Text: S.88 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Reported to Senate (07/23/1996)

 
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 88 Reported in Senate (RS)]





                                                       Calendar No. 511

104th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                                 S. 88

                          [Report No. 104-331]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

To increase the overall economy and efficiency of Government operations 
  and enable more efficient use of Federal funding, by enabling local 
    governments and private, nonprofit organizations to use amounts 
available under certain Federal assistance programs in accordance with 
                   approved local flexibility plans.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             July 23, 1996

        Reported with an amendment and an amendment to the title





                                                       Calendar No. 511
104th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                 S. 88

                          [Report No. 104-331]

To increase the overall economy and efficiency of Government operations 
  and enable more efficient use of Federal funding, by enabling local 
    governments and private, nonprofit organizations to use amounts 
available under certain Federal assistance programs in accordance with 
                   approved local flexibility plans.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 4, 1995

  Mr. Hatfield (for himself and Mr. Inhofe ) introduced the following 
      bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                          Governmental Affairs

                             July 23, 1996

  Reported by Mr. Stevens, with an amendment and an amendment to the 
                                 title
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To increase the overall economy and efficiency of Government operations 
  and enable more efficient use of Federal funding, by enabling local 
    governments and private, nonprofit organizations to use amounts 
available under certain Federal assistance programs in accordance with 
                   approved local flexibility plans.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

<DELETED>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act may be cited as the ``Local Empowerment and 
Flexibility Act of 1995''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 2. FINDINGS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    The Congress finds that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) historically, Federal programs have addressed 
        the Nation's problems by providing categorical financial 
        assistance with detailed requirements relating to the use of 
        funds;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) while the assistance described in paragraph 
        (1) has been directed at critical problems, some program 
        requirements may inadvertently impede the effective delivery of 
        services;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) the Nation's local governments and private, 
        nonprofit organizations are dealing with increasingly complex 
        problems which require the delivery of many kinds of 
        services;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) the Nation's communities are diverse, and 
        different needs are present in different communities;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) it is more important than ever to provide 
        programs that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) promote more effective and efficient 
                local delivery of services to meet the full range of 
                needs of individuals, families, and society;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) respond flexibly to the diverse needs 
                of the Nation's communities;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) reduce the barriers between programs 
                that impede local governments' ability to effectively 
                deliver services; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) empower local governments and private, 
                nonprofit organizations to be innovative in creating 
                programs that meet the unique needs of their 
                communities while continuing to address national policy 
                goals; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) many communities have innovative planning and 
        community involvement strategies for providing services, but 
        Federal, State, and local regulations often hamper full 
        implementation of local plans.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 3. PURPOSES.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    The purposes of this Act are to--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) enable more efficient use of Federal, State, 
        and local resources;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) place less emphasis in Federal service 
        programs on measuring resources and procedures and more 
        emphasis on achieving Federal, State, and local policy 
        goals;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) enable local governments and private, 
        nonprofit organizations to adapt programs of Federal financial 
        assistance to the particular needs of their communities, by--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) drawing upon appropriations available 
                from more than one Federal program; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) integrating programs and program funds 
                across existing Federal financial assistance 
                categories; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) enable local governments and private, 
        nonprofit organizations to work together and build stronger 
        cooperative partnerships to address critical service 
        problems.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    For purposes of this Act--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) the term ``approved local flexibility plan'' 
        means a local flexibility plan that combines funds from 
        Federal, State, local government or private sources to address 
        the service needs of a community (or any part of such a plan) 
        that is approved by the Flexibility Council under section 
        5;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) the term ``community advisory committee'' 
        means such a committee established by a local government under 
        section 9;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) the term ``Flexibility Council'' means the 
        council composed of the--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) Assistant to the President for 
                Domestic Policy;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) Assistant to the President for 
                Economic Policy;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) Secretary of the Treasury;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) Attorney General;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (E) Secretary of the Interior;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (F) Secretary of Agriculture;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (G) Secretary of Commerce;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (H) Secretary of Labor;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (I) Secretary of Health and Human 
                Services;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (J) Secretary of Housing and Urban 
                Development;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (K) Secretary of Transportation;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (L) Secretary of Education;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (M) Secretary of Energy;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (N) Secretary of Veterans 
                Affairs;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (O) Secretary of Defense;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (P) Director of Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (Q) Administrator of the Environmental 
                Protection Agency;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (R) Director of National Drug Control 
                Policy;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (S) Administrator of the Small Business 
                Administration;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (T) Director of the Office of Management 
                and Budget; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (U) Chair of the Council of Economic 
                Advisers.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) the term ``covered Federal financial 
        assistance program'' means an eligible Federal financial 
        assistance program that is included in a local flexibility plan 
        of a local government;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) the term ``eligible Federal financial 
        assistance program''--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) means a Federal program under which 
                financial assistance is available, directly or 
                indirectly, to a local government or a qualified 
                organization to carry out the specified program; 
                and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) does not include a Federal program 
                under which financial assistance is provided by the 
                Federal Government directly to a beneficiary of that 
                financial assistance or to a State as a direct payment 
                to an individual;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) the term ``eligible local government'' means a 
        local government that is eligible to receive financial 
        assistance under 1 or more covered Federal programs;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (7) the term ``local flexibility plan'' means a 
        comprehensive plan for the integration and administration by a 
        local government of financial assistance provided by the 
        Federal Government under 2 or more eligible Federal financial 
        assistance programs;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (8) the term ``local government'' means a 
        subdivision of a State that is a unit of general local 
        government (as defined under section 6501 of title 31, United 
        States Code);</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (9) the term ``priority funding'' means giving 
        higher priority (including by the assignment of extra points, 
        if applicable) to applications for Federal financial assistance 
        submitted by a local government having an approved local 
        flexibility program, by--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) a person located in the jurisdiction 
                of such a government; or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) a qualified organization eligible for 
                assistance under a covered Federal financial assistance 
                program included in such a plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (10) the term ``qualified organization'' means a 
        private, nonprofit organization described in section 501(c)(3) 
        of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that is exempt from 
        taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1986; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (11) the term ``State'' means the 50 States, the 
        District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and 
        the Virgin Islands.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 5. PROVISION OF FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IN 
              ACCORDANCE WITH APPROVED LOCAL FLEXIBILITY 
              PLAN.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Payments to Local Governments.--Notwithstanding any 
other provision of law, amounts available to a local government or a 
qualified organization under a covered Federal financial assistance 
program included in an approved local flexibility plan shall be 
provided to and used by the local government or organization in 
accordance with the approved local flexibility plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Eligibility for Benefits.--An individual or family 
that is eligible for benefits or services under a covered Federal 
financial assistance program included in an approved local flexibility 
plan may receive those benefits only in accordance with the approved 
local flexibility plan.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 6. APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF LOCAL FLEXIBILITY 
              PLAN.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) In General.--A local government may submit to the 
Flexibility Council in accordance with this section an application for 
approval of a local flexibility plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Contents of Application.--An application submitted 
under this section shall include--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1)(A) a proposed local flexibility plan that 
        complies with subsection (c); or</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) a strategic plan submitted in application for 
        designation as an enterprise community or an empowerment zone 
        under section 1391 of the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1986;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) certification by the chief executive of the 
        local government, and such additional assurances as may be 
        required by the Flexibility Council, that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) the local government has the ability 
                and authority to implement the proposed plan, directly 
                or through contractual or other arrangements, 
                throughout the geographic area in which the proposed 
                plan is intended to apply; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) amounts are available from non-Federal 
                sources to pay the non-Federal share of all covered 
                Federal financial assistance programs included in the 
                proposed plan; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) any comments on the proposed plan submitted 
        under subsection (d) by the Governor of the State in which the 
        local government is located;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) public comments on the plan including the 
        transcript of at least 1 public hearing and comments of the 
        appropriate community advisory committee established under 
        section 9; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) other relevant information the Flexibility 
        Council may require to approve the proposed plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Contents of Plan.--A local flexibility plan submitted 
by a local government under this section shall include--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) the geographic area to which the plan applies 
        and the rationale for defining the area;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) the particular groups of individuals, by 
        service needs, economic circumstances, or other defining 
        factors, who shall receive services and benefits under the 
        plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3)(A) specific goals and measurable performance 
        criteria, a description of how the plan is expected to attain 
        those goals and criteria;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) a description of how performance shall be 
        measured; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (C) a system for the comprehensive evaluation of 
        the impact of the plan on participants, the community, and 
        program costs;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) the eligible Federal financial assistance 
        programs to be included in the plan as covered Federal 
        financial assistance programs and the specific benefits that 
        shall be provided under the plan under such programs, 
        including--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) criteria for determining eligibility 
                for benefits under the plan;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) the services available;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) the amounts and form (such as cash, 
                in-kind contributions, or financial instruments) of 
                nonservice benefits; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) any other descriptive information the 
                Flexibility Council considers necessary to approve the 
                plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) except for the requirements under section 
        8(b)(3), any Federal statutory or regulatory requirement 
        applicable under a covered Federal financial assistance program 
        included in the plan, the waiver of which is necessary to 
        implement the plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) fiscal control and related accountability 
        procedures applicable under the plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (7) a description of the sources of all non-
        Federal funds that are required to carry out covered Federal 
        financial assistance programs included in the plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (8) written consent from each qualified 
        organization for which consent is required under section 
        6(b)(2); and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (9) other relevant information the Flexibility 
        Council may require to approve the plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Procedure for Applying.--(1) To apply for approval of 
a local flexibility plan, a local government shall submit an 
application in accordance with this section to the Governor of the 
State in which the local government is located.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) A Governor who receives an application from a local 
government under paragraph (1) may, by no later than 30 days after the 
date of that receipt--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) prepare comments on the proposed local 
        flexibility plan included in the application;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) describe any State laws which are necessary to 
        waive for successful implementation of a local plan; 
        and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (C) submit the application and comments to the 
        Flexibility Council.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (3) If a Governor fails to act within 30 days after 
receiving an application under paragraph (2), the applicable local 
government may submit the application to the Flexibility 
Council.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 7. REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF LOCAL FLEXIBILITY 
              PLANS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Review of Applications.--Upon receipt of an 
application for approval of a local flexibility plan under this Act, 
the Flexibility Council shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) approve or disapprove all or part of the plan 
        within 45 days after receipt of the application;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) notify the applicant in writing of that 
        approval or disapproval by not later than 15 days after the 
        date of that approval or disapproval; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) in the case of any disapproval of a plan, 
        include a written justification of the reasons for disapproval 
        in the notice of disapproval sent to the applicant.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Approval.--(1) The Flexibility Council may approve a 
local flexibility plan for which an application is submitted under this 
Act, or any part of such a plan, if a majority of members of the 
Council determines that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) the plan or part shall improve the 
        effectiveness and efficiency of providing benefits under 
        covered Federal programs included in the plan by reducing 
        administrative inflexibility, duplication, and unnecessary 
        expenditures;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) the applicant local government has adequately 
        considered, and the plan or part of the plan appropriately 
        addresses, any effect that administration of each covered 
        Federal program under the plan or part of the plan shall have 
        on administration of the other covered Federal programs under 
        that plan or part of the plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (C) the applicant local government has or is 
        developing data bases, planning, and evaluation processes that 
        are adequate for implementing the plan or part of the 
        plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (D) the plan shall more effectively achieve 
        Federal financial assistance goals at the local level and shall 
        better meet the needs of local citizens;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (E) implementation of the plan or part of the plan 
        shall adequately achieve the purposes of this Act and of each 
        covered Federal financial assistance program under the plan or 
        part of the plan;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (F) the plan and the application for approval of 
        the plan comply with the requirements of this Act;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (G) the plan or part of the plan is adequate to 
        ensure that individuals and families that receive benefits 
        under covered Federal financial assistance programs included in 
        the plan or part shall continue to receive benefits that meet 
        the needs intended to be met under the program; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (H) the local government has--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (i) waived the corresponding local laws 
                necessary for implementation of the plan; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (ii) sought any necessary waivers from the 
                State.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) The Flexibility Council may not approve any part of a 
local flexibility plan if--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) implementation of that part would result in 
        any increase in the total amount of obligations or outlays of 
        discretionary appropriations or direct spending under covered 
        Federal financial assistance programs included in that part, 
        over the amounts of such obligations and outlays that would 
        occur under those programs without implementation of the part; 
        or</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) in the case of a plan or part that applies to 
        assistance to a qualified organization under an eligible 
        Federal financial assistance program, the qualified 
        organization does not consent in writing to the receipt of that 
        assistance in accordance with the plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (3) The Flexibility Council shall disapprove a part of a 
local flexibility plan if a majority of the Council disapproves that 
part of the plan based on a failure of the part to comply with 
paragraph (1).</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (4) In approving any part of a local flexibility plan, the 
Flexibility Council shall specify the period during which the part is 
effective. An approved local flexibility plan shall not be effective 
after the date of the termination of effectiveness of this Act under 
section 13.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (5) Disapproval by the Flexibility Council of any part of 
a local flexibility plan submitted by a local government under this Act 
shall not affect the eligibility of a local government, a qualified 
organization, or any individual for benefits under any Federal 
program.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Memoranda of Understanding.--(1) The Flexibility 
Council may not approve a part of a local flexibility plan unless each 
local government and each qualified organization that would receive 
financial assistance under the plan enters into a memorandum of 
understanding under this subsection with the Flexibility 
Council.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) A memorandum of understanding under this subsection 
shall specify all understandings that have been reached by the 
Flexibility Council, the local government, and each qualified 
organization that is subject to a local flexibility plan, regarding the 
approval and implementation of all parts of a local flexibility plan 
that are the subject of the memorandum, including understandings with 
respect to--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) all requirements under covered Federal 
        financial assistance programs that are to be waived by the 
        Flexibility Council under section 8(b);</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B)(i) the total amount of Federal funds that 
        shall be provided as benefits under or used to administer 
        covered Federal financial assistance programs included in those 
        parts; or</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (ii) a mechanism for determining that amount, 
        including specification of the total amount of Federal funds 
        that shall be provided or used under each covered Federal 
        financial assistance program included in those parts;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (C) the sources of all non-Federal funds that 
        shall be provided as benefits under or used to administer those 
        parts;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (D) measurable performance criteria that shall be 
        used during the term of those parts to determine the extent to 
        which the goals and performance levels of the parts are 
        achieved; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (E) the data to be collected to make that 
        determination.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Limitation on Confidentiality Requirements.--The 
Flexibility Council may not, as a condition of approval of any part of 
a local flexibility plan or with respect to the implementation of any 
part of an approved local flexibility plan, establish any 
confidentiality requirement that would--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) impede the exchange of information needed for 
        the design or provision of benefits under the parts; 
        or</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) conflict with law.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 8. IMPLEMENTATION OF APPROVED LOCAL FLEXIBILITY PLANS; 
              WAIVER OF REQUIREMENTS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Payments and Administration in Accordance With Plan.--
Notwithstanding any other law, any benefit that is provided under a 
covered Federal financial assistance program included in an approved 
local flexibility plan shall be paid and administered in the manner 
specified in the approved local flexibility plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Waiver of Requirements.--(1) Notwithstanding any other 
law and subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Flexibility Council may 
waive any requirement applicable under Federal law to the 
administration of, or provision of benefits under, any covered Federal 
assistance program included in an approved local flexibility plan, if 
that waiver is--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) reasonably necessary for the implementation of 
        the plan; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) approved by a majority of members of the 
        Flexibility Council.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) The Flexibility Council may not waive a requirement 
under this subsection unless the Council finds that waiver of the 
requirement shall not result in a qualitative reduction in services or 
benefits for any individual or family that is eligible for benefits 
under a covered Federal financial assistance program.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (3) The Flexibility Council may not waive any requirement 
under this subsection--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) that enforces any constitutional or statutory 
        right of an individual, including any right under--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (i) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 
                1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.);</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (ii) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 
                of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.);</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (iii) title IX of the Education Amendments 
                of 1972 (86 Stat. 373 et seq.);</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (iv) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 
                (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.); or</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (v) the Americans with Disabilities Act of 
                1990;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) for payment of a non-Federal share of funding 
        of an activity under a covered Federal financial assistance 
        program; or</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (C) for grants received on a maintenance of effort 
        basis.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Special Assistance.--To the extent permitted by law, 
the head of each Federal agency shall seek to provide special 
assistance to a local government or qualified organization to support 
implementation of an approved local flexibility plan, including 
expedited processing, priority funding, and technical 
assistance.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Evaluation and Termination.--(1) A local government, 
in accordance with regulations issued by the Flexibility Council, 
shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) submit such reports on and cooperate in such 
        audits of the implementation of its approved local flexibility 
        plan; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) periodically evaluate the effect 
        implementation of the plan has had on--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (i) individuals who receive benefits under 
                the plan;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (ii) communities in which those 
                individuals live; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (iii) costs of administering covered 
                Federal financial assistance programs included in the 
                plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) No later than 90 days after the end of the 1-year 
period beginning on the date of the approval by the Flexibility Council 
of an approved local flexibility plan of a local government, and 
annually thereafter, the local government shall submit to the 
Flexibility Council a report on the principal activities and 
achievements under the plan during the period covered by the report, 
comparing those achievements to the goals and performance criteria 
included in the plan under section 6(c)(3).</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (3)(A) The Flexibility Council may terminate the 
effectiveness of an approved local flexibility plan, if the Flexibility 
Council, after consultation with the head of each Federal agency 
responsible for administering a covered Federal financial assistance 
program included in such, determines--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (i) that the goals and performance criteria 
        included in the plan under section 6(c)(3) have not been met; 
        and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (ii) after considering any experiences gained in 
        implementation of the plan, that those goals and criteria are 
        sound.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (B) In terminating the effectiveness of an approved local 
flexibility plan under this paragraph, the Flexibility Council shall 
allow a reasonable period of time for appropriate Federal, State, and 
local agencies and qualified organizations to resume administration of 
Federal programs that are covered Federal financial assistance programs 
included in the plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (e) Final Report; Extension of Plans.--(1) No later than 
45 days after the end of the effective period of an approved local 
flexibility plan of a local government, or at any time that the local 
government determines that the plan has demonstrated its worth, the 
local government shall submit to the Flexibility Council a final report 
on its implementation of the plan, including a full evaluation of the 
successes and shortcomings of the plan and the effects of that 
implementation on individuals who receive benefits under those 
programs.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) The Flexibility Council may extend the effective 
period of an approved local flexibility plan for such period as may be 
appropriate, based on the report of a local government under paragraph 
(1).</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 9. COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEES.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Establishment.--A local government that applies for 
approval of a local flexibility plan under this Act shall establish a 
community advisory committee in accordance with this section.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Functions.--A community advisory committee shall 
advise a local government in the development and implementation of its 
local flexibility plan, including advice with respect to--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) conducting public hearings; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) reviewing and commenting on all community 
        policies, programs, and actions under the plan which affect low 
        income individuals and families, with the purpose of ensuring 
        maximum coordination and responsiveness of the plan in 
        providing benefits under the plan to those individuals and 
        families.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Membership.--The membership of a community advisory 
committee shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) consist of--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) persons with leadership experience in 
                the private and voluntary sectors;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) local elected officials;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) representatives of participating 
                qualified organizations; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) the general public; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) include individuals and representatives of 
        community organizations who shall help to enhance the 
        leadership role of the local government in developing a local 
        flexibility plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Opportunity for Review and Comment by Committee.--
Before submitting an application for approval of a final proposed local 
flexibility plan, a local government shall submit the final proposed 
plan for review and comment by a community advisory committee 
established by the local government.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (e) Committee Review of Reports.--Before submitting annual 
or final reports on an approved Federal assistance plan, a local 
government or private nonprofit organization shall submit the report 
for review and comment to the community advisory committee.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 10. TECHNICAL AND OTHER ASSISTANCE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Technical Assistance.--(1) The Flexibility Council may 
provide, or direct that the head of a Federal agency provide, technical 
assistance to a local government or qualified organization in 
developing information necessary for the design or implementation of a 
local flexibility plan.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (2) Assistance may be provided under this subsection if a 
local government makes a request that includes, in accordance with 
requirements established by the Flexibility Council--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (A) a description of the local flexibility plan 
        the local government proposes to develop;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) a description of the groups of individuals to 
        whom benefits shall be provided under covered Federal 
        assistance programs included in the plan; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (C) such assurances as the Flexibility Council may 
        require that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (i) in the development of the application 
                to be submitted under this title for approval of the 
                plan, the local government shall provide adequate 
                opportunities to participate to--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (I) individuals and families that 
                        shall receive benefits under covered Federal 
                        financial assistance programs included in the 
                        plan; and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (II) governmental agencies that 
                        administer those programs; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (ii) the plan shall be developed after 
                considering fully--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (I) needs expressed by those 
                        individuals and families;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (II) community priorities; 
                        and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (III) available governmental 
                        resources in the geographic area to which the 
                        plan shall apply.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Details to Council.--At the request of the Flexibility 
Council and with the approval of an agency head who is a member of the 
Council, agency staff may be detailed to the Flexibility Council on a 
nonreimbursable basis.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 11. FLEXIBILITY COUNCIL.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Functions.--The Flexibility Council shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) receive, review, and approve or disapprove 
        local flexibility plans for which approval is sought under this 
        Act;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) upon request from an applicant for such 
        approval, direct the head of an agency that administers a 
        covered Federal financial assistance program under which 
        substantial Federal financial assistance would be provided 
        under the plan to provide technical assistance to the 
        applicant;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) monitor the progress of development and 
        implementation of local flexibility plans;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) perform such other functions as are assigned 
        to the Flexibility Council by this Act; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) issue regulations to implement this Act within 
        180 days after the date of its enactment.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Reports.--No less than 18 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Flexibility Council 
shall submit a report on the 5 Federal regulations that are most 
frequently waived by the Flexibility Council for local governments with 
approved local flexibility plans to the President and the Congress. The 
President shall review the report and determine whether to amend or 
terminate such Federal regulations.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 12. REPORT.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    No later than 54 months after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
the Congress, a report that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) describes the extent to which local 
        governments have established and implemented approved local 
        flexibility plans;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) evaluates the effectiveness of covered Federal 
        assistance programs included in approved local flexibility 
        plans; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) includes recommendations with respect to local 
        flexibility.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 13. CONDITIONAL TERMINATION.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act is repealed on the date that is 5 years after the 
date of the enactment of this Act unless extended by the Congress 
through the enactment of the resolution described under section 
14.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 14. JOINT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONTINUATION AND EXPANSION 
              OF LOCAL FLEXIBILITY PROGRAMS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Description of Resolution.--A resolution referred to 
under section 13 is a joint resolution the matter after the resolving 
clause is as follows: ``That Congress approves the application of local 
flexibility plans to all local governments in the United States in 
accordance with the Local Empowerment and Flexibility Act of 1995, and 
that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(1) if the provisions of such Act have not been 
        repealed under section 13 of such Act, such provisions shall 
        remain in effect; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    ``(2) if the repeal under section 13 of such Act 
        has taken effect, the provisions of such Act shall be effective 
        as though such provisions had not been repealed.''.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Introduction.--No later than 30 days after the 
transmittal by the Comptroller General of the United States to the 
Congress of the report required in section 12, a resolution as 
described under subsection (a) shall be introduced in the Senate by the 
chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, or by a Member or 
Members of the Senate designated by such chairman, and shall be 
introduced in the House of Representatives by the Chairman of the 
Committee on Government Operations, or by a Member or Members of the 
House of Representatives designated by such chairman.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Referral.--A resolution as described under subsection 
(a) shall be referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the 
Senate and the Committee on Government Operations of the House of 
Representatives. The committee shall make its recommendations to the 
Senate or House of Representatives within 30 calendar days of the date 
of such resolution's introduction.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Discharge From Committee.--If the committee to which a 
resolution is referred has not reported such resolution at the end of 
30 calendar days after its introduction, that committee shall be deemed 
to be discharged from further consideration of such resolution and such 
resolution shall be placed on the appropriate calendar of the House 
involved.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (e) Vote on Final Passage.--When the committee has 
reported or has been deemed to be discharged from further consideration 
of a resolution described under subsection (a), it is at any time 
thereafter in order for any Member of the respective House to move to 
proceed to the consideration of the resolution.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (f) Rules of the Senate and House.--This section is 
enacted by Congress--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the 
        Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, and as such 
        it is deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, 
        but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be 
        followed in that House in the case of a resolution described in 
        subsection (a), and it supersedes other rules only to the 
        extent that it is inconsistent with such rules; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) with full recognition of the constitutional 
        right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating 
        to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same 
        manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule 
        of that House.</DELETED>

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Local Empowerment and Flexibility 
Act of 1996''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) historically, Federal programs have addressed the 
        Nation's problems by providing categorical financial assistance 
        with detailed requirements relating to the use of funds;
            (2) while the assistance described in paragraph (1) has 
        been directed at critical problems, some program requirements 
        may inadvertently impede the effective delivery of services;
            (3) the Nation's State, local, and tribal governments and 
        private, nonprofit organizations are dealing with increasingly 
        complex problems which require the delivery of many kinds of 
        services;
            (4) the Nation's communities are diverse, and different 
        needs are present in different communities;
            (5) it is more important than ever to provide programs 
        that--
                    (A) promote more effective and efficient delivery 
                of services at all levels of government to meet the 
                full range of needs of individuals, families, and 
                society;
                    (B) respond flexibly to the diverse needs of the 
                Nation's communities;
                    (C) reduce the barriers between programs that 
                impede the State, local, and tribal governments' 
                ability to effectively deliver services; and
                    (D) empower State, local, and tribal governments 
                and private, nonprofit organizations to be innovative 
                in creating programs that meet the unique needs of 
                their communities while continuing to address national 
                policy goals; and
            (6) many communities have innovative planning and community 
        involvement strategies for providing services, but Federal, 
        State, and local grant and other requirements often hamper 
        effective implementation of such strategies.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are to--
            (1) enable more efficient and effective use of Federal, 
        State, and local resources;
            (2) place less emphasis in Federal service programs on 
        complying with procedures and more emphasis on achieving 
        Federal, State, local, and tribal policy goals;
            (3) enable State, local, and tribal governments and 
        private, nonprofit organizations to adapt programs of Federal 
        financial assistance to the particular needs of their 
        communities, by integrating programs and program funds across 
        existing Federal financial assistance programs that have 
        similar purposes;
            (4) enable State, local, and tribal governments and 
        private, nonprofit organizations to work together and build 
        stronger cooperative partnerships to address critical service 
        problems;
            (5) facilitate State, local, and tribal government efforts 
        to develop regional or metropolitan solutions to shared 
        problems;
            (6) improve the efficiency and effectiveness of 
        governmental operations at all levels of government; and
            (7) improve the delivery of services to the public.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:
            (1) Approved flexibility plan.--The term ``approved 
        flexibility plan'' means a flexibility plan or that part of a 
        flexibility plan, that is approved by the Community Empowerment 
        Board under section 8.
            (2) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the Community 
        Empowerment Board established under section 5.
            (3) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Director of 
        the Office of Management and Budget.
            (4) Eligible applicant.--The term ``eligible applicant'' 
        means a State, local, or tribal government, qualified 
        organization, or qualified consortium that is eligible to 
        receive financial assistance under 1 or more eligible Federal 
        financial assistance programs.
            (5) Eligible federal financial assistance program.--The 
        term ``eligible Federal financial assistance program''--
                    (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), means a 
                domestic assistance program (as defined under section 
                6101(4) of title 31, United States Code) under which 
                financial assistance is available, directly or 
                indirectly, to a State, local, or tribal government or 
                a qualified organization to carry out activities 
                consistent with national policy goals; and
                    (B) does not include--
                            (i) a Federal program under which direct 
                        financial assistance is provided by the Federal 
                        Government directly to an individual 
                        beneficiary of that financial assistance, or to 
                        a State to provide direct financial or food 
                        voucher assistance directly to an individual 
                        beneficiary;
                            (ii) a program carried out with direct 
                        spending (as defined in section 250(c)(8) of 
                        the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
                        Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 900(c)(8)); or
                            (iii) a program of assistance referred to 
                        in section 6101(4)(A)(ix) of title 31, United 
                        States Code.
            (6) Empowerment zone-eligible area.--The term ``empowerment 
        zone-eligible area'' means any area nominated for designation 
        under subchapter U of chapter I of the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1986 that was ruled as meeting the technical eligibility 
        standards established for that Federal policy.
            (7) Flexibility plan.--The term ``flexibility plan'' means 
        a comprehensive plan or part of such plan for the integration 
        and administration by an eligible applicant of financial 
        assistance provided by the Federal Government under 2 or more 
        eligible Federal financial assistance programs that combines 
        funds from Federal, State, local, or tribal government or 
        private sources to address the service needs of a community.
            (8) Local government.--The term ``local government'' 
        means--
                    (A) a political subdivision of a State that is a 
                unit of general local government (as defined under 
                section 6501 of title 31, United States Code);
                    (B) any combination of political subdivisions 
                described in subparagraph (A) that submits an 
                application to the Board; or
                    (C) a local educational agency as defined under 
                section 14101(18) of the Elementary and Secondary 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801(18)).
            (9) Qualified consortium.--The term ``qualified 
        consortium'' means a group that is composed of 2 or more 
        qualified organizations, State, local, or tribal agencies that 
        receive federally appropriated funds.
            (10) Qualified organization.--The term ``qualified 
        organization'' means a private, nonprofit organization 
        described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1986 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) that is exempt from taxation under 
        section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 
        501(a)).
            (11) Small government.--The term ``small government'' means 
        any small governmental jurisdiction defined in section 601(5) 
        of title 5, United States Code, and a tribal government.
            (12) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the 50 
        States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, 
        Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
            (13) State legislative official.--The term ``State 
        legislative official'' means--
                    (A) the majority leader of a chamber of a State 
                legislature; and
                    (B) the minority leader of a chamber of a State 
                legislature.
            (14) Tribal government.--The term ``tribal government'' 
        means the governing entity of an Indian tribe, as that term is 
        defined in the Federally Recognized Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 
        U.S.C. 479a).

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT BOARD.

    (a) In General.--There is established a Community Empowerment 
Board, which shall consist of--
            (1) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;
            (2) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;
            (3) the Secretary of Agriculture;
            (4) the Secretary of Transportation;
            (5) the Secretary of Education;
            (6) the Secretary of Commerce;
            (7) the Secretary of Labor;
            (8) the Secretary of the Treasury;
            (9) the Attorney General;
            (10) the Secretary of the Interior;
            (11) the Secretary of Energy;
            (12) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;
            (13) the Secretary of Defense;
            (14) the Director of the Federal Emergency Management 
        Agency;
            (15) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
        Agency;
            (16) the Director of National Drug Control Policy;
            (17) the Administrator of the Small Business 
        Administration;
            (18) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; 
        and
            (19) the Administrator of General Services.
    (b) Chair.--The President shall designate the Chair of the Board 
from among its members.
    (c) Functions.--The Board shall--
            (1) receive, review, and approve or disapprove flexibility 
        plans in accordance with section 7;
            (2) consider all requests for technical assistance from 
        eligible applicants and, when appropriate, direct the head of 
        an agency that administers an eligible Federal financial 
        assistance program under which substantial Federal financial 
        assistance would be provided under the plan to provide 
        technical assistance to the applicant;
            (3) in consultation with the Director, monitor the progress 
        of development and implementation of flexibility plans;
            (4) in consultation with the Director, coordinate and 
        assist Federal agencies in eliminating, revising, and 
        coordinating regulations;
            (5) evaluate performance standards and evaluation criteria 
        for eligible Federal financial assistance programs, and make 
        specific recommendations to agencies regarding how to revise 
        such standards and criteria in order to establish specific 
        performance and outcome measures upon which the success of such 
        programs and the success of the plan may be compared and 
        evaluated; and
            (6) issue guidance to implement this Act within 180 days 
        after the date of enactment of this Act.
    (d) Coordination and Assistance.--The Director, in consultation 
with the Board, shall coordinate and assist--
            (1) Federal agencies in creating a uniform application to 
        be used to apply for assistance from eligible Federal financial 
        assistance programs;
            (2) Federal agencies in creating a release form to be used 
        by a client to facilitate, where appropriate and otherwise 
        lawful, the sharing of information across eligible Federal 
        financial assistance programs; and
            (3) agencies in creating a system wherein an organization 
        or consortium of organizations may use one proposal to apply 
        for funding from multiple eligible Federal financial assistance 
        programs.

SEC. 6. APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF FLEXIBILITY PLAN.

    (a) In General.--An eligible applicant may submit to the Board in 
accordance with this section an application for approval of a 
flexibility plan.
    (b) Contents of Application.--An application submitted under this 
section shall include--
            (1) a proposed flexibility plan that complies with 
        subsection (c);
            (2) written certification by the chief executive of the 
        applicant, and such additional assurances as may be required by 
        the Board, that--
                    (A) the applicant has the ability, authority, and 
                resources to implement the proposed plan, throughout 
                the geographic area in which the proposed plan is 
                intended to apply; and
                    (B) amounts are available from non-Federal sources 
                to pay the non-Federal share of all eligible Federal 
                financial assistance programs included in the proposed 
                plan;
            (3) all comments on the proposed plan submitted under 
        subsection (d) by a Governor, affected State agency head, State 
        legislative official of a State, or a chief executive of a 
        local or tribal government that would be directly affected by 
        implementation of the proposed plan, and the applicant's 
        responses to those comments;
            (4) written documentation showing significant public input 
        into the development of the plan from the range of interests 
        directly affected by the plan, including those who are intended 
        beneficiaries of the plan; and
            (5) other relevant information the Board may require to 
        approve the proposed plan.
    (c) Contents of Plan.--A flexibility plan submitted by an eligible 
applicant under this section shall include--
            (1) the geographic area and timeframe to which the plan 
        applies and the rationale for selecting the area and timeframe;
            (2) the particular groups of individuals, by service needs, 
        economic circumstances, or other defining factors, who would 
        receive services and benefits under the plan;
            (3)(A) specific goals and measurable performance criteria 
        that demonstrate how the plan is expected to improve the 
        delivery of services to the public;
            (B) a description of how performance shall be measured; and
            (C) a system for the comprehensive evaluation of the impact 
        of the plan on individuals who receive services in the 
        community, affected by the plan, that shall include--
                    (i) a list of goals to improve the community and 
                the lives of its citizens in the geographic area 
                covered by the plan;
                    (ii) a list of goals identified by the State in 
                which the plan is to be implemented, if such goals have 
                been established by the State; and
                    (iii) a description of how the plan will--
                            (I) attain the goals listed in clause (ii);
                            (II) measure performance; and
                            (III) collect and maintain data;
            (4) the eligible Federal financial assistance programs 
        included in the plan and the specific benefits to be provided 
        under the plan under such programs, including--
                    (A) criteria for determining eligibility for 
                benefits under the plan;
                    (B) the services available;
                    (C) the amounts and form (such as cash, in-kind 
                contributions, or financial instruments) of nonservice 
                benefits; and
                    (D) any other descriptive information the Board 
                considers necessary to approve the plan;
            (5) a description of the statutory goals and purposes of 
        each Federal financial assistance program included in the plan;
            (6) except for the requirements described under section 
        7(f)(3), any Federal statutory or regulatory requirement of an 
        eligible Federal financial assistance program included in the 
        plan, the waiver of which is necessary to implement the plan, 
        and the detailed justification for the waiver request;
            (7) any State, local, or tribal statutory, regulatory, or 
        other requirement, the waiver of which is necessary to 
        implement the plan, and indicia of commitments by the relevant 
        State, local, or tribal governments to grant such waivers;
            (8) fiscal control and related accountability procedures 
        applicable under the plan;
            (9) a description of the sources of all non-Federal funds 
        that are required to carry out eligible Federal financial 
        assistance programs included in the plan;
            (10) written certification from each State, local, or 
        tribal government for which certification is required under 
        subsection (b)(2); and
            (11) other relevant information the Board may require to 
        approve the plan.
    (d) Procedure for Applying.--
            (1) Submission to affected state and local governments.--An 
        eligible applicant shall submit an application for approval of 
        a proposed flexibility plan to each State government and each 
        local government that the applicant deems to be directly 
        affected by the plan, at least 60 days before submitting the 
        application to the Board.
            (2) Action by affected government.--The Governor, affected 
        State agency head, State legislative official, and the chief 
        executive officer of a local government that receives an 
        application submitted under paragraph (1) may each, by no later 
        than 60 days after the date of that receipt--
                    (A) prepare comments on the proposed flexibility 
                plan included in the application;
                    (B) describe and make commitments to waive any 
                State or local laws or other requirements which are 
                necessary for successful implementation of the proposed 
                plan; and
                    (C) submit the comments and commitments to the 
                eligible applicant.
            (3) Submittal to board.--If the Governor, affected State 
        agency head, or a State legislative official of a State or the 
        chief executive officer of a local government--
                    (A) fails to act on or otherwise endorse a plan 
                application within 60 days after receiving an 
                application under paragraph (1);
                    (B) does not make and submit to the eligible 
                applicant the commitments described in paragraph (2) 
                (A) and (B); or
                    (C) disagrees with all or part of the proposed 
                flexibility plan;
        the eligible applicant may submit the application to the Board 
        if the application is amended as necessary for the successful 
        implementation of the proposed plan without the commitment made 
        under paragraph (2)(B), including by adding a discussion 
        regarding the ability of the proposed flexibility plan to meet 
        plan goals and satisfy performance criteria in the absence of 
        statutory and regulatory waivers and financial and technical 
        support from the State or local government.
    (e) Tribal Sovereignty.--Nothing under this Act shall be construed 
to affect, or otherwise alter, the sovereign relationship between 
tribal governments and the Federal Government.
    (f) Eligibility for Other Assistance.--Disapproval by the Board of 
a flexibility plan submitted by an eligible applicant under this Act 
shall not affect the eligibility of the applicant for assistance under 
any Federal program.
    (g) State, Local, or Tribal Authority.--Nothing in this Act shall 
be construed to grant the Board, Federal agency, or any eligible 
applicant authority to waive or otherwise preempt--
            (1) any State, local, or tribal law or regulation; or
            (2) any State or local administrative or implementation 
        plan of an eligible Federal financial assistance program unless 
        such plan is requested to be waived by the entity with 
        jurisdiction over the program prior to submission of the plan.

SEC. 7. REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF FLEXIBILITY PLANS AND WAIVER REQUESTS.

    (a) Flexibility Plans Accepted for Review.--The Board shall review 
at least the first 50 flexibility plans received each year. The Board--
            (1) shall give priority consideration to proposed 
        flexibility plans that--
                    (A) are submitted from empowerment zone-eligible 
                areas; and
                    (B) contain State or local waivers or a commitment 
                to grant a State or local waiver; and
            (2) may develop additional criteria to govern the factors 
        to be applied in determining which additional proposed 
        flexibility plans it reviews after the first 50 each year.
    (b) Review of Applications.--Upon acceptance of an application for 
approval of a proposed flexibility plan under this Act, the Board 
shall--
            (1) notify the applicant of the Board's acceptance of the 
        application for review and the procedures for consultation with 
        the applicant during the review process;
            (2) review plans in accordance with this section;
            (3) approve or disapprove the plan within 120 days after 
        receipt of the plan, except that the Board may extend this 
        period by another 60 days if--
                    (A) the Board determines that additional 
                information or clarification is needed from the 
                applicant to make a decision regarding the application; 
                or
                    (B) the applicant requests additional time to 
                modify its application;
            (4) notify the applicant in writing of that approval or 
        disapproval by not later than 15 days after the date of that 
        approval or disapproval; and
            (5) in the case of any disapproval of a plan, include a 
        written justification of the reasons for disapproval in the 
        notice of disapproval sent to the applicant.
    (c) Approval.--
            (1) In general.--The Board may approve a flexibility plan 
        for which an application is submitted by an eligible applicant 
        under this Act, if the Board determines that--
                    (A) the plan will improve the effectiveness and 
                efficiency of providing benefits under eligible Federal 
                financial assistance programs included in the plan such 
                as reducing administrative inflexibility, duplication, 
                and unnecessary expenditures;
                    (B) the plan shall improve the delivery of services 
                to the community by improving the performance of the 
                eligible Federal financial assistance programs included 
                in the plan when compared to existing program 
                performance;
                    (C) the eligible applicant has adequately 
                considered, and the plan appropriately addresses, any 
                effect that administration of each eligible Federal 
                financial assistance program under the plan will have 
                on administration of any other eligible Federal 
                financial assistance programs under the plan;
                    (D) the eligible applicant has or is developing 
                data bases, planning, and evaluation processes for 
                determining whether implementation of the plan includes 
                the specific goals, measurable performance criteria, 
                comprehensive evaluation system, and other matters 
                required under section 6(c)(3);
                    (E) the plan will more effectively achieve the 
                goals of each eligible Federal financial assistance 
                program included in the plan at the State, local, and 
                tribal level and will better meet the needs of State, 
                local, and tribal citizens;
                    (F) implementation of the plan will adequately 
                achieve the purposes of this Act and of each eligible 
                Federal financial assistance program included in the 
                plan;
                    (G) the plan and the application for approval of 
                the plan comply with the requirements of this Act;
                    (H)(i) the State, local, or tribal governments have 
                waived the corresponding State, local, or tribal laws 
                of the applicant necessary for implementation of the 
                plan; or
                    (ii) the eligible applicant has obtained 
                commitments for any additional necessary waivers from 
                other State, local, or tribal governments;
                    (I) Federal funds made available under the plan 
                will not supplant non-Federal funds for existing 
                services and activities that promote the goals of the 
                plan; and
                    (J) none of the Federal or non-Federal funds used 
                under the plan would be used--
                            (i) to pay the non-Federal share of 
                        activities under programs that are not eligible 
                        Federal financial assistance programs; or
                            (ii) to meet maintenance of effort 
                        requirements of such an activity.
            (2) Limitation on authority to approve certain plans.--The 
        Board may not approve a flexibility plan--
                    (A) if implementation of the plan would result in 
                any increase in the total amount of obligations or 
                outlays of discretionary appropriations or direct 
                spending under eligible Federal financial assistance 
                programs, over the amounts of such obligations and 
                outlays that would occur under those programs without 
                implementation of the plan; or
                    (B) in the case of a plan that applies to 
                assistance to a qualified organization under an 
                eligible Federal financial assistance program, if the 
                qualified organization does not consent in writing to 
                the receipt of that assistance in accordance with the 
                plan.
            (3) Requirement to disapprove plan.--The Board shall 
        disapprove a flexibility plan if the Board determines that the 
        plan fails to comply with paragraph (1).
            (4) Specification of period of effectiveness.--
                    (A) In general.--In approving any flexibility plan, 
                the Board shall specify the period during which the 
                plan is effective, which in no case shall be greater 
                than 5 years from the date of approval.
                    (B) Effectiveness after termination of this act.--
                An approved flexibility plan shall be effective for the 
                period of time specified by the Board, regardless of 
                whether that time extends beyond the date of the 
                termination of the effectiveness of this Act under 
                section 13.
                    (C) Effective period shorter than proposed.--The 
                Board may specify an effective period for an approved 
                flexibility plan that is shorter than a period proposed 
                by the eligible applicant for the plan.
    (d) Memoranda of Understanding Required.--
            (1) In general.--The Board may not approve a flexibility 
        plan unless each approved applicant that would receive Federal 
        financial assistance administered under the plan enters into a 
        memorandum of understanding under this subsection with the 
        Board.
            (2) Contents.--A memorandum of understanding under this 
        subsection shall specify all understandings that have been 
        reached by the Board, Federal agencies administering eligible 
        Federal financial assistance programs under the flexibility 
        plan, approved applicants that are subject to the plan, 
        regarding the approval and implementation of the plan. The 
        memorandum shall include understandings with respect to--
                    (A) all requirements under eligible Federal 
                financial assistance programs that are to be waived 
                under section 8(f) by the Board;
                    (B) all State, local, or tribal statutory and 
                regulatory requirements that are to be waived;
                    (C)(i) the total amount of Federal funds that will 
                be provided as benefits under or used to administer 
                eligible Federal financial assistance programs included 
                in the plan; or
                    (ii) a mechanism for determining that amount, 
                including specification of the total amount of Federal 
                funds that will be provided or used under each eligible 
                Federal financial assistance program included in the 
                plan;
                    (D) the sources of all non-Federal funds and 
                technical support that shall be provided as benefits 
                under or used to administer the plan;
                    (E) measurable performance criteria that will be 
                used during the effective period of the plan to 
                determine the extent to which the goals and performance 
                levels included in the plan are achieved; and
                    (F) the data to be collected to make that 
                determination.
    (e) Limitation on Confidentiality Requirements.--The Board may not, 
as a condition of approval of a flexibility plan or with respect to the 
implementation of an approved flexibility plan, establish any 
confidentiality requirement that would--
            (1) impede the exchange of information needed for the 
        design or provision of benefits under the plan; or
            (2) conflict with law.
    (f) Waivers of Federal Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other law and subject 
        to paragraphs (2) and (3), affected Federal agencies may waive 
        for a period of time not to exceed 5 years from the time of 
        approval of the plan any statutory or regulatory requirement of 
        an eligible Federal assistance program included in an approved 
        flexibility plan of an eligible applicant if that waiver is--
                    (A) reasonably necessary for the implementation of 
                the plan; and
                    (B) not disapproved by the Board.
            (2) Effective period of waiver.--A waiver under this 
        subsection shall--
                    (A) terminate no later than the end date of the 
                plan approved under this section; and
                    (B) terminate on the earlier of--
                            (i) the expiration of a period specified by 
                        the Board, not to exceed 5 years from the 
                        effective date of the waiver; or
                            (ii) any date on which the flexibility plan 
                        for which the waiver is granted ceases to be 
                        effective.
            (3) Requirements that may not be waived.--Affected Federal 
        agencies may not waive under this subsection any requirement 
        that enforces any constitutional right or any right under--
                    (A) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 
                U.S.C. 2000d et seq.);
                    (B) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
                (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.);
                    (C) title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 
                (86 Stat. 373 et seq.);
                    (D) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 
                6101 et seq.);
                    (E) the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 
                U.S.C. 12101 et seq.); or
                    (F) the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
                (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).

SEC. 8. IMPLEMENTATION OF APPROVED FLEXIBILITY PLANS.

    (a) Payments and Administration in Accordance With Plan.--
Notwithstanding any other law, any benefit that is provided under an 
eligible Federal financial assistance program included in an approved 
flexibility plan shall be paid and administered in the manner specified 
in the approved flexibility plan.
    (b) Special Assistance.--To the extent permitted by law, the head 
of each Federal agency shall seek to provide special assistance to an 
eligible applicant to support implementation of an approved flexibility 
plan, including expedited processing and technical assistance.
    (c) Evaluation and Termination.--
            (1) Reports and evaluations by approved applicants, 
        generally.--An approved applicant, in accordance with guidance 
        issued by the Board, shall--
                    (A) submit any reports on and cooperate in any 
                audits of the implementation of its approved 
                flexibility plan; and
                    (B) periodically evaluate the effect implementation 
                of the plan has had on--
                            (i) individuals who receive benefits under 
                        the plan;
                            (ii) communities in which those individuals 
                        live; and
                            (iii) costs of administering and providing 
                        assistance under eligible Federal financial 
                        assistance programs included in the plan.
            (2) Initial 1-year report.--No later than 90 days after the 
        end of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the approval 
        by the Board of an approved flexibility plan of a State, local, 
        or tribal government, and annually thereafter, the approved 
        applicant, respectively, shall submit to the Board a report on 
        the principal activities, achievements, and failures under the 
        plan during the period covered by the report, comparing those 
        achievements and failures to the goals and performance criteria 
        included in the plan under section 6(c)(3).
            (3) Termination of plan by board.--
                    (A) In general.--The Board shall terminate the 
                effectiveness of an approved flexibility plan, if, 
                after consultation with the head of each Federal agency 
                responsible for administering an eligible Federal 
                financial assistance program included in the plan, the 
                Board determines that--
                            (i) the goals and performance criteria 
                        included in the plan under section 6(c)(3) have 
                        not been met, and are not likely to be met, and 
                        those goals and criteria are sound;
                            (ii) the goals and performance criteria 
                        included in the plan under section 6(c)(3) are 
                        not sound, and the plan would not meet goals 
                        and criteria that are sound;
                            (iii) the approved applicant responsible 
                        for the plan is unable to meet its commitments 
                        under this Act; or
                            (iv) audit or oversight activities 
                        determine there has been fraud or abuse 
                        involving Federal funds under the plan.
                    (B) Transition period.--In terminating an approved 
                flexibility plan under this paragraph, the Board shall 
                allow a reasonable period of time for appropriate 
                Federal agencies and eligible applicants to resume 
                administration of Federal programs that are eligible 
                Federal financial assistance programs included in the 
                plan.
            (4) Revocation of waiver authorized.--The Board may revoke 
        a waiver under section 7(f) if the State, local, or tribal 
government fails to--
                    (A) comply with the requirements of the plan;
                    (B) make acceptable progress towards achieving the 
                goals and performance criteria set forth in the plan; 
                or
                    (C) use funds in accordance with the plan.
            (5) Revocation of waiver required.--The affected Federal 
        agency shall revoke all waivers issued under section 7(f) for a 
        flexibility plan if the Board terminates the plan.
            (6) Explanation of revocation required.--In the case of 
        revocation of a plan or a waiver, the Board shall provide for 
        the former eligible applicant a written justification of the 
        reasons for revocation.
    (d) Final Report.--No later than 45 days after the end of the 
effective period of an approved flexibility plan, the approved 
applicant shall submit to the Board a final report on its 
implementation of the plan, including a full evaluation of the 
successes and shortcomings of the plan and the effects of that 
implementation on individuals who receive benefits under the eligible 
Federal financial assistance programs under the plan.
    (e) Availability of Waiver Authority With Respect to Grant 
Agreements.--The authority provided under this Act to waive provisions 
of grant agreements may be exercised only as long as the funds provided 
for the grant program in question are available for obligation by the 
Federal Government.

SEC. 9. TECHNICAL AND OTHER ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Technical Assistance.--The Board may provide, or direct that 
the head of a Federal agency provide, technical assistance to an 
eligible applicant in developing information necessary for the design 
or implementation of a flexibility plan, if the eligible applicant 
submits a request that includes, in accordance with requirements 
established by the Board--
            (1) a description of the flexibility plan the eligible 
        applicant proposes to develop;
            (2) a description of the groups of individuals to whom 
        benefits will be provided under eligible Federal financial 
        assistance programs included in the plan; and
            (3) such assurances as the Board may require that--
                    (A) in the development of the application to be 
                submitted under this Act for approval of the plan, the 
                eligible applicant will provide adequate opportunities 
                to participate to--
                            (i) individuals and families that will 
                        receive benefits under eligible Federal 
                        financial assistance programs included in the 
                        plan; and
                            (ii) governmental agencies that administer 
                        those programs; and
                    (B) the plan will be developed after considering 
                fully--
                            (i) the needs expressed by those 
                        individuals and families;
                            (ii) community priorities; and
                            (iii) available governmental resources in 
                        the geographic area to which the plan shall 
                        apply.
    (b) Special Assistance to Small Governments.--To the extent 
permitted by law, the Board may provide or direct a Federal agency head 
to provide special assistance to interested small governments to 
support development and implementation of a flexibility plan which may 
include expedited processing, and technical assistance.
    (c) Details and Assignments to Board.--At the request of the Board 
and with the approval of a Federal agency head who is a member of the 
Board, staff of the agency may be detailed or assigned to the Board on 
a nonreimbursable basis.
    (d) Interagency Financing.--Notwithstanding any other law, 
interagency financing is authorized to carry out the purposes of this 
Act.

SEC. 10. REPORTS BY BOARD; DIRECTOR.

    (a) Report by Board.--No later than 18 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Board shall submit 
a report to the President and the Congress on the Federal laws or 
regulations that are most frequently waived under section 7(f) with 
respect to approved flexibility plans. The President shall review the 
report and determine to amend or terminate such Federal requirements.
    (b) Report by Director.--No less than 60 days after repeal of this 
Act, the Director shall report on its progress in achieving the 
responsibilities of section 5(d).
    (c) Final Report.--No later than 54 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Board, in consultation with the Director and 
Federal agencies, shall submit a report to Congress and the President 
that--
            (1) describes the extent to which State, local, and tribal 
        governments have established and implemented approved 
        flexibility plans;
            (2) evaluates the effectiveness of eligible Federal 
        assistance programs included in approved flexibility plans; and
            (3) includes recommendations with respect to flexibility.

SEC. 11. REPEAL.

    (a) In General.--This Act is repealed on September 30, 2001.
    (b) Continued Application With Respect to Plans in Effect.--
Notwithstanding subsection (a), this Act, as in effect immediately 
before the date specified in subsection (a), shall continue to apply to 
any approved flexibility plan in effect immediately before that date, 
and any waivers granted under section 7(f) with respect to such a plan 
shall continue in effect, until the end of the 6-month period beginning 
on the date of termination of effectiveness of the plan or waiver, 
respectively, in accordance with this Act.

SEC. 12. DELIVERY DATE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT, GRANT, AND ASSISTANCE 
              APPLICATIONS.

    (a) General Rule.--
            (1) Date of delivery.--The Director of the Office of 
        Management and Budget shall direct all Federal agencies to 
        develop a consistent policy relating to Federal contract, 
        grant, and other assistance applications which stipulates that 
        if any bid, grant application, or other document required to be 
        filed within a prescribed period or on or before a prescribed 
        date is, after such period or such date, delivered by United 
        States mail to the agency, officer, or office with which such 
        bid, grant application, or other document is required to be 
        made, the date of the United States postmark stamped on the 
        cover in which such bid, grant application, or other document 
        is mailed shall be deemed to be the date of delivery, as the 
        case may be.
            (2) Mailing requirements.--This subsection applies only 
        if--
                    (A) the postmark date falls within the prescribed 
                period or on or before the prescribed date for the 
                filing (including any extension granted for such 
                filing) of the bid, grant application, or other 
                document; and
                    (B) the bid, grant application, or other document 
                was, within the time prescribed in subparagraph (A), 
                deposited in the mail in the United States in an 
                envelope or other appropriate wrapper, postage prepaid, 
                properly addressed to the agency, officer, or office 
                with which the bid, grant application, or other 
                document is required to be made.
    (b) Postmarks.--This section shall apply in the case of postmarks 
not made by the United States Postal Service only if and to the extent 
provided by the regulations prescribed by Federal agencies.
    (c) Registered and Certified Mailing.--
            (1) Registered mail.--For purposes of this section, if any 
        such bid, grant application, or other document is sent by 
        United States registered mail--
                    (A) such registration shall be prima facie evidence 
                that the bid, grant application, or other document was 
                delivered to the agency, officer, or office to which 
                addressed; and
                    (B) the date of registration shall be deemed the 
                postmark date.
            (2) Certified mail.--Federal agencies are authorized to 
        provide by regulations the extent to which the provisions of 
        paragraph (1) of this subsection with respect to prima facie 
        evidence of delivery and the postmark date shall apply to 
        certified mail.
    (d) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect on the date of 
the enactment of this Act and shall remain in effect notwithstanding 
section 11 of this Act.
    Amend the title so as to read: ``A bill to increase the overall 
economy and efficiency of Government operations and enable more 
efficient use of Federal funding, by enabling State, local, and tribal 
governments and private, nonprofit organizations to use amounts 
available under certain Federal assistance programs in accordance with 
approved local flexibility plans.''.

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