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H.R. 5492 (113th): Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2014

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 16, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5492

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 16, 2014

(for himself, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Meadows) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

A BILL

To amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to strengthen the independence of the Inspectors General, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2014 .

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Additional authority provisions for Inspectors General.

Sec. 3. Clarification of resources available to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

Sec. 4. Additional responsibilities of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

Sec. 5. Paperwork Reduction Act exemption.

Sec. 6. Amendments to the Inspector General Act of 1978 and the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008.

Sec. 7. Reports required.

2.

Additional authority provisions for Inspectors General

(a)

Subpoena authority for Inspectors General To require testimony of certain persons

The Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended—

(1)

by inserting after section 6 the following new section:

6A.

Additional authority

(a)

Testimonial subpoena authority

In addition to the authority otherwise provided by this Act and in accordance with the requirements of this section, each Inspector General, in carrying out the provisions of this Act, is authorized to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of certain witnesses, including a contractor with the Federal Government and any former Federal employee (but not including any Federal employee), necessary in the performance of the functions assigned by this Act, which subpoena, in the case of contumacy or refusal to obey, shall be enforceable by order of any appropriate United States district court.

(b)

Panel review before issuance

(1)

Approval required

Before the issuance of a subpoena described in subsection (a), an Inspector General shall submit a request for approval to issue a subpoena by a majority of a panel (in this section, referred to as the Subpoena Panel), which shall be comprised of each Chair (or a designee of such chair) of the Audit, Inspections, and Evaluation Committees of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

(2)

Time to respond

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Subpoena Panel shall approve or deny a request for approval to issue a subpoena not later than 10 days after the submission of such request.

(B)

Additional information for Panel

If the Subpoena Panel determines that additional information is necessary to approve or deny such request, the Subpoena Panel shall request such information and shall approve or deny such request not later than 20 days after the submission of such request.

(3)

Denial by panel

If a majority of the Subpoena Panel denies the approval of a subpoena, that subpoena may not be issued.

(c)

Notice to Attorney General

(1)

In general

If the Subpoena Panel approves a subpoena under subsection (b), the Inspector General shall notify the Attorney General that the Inspector General intends to issue the subpoena.

(2)

Denial for interference with an ongoing investigation

Not later than 10 days after the date on which the Attorney General is notified pursuant to paragraph (1), the Attorney General may object to the issuance of the subpoena because the subpoena will interfere with an ongoing investigation and the subpoena may not be issued.

(3)

Issuance of subpoena approved

If the Attorney General does not object to the issuance of the subpoena during the ten-day period described in paragraph (2), the Inspector General may issue the subpoena.

; and

(2)

in section 5(a)

(A)

in paragraph (15), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(B)

in paragraph (16), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by inserting at the end the following new paragraph:

(17)

a description of the use of subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of certain witnesses authorized under section 6A.

.

(b)

Matching program exception for inspectors general

Section 6(a) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (8), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(2)

by redesignating paragraph (9) as paragraph (10); and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (8) the following new paragraph:

(9)

notwithstanding paragraph (12) of subsection (e) and subsections (o), (p), (q), (r), and (u) of section 552a of title 5, United States Code, to compare, through a matching program (as defined in such section), any Federal records with other Federal or non-Federal records, while conducting an audit, investigation, inspection, evaluation, or other review authorized under this Act to identify weaknesses that may lead to waste, fraud, or abuse and to detect improper payments and fraud; and

.

3.

Clarification of resources available to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency

Section 11 of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Authorization of Appropriations for Council

For the purposes of carrying out this section , there are authorized to be appropriated into the revolving fund described in subsection (c)(3)(B), out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the following sums:

(1)

$8,000,000 for fiscal year 2015.

(2)

$8,500,000 for fiscal year 2016.

(3)

$9,000,000 for fiscal year 2017.

(4)

$9,500,000 for fiscal year 2018.

(5)

$10,000,000 for fiscal year 2019.

(6)

$10,500,000 for fiscal year 2020.

(7)

$11,000,000 for fiscal year 2021.

.

4.

Additional responsibilities of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency

(a)

Functions and duties of Council

Section 11(c)(1) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (G), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(2)

by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (I); and

(3)

by inserting after subparagraph (G) the following new subparagraph:

(H)

receive, review, and mediate any disputes submitted in writing to the Council by an Office of Inspector General regarding an audit, investigation, inspection, evaluation, or project that involves the jurisdiction of more than one Federal agency or entity; and

.

(b)

Integrity Committee

Section 11(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (5)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(B)

in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by inserting at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)

not later than 60 days after the date on which an allegation of wrongdoing is received by the Integrity Committee, make a determination whether the Integrity Committee will initiate an investigation of such allegation under this subsection.

;

(2)

in paragraph (6)(B)(i), by striking may and inserting shall; and

(3)

in paragraph (7)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B)(i)—

(i)

in subclause (III), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(ii)

in subclause (IV), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(iii)

by inserting at the end the following new subclauses:

(V)

creating a regular rotation of Inspectors General assigned to investigate complaints through the Integrity Committee; and

(VI)

creating procedures to avoid conflicts of interest for Integrity Committee investigations.

;

(B)

by redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (E); and

(C)

by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following new subparagraphs:

(C)

Completion of investigation

If a determination is made under paragraph (5) to initiate an investigation, the Integrity Committee—

(i)

shall complete the investigation not later than six months after the date on which the Integrity Committee made such determination;

(ii)

if the investigation cannot be completed within such six-month period, shall—

(I)

promptly notify the congressional committees listed in paragraph (8)(A)(iii); and

(II)

to the maximum extent practicable, complete the investigation not later than 3 months after the expiration of the six-month period; and

(iii)

if the investigation cannot be completed within such nine-month period, shall brief the congressional committees listed in paragraph (8)(A)(iii) every thirty days until the investigation is complete.

(D)

Concurrent investigation

If an investigation of an allegation of wrongdoing against an Inspector General or a staff member of an Office of Inspector General described under paragraph (4)(C) is initiated by a governmental entity other than the Integrity Committee, the Integrity Committee may conduct any related investigation for which a determination to initiate an investigation was made under paragraph (5) concurrently with the other government entity.

.

(c)

Technical correction; designee authority

Section 11 of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(1)(B) by striking Director of National Intelligence and inserting Intelligence Community; and

(2)

in subsection (d)(2)—

(A)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting or the designee of the Special Counsel before the period at the end; and

(B)

in subparagraph (D), by inserting or the designee of the Director before the period at the end.

5.

Paperwork Reduction Act exemption

Section 3518(c) of title 44, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking paragraph (2) and inserting paragraph (3);

(2)

by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3); and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph:

(2)

Notwithstanding paragraph (3), this subchapter shall not apply to the collection of information during the conduct of any evaluation, or other review conducted by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, or during the conduct of any audit, investigation, inspection, evaluation, or any other review conducted by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency or any Office of Inspector General, including any Office of Special Inspector General.

.

6.

Amendments to the Inspector General Act of 1978 and the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008

(a)

Incorporation of Provisions From the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 into the Inspector General Act of 1978

(1)

Amendment

Section 11(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(12)

Allegations of wrongdoing against special counsel or deputy special counsel

(A)

Special counsel defined

In this paragraph, the term Special Counsel means the Special Counsel appointed under section 1211(b) of title 5, United States Code.

(B)

Authority of integrity committee

(i)

In general

An allegation of wrongdoing against the Special Counsel or the Deputy Special Counsel may be received, reviewed, and referred for investigation by the Integrity Committee to the same extent and in the same manner as in the case of an allegation against an Inspector General (or a member of the staff of an Office of Inspector General), subject to the requirement that the Special Counsel recuse himself or herself from the consideration of any allegation brought under this paragraph.

(ii)

Coordination with existing provisions of law

This paragraph does not eliminate access to the Merit Systems Protection Board for review under section 7701 of title 5, United States Code. To the extent that an allegation brought under this subsection involves section 2302(b)(8) of that title, a failure to obtain corrective action within 120 days after the date on which that allegation is received by the Integrity Committee shall, for purposes of section 1221 of such title, be considered to satisfy section 1214(a)(3)(B) of that title.

(C)

Regulations

The Integrity Committee may prescribe any rules or regulations necessary to carry out this paragraph, subject to such consultation or other requirements as might otherwise apply.

.

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 7(b) of the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 ( Public Law 110–409 ; 122 Stat. 4312; 5 U.S.C. 1211 note) is repealed.

(b)

Agency Applicability

(1)

Amendments

The Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), as amended by section 2(a), is further amended—

(A)

in section 8M

(i)

in subsection (a)(1)—

(I)

by striking the first agency and inserting Federal agency and designated Federal entity; and

(II)

by striking the second and third agency and inserting Federal agency or designated Federal entity; and

(ii)

in subsection (b)—

(I)

in paragraph (1), by striking agency and inserting Federal agency and designated Federal entity; and

(II)

in paragraph (2)—

(aa)

in subparagraph (A), by striking agency and inserting Federal agency and designated Federal entity; and

(bb)

in subparagraph (B), by striking agency and inserting Federal agency and designated Federal entity; and

(B)

in section 11(c)(3)(A)(ii), by striking department, agency, or entity of the executive branch and inserting Federal agency or designated Federal entity.

(2)

Implementation

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head and the Inspector General of each Federal agency and each designated Federal entity (as such terms are defined in sections 12 and 8G of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), respectively) shall implement the amendments made by this subsection.

(c)

Requirements for Inspectors General Websites

Section 8M(b)(1) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking report or audit (or portion of any report or audit) and inserting audit report, inspection report, or evaluation report (or portion of any such report); and

(2)

by striking report or audit (or portion of that report or audit) and inserting report (or portion of that report), each place it appears.

(d)

Corrections

(1)

Executive order number

Section 7(c)(2) of the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 ( Public Law 110–409 ; 122 Stat. 4313; 31 U.S.C. 501 note) is amended by striking 12933 and inserting 12993 .

(2)

Punctuation and cross-references

The Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), as amended by section 2(a) and subsection (b), is further amended—

(A)

in section 4(b)(2)

(i)

by striking 8F(a)(2) and inserting 8G(a)(2) , each place it appears; and

(ii)

by striking 8F(a)(1) and inserting 8G(a)(1) ;

(B)

in section 6(a)(4), by striking information, as well as any tangible thing) and inserting information), as well as any tangible thing;

(C)

in section 8G(g)(3), by striking 8C and inserting 8D ; and

(D)

in section 5(a)(13), by striking 05(b) and inserting 804(b) .

(3)

Spelling

The Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), as amended by section 2(a), subsection (b), and paragraph (2), is further amended—

(A)

in section 3(a), by striking subpena and inserting subpoena;

(B)

in section 6(a)(4), by striking subpena and subpenas and inserting subpoena and subpoenas, respectively;

(C)

in section 8D(a)

(i)

in paragraph (1), by striking subpenas and inserting subpoenas; and

(ii)

in paragraph (2), by striking subpena and inserting subpoena, each place it appears;

(D)

in section 8E(a)

(i)

in paragraph (1), by striking subpenas and inserting subpoenas; and

(ii)

in paragraph (2), by striking subpena and inserting subpoena, each place it appears; and

(E)

in section 8G(d), by striking subpena and inserting subpoena.

(e)

Repeal

Section 744 of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2009 (division D of Public Law 111–8 ; 123 Stat. 693; 5 U.S.C. App. 8L ) is repealed.

7.

Reports required

(a)

Report on vacancies in the offices of inspector general

(1)

GAO study required

The Comptroller General shall conduct a study of prolonged vacancies in the Offices of Inspector General, during which a temporary appointee has served as the head of the office that includes—

(A)

the number and duration of Inspector General vacancies;

(B)

an examination of the extent to which the number and duration of such vacancies has changed over time;

(C)

an evaluation of the impact such vacancies have had on the ability of the relevant Office of the Inspector General to effectively carry out statutory requirements; and

(D)

recommendations to minimize the duration of such vacancies.

(2)

Committee briefing required

Not later than nine months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall present a briefing on the findings of the study described in subsection (a) to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

(3)

Report to Congress

Not later than fifteen months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit a report on the findings of the study described in subsection (a) to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

(b)

Report on issues involving multiple offices of inspector general

(1)

Examination required

The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency shall conduct an analysis of critical issues that involve the jurisdiction of more than one individual Federal agency or entity to identify—

(A)

each such issue that could be better addressed through greater coordination among, and cooperation between, individual Offices of Inspector General;

(B)

the best practices that can be employed by the Offices of Inspector General to increase coordination and cooperation on each issue identified; and

(C)

any recommended statutory changes that would facilitate coordination and cooperation among Offices of Inspector General on critical issues.

(2)

Report to Congress

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency shall submit a report on the findings of the analysis described in subsection (a) to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.