skip to main content

S. 1297 (113th): Government Transformation Act of 2013


The text of the bill below is as of Jul 16, 2013 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1297

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 16 (legislative day, July 15), 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To establish the Government Transformation Commission to review and make recommendations regarding cost control in the Federal Government, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Government Transformation Act of 2013 .

2.

Definitions

In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1)

Commission

The term Commission means the Government Transformation Commission established by section 3 to undertake and assist the President and Congress in the transformation of the Federal Government.

(2)

Duplicative program

The term duplicative program means a program performed by an agency that performs the same function with a different management and implementation structure as another program performed by another agency.

(3)

Implementation bill

The term implementation bill means only a bill that is introduced as provided under section 8(a), and contains the proposed legislation described in section 4(b)(2)(B), without modification.

(4)

Member

The term member means a member of the Commission appointed under section 5(a)(1).

(5)

Program

The term program means—

(A)

any activity or function of an agency;

(B)

any activity or function that is implemented by 2 or more agencies; and

(C)

any infrastructure activity or function that supports more than 1 agency.

3.

Establishment

There is established an independent commission to be known as the Government Transformation Commission .

4.

Duties of Commission

(a)

In general

The duties of the Commission shall be to—

(1)

make specific and actionable recommendations to appropriate committees of Congress for specific legislative changes, including—

(A)

opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs in the Federal Government through actions by the executive branch or by Congress;

(B)

areas where managerial accountability can be enhanced and administrative control can be improved in both the short and long term;

(C)

specific areas where further study can be justified by potential savings;

(D)

proposals to reduce governmental expenditures and indebtedness and improve personnel management; and

(E)

proposals to make the Federal Government more economical, efficient, and effective;

(2)

make specific and actionable recommendations to the President for—

(A)

the elimination, consolidation, or improvement of Federal Government programs if, based on the judgment of the Commission, such actions would enhance the efficiency of the program; and

(B)

reinvestment and opportunities for innovation in Federal agencies;

(3)

provide advice and recommendations to—

(A)

Federal agencies to make programs more economical, efficient, and effective, and reassess the effectiveness of any changes made by a Federal agency in response to the advice and recommendations;

(B)

the Office of Management and Budget to improve and report on Federal Government and agency performance plans, as required under section 1115 of title 31, United States Code; and

(C)

Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and Federal agencies regarding, the design and implementation of significant new Federal programs to ensure the efficient, effective, and economical development and execution of the program;

(4)

provide a mechanism by which Federal Government employees, citizens of the United States, and other interested parties can offer ideas and make recommendations for reviewing and improving Federal Government programs;

(5)

conduct research into best organizational practices and Federal Government reform efforts, and provide a repository for such information that supports Federal agencies in further and continual improvements;

(6)

develop and maintain a criteria and schedule for assessing Federal Government agencies and programs;

(7)

assess program evaluations performed by Federal agencies or program activities;

(8)

maintain the privacy and security of any data used by the Commission, as required by law; and

(9)

support requests for information under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Freedom of Information Act) by Federal agencies, including the General Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, and by citizens of the United States.

(b)

Reports

(1)

Interim activity report

Not later than 6 months after the date on which all initial members of the Commission are appointed, and every year thereafter, the Commission shall submit to the President and to Congress a report to describe the activities of the Commission.

(2)

Annual report

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date on which all initial members of the Commission are appointed, and not less frequently than each year thereafter, the Commission shall submit a report to the President and to Congress, which shall include—

(i)

the findings and conclusions of the Commission;

(ii)

suggestions for implementing the best practices of Federal agencies;

(iii)

proposals for administrative action or executive action that include recommendations for—

(I)

improvement or investment in Federal programs; or

(II)

elimination, reduction, or consolidation of Federal programs; and

(iv)

justification for the recommendations described in clause (iii).

(B)

Proposed legislation

(i)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date on which all initial members of the Commission are appointed, and annually thereafter, the Commission shall, using any report submitted to Congress under subparagraph (A), submit to Congress proposed legislation to carry out recommendations developed under subsection (a)(1).

(ii)

Limitation

Proposed legislation submitted under this subparagraph shall be agreed to by not less than 5 members of the Commission.

(3)

Report on historical data

Not later than 4 years after the date on which all initial members of the Commission are appointed, and every 2 years thereafter, the Commission shall submit a report to the President and to Congress on historical data and trends relevant to the information studied by the Commission, including any available data on reducing costs in the Federal Government.

5.

Membership

(a)

Number and appointment

(1)

In general

The Commission shall be composed of 7 members, of whom—

(A)

1 shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

(B)

1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(C)

1 shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(D)

1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and

(E)

3 shall be appointed by the President, of whom—

(i)

not less than 1 member shall be from each of the 2 major political parties; and

(ii)

1 member shall not be from either of the 2 major political parties.

(2)

Qualifications

The members of the Commission appointed under paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

include individuals from various professions who are recognized for their expertise in agencies, government efficiency, waste reduction, finance and economics, or actuarial sciences; and

(B)

reflect a broad geographic representation.

(3)

Prohibited appointments

(A)

Government employees

A member of the Commission appointed under paragraph (1) may not be an officer or employee of the Federal Government or any State or local government.

(B)

Political party

Not more than 3 members of the Commission may be members of the same political party.

(4)

Completion of appointments

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the appointing authorities under paragraph (1) shall each make their respective appointments.

(5)

Terms

Each member of the Commission shall be appointed for a term of 3 years, and may be reappointed for 1 additional term.

(6)

Vacancies

A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

(b)

Co-Chairmen

The President shall designate 2 Co-Chairmen of the Commission, who may not be members of the same political party, at the time of nomination of members of the Commission.

(c)

Rates of pay

(1)

In general

Each member, other than the Co-Chairmen, shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 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.

(2)

Chairman

The Co-Chairmen shall be paid for each day referred to in paragraph (1) 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.

(3)

Travel expenses

Each member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Quorum

5 members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.

(e)

Meetings

The Commission shall meet at the call of the Co-Chairmen.

6.

Director; staff; experts and consultants

(a)

Director

The Commission shall have a Director who shall be appointed by the Co-Chairmen. The Director shall be paid at the rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

(b)

Staff

(1)

In general

With the approval of the Commission, the Director may appoint and fix the pay of personnel as the Director considers appropriate.

(2)

Applicability of certain civil service laws

The Director may appoint the personnel of the Commission 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 for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.

(3)

Staff of Federal agencies

Upon request of the Director, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties under this Act.

(c)

Experts and consultants

The Commission may procure by contract temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Conflicts of interest

A member of the Commission, the Director, or any other employee of the Commission may not, indirectly or directly, participate in any action that would be a conflict of interest with any action of the Commission.

7.

Powers of Commission

(a)

Hearings and sessions

The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at times and places, take testimony, and receive evidence as the Commission considers appropriate. The Commission may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before it.

(b)

Powers of members and agents

Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.

(c)

Obtaining official data

The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon request of the Chairman, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Commission.

(d)

Mails

The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.

(e)

Administrative support services

Upon the request of the Commission, the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

(f)

Contract authority

The Commission may contract with and compensate Government and private agencies or persons for products and services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

8.

Expedited Congressional consideration of proposed legislation

(a)

Introduction

Proposed legislation submitted under section 4(b)(2)(B) shall be introduced in the Senate (by request) on the next day on which the Senate is in session after the date on which the proposed legislation is submitted by the majority leader of the Senate or by a Member of the Senate designated by the majority leader of the Senate and shall be introduced in the House of Representatives (by request) on the next legislative day by the majority leader of the House or by a Member of the House designated by the majority leader of the House.

(b)

Consideration in the House of Representatives

(1)

Referral and reporting

Any committee of the House of Representatives to which an implementation bill is referred shall report it to the House without amendment not later than 15 days after the date on which the bill is referred to the committee. If a committee fails to report the implementation bill within that period, it shall be in order to move that the House discharge the committee from further consideration of the bill. Such a motion shall not be in order after the last committee authorized to consider the bill reports it to the House or after the House has disposed of a motion to discharge the bill. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion except 20 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. If such a motion is adopted, the House shall proceed immediately to consider the implementation bill in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3). A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

(2)

Proceeding to consideration

After the last committee authorized to consider an implementation bill reports it to the House or has been discharged (other than by motion) from its consideration, it shall be in order to move to proceed to consider the implementation bill in the House. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to proceed with respect to the implementation bill. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

(3)

Consideration

An implementation bill shall be considered as read. All points of order against the implementation bill and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on an implementation bill to its passage without intervening motion except 2 hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and one motion to limit debate on the implementation bill. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of an implementation bill shall not be in order.

(4)

Vote on passage

The vote on passage of an implementation bill shall occur not later than 90 days after the date on which the implementation bill is submitted to Congress.

(c)

Expedited procedure in the Senate

(1)

Committee consideration

An implementation bill introduced in the Senate under subsection (a) shall be jointly referred to the committee or committees of jurisdiction, which committees shall report the bill without any revision and with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable recommendation, or without recommendation, not later than 15 days after the date on which the implementation bill is referred to the committee. If any committee fails to report the bill within that period, that committee shall be automatically discharged from consideration of the bill, and the bill shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

(2)

Motion to proceed

Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, it is in order, not later than 2 days of session after the date on which an implementation bill is reported or discharged from all committees to which it was referred, for the majority leader of the Senate or the majority leader’s designee to move to proceed to the consideration of the implementation bill. It shall also be in order for any Member of the Senate to move to proceed to the consideration of the implementation bill at any time after the conclusion of such 2-day period. A motion to proceed is in order even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to. All points of order against the motion to proceed to the implementation bill are waived. The motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. 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 implementation bill is agreed to, the implementation bill shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of.

(3)

Consideration

All points of order against an implementation bill and against consideration of an implementation bill are waived. Consideration of an implementation bill and of all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith shall not exceed a total of 30 hours which shall be divided equally between the majority and minority leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit debate on an implementation bill is in order, shall require an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members duly chosen and sworn, and is not debatable. Any debatable motion or appeal is debatable for not to exceed 1 hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the motion or appeal. All time used for consideration of an implementation bill, including time used for quorum calls and voting, shall be counted against the total 30 hours of consideration.

(4)

No amendments

An amendment to an implementation bill, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit an implementation bill, is not in order.

(5)

Vote on passage

If the Senate has voted to proceed to an implementation bill, the vote on passage of an implementation bill shall occur immediately following the conclusion of the debate on an implementation bill, and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested. The vote on passage of an implementation bill shall occur not later than 90 days after the date on which the implementation bill is submitted to Congress.

(6)

Rulings of the chair on procedure

Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to an implementation bill shall be decided without debate.

(d)

Amendment

An implementation bill shall not be subject to amendment in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

(e)

Consideration by the other house

(1)

In general

If, before passing an implementation bill, one House receives from the other an implementation bill—

(A)

the implementation bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee; and

(B)

the procedure in the receiving House shall be the same as if no implementation bill had been received from the other House until the vote on passage, when the implementation bill received from the other House shall supplant the implementation bill of the receiving House.

(2)

Revenue measure

This subsection shall not apply to the House of Representatives if the implementation bill received from the Senate is a revenue measure.

(f)

Rules To coordinate action with other house

(1)

Treatment of implementation bill of other house

If the Senate fails to introduce or consider an implementation bill under this section, the implementation bill of the House shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under this section.

(2)

Treatment of companion measures in the senate

If following passage of an implementation bill in the Senate, the Senate then receives the implementation bill from the House of Representatives, the House-passed implementation bill shall not be debatable. The vote on passage of the implementation bill in the Senate shall be considered to be the vote on passage of the implementation bill received from the House of Representatives.

(3)

Vetoes

If the President vetoes an implementation bill, debate on a veto message in the Senate under this section shall be 1 hour equally divided between the majority and minority leaders or their designees.

(g)

Loss of privilege

The provisions of this section shall cease to apply to an implementation bill if the implementation bill does not pass both Houses not later than 180 days after the implementation bill is submitted to Congress.

9.

Termination

The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 7 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

10.

Funding

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for each of the fiscal years 2014 through 2019 such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act .

(b)

Offset by savings realized through Commission

For each fiscal year after 2014, and to the extent possible, the costs of carrying out the provisions of this Act shall be offset by the reductions in appropriated amounts carried out as a result of recommendations proposed by the Commission.