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S. 4190: Independent and Objective Oversight of Ukrainian Assistance Act


The text of the bill below is as of May 11, 2022 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate).


II

Calendar No. 366

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 4190

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 11 (legislative day, May 10), 2022

(for himself and Mr. Rubio) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time

May 11, 2022

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

A BILL

To provide for the independent and objective conduct and supervision of audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations funded with amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to Ukraine for military, economic, and humanitarian aid.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Independent and Objective Oversight of Ukrainian Assistance Act.

2.

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are—

(1)

to provide for the independent and objective conduct and supervision of audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations funded with amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to Ukraine for military, economic, and humanitarian aid;

(2)

to provide for the independent and objective leadership and coordination of, and recommendations concerning, policies designed—

(A)

to promote economic efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of the programs and operations described in paragraph (1); and

(B)

to prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse in such programs and operations; and

(3)

to provide for an independent and objective means of keeping the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies fully and currently informed about—

(A)

problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of the programs and operations described in paragraph (1); and

(B)

the necessity for, and the progress toward implementing, corrective action related to such programs.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine

The term amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the military, economic, and humanitarian aid for Ukraine means amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for any fiscal year—

(A)

for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative;

(B)

for Foreign Military Financing funding for Ukraine; and

(C)

under titles III and VI of the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act (division N of Public Law 117–103)

(2)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(B)

the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;

(C)

the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(D)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(E)

the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and

(F)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(3)

Office

The term Office means the Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukrainian Military, Economic, and Humanitarian Aid established under section 4(a).

(4)

Special inspector general

The term Special Inspector General means the Special Inspector General for Ukrainian Military, Economic, and Humanitarian Aid appointed pursuant to section 4(b).

4.

Establishment of Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukrainian Military, Economic, and Humanitarian Aid

(a)

In general

There is hereby established the Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukrainian Military, Economic, and Humanitarian Aid to carry out the purposes set forth in section 2.

(b)

Appointment of Special Inspector General

The head of the Office shall be the Special Inspector General for Ukrainian Military, Economic, and Humanitarian Aid, who shall be appointed by the President. The first Special Inspector General shall be appointed not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c)

Qualifications

The appointment of the Special Inspector General shall be made solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or investigations.

(d)

Compensation

The annual rate of basic pay of the Special Inspector General shall be the annual rate of basic pay provided for positions at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

(e)

Prohibition on political activities

For purposes of section 7324 of title 5, United States Code, the Special Inspector General is not an employee who determines policies to be pursued by the United States in the nationwide administration of Federal law.

(f)

Removal

The Special Inspector General shall be removable from office in accordance with section 3(b) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).

5.

Assistant inspectors general

The Special Inspector General, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations governing the civil service, shall appoint—

(1)

an Assistant Inspector General for Auditing, who shall supervise the performance of auditing activities relating to programs and operations supported by amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine; and

(2)

an Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, who shall supervise the performance of investigative activities relating to the programs and operations described in paragraph (1).

6.

Supervision

(a)

In general

Except as provided in subsection (b), the Special Inspector General shall report directly to, and be under the general supervision of, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.

(b)

Independence to conduct investigations and audits

No officer of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, or any other relevant Federal agency may prevent or prohibit the Special Inspector General from—

(1)

initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation related to amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine; or

(2)

issuing any subpoena during the course of any such audit or investigation.

7.

Duties

(a)

Oversight of military, economic, and humanitarian aid to ukraine provided after February 24, 2022

The Special Inspector General shall conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the treatment, handling, and expenditure of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and of the programs, operations, and contracts carried out utilizing such funds, including—

(1)

the oversight and accounting of the obligation and expenditure of such funds;

(2)

the monitoring and review of reconstruction activities funded by such funds;

(3)

the monitoring and review of contracts funded by such funds;

(4)

the monitoring and review of the transfer of such funds and associated information between and among departments, agencies, and entities of the United States and private and nongovernmental entities;

(5)

the maintenance of records regarding the use of such funds to facilitate future audits and investigations of the use of such funds;

(6)

the monitoring and review of the effectiveness of United States coordination with the Government of Ukraine, major recipients of Ukrainian refugees, partners in the region, and other donor countries;

(7)

the investigation of overpayments (such as duplicate payments or duplicate billing) and any potential unethical or illegal actions of Federal employees, contractors, or affiliated entities; and

(8)

the referral of reports compiled as a result of such investigations, as necessary, to the Department of Justice to ensure further investigations, prosecutions, recovery of funds, or other remedies.

(b)

Other duties related to oversight

The Special Inspector General shall establish, maintain, and oversee such systems, procedures, and controls as the Special Inspector General considers appropriate to discharge the duties described in subsection (a).

(c)

Consultation

The Special Inspector General shall consult with the appropriate congressional committees before engaging in auditing activities outside of Ukraine.

(d)

Duties and responsibilities under inspector general act of 1978

In addition to the duties specified in subsections (a) and (b), the Special Inspector General shall have the duties and responsibilities of inspectors general under the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).

(e)

Coordination of efforts

In carrying out the duties, responsibilities, and authorities of the Special Inspector General under this Act, the Special Inspector General shall coordinate with, and receive cooperation from—

(1)

the Inspector General of the Department of Defense;

(2)

the Inspector General of the Department of State;

(3)

the Inspector General of the United States Agency for International Development; and

(4)

the Inspector General of any other relevant Federal agency.

8.

Powers and authorities

(a)

Authorities under inspector general Act of 1978

In carrying out the duties specified in section 7, the Special Inspector General shall have the authorities provided under section 6 of the Inspector General Act of 1978, including the authorities under subsection (e) of such section.

(b)

Audit standards

The Special Inspector General shall carry out the duties specified in section 7(a) in accordance with section 4(b)(1) of the Inspector General Act of 1978.

9.

Personnel, facilities, and other resources

(a)

Personnel

The Special Inspector General may select, appoint, and employ such officers and employees as may be necessary for carrying out the duties of the Special Inspector General, subject to the provisions of—

(1)

chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service; and

(2)

chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title, relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.

(b)

Employment of experts and consultants

The Special Inspector General may obtain the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, at daily rates not to exceed the equivalent rate prescribed for grade GS–15 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of such title.

(c)

Contracting authority

To the extent and in such amounts as may be provided in advance by appropriations Acts, the Special Inspector General may—

(1)

enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies and with private persons; and

(2)

make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the Special Inspector General.

(d)

Resources

The Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense, as appropriate, shall provide the Special Inspector General with—

(1)

appropriate and adequate office space at appropriate locations of the Department of State or the Department of Defense, as appropriate, in Ukraine or in European partner countries;

(2)

such equipment, office supplies, and communications facilities and services as may be necessary for the operation of such offices; and

(3)

necessary maintenance services for such offices and the equipment and facilities located in such offices.

(e)

Assistance from federal agencies

(1)

In general

Upon request of the Special Inspector General for information or assistance from any department, agency, or other entity of the Federal Government, the head of such entity shall, to the extent practicable and not in contravention of any existing law, furnish such information or assistance to the Special Inspector General or an authorized designee.

(2)

Reporting of refused assistance

Whenever information or assistance requested by the Special Inspector General is, in the judgment of the Special Inspector General, unreasonably refused or not provided, the Special Inspector General shall immediately report the circumstances to—

(A)

the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense, as appropriate; and

(B)

the appropriate congressional committees.

10.

Reports

(a)

Quarterly reports

Not later than 30 days after the end of each quarter of each fiscal year, the Special Inspector General shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense a report that—

(1)

summarizes, for the applicable quarter, and to the extent possible, for the period from the end of such quarter to the date on which the report is submitted, the activities during such period of the Special Inspector General and the activities under programs and operations funded with amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine; and

(2)

includes, for applicable quarter, a detailed statement of all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with military, economic, and humanitarian activities in Ukraine, including—

(A)

obligations and expenditures of appropriated funds;

(B)

a project-by-project and program-by-program accounting of the costs incurred to date for military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including an estimate of the costs to be incurred by the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and other relevant Federal agencies to complete each project and each program;

(C)

revenues attributable to, or consisting of, funds provided by foreign nations or international organizations to programs and projects funded by any Federal department or agency and any obligations or expenditures of such revenues;

(D)

revenues attributable to, or consisting of, foreign assets seized or frozen that contribute to programs and projects funded by any Federal department or agency and any obligations or expenditures of such revenues;

(E)

operating expenses of entities receiving amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine; and

(F)

for any contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism described in subsection (b)—

(i)

the dollar amount of the contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism;

(ii)

a brief discussion of the scope of the contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism;

(iii)

a discussion of how the Federal department or agency involved in the contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism identified, and solicited offers from, potential individuals or entities to perform the contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism, including a list of the potential individuals or entities that were issued solicitations for the offers; and

(iv)

the justification and approval documents on which the determination to use procedures other than procedures that provide for full and open competition was based.

(b)

Covered contracts, grants, agreements, and funding mechanisms

A contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism described in this subsection is any major contract, grant, agreement, or other funding mechanism that is entered into by any Federal department or agency that involves the use of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the military, economic, or humanitarian aid to Ukraine with any public or private sector entity—

(1)

to build or rebuild the physical infrastructure of Ukraine;

(2)

to establish or reestablish a political or societal institution of Ukraine;

(3)

to provide products or services to the people of Ukraine; or

(4)

to provide security assistance to Ukraine.

(c)

Public availability

The Special Inspector General shall publish each report submitted pursuant to subsection (a) on a publicly available internet website in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.

(d)

Form

Each report required under subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if the Special Inspector General determines that a classified annex is necessary.

(e)

Submission of comments to Congress

During the 30-day period beginning on the date a report is received under subsection (a), the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense may submit comments to the appropriate congressional committees, in unclassified form, regarding any matters covered by the report that the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate. Such comments may include a classified annex if the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense considers such annex to be necessary.

(f)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the public disclosure of information that is—

(1)

specifically prohibited from disclosure by any other provision of law;

(2)

specifically required by Executive order to be protected from disclosure in the interest of defense or national security or in the conduct of foreign affairs; or

(3)

a part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

11.

Transparency

(a)

Report

Except as provided in subsection (c), not later than 60 days after receiving a report under section 10(a), the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense shall jointly make copies of the report available to the public upon request and at a reasonable cost.

(b)

Comments

Except as provided in subsection (c), not later than 60 days after submitting comments pursuant to section 10(e), the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense shall jointly make copies of such comments available to the public upon request and at a reasonable cost.

(c)

Waiver

(1)

Authority

The President may waive the requirement under subsection (a) or (b) with respect to availability to the public of any element in a report submitted pursuant to section 10(a) or any comments submitted pursuant to section 10(e) if the President determines that such waiver is justified for national security reasons.

(2)

Notice of waiver

The President shall publish a notice of each waiver made under paragraph (1) in the Federal Register not later than the date of the submission to the appropriate congressional committees of a report required under section 10(a) or any comments under section 10(e). Each such report and comments shall specify whether a waiver was made pursuant to paragraph (1) and which elements in the report or the comments were affected by such waiver.

12.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

In general

There is authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2023 to carry out this Act.

(b)

Offset

The amount appropriated under the heading assistance for europe, eurasia, and central asia in title III of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022 (division K of Public Law 117–103) is reduced by $20,000,000.

13.

Termination

(a)

In general

The Office shall terminate on the day that is 180 days after the date on which amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the reconstruction of Ukraine that are unexpended are less than $250,000,000.

(b)

Final report

Before the termination date referred to in subsection (a), the Special Inspector General shall prepare and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a final forensic audit report on programs and operations funded with amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

May 11, 2022

Read the second time and placed on the calendar