Congress considers accountability for Haiti reconstruction by Stanley Lucas

Stanley Lucas - April 2 2010, 9:00 AM

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Text of H.R. 4952: To establish the Office of the Special Coordinator for Assistance to Haiti

Mar 25, 2010 - Introduced in House.

This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the House for consideration.

This is the latest version of the bill currently available on GovTrack.

HR 4952 IH
111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4952
To establish the Office of the Special Coordinator for Assistance to Haiti, to establish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Assistance to Haiti, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 25, 2010
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN (for herself, Mr. MACK, Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida, and Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
A BILL
To establish the Office of the Special Coordinator for Assistance to Haiti, to establish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Assistance to Haiti, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the 'Haiti Assistance Implementation, Transparency, and Inspection Act' or 'HAITI Act'.

(b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

Sec. 2. Appropriate committees of Congress defined.

TITLE I--OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR ASSISTANCE TO HAITI
Sec. 101. Statement of policy.

Sec. 102. Establishment.

Sec. 103. Coordinator of Office.

Sec. 104. Duties.

Sec. 105. Interagency coordination and partnerships.

Sec. 106. Report.

Sec. 107. Termination.

TITLE II--OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR ASSISTANCE TO HAITI
Sec. 201. Finding and declaration of policy.

Sec. 202. Statement of policy.

Sec. 203. Purposes.

Sec. 204. Office of Special Inspector General.

Sec. 205. Appointment of Special Inspector General; removal.

Sec. 206. Special Assistant Inspectors General.

Sec. 207. Supervision.

Sec. 208. Duties.

Sec. 209. Powers and authorities.

Sec. 210. Personnel, facilities, and other resources.

Sec. 211. Reports.

Sec. 212. Report coordination.

Sec. 213. Transparency.

Sec. 214. Waiver.

Sec. 215. Cooperation by Government of Haiti.

Sec. 216. Termination.

TITLE III--ACTIONS BY PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF STATE
Sec. 301. Findings.

Sec. 302. Actions by President and Secretary of State.

Sec. 303. Report.

SEC. 2. APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS DEFINED.

In this Act, the term 'appropriate committees of Congress' means--
(1) the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
(2) the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate.

TITLE I--OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR ASSISTANCE TO HAITI
SEC. 101. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

It is the policy of the United States to ensure that United States Government assistance for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti and assistance for such purposes from other donors should be obligated and expended with the greatest degree of transparency, accountability, and oversight possible and that effective coordination of such assistance is a vital tool in achieving those objectives.

SEC. 102. ESTABLISHMENT.

There is hereby established in the Executive Office of the President the Office of the Special Coordinator for Assistance to Haiti (hereinafter in this title referred to as the 'Office').

SEC. 103. COORDINATOR OF OFFICE.

The President shall appoint a Special Coordinator of the Office (hereinafter in this title referred to as the 'Special Coordinator') who shall be the head of the Office and shall report to the President.

SEC. 104. DUTIES.

The duties of the Office shall include the following:
(1) Providing advice to the President on United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti.

(2) Working with United States Government departments and agencies to ensure that such programs are prioritized within such departments and agencies and avoid duplication with respect to programs of other departments and agencies.

(3) Developing and implementing a comprehensive Government-wide strategy for the coordination and oversight of such programs.

(4) Directly approving such programs, including projects and activities under such programs.

(5) Maintaining an inventory of such programs and assessing and identifying any need for improvements in such programs and resolving policy and program disputes among United States Government departments and agencies with respect to such programs.

(6) Establishing indicators to measure progress with respect to such programs and ensuring adequate monitoring and evaluation of such programs.

(7) Working with the heads of United States Government departments and agencies, including the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to take actions to ensure that funding for such programs is obligated and expended in an effective manner.

(8) Taking actions to ensure coordination of such programs with programs of other official donors and international and multilateral organizations.

(9) Representing the United States in international meetings or conferences relating to programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti.

(10) Overseeing the use by United States Government departments and agencies of grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, collaborative agreements, and other agreements or instruments utilized for such programs.

(11) Overseeing efforts by United States Government departments and agencies to coordinate donations or investments by private entities or individuals for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti through public-private partnerships and other means.

(12) Ensuring due diligence and evaluation with respect to recipients of assistance under such programs.

(13) Measuring and evaluating the progress of Haiti in carrying out economic and political reforms that will end Haiti's reliance on foreign assistance.

(14) Monthly notification to and regular consultation with Congress with respect to such programs.

SEC. 105. INTERAGENCY COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIPS.

(a) Interagency Coordination- In carrying out the duties of the Office under section 104, the Special Coordinator shall coordinate with, and receive the cooperation of, the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the heads of other United States Government departments and agencies responsible for United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti.

(b) Partnerships- The Special Coordinator, in coordination and cooperation with the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall seek to support, promote, and sustain partnerships between the United States Government and private entities (including foundations, universities, corporations, community-based organizations, and other nongovernmental organizations) to establish and oversee public-private partnerships in or on behalf of Haiti.

SEC. 106. REPORT.

(a) In General- Not later than March 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012, the Special Coordinator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the implementation of this title during the one-year period ending on the date of the submission of the report.

(b) Matters To Be Included- The report required under subsection (a) shall include, for the period covered by such report, the following:
(1) A detailed description of obligations and expenditures of funds for United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti, including estimates of amounts required to complete such unfinished programs, projects, and activities.

(2) A detailed description of obligations and expenditures of funds by other official donors and international and multilateral organizations for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti.

(3) A detailed description of operating expenses of the Office and personnel or other support provided to the Office by United States Government departments and agencies.

SEC. 107. TERMINATION.

The Office shall terminate on the date that is two years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
TITLE II--OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR ASSISTANCE TO HAITI
SEC. 201. FINDING AND DECLARATION OF POLICY.

Congress finds and declares that United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti and international programs for such purposes must be subject to appropriate oversight intended to ensure transparency and prevent any corruption, waste, or inappropriate manipulation of such assistance
SEC. 202. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

It is in the interest of the United States to ensure that United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti are subject to strict standards of accountability and oversight.

SEC. 203. PURPOSES.

The purposes of this title are as follows:
(1) To provide for the independent and objective conduct and supervision of audits and investigations relating to United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti.

(2) To provide for the independent and objective recommendations on policies designed to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of such programs.

(3) To ensure the effectiveness of such programs and to ensure that such programs remain transparent, accountable, and operate in compliance with the general established policies of the United States Government.

(4) To prevent the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, and any other types of criminal activity that may result in the misuse of United States foreign assistance funds allocated to Haiti under such programs.

(5) To provide for an independent and objective means of keeping the President, Secretary of State, Administrator of the United States Agency of International Development, and Congress fully and currently informed about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of such programs and the necessity for and progress toward corrective action.

SEC. 204. OFFICE OF SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL.

There is hereby established the Office of the Special Inspector General for Assistance to Haiti (hereinafter in this title referred to as the 'Office') to carry out the purposes of section 203.
SEC. 205. APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL; REMOVAL.

(a) Appointment- The head of the Office is the Special Inspector General for Assistance to Haiti (hereinafter in this title referred to as the 'Special Inspector General'), who shall be appointed by the President.

(b) 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.

(c) Deadline for Appointment- The appointment of an individual as Special Inspector General shall be made not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(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 shall not be considered 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 the provisions of section 3(b) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).

SEC. 206. SPECIAL ASSISTANT INSPECTORS GENERAL.

The Special Inspector General shall, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations governing the civil service--
(1) appoint a Special Assistant Inspector General for Auditing who shall have the responsibility for supervising the performance of auditing activities relating to assistance programs and operations of the United States in and on behalf of Haiti;
(2) appoint a Special Assistant Inspector General for Investigations who shall have the responsibility for supervising the performance of investigative activities relating to such programs and operations.

SEC. 207. 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.

(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 applicable officer shall prevent or prohibit the Special Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation, or from issuing any subpoena during the course of any audit or investigation.

SEC. 208. DUTIES.

(a) Oversight- It shall be the duty of the Special Inspector General to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the treatment, handling, and expenditure of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti, including--
(1) the oversight and accounting of the obligation and expenditure of such funds;
(2) the monitoring and review of recovery and assistance relief activities funded by such funds;
(3) the development of a comprehensive plan for audits relating to recovery, relief, and assistance efforts for Haiti;
(4) the monitoring and review of contracts funded by such funds;
(5) the monitoring and review of the transfer of such funds and associated information between and among other departments, agencies, and entities of the Federal Government, and private and nongovernmental entities; and
(6) the maintenance of records on the use of such funds to facilitate future audits and investigations of the use of such funds.

(b) Other Duties Relating 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 under paragraph (1).

(c) Duties and Responsibilities Under Inspector General Act of 1978- In addition to the duties specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), the Special Inspector General shall also have the duties and responsibilities of inspectors general under the Inspector General Act of 1978.
(d) Coordination of Efforts-
(1) IN GENERAL- In carrying out the duties, responsibilities, and authorities of the Special Inspector General under this title, the Special Inspector General shall coordinate with, and receive the cooperation of, the Inspector General of the Department of State and the Inspector General of the United States Agency for International Development.

(2) OTHER COORDINATION OF EFFORTS- In carrying out the duties, responsibilities, and authorities of the Special Inspector General under this title, the Special Inspector General shall coordinate with, and seek to receive the cooperation of, the international community, including all country donors and international organizations involved in the implementation and execution of recovery and relief efforts in Haiti.

SEC. 209. POWERS AND AUTHORITIES.

(a) In General- In carrying out the duties specified in section 208, the Special Inspector General shall have the authorities provided in section 6 of the Inspector General Act of 1978.
(b) Audit Standards- The Special Inspector General shall carry out the duties specified in subsection (f)(1) in accordance with section 4(b)(1) of the Inspector General Act of 1978.
SEC. 210. 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 Office, subject to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and the provisions of 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 services as authorized by 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 by 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 enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies and with private persons, and make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the Office.

(d) Resources- The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall provide the Special Inspector General with appropriate and adequate office space, together with such equipment, office supplies, and communications facilities and services as may be necessary for the operation of such offices, and shall provide necessary maintenance services for such offices and the equipment and facilities located therein.

(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, insofar as is 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 report the circumstances to the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and to the appropriate committees of Congress without delay.

SEC. 211. REPORTS.

(a) Quarterly Reports- Not later than March 30, 2011, and every calendar quarter thereafter, the Special Inspector General shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report summarizing the implementation of this title during the 120-day period ending on the date of such report.

Each report shall include, for the period covered by such report, a detailed statement of all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti, including the following:
(1) Obligations and expenditures of appropriated funds.

(2) A project-by-project and program-by-program accounting of the costs incurred to date, together with the estimate of the Office of the costs to complete each project and each program.

(3) Revenues of the Haitian Government attributable to or consisting of funds provided by foreign nations or international organizations, and any obligations or expenditures of such revenues.

(4) Revenues of the Haitian Government attributable to or consisting of foreign assets seized or frozen, and any obligations or expenditures of such revenues.

(5) Operating expenses of the Office and of any other agencies or entities receiving appropriated funds.

(6) In the case of any contract described in section 210(c)--
(A) the amount of the contract or other agreement;
(B) a brief discussion of the scope of the contract or other agreement;
(C) a discussion of how the Office identified, and solicited offers from, potential contractors to perform the contract, together with a list of the potential contractors that were issued solicitations for the offers; and
(D) the justification and approval documents on which was based the determination to use procedures other than procedures that provide for full and open competition.

(b) Semiannual Reports- Not later than April 30, 2011, and semiannually thereafter, the Special Inspector General shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report the implementation of this title meeting the requirements of section 5 of the Inspector General Act of 1978.
(c) Public Availability- The Special Inspector General shall publish each report under this section on the Internet Web site of the Office.

(d) Form- Each report required under this section shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if the Special Inspector General considers it necessary.

(e) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section shall 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 national defense or national security or in the conduct of foreign affairs; or
(3) a part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

SEC. 212. REPORT COORDINATION.

(a) Submission to State and USAID- The Special Inspector General shall also submit each report required under section 211 to the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

(b) Submission to Congress-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 30 days after receipt of a report under subsection (a), the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development may submit to the appropriate committees of Congress any comments on the matters covered by the report as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Assistance considers appropriate.

(2) FORM- Any comments on the matters covered by the report shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, considers it necessary.

SEC. 213. TRANSPARENCY.

Not later than 60 days after the date of the submission to Congress of a report under section 211, the Special Inspector General shall make copies of such report available to the public upon request, and at a reasonable cost.
SEC. 214. WAIVER.

(a) Authority- The President may waive the requirement under subsection (a) or (c) of section 211 for the inclusion in a report under such subsection of any element otherwise provided for under such subsection if the President determines that the waiver is justified for national security reasons.

(b) Notice of Waiver- The President shall publish a notice of each waiver made under this section in the Federal Register no later than the date on which the reports required under subsection (a) or (c) of section 211 are submitted to Congress.

The reports required under subsection (a) or (c) of section 211 shall specify whether waivers under this section were made and with respect to which elements.

SEC. 215. COOPERATION BY GOVERNMENT OF HAITI.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State shall seek to ensure that there is full and binding agreement by the Government of Haiti and any State-owned enterprises or organizations for the provision to the Special Inspector General of any and all documents requested by the Special Inspector General pertaining to such Government's disposition of revenues, management of contracts and receipts, and use of assistance provided by the United States Government and any other donor.

SEC. 216. TERMINATION.

The Office shall terminate 180 days after the date on which amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti that are unexpended are less than $25,000,000.
TITLE III--ACTIONS BY PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF STATE
SEC. 301. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:
(1) Immediate international relief assistance to Haiti has reached an estimated $2 billion, including nearly $500 million provided by the United States Government and more than $470 million from private charities in the United States.

(2) A successful international response to the current situation in Haiti and its long-term development will require careful coordination of assistance provided by the United States and other countries, assistance provided through the United Nations and other international organizations, loans and credits from multilateral financial institutions, and private donations.

(3) The United States has historically been the largest donor of bilateral assistance to Haiti, providing more than $1 billion in assistance over the last three years alone.

(4) United States assistance to Haiti and its people has focused on improving health, fostering economic growth, and strengthening peace and security, and the program of the United States Agency for International Development in Haiti has sought to support that country's efforts to transform itself into a secure, prosperous, democratic nation that meets the needs of its citizens and contributes to Caribbean stability.

(5) The United States Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was created in 2004 as a supplemental or alternative approach to traditional development assistance, seeking to alleviate global poverty by tying its assistance to a recipient country's commitment to sound policies, the planning and implementation of country-led programs, and the achievement of defined objectives through those programs.

(6) In order to be eligible for MCC assistance, a country is required to demonstrate a commitment to policies that promote political and economic freedom, investments in education and health, the sustainable use of natural resources, control of corruption, and respect for civil liberties and the rule of law.
(7) A long-term United States bilateral assistance program for Haiti that is broadened to include a strengthened focus on governing justly and democratically, ensuring greater economic opportunity, and providing quality education may assist Haiti in becoming eligible for MCC assistance in the future.

(8) Any United States long-term development assistance to Haiti must also balance United States national security interests, foreign policy objectives, and domestic priorities.

SEC. 302. ACTIONS BY PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF STATE.

(a) President- The President shall--
(1) ensure that United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti are grounded in an exhaustive United States assessment of Haiti's development needs and capacity; and
(2) seek to lead efforts to ensure that any pledged international assistance for Haiti is based on defined objectives and includes measures that provide for mutual accountability, oversight, and transparency.

(b) Secretary of State-
(1) REPORT- The Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on the findings and conclusions of the Department of State's 'Haiti Policy and Foreign Assistance Review', begun in April 2009, before entering into any United States commitment for long-term development assistance to Haiti.

(2) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT- The Secretary of State shall incorporate into the Department of State's assessment of Haiti's long-term development assistance needs a focus on those sectors that are aligned with the Millennium Challenge Corporation eligibility criteria of 'Ruling Justly', 'Economic Freedom', and 'Investing in People'.

SEC. 303. REPORT.

(a) In General- Not later than December 31, 2010, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report that contains a detailed description of the status of implementation of United States Government programs for relief, recovery, reconstruction, and development of Haiti.

(b) Matters To Be Included- The report required under subsection (a) shall include a description of any plans to transfer leadership of certain United States assistance efforts to relevant Haitian entities and recommended actions for the Government of Haiti to ensure progress of long-term development efforts following the initial recovery period in Haiti

Stanley Lucas
Co-Chair
Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee
Executive Committee
202-256-6026
www.gwhrc.org

The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

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