual assault and volunteers who were not victims of sexual assault) and governmental and nongovernmental experts and professionals in the sexual assault field.

(c)

Functions; Meetings

The Council shall meet not less often than annually to review the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training developed under section 8A, sexual assault policy developed under section 8B, and the confidentiality policy developed under section 8F to ensure that such training and policies conform to best practices in the sexual assault field.

(d)

Reports

The Council shall annually submit to the Director of the Peace Corps and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate a report on its findings based on the reviews conducted pursuant to subsection (c).

(e)

Federal employees

Members of the Council shall not be considered Federal employees for any purpose and shall not receive compensation other than reimbursement of travel expenses and per diem allowance.

(f)

Nonapplicability of FACA

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Council.

8E.

Volunteer feedback and Peace Corps review

(a)

Monitoring and evaluation

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Director of the Peace Corps shall establish goals, metrics, and monitoring and evaluation plans for all Peace Corps programs and Country Directors. Monitoring and evaluation plans shall incorporate best practices from monitoring and evaluation studies and analyses.

(b)

Annual volunteer surveys

The Director of the Peace Corps shall annually conduct a confidential survey of volunteers regarding the effectiveness of Peace Corps programs and staff and the safety of volunteers.

(c)

Peace Corps Inspector General

The Inspector General of the Peace Corps shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate the following:

(1)

A biennial report on reports received from volunteers relating to misconduct, mismanagement, or policy violations of Peace Corps staff, any breaches of the confidentiality of volunteers, and any actions taken to assure the safety of volunteers who provide such reports.

(2)

A report, not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this section and every five years thereafter, evaluating the effectiveness and implementation of the assault risk-reduction and response training developed under section 8A and the sexual assault protocol and guidelines developed under section 8B.

(3)

A trend analysis every three years of the annual volunteer surveys, including actions taken in response to such surveys.

(4)

A report, not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this section, describing how Country Directors are hired, how Country Directors are terminated, and how Country Directors hire staff.

(d)

Evaluation defined

For purposes of this section, the term evaluation means the systematic collection and analysis of information about the characteristics and outcomes of programs and projects as a basis for judgments, to improve effectiveness, or inform decisions about current and future programming.

8F.

Nondisclosure of confidential or private information

(a)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall establish and maintain a process to allow volunteers to report incidents of assault, incidents of misconduct or mismanagement, or violations of any policy, of the Peace Corps in order to protect the confidentiality in accordance with subsection (c) and safety of such volunteers and of the information reported, and to ensure that such information is acted on appropriately. The Director of the Peace Corps shall train all volunteers and staff about this process.

(b)

Guidance

The Director of the Peace Corps shall provide guidance to officers and employees of the Peace Corps who have access to the information reported by volunteers under subsection (a) in order to protect against the inappropriate disclosure of such information and ensure the safety of such volunteers.

(c)

Nondisclosure

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), the Director of the Peace Corps may not—

(A)

disclose any personally identifying information or personal information of a volunteer who is a victim of assault collected in connection with services requested, utilized, or denied through Peace Corps programs; or

(B)

reveal such information without the informed, purpose-limited, and reasonably time-limited consent of the volunteer about whom such information is sought.

(2)

Release

If the release of information described in paragraph (1) is authorized by statute or compelled by court order, the Director of the Peace Corps shall—

(A)

make reasonable attempts to provide notice to the volunteer with respect to whom such information is being released; and

(B)

take such action as is necessary to protect the privacy and safety of the volunteer.

(3)

Information sharing

The Director of the Peace Corps may share—

(A)

nonpersonally identifying data in the aggregate regarding services to volunteers and nonpersonally identifying demographic information in order to comply with reporting, evaluation, or data collection requirements;

(B)

nonpersonally identifying information that would protect the safety of volunteers;

(C)

court-generated information and law-enforcement generated information contained in secure, governmental registries for protection order enforcement purposes; and

(D)

law enforcement- and prosecution-generated information necessary for law enforcement and prosecution purposes.

(d)

Definition

In this section, the terms personally identifying information and personal information mean information for or about a volunteer who is a victim of assault, including information likely to disclose the location of such victim, including the following:

(1)

A first and last name.

(2)

A home or other physical address.

(3)

Contact information (including a postal, email, or Internet protocol address, or telephone or facsimile number).

(4)

A social security number.

(5)

Any other information, including date of birth, racial or ethnic background, or religious affiliation, that, in combination with information described in paragraphs (1) through (4), would serve to identify the victim.

8G.

Reporting requirements

(a)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps shall annually submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate a report summarizing information on—

(1)

sexual assault against volunteers;

(2)

assault against volunteers; and

(3)

the annual rate of early termination of volunteers, including, to the maximum extent practicable, demographic data associated with such early termination.

(b)

GAO

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate a report evaluating the quality and accessibility of health care provided through the Department of Labor to returned volunteers upon their separation from the Peace Corps.

(c)

Access to communications

(1)

In general

The Director of the Peace Corps, in coordination with all Country Directors, shall determine the level of access to communication, including cellular and Internet access, of each volunteer.

(2)

Report

Not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Director of the Peace Corps shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate a report on the costs of providing all volunteers with access to adequate communication, including cellular service and Internet access.

(d)

Report on monitoring and evaluation

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section and annually thereafter, the Director of the Peace Corps shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate a report on the monitoring and evaluation of Peace Corps programs and Country Directors, including information on the following:

(1)

A description of the monitoring and evaluation activities conducted in the preceding year.

(2)

A forecast of the monitoring and evaluation activities planned for the subsequent year.

(3)

A description of the ways in which the results of the monitoring and evaluation activities have informed the design and operation of development policies and programs during the preceding year.

.

3.

Conforming amendments

(a)

Inclusion of sexual assault risk-Reduction and response training

The Peace Corps Act is amended—

(1)

in section 5(a) (22 U.S.C. 2504(a)), in the second sentence, by inserting (including training under section 8A) after training; and

(2)

in section 8(a) (22 U.S.C. 2507(a)), in the first sentence, by inserting , including training under section 8A, after training.

(b)

Certain services

Section 5(e) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2504(e)) is amended, in the first sentence—

(1)

by inserting (including, if necessary, for volunteers and trainees, services under section 8C) after health care; and

(2)

by inserting including services provided in accordance with section 8C (except that the six-month limitation shall not apply in the case of such services), before as the President.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.

2.

Peace Corps volunteer protection

The Peace Corps Act is amended by inserting after section 8 (22 U.S.C. 2507) the following new sections:

8A.

Sexual assault risk-reduction and response training

(a)

In general

As part of the training provided to all volunteers under section 8(a), the President shall develop and implement comprehensive sexual assault risk-reduction and response training that is based upon best practices in the sexual assault field to respond to reports of sexual assault.

(b)

Development and consultation with experts

In developing the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training under subsection (a), the President shall consult with and incorporate, as appropriate, the recommendations and views of experts in the sexual assault field.

(c)

Content of training

Training under subsection (a) shall be tailored to the country of service, and shall include cultural training relating to gender relations, risk-reduction strategies, a safety plan in the event of an assault, treatment available in such country (including forensic rape exams, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV exposure, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy testing), and MedEvac procedures.

(d)

Information regarding crimes and risks

Each applicant for enrollment as a volunteer shall be provided with information regarding crimes against and risks to volunteers in the country in which the applicant has been invited to serve.

(e)

Contact information

The President shall provide each applicant, before the applicant enrolls as a volunteer, with—

(1)

the contact information of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps for purposes of reporting sexual assault mismanagement or any other mismanagement, misconduct, wrongdoing, or violations of law or policy whenever it involves a Peace Corps employee, trainee, volunteer, consultant, contractor, or outside party that receives funds from the Peace Corps; and

(2)

clear, written guidelines regarding whom to contact, including the direct telephone number for the designated SAVSL and the Office of Victims Advocacy and what steps to take in the event of a sexual assault or other crime.

(f)

Definitions

In this section and sections 8B through 8G:

(1)

Sexual assault

The term sexual assault means any conduct prescribed by chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code, whether or not the conduct occurs in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and includes both assaults committed by offenders who are strangers to the victim and assaults committed by offenders who are known or related by blood or marriage to the victim.

(2)

Inclusion of trainees

The term volunteers includes trainees.

8B.

Sexual assault policy

(a)

In general

The President shall develop and implement a comprehensive sexual assault policy that—

(1)

includes a system for restricted and unrestricted reporting of sexual assault;

(2)

protects the confidentiality of a volunteer who is a victim of sexual assault until such time that he or she elects to pursue unrestricted reporting of the assault;

(3)

mandates, for each Peace Corps country program, the designation of a Sexual Assault Victim Support Liaison (SAVSL), who shall receive comprehensive training on procedures to respond to reports of sexual assault, with duties including ensuring that volunteers who are victims of sexual assault are moved to a safe environment and receive prompt access to medical care;

(4)

requires SAVSLs to immediately contact the Office of Victims Advocacy upon receiving a report of sexual assault;

(5)

is based upon best practices in the sexual assault field; and

(6)

is applicable to all posts at which volunteers serve.

(b)

Development and consultation with experts

In developing the sexual assault policy under subsection (a), the President shall consult with and incorporate, as appropriate, the recommendations and views of experts in the sexual assault field.

(c)

Elements

The sexual assault policy developed under subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the following with respect to a volunteer who has been a victim of sexual assault:

(1)

The option of pursuing either restricted or unrestricted reporting of an assault.

(2)

Provision of a SAVSL and victim’s advocate to the volunteer.

(3)

Provision of a sexual assault forensic evidence examination to the volunteer in accordance with applicable law.

(4)

Provision of emergency health care to the volunteer.

(5)

Completion of a safety and treatment plan with the volunteer.

(6)

Evacuation of the volunteer for medical treatment, accompanied by a Peace Corps staffer at the request of such volunteer.

(7)

An explanation to the volunteer of available law enforcement and prosecutorial options, and legal representation.

(d)

Training

The President shall train all in-country staff regarding the sexual assault policy developed under subsection (a).

(e)

Removal and assessment and evaluation

(1)

In general

If a volunteer feels at risk of imminent bodily harm and requests removal from the site in which such volunteer is serving, the President shall, as expeditiously as practical after receiving such request, remove the volunteer from the site. If the President receives such a request, the President shall assess and evaluate the safety of such site and may not assign another volunteer to the site until such time as the assessment and evaluation is complete and the site has been determined to be safe.

(2)

Determination of site as unsafe

Volunteers may remain at a site during an assessment and evaluation under paragraph (1). If the President determines that a site is unsafe, the President shall, as expeditiously as practical, remove all volunteers from the site.

(f)

Tracking and recording

The President shall establish a global tracking and recording system to track and record incidents of crimes against volunteers.

(g)

Stalking

(1)

In general

The policies and procedures established by this section shall also apply in instances when a volunteer reports stalking.

(2)

Stalking

In this subsection, the term stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—

(A)

fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

(B)

suffer substantial emotional distress.

8C.

Office of victims advocacy

(a)

Establishment of office of victims advocacy

(1)

In general

The President shall establish an Office of Victims Advocacy in Peace Corps headquarters headed by a full-time victims advocate who shall report directly to the Director. The Office of Victims Advocacy may deploy personnel abroad when necessary to help assist victims.

(2)

Prohibition

Peace Corps Medical Officers, Safety and Security Officers, and program staff may not serve as victims advocates. The victims advocate referred to in paragraph (1) may not have any other duties in the Peace Corps.

(3)

Exemption

The victims advocate and any additional victims advocates shall be exempt from the five year rule on appointments and assignments under section 7(a)(5).

(b)

Responsibilities

The Office of Victims Advocacy shall help develop and update the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training described in section 8A and the sexual assault policy described in section 8B and ensure that volunteers who are victims of crime receive services described in the sexual assault policy. The Office of Victims Advocacy shall assist volunteers who are victims of crime by making such victims aware of the services available to them and facilitating their access to such services.

(c)

Status updates

The Office of Victims Advocacy shall provide to volunteers who are victims of assault regular updates on the status of their cases if such volunteers have opted to pursue prosecution.

(d)

Transition

The Office of Victims Advocacy shall assist volunteers who are victims of crime and whose service has terminated in receiving any benefits to which they are entitled under section 8142 of title 5, United States Code.

8D.

Establishment of Sexual Assault Advisory Council

(a)

Establishment

There is established a Sexual Assault Advisory Council (in this section referred to as the Council).

(b)

Membership

The Council shall be composed of not less than 8 individuals selected by the President who are returned volunteers (including volunteers who were victims of sexual assault and volunteers who were not victims of sexual assault) and governmental and nongovernmental experts and professionals in the sexual assault field. No Peace Corps employee shall be a member of the Council. The number of governmental experts appointed to the Council shall not exceed the number of nongovernmental experts.

(c)

Functions; Meetings

The Council shall meet not less often than annually to review the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training developed under section 8A, the sexual assault policy developed under section 8B, and such other matters related to sexual assault the Council views as appropriate, to ensure that such training and policy is based upon best practices in the sexual assault field.

(d)

Reports

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, annually thereafter for four years, and every three years thereafter, the Council shall submit to the President and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report on its findings based on the reviews conducted pursuant to subsection (c).

(e)

Federal employees

Members of the Council shall not be considered employees of the United States Government for any purpose and shall not receive compensation other than reimbursement of travel expenses and per diem allowance.

(f)

Nonapplicability of FACA

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Council.

8E.

Volunteer feedback and Peace Corps review

(a)

Monitoring and evaluation

The President shall establish performance plans with performance elements and standards for Peace Corps representatives and shall review the performance of Peace Corps representatives not less than annually to determine whether they have met these performance elements and standards. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the discretion of the President to remove a Peace Corps representative.

(b)

Annual volunteer surveys

The President shall annually conduct a confidential survey of volunteers regarding the effectiveness of Peace Corps programs and staff and the safety of volunteers. The results shall be provided in aggregate form without identifying information to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(c)

Peace Corps Inspector General

The Inspector General of the Peace Corps shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives the following:

(1)

A biennial report on reports received from volunteers relating to misconduct, mismanagement, or policy violations of Peace Corps staff, any breaches of the confidentiality of volunteers, and any actions taken to assure the safety of volunteers who provide such reports.

(2)

A report, not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this section and every three years thereafter, evaluating the effectiveness and implementation of the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training developed under section 8A and the sexual assault policy developed under section 8B. The evaluation shall include a case review of a statistically significant number of cases.

(3)

A report, not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this section, describing how Peace Corps representatives are hired, how Peace Corps representatives are terminated, and how Peace Corps representatives hire staff, including an assessment of the implementation of subsection (a).

8F.

Nondisclosure of confidential or private information

The President shall establish and maintain a process to allow volunteers to report incidents of misconduct or mismanagement, or violations of any policy, of the Peace Corps in order to protect the confidentiality and safety of such volunteers and of the information reported, and to ensure that such information is acted on appropriately. The President shall train all volunteers and staff about this process.

8G.

Reporting requirements

(a)

In general

The President shall annually submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report summarizing information on—

(1)

sexual assault of volunteers;

(2)

other crimes against volunteers; and

(3)

the annual rate of early termination of volunteers, including demographic data associated with such early termination.

(b)

GAO

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report evaluating the quality and accessibility of health care provided through the Department of Labor to returned volunteers upon their separation from the Peace Corps.

(c)

Access to communications

(1)

In general

The President shall determine the level of access to communication, including cellular and Internet access, of each volunteer.

(2)

Report

Not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this section, the President shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report on the costs of providing all volunteers with access to adequate communication, including cellular service and Internet access.

.

3.

Retention of counsel for crime victims

Section 5(l) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2504(l)) is amended by inserting before the period at the end the following: and counsel may be employed and counsel fees, court costs and other expenses may be paid in the support of volunteers who are parties, complaining witnesses, or otherwise participating in the prosecution of crimes committed against such volunteers.

4.

Sense of Congress on staffing of Office of Victims Advocacy

It is the sense of Congress that the Office of Victims Advocacy established under section 8C of the Peace Corps Act, as added by section 2, should maintain a staffing level sufficient to ensure the provision of timely and comprehensive services to Peace Corps volunteers.

5.

Personal service contracts

Section 10(a)(5) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2509(a)(5)) is amended by deleting any purpose and inserting the purposes of any law administered by the Office of Personnel Management.

6.

Independence of the inspector general of the peace corps

Section 7(a) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2506(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(7)

The limitations specified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) and in paragraph (5) shall not apply to—

(A)

the Inspector General of the Peace Corps; and

(B)

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

.

7.

Conforming amendments

(a)

Inclusion of sexual assault risk-reduction and response training

The Peace Corps Act is amended—

(1)

in section 5(a) (22 U.S.C. 2504(a)), in the second sentence, by inserting (including training under section 8A) after training; and

(2)

in section 8(a) (22 U.S.C. 2507(a)), in the first sentence, by inserting , including training under section 8A, after training.

(b)

Certain services

Section 5(e) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2504(e)) is amended, in the first sentence—

(1)

by inserting (including, if necessary, for volunteers and trainees, services under section 8B) after health care; and

(2)

by inserting including services provided in accordance with section 8B (except that the six-month limitation shall not apply in the case of such services), before as the President.

September 21, 2011

Reported with an amendment