Text: S.1875 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in House (04/29/2016)

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1875 Referred in House (RFH)]


  2d Session
                                S. 1875



                             April 29, 2016

              Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


                                 AN ACT

  To support enhanced accountability for United States assistance to 
                  Afghanistan, and for other purposes.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Afghanistan Accountability Act of 


    In this Act, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' 
            (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
            (2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
            (3) the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
            (4) the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate;
            (5) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
            (6) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
            (7) the Committee on Armed Services of the House of 
        Representatives; and
            (8) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the 
        House of Representatives.



    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 
        the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom, and 
        since then the United States Armed Forces and the Afghan 
        National Security Forces have made countless sacrifices in 
        defending Afghanistan against the threat of terrorism and 
        insurgency and by extension the United States and the wider 
            (2) Since 2001, the United States has worked with a broad 
        coalition of nations that has helped to dramatically improve 
        numerous development indicators within Afghanistan, including--
                    (A) a dramatic increase in the number of girls 
                enrolled in primary education from an estimated 5,000 
                under the Taliban to 2,400,000 girls as of 2010;
                    (B) an increase in the percentage of individuals 
                above the poverty line from 25.4 percent in 2002 to 
                35.8 percent in 2011;
                    (C) an increase in the percentage of individuals 
                who now have access to an improved water source in 
                rural areas from 22 percent in 2001 to 56 percent in 
                    (D) a precipitous decline in maternal mortality 
                from 1200/100,000 births in 1995 to 400/100,000 births 
                in 2013; and
                    (E) an expansion of women's rights.
            (3) Numerous research studies have shown that government 
        corruption is a driver of conflict and particularly so in 
        Afghanistan, where it has served as a powerful recruitment tool 
        for the Taliban.
            (4) Since the first democratic transfer of power in the 
        history of Afghanistan in 2014, President Ashraf Ghani and 
        Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah have led a National 
        Unity Government that has identified key security and 
        development challenges in order to make Afghanistan a full and 
        productive member of the community of democratic nations.
            (5) The National Unity Government has renewed specific 
        focus on addressing corruption within the country as a driver 
        of instability, including reopening a fraud case involving high 
        level officials and the Kabul Bank that resulted in the 
        disappearance of an estimated $1,000,000,000.
            (6) In its report ``Realizing Self Reliance: Commitments to 
        Reform and Renewed Partnership'', the Government of Afghanistan 
        committed to the international community in London in December 
        2014, to address the ``main drivers of corruption in 
        Afghanistan,'' including ``collusive procurement practices, 
        weak rule of law and abuse of the legal system, and arbitrary 
        regulations that build in incentives to pay bribes''. 
        Government of Afghanistan commitments included--
                    (A) forming an independent anti-corruption 
                commission with time-bound prosecutorial powers;
                    (B) implementing recommendations by the Monitoring 
                and Evaluation Committee on a national action plan to 
                reduce corruption;
                    (C) requiring all government officials to provide 
                public declarations of their assets;
                    (D) meeting all Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 
                requirements to further limit and investigate illicit 
                fund flows;
                    (E) forming a national procurement board staffed by 
                qualified professionals who will manage all large value 
                contracts using internationally recognized standards 
                and procedures; and
                    (F) delineating the roles, responsibilities, and 
                jurisdiction of anti-corruption institutions such as 
                the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption (HOO) 
                and the Attorney General to restrict them to focus on 
                their core function of enforcement instead of 
            (7) The December 2014 Government of Afghanistan report 
        ``Realizing Self Reliance: Commitments to Reform and Renewed 
        Partnership'', expressed a commitment to ``enhancing 
        productivity, growth and revenues'' by--
                    (A) developing natural resources through public-
                private partnerships that bring in rents, taxes, and 
                    (B) removing obstacles to trade and transit and 
                ending smuggling that diverts revenue away from the 
                    (C) negotiating expanded market access in regional 
                and global markets;
                    (D) gradually formalizing the informal economy and 
                changing the compact between the state and citizens to 
                one where citizens pay taxes for services they tangibly 
                benefit from; and
                    (E) transferring government payments electronically 
                to eliminate losses in transit.
            (8) In 2012, international donors and the Government of 
        Afghanistan agreed to the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework 
        (``TMAF'') which committed to provide $4,000,000,000 in 
        economic assistance per year from 2012-2015 and sustain 
        assistance at or near the same levels of the past decade 
        through 2017, while the Government of Afghanistan committed to 
        meet benchmarks related to democracy and governance, public 
        finance and revenue generation, and economic development.
            (9) At the end of 2014, under the TMAF, the Government of 
        Afghanistan had fallen short in meeting benchmarks related to: 
        revenue collection, the enhancement of women's rights, 
        corruption and the illicit economy, and the protection of human 
            (10) In the Joint Declaration following the London 
        Conference on Afghanistan of December 4, 2014, the 
        international community and the new Government of Afghanistan 
        agreed to refresh the existing TMAF and associated commitments 
        at the 2015 Senior Officials Meeting based on the reform 
        program and priorities as laid out by the Government of 
            (11) Afghanistan faces great difficulties in making 
        progress in countering illegal narcotics and remains the 
        leading global illicit opium poppy producer.
            (12) The illegal narcotics trade results in the transfer of 
        illicit funds and encourages and also requires corrupt 
        financial transactions, and, if minimized, could have 
        beneficial impacts on trade and reduce overall levels of 
            (13) The international community has endorsed Afghanistan's 
        longer-term development following the war and identified the 
        criticality of the ``transformation decade'' from 2015-2024 
        outlined by the Government of Afghanistan and has acknowledged 
        that the Government of Afghanistan will seek continued 
        international assistance in order for it to become a stable, 
        self-sustained partner in the community of democratic 
            (14) As development assistance from the United States and 
        broader international community gradually diminishes in the 
        coming years, the accelerated development of the Afghan private 
        sector and governing institutions becomes even more necessary 
        to maintain the gains of the past decade and to enhance our 
        mutual goals of Afghan security and stability.
            (15) While Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have 
        taken over lead combat responsibilities, they continue to 
        operate in close coordination with, and with significant 
        resources from the international community, under the Resolute 
        Support Mission and in coordination with ongoing counter-
        terrorism operations. Development of civilian oversight 
        institutions for the security sector has lagged. Such oversight 
        will be important for ensuring that Afghan security forces are 
        accountable and do not abuse their powers.


    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the National Unity Government of Afghanistan has made a 
        substantial commitment to reform that should be supported but 
        also subject to heightened scrutiny by the Afghan people and 
        international donors given past failures and persistent 
        challenges in the country;
            (2) Afghanistan is at a critical inflection point, having 
        gone through political and security transitions as the 
        international community draws down its military forces. The 
        international community should work closely with the new 
        government in supporting development priorities for the rest of 
        the transformation decade that translate into producing 
        concrete development results for the Afghan people;
            (3) sustainable accountability and reform of Afghan 
        governing institutions will not come from the international 
        community but from a commitment by the Government of 
        Afghanistan and society reinforced by domestic watchdog groups 
        and internal government accountability monitoring mechanisms;
            (4) the United States Government should deepen its dialogue 
        on anti-corruption efforts with the Government of Afghanistan 
        to develop effective oversight mechanisms to ensure large donor 
        contracts do not contribute to corruption;
            (5) the United States should encourage Afghanistan's 
        participation in the Open Government Partnership, a 
        multilateral initiative in which government and civil society 
        collaborate to promote transparency, fight corruption, and use 
        technologies to strengthen government;
            (6) the United States should urge the Government of 
        Afghanistan to build upon existing anti-money laundering and 
        countering terrorism financing legislation by developing 
        effective regulations and institutions to implement reforms;
            (7) the United States should urge the Government of 
        Afghanistan to broaden personal asset disclosures to include 
        members of the covered officials' immediate families or 
        households and develop effective mechanisms for verifying 
        disclosed information;
            (8) in the event of future egregious cases of corruption in 
        Afghanistan, the President should impose visa bans and asset 
        freezes on those responsible, especially in instances where 
        United States assistance is stolen or misappropriated;
            (9) the United States Government should cooperate with the 
        Government of Afghanistan and with international donors to 
        develop a series of strict accountability benchmarks based on 
        the refreshed Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework and the 
        Government of Afghanistan's own ``Realizing Self Reliance'' 
        report commitments that will condition levels of assistance and 
        the amount of on-budget assistance on anti-corruption 
        performance acceptable to donors;
            (10) the United States should support the Afghan Parliament 
        to refine and strengthen the legal framework of anti-corruption 
        and anti-money laundering laws to address beneficial ownership, 
        countering bid-rigging and other contracting and procurement 
        fraud, criminal investigations of financial transactions, 
        complementary banks, personal asset or other financial 
        declarations and disclosures as required by law or regulation, 
        efforts to meet FATF requirements, and other areas to further 
        inhibit the illicit flow of money;
            (11) the commitment by the Government of Afghanistan to 
        strengthen its nascent private sector should be supported and 
        sustained using the full array of tools of the United States, 
        including technical and legal assistance;
            (12) United States assistance to the Afghan judicial system 
        and other Afghan legal institutions that enable and empower 
        private sector development by instilling greater investor 
        confidence should be prioritized to ensure the protection of 
        private property, the sanctity of contracts, and effective 
        dispute resolution mechanisms for businesses and investors;
            (13) the United States Government should identify 
        opportunities for the United States to introduce trade 
        facilitation as part of the economic relationship between the 2 
            (14) the Governments of the United States and Afghanistan 
        should work together to identify more Afghan products and raw 
        materials to be included on the United States Generalized 
        System of Preferences (GSP) treatment list;
            (15) the American University of Afghanistan is an emerging 
        pillar in Afghanistan's education system and has provided a 
        unique opportunity for higher education for Afghan youth, 
        especially women; and
            (16) the United States should encourage the Government of 
        Afghanistan to implement with urgency electoral reforms in 
        accordance with the ``Agreement between the Two Campaign Teams 
        Regarding the Structure of the National Unity Government''.


    It is the policy of the United States--
            (1) to conduct assistance programs that result in highly 
        effective, impact driven development outcomes for the people of 
        Afghanistan while maintaining the highest standards of 
        accountability for United States taxpayers;
            (2) that all United States Government agencies and entities 
        working in Afghanistan coordinate, plan, and regularly review 
        plans in a coherent, well-informed process to develop United 
        States policy and assistance programming;
            (3) to support the development of effective Government of 
        Afghanistan oversight institutions and domestic watchdog civil 
        society organizations;
            (4) subject to significant evident progress made in meeting 
        TMAF accountability and improved governance as it relates to 
        development, to abide by resource commitments made as part of 
        the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework;
            (5) to provide incentivized assistance to Afghanistan's 
        governing institutions based upon verifiable and measurable 
        development outcomes and on-budget assistance based upon 
        demonstrated capacity improvements that are mutually agreed to 
        by the Government of Afghanistan and Government of the United 
            (6) to support the development of democratic governing 
        institutions in Afghanistan, promote the development of a 
        growing private sector, and strengthen civil society in 
            (7) to recognize that Afghanistan's sustainable development 
        is grounded in growing the regional economy, and to support the 
        efforts of the Government and people of Afghanistan to build 
        strong regional economic connectivity with the country's 
            (8) to support, where appropriate, proven programs that 
        promote private sector job creation in Afghanistan; and
            (9) that assistance programs in direct support of Afghan 
        women and girls remain a priority for the United States, 
        including specific efforts to support women and girls 
        education, meaningful engagement in political and 
        reconciliation processes, training and recruitment of Afghan 
        female police and security forces, advancement of women's legal 
        rights, economic development, and efforts to increase the 
        overall health and well-being of Afghan women and girls.


    (a) Strategy To Combat Corruption in Afghanistan.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of State, in consultation 
        with the Secretary of Defense and the Government of 
        Afghanistan, shall develop a comprehensive interagency strategy 
        for United States assistance that is sustainable and is not 
        counter-productive to combating corruption in Afghanistan.
            (2) Elements.--The strategy developed under paragraph (1) 
        should include the following elements:
                    (A) Multi-year goals, objectives, and measurable 
                outcomes for targeted activities to strengthen selected 
                Afghan official institutions and nongovernmental 
                organizations to prevent, investigate, deter, and 
                prosecute corruption.
                    (B) An operational plan incorporating all United 
                States Government programming to implement the anti-
                corruption goals and objectives.
                    (C) A summary of United States efforts to 
                coordinate with other international donors to ensure 
                that anti-corruption advice or programming provided to 
                the Government of Afghanistan is not contradictory.
                    (D) A focus on the development of governmental and 
                nongovernmental Afghan capacity to ensure 
                accountability and combat corruption.
                    (E) An evaluation of Afghan civil society anti-
                corruption capacities that includes their ability to 
                use technology to combat corruption.
    (b) Afghanistan Anti-corruption Fund.--Subject to the availability 
of funds, the President is authorized to provide technical and 
financial assistance to official Government of Afghanistan anti-
corruption and audit institutions and Afghan civil society watchdog 
groups in support of the anti-corruption priorities identified by the 
Government of Afghanistan and the United States Government. Subject to 
careful consideration by the United States Government of the 
legitimacy, efficacy, and direct impact and influence of such entities 
and individuals, offices, and organizations that are funded under this 
subsection could include--
            (1) the Supreme Audit Office;
            (2) the Attorney General;
            (3) the Ministry of Justice;
            (4) Inspectors General within key ministries;
            (5) the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and 
        Evaluation Committee (MEC);
            (6) the major crimes task force, Technical Investigative 
        Unit, and the Sensitive Investigative Unit;
            (7) the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption;
            (8) the Anti-Corruption Tribunal;
            (9) the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center 
        of Afghanistan;
            (10) the proposed procurement board; and
            (11) civil society organizations engaged in oversight, 
        anti-corruption advocacy, and support of good governance.
    (c) Promotion of Human Rights, Press Freedom, and Security Sector 
            (1) In general.--Subject to the availability of funds, the 
        Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of 
        Defense, is authorized to provide support for efforts of the 
        Government of Afghanistan to improve oversight and 
        accountability of the Afghan National Security Forces, 
        including the Afghan National Police, and Afghan local police, 
        and strengthen Afghan civil society and investigative 
        journalists to provide watchdog oversight of these 
        institutions. Subject to due consideration of the legitimacy, 
        efficacy, and direct impact and influence of such entities and 
        individuals, these efforts could include--
                    (A) supporting the ANSF to strengthen the capacity, 
                independence, and power of its internal Inspector 
                General to collect and investigate all credible reports 
                of abuse by armed forces;
                    (B) supporting the Office of the Attorney General 
                and the Ministries of Defense and Interior to be better 
                capable to investigate and, if appropriate, criminally 
                prosecute police, military, intelligence, and militia 
                personnel, regardless of rank, found responsible for 
                human rights abuses and war crimes;
                    (C) considering establishing a special independent 
                mechanism to investigate government officials and 
                security force officers implicated in abuses;
                    (D) supporting the Ministry of Interior to 
                establish a centralized register of all detainees held 
                in police and National Directorate of Security custody, 
                and ensure that it is accessible to independent 
                monitors and is updated regularly and in a transparent 
                    (E) supporting implementation of the Access to 
                Information Law and the 2009 Mass Media Law, 
                particularly provisions of the latter that would 
                disband the Media Violations Investigation Commission 
                and replace it with a Mass Media Commission;
                    (F) supporting the Attorney General's Office to 
                undertake prompt, impartial, and thorough 
                investigations into all attacks on journalists and 
                media organizations and bring prosecutions as 
                appropriate; and
                    (G) supporting the further establishment of civil 
                society organizations to provide essential ``watchdog'' 
                oversight of the police and armed forces; as well as 
                efforts to strengthen and improve coordination among 
                civil society organizations, such as the Afghan 
                Independent Human Rights Commission.


    (a) Reporting on Corruption in Afghanistan.--Not later than 1 year 
after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter 
through 2024, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate 
congressional committees a report listing each individual who the 
President determines, based on credible evidence--
            (1) is a Government of Afghanistan official, a senior 
        associate, or close relative of such an official, who is 
        responsible for, or complicit in, ordering, controlling, or 
        otherwise directing, acts of significant corruption, including 
        the expropriation of private or public assets for personal 
        gain, corruption related to government contracts or the 
        extraction of natural resources, bribery, or the facilitation 
        or transfer of the proceeds of corruption to foreign 
        jurisdictions; or
            (2) has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided 
        financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or 
        services in support of, an activity described above.
    (b) Report on Civilian-military Assistance Efforts in 
            (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the 
        United States shall submit a report to the appropriate 
        congressional committees that describes civilian-military 
        assistance efforts in Afghanistan.
            (2) Elements.--The report required under paragraph (1) 
        shall include the following elements:
                    (A) A description of lessons learned from 
                conducting development programming in Afghanistan to 
                include recommendations on how to improve coordination 
                between United States development agencies and the 
                United States Armed Forces.
                    (B) An assessment of the ability of the United 
                States Agency for International Development to advance 
                development goals within Afghanistan, operating 
                alongside providers of United States military 
                    (C) An assessment of whether funding under the 
                Commander's Emergency Response Program achieved the 
                program's counterinsurgency goals, including force 
                protection, and whether this program had any long term 
                development impact, including any negative unintended 

            Passed the Senate April 28, 2016.


                                                JULIE E. ADAMS,


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