Text: H.R.2259 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 115-256 (10/09/2018)
[115th Congress Public Law 256]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
SAM FARR AND NICK CASTLE
PEACE CORPS REFORM ACT OF 2018
[[Page 132 STAT. 3650]]
Public Law 115-256
To amend the Peace Corps Act to expand services and benefits for
volunteers, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 9, 2018 - [H.R.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Sam Farr and
Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018.>>
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2501 note.>> SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF
(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Sam Farr and Nick
Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018''.
(b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
TITLE I--PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER SUPPORT
Sec. 101. Peace Corps volunteer medical care reform.
Sec. 102. Post-service Peace Corps volunteer medical care reform.
Sec. 103. Peace Corps impact survey.
Sec. 104. Extension of positions for Peace Corps employees.
TITLE II--PEACE CORPS OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Sec. 201. Peace Corps volunteer access to Inspector General.
Sec. 202. Publication requirement for volunteer surveys.
Sec. 203. Consultation with Congress required before opening or closing
overseas offices and country programs.
TITLE III--CRIME RISK REDUCTION ENHANCEMENTS
Sec. 301. Independent review of volunteer death.
Sec. 302. Additional disclosures to applicants for enrollment as
Sec. 303. Additional protections against sexual misconduct.
Sec. 304. Extension of the office of victim advocacy.
Sec. 305. Reform and extension of the Sexual Assault Advisory Council.
Sec. 306. Definitions.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 22 USC 2504 note.>> DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term
``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the
(B) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
(C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of
(D) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of
(2) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Director of
the Peace Corps.
(3) Peace corps volunteer.--The term ``Peace Corps
volunteer'' means an individual described in section 5(a) of the
Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2504(a)).
[[Page 132 STAT. 3651]]
TITLE I--PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER SUPPORT
SEC. 101. PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER MEDICAL CARE REFORM.
(a) In General.--The Peace Corps Act is amended--
(1) in section 5 (22 U.S.C. 2504)--
(A) in subsection (e), in the first sentence, by
striking ``receive such immunization and dental care
preparatory to their service'' and inserting ``receive,
preparatory to their service, such immunization, dental
care, and information on prescription options and
potential interactions, as necessary and appropriate and
in accordance with subsection (f)'';
(B) by re-designating subsections (f), (g), (h),
(i), (j), (k), (l), (m), and (n) as subsections (g),
(h), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m), (n), and (o);
(C) by inserting after subsection (e) the following
``(f) <<NOTE: Consultation.>> The Director of the Peace Corps shall
consult with health experts outside the Peace Corps, including experts
licensed in the field of mental health, and follow guidance by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the prescription of
medications to a volunteer.''; and
(D) in subsection (i), as so redesignated, by
striking ``section, and'' and inserting ``section),
(2) by inserting after section 5 the following new section:
``SEC. 5A. <<NOTE: President. 22 USC 2504a.>> HEALTH CARE FOR
VOLUNTEERS AT PEACE CORPS POSTS.
``(a) In General.--The President shall ensure that each overseas
post has the services of a medical office that is consistent in size and
scope with the needs of the Peace Corps at such post, including, if
necessary, by detailing to any such post the licensed medical staff of
other United States departments, agencies, or establishments.
``(b) Hiring Criteria.--In selecting medical officers and support
staff for overseas Peace Corps posts, the Director of the Peace Corps
shall hire well-qualified and capable personnel to support the
effectiveness of health care for Peace Corps volunteers by evaluating
``(1) medical training, experience, and accreditations or
``(2) record of performance;
``(3) administrative capabilities;
``(4) understanding of the local language and culture;
``(5) ability to work in the English language;
``(6) interpersonal skills; and
``(7) such other factors that the Director determines
``(c) Certain Training.--The Director of the Peace Corps shall
ensure that each Peace Corps medical officer serving in a malaria-
endemic country receives training in the recognition of the side effects
of such medications.
``(d) Review and Evaluation.--
``(1) In general.--The Director of the Peace Corps, acting
through the Associate Director of the Office of Health Services
and the country directors, shall review and evaluate the
[[Page 132 STAT. 3652]]
performance and health care delivery of all Peace Corps medical
staff, including medical officers, to--
``(A) ensure compliance with all relevant Peace
Corps policies, practices, and guidelines; and
``(B) ensure that medical staff complete the
necessary continuing medical education to maintain their
skills and satisfy licensing and credentialing
standards, as designated by the Director.
``(2) Report to congress.--The Director of the Peace Corps
shall include, in the annual Peace Corps congressional budget
justification, a confirmation that the review and evaluation of
all Peace Corps medical staff required under paragraph (1) has
``(e) <<NOTE: Consultation.>> Antimalarial Drugs.--The Director of
the Peace Corps shall consult with experts at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention regarding recommendations for prescribing malaria
prophylaxis, in order to provide the best standard of care within the
context of the Peace Corps environment.''.
(b) <<NOTE: 22 USC 2504 note.>> Implementation of Recommendations
by the Inspector General of the Peace Corps.--
(1) Inspector general report.--As promptly as practicable,
the Director shall implement the actions outlined in the agency
response for all open recommendations of the Inspector General
of the Peace Corps set forth in the report entitled ``Final
Program Evaluation Report: OIG Follow-up Evaluation of Issues
Identified in the 2010 Peace Corps/Morocco Assessment of Medical
Care'' (Report No. IG-16-01-E).
(2) Semiannual reports.--
(A) Initial report.--Not later than 180 days after
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director
shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional
committees that describes the Director's strategy for
implementing the recommendations referred to in
(B) Subsequent reports.--Not later than 180 days
after the submission of the report required under
subparagraph (A), and semiannually thereafter, the
Director shall submit a report to the appropriate
congressional committees that describes the progress in
implementing the recommendations referred to in
paragraph (1) until all such recommendations have been
implemented in accordance with the agency's response to
the report referred to in such paragraph.
(3) Notification.-- <<NOTE: Determination.>> After the
submission of each report required under paragraph (2), the
Inspector General of the Peace Corps may notify the appropriate
congressional committees of any recommendations from the report
referred to in paragraph (1) that the Inspector General
determines remain unresolved.
SEC. 102. POST-SERVICE PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER MEDICAL CARE REFORM.
Section 8142 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at
the end the following new subsection:
``(d)(1) <<NOTE: Time period. Certification.>> The Secretary shall
authorize the Director of the Peace Corps to furnish medical benefits to
a volunteer, who is injured during the volunteer's period of service,
for a period of 120 days following the termination of such service if
the Director certifies
[[Page 132 STAT. 3653]]
that the volunteer's injury probably meets the requirements under
subsection (c)(3). The Secretary may then certify vouchers for these
expenses for such volunteer out of the Employees' Compensation Fund.
``(2) The Secretary shall prescribe the form and content of the
certification required under paragraph (1).
``(3) A certification under paragraph (1) will cease to be effective
if the volunteer sustains compensable disability in connection with
``(4) Nothing in this subsection may be construed to authorize the
furnishing of any medical benefit that the Secretary of Labor is not
otherwise authorized to reimburse for former Peace Corps volunteers who
receive treatment for injury or disease proximately caused by their
service in the Peace Corps in accordance with this chapter.''.
SEC. 103. PEACE CORPS IMPACT SURVEY.
(a) In General.-- <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> Beginning not later than 1
year after the date of the enactment of this Act and once every 2 years
thereafter for the following 6 years, the Director shall conduct a
survey of former Peace Corps volunteers.
(b) Scope of Survey.-- <<NOTE: Assessment.>> The survey required
under subsection (a) shall assess, with respect to each former Peace
Corps volunteer completing the survey, the impact of the Peace Corps on
the former volunteer, including the volunteer's--
(3) civic engagement; and
(4) commitment to public service.
(c) Report.--The Director shall submit a report containing the
results of the survey conducted under subsection (a) to--
(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of
(3) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
(4) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of
SEC. 104. EXTENSION OF POSITIONS FOR PEACE CORPS EMPLOYEES.
Section 7(a) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2506(a)) is amended
by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
``(8)(A) The Director of the Peace Corps may designate Peace
Corps positions as critical management or management support
positions that require specialized technical or professional
skills and knowledge of Peace Corps operations. Such positions
may include positions in the following fields:
``(i) Volunteer health services.
``(ii) Financial management.
``(iii) Information technology.
``(vi) Legal services.
``(vii) Safety and security.
``(B) Subject to subparagraphs (C) and (D), with respect to
positions designated pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Director
may make or extend renewable appointments or assignments under
paragraph (2) notwithstanding limitations
[[Page 132 STAT. 3654]]
under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) and paragraph
``(C) In exercising authority under subparagraph (B), the
Director shall ensure that all decisions regarding the
appointment, assignment, or extension of employees to any
position designated pursuant to subparagraph (A)--
``(i) are consistent with Federal law and Peace
Corps policy; and
``(ii) are based upon operational and programmatic
``(D) The term of any appointment or assignment to any
position designated pursuant to subparagraph (A) may not exceed
TITLE II--PEACE CORPS OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
SEC. 201. PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER ACCESS TO INSPECTOR GENERAL.
Section 8 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2507) is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)--
(A) by striking ``he'' and inserting ``the
(B) <<NOTE: Coordination. President.>> by adding at
the end the following new sentences: ``As part of the
training provided to all volunteers under subsection
(a), and in coordination with the Inspector General of
the Peace Corps, the President shall provide all
volunteers with information regarding the mandate of the
Inspector General and the availability (including
contact information) of the Inspector General and the
Office of Victim Advocacy as a resource for volunteers.
The President shall ensure that volunteers receive such
information at least once during training that occurs
prior to enrollment and at least once during each
significant instance of training after enrollment.'';
(2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
``(c) <<NOTE: President. Procedures.>> The President shall
implement procedures to maintain a record verifying each individual
completing training provided to meet each requirement in this section
and sections 8A, 8B, 8F, and 8G(b).''.
SEC. 202. PUBLICATION REQUIREMENT FOR VOLUNTEER SURVEYS.
Section 8E of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2507e) is amended--
(1) in subsection (b), in the first sentence--
(A) by inserting ``, ensure that each such plan
includes a consideration of the results, with respect to
each such representative and the country of service of
each such representative, of each survey conducted under
subsection (c),'' after ``standards for Peace Corps
(B) by striking ``and shall review'' and inserting
``, and review''; and
(2) in subsection (c)--
(A) in the first sentence, by striking ``2018'' and
inserting ``2023''; and
(B) in the third sentence, by striking ``subsection
(a)'' and inserting ``subsection (b)''; and
[[Page 132 STAT. 3655]]
(C) <<NOTE: President. Public
information. Reports.>> by adding at the end the
following new sentences: ``The President shall publish,
on a publicly available website of the Peace Corps, a
report summarizing the results of each survey related to
volunteer satisfaction in each country in which
volunteers serve, and the early termination rate of
volunteers serving in each such country. The information
published shall be posted in an easily accessible place
near the description of the appropriate country and
shall be written in an easily understood manner.''.
SEC. 203. CONSULTATION WITH CONGRESS REQUIRED BEFORE OPENING OR
CLOSING OVERSEAS OFFICES AND COUNTRY
Section 10 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2509) is amended by
adding at the end the following new subsection:
``(k)(1) <<NOTE: Time periods. Notification. Consultation.>> Except
as provided in paragraph (2), the Director of the Peace Corps may not
open, close, significantly reduce, or suspend a domestic or overseas
office or country program unless the Director has notified and consulted
with the appropriate congressional committees at least 15 days in
``(2) <<NOTE: Waiver authority. Determination.>> The Director of
the Peace Corps may waive the application of paragraph (1) for a period
of not more than 5 days after an action described in such paragraph if
the Director determines such action is necessary to ameliorate a
substantial security risk to Peace Corps volunteers or other Peace Corps
``(3) <<NOTE: Definition.>> For the purposes of this subsection,
the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
``(A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on
Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and
``(B) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee
on Appropriations of the Senate.''.
TITLE III--CRIME RISK REDUCTION ENHANCEMENTS
SEC. 301. INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF VOLUNTEER DEATH.
Section 5 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2504), as amended by
section 101 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the
following new subsection:
``(p)(1) <<NOTE: Deadline. President. Briefing.>> Not later than 10
days after receiving notification of the death of a volunteer, the
President shall provide a briefing to the Inspector General of the Peace
Corps that includes--
``(A)(i) the available facts and circumstances surrounding
the death of the volunteer, including a preliminary timeline of
the events immediately preceding the death of the volunteer,
subsequent actions taken by the Peace Corps, and any information
available to the Peace Corps reflecting on the cause or root
cause of the death of the volunteer; and
``(ii) a description of any steps the Peace Corps plans to
take to inquire further into the cause or root cause of the
death of the volunteer, including the anticipated date of the
completion of such inquiry; or
``(B) an explanation of why the Peace Corps has determined
that no further inquiry into the cause or root cause of the
death of the volunteer is necessary, including--
[[Page 132 STAT. 3656]]
``(i) a description of the steps the Peace Corps
took to determine further inquiry was not necessary; and
``(ii) the basis for such determination.
``(2) <<NOTE: President.>> If the Peace Corps has performed or
engaged another entity to perform a root cause analysis or similar
report that describes the cause or root cause of a volunteer death, the
President shall provide the Inspector General of the Peace Corps with--
``(A) a copy of all information provided to such entity at
the time such information is provided to such entity or used by
the Peace Corps to perform the analysis;
``(B) a copy of any report or study received from the entity
or used by the Peace Corps to perform the analysis; and
``(C) any supporting documentation upon which the Peace
Corps or such entity relied to make its determination, including
the volunteer's complete medical record, as soon as such
information is available to the Peace Corps.
``(3) If a volunteer dies, the Peace Corps shall take reasonable
measures, in accordance with local laws, to preserve any information or
material, in any medium or format, that may be relevant to determining
the cause or root cause of the death of the volunteer, including
personal effects, medication, and other tangible items belonging to the
volunteer, as long as such measures do not interfere with the legal
procedures of the host country if the government of the host country is
exercising jurisdiction over the investigation of such death. The
Inspector General of the Peace Corps shall be provided an opportunity to
inspect such items before their final disposition.
``(4) Consistent with the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C.
App.), the Inspector General of the Peace Corps may independently review
the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of a volunteer and the
actions taken by the Peace Corps in responding to such incident.
``(5) <<NOTE: Time period.>> For the purposes of undertaking a
review under this section, an officer or employee of the United States
or a member of the Armed Forces may be detailed to the Inspector General
of the Peace Corps from another department of the United States
Government on a nonreimbursable basis, as jointly agreed to by the
Inspector General and the detailing department, for a period not to
exceed 1 year. This paragraph may not be construed to limit or modify
any other source of authority for reimbursable or nonreimbursable
details. A nonreimbursable detail made under this section may not be
considered an augmentation of the appropriations of the Peace Corps.
``(6) Upon request, the Peace Corps may make available necessary
funds to the Inspector General of the Peace Corps for reviews conducted
by the Inspector General under this section. The request shall be
limited to costs relating to hiring, procuring, or otherwise obtaining
medical-related experts or expert services, and associated travel.
``(7) The undertaking of a review under this section may not be
considered a transfer of program operating responsibilities to the
Inspector General of the Peace Corps.''.
SEC. 302. ADDITIONAL DISCLOSURES TO APPLICANTS FOR ENROLLMENT AS
Section 8A of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2507a(d)) is amended--
[[Page 132 STAT. 3657]]
(1) by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:
``(d) Information Regarding Crimes and Risks.--
``(1) In general.--Each applicant for enrollment as a
volunteer shall be provided, with respect to each country in
which the applicant may be invited to serve, with specific,
aggregated, and easily accessible information regarding crimes
against and risks to volunteers, including--
``(A) an overview of past crimes against volunteers
in such country, including statistics regarding
unreported crime collected through anonymous surveys;
``(B) the current early termination rate of
volunteers serving in such country;
``(C) health risks prevalent in such country;
``(D) the nature and frequency of sexual harassment
reported by volunteers serving in such country;
``(E) the extent and types of services provided by
the Peace Corps to volunteers serving in such country,
including access to medical care, counseling services,
and assistance from the Office of Victim Advocacy; and
``(F) the level of satisfaction reported by
volunteers serving in such country.
``(2) Option to timely decline.--Upon receiving information
described in paragraph (1), the applicant shall have the option
to change the country of consideration and identify a substitute
(2) in subsection (f)(2)(B)(iii), by striking ``victim
advocates'' and inserting ``Victim's Advocates,''.
SEC. 303. ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS AGAINST SEXUAL MISCONDUCT.
Section 8B(a) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2507b(a)) is
(1) in paragraph (3)--
(A) by striking ``SARLs'' and inserting ``any
employee of the Peace Corps'';
(B) by striking ``Victim Advocate'' and inserting
``Victim's Advocate''; and
(C) by inserting ``and require the Peace Corps to
designate the staff at each post who shall be
responsible for providing the services described in
subsection (c)'' before the semicolon at the end;
(2) in paragraph (5), by striking ``and'' at the end;
(3) in paragraph (6), by striking the period at the end and
inserting a semicolon; and
(4) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
``(7) maintains a record documenting the resignation of any employee
or volunteer of the Peace Corps who resigns before a determination has
been made regarding an alleged violation of the sexual misconduct policy
or other serious policy violations;
``(8) takes into account the record maintained under paragraph (7)
before such employee or volunteer is hired, enrolled, or otherwise
invited to work with the Peace Corps;
``(9) provides orientation or information regarding the awareness
and prevention of sexual assault and sexual harassment to--
``(A) Peace Corps-selected host families; and
``(B) a designated person of authority at the volunteer's
initial workplace; and
[[Page 132 STAT. 3658]]
``(10) ensures, to the extent practicable and appropriate, that any
assault on, or any harm or injury to, a volunteer that is committed by
any member of a host family or any national of a host country that was
assigned by the Peace Corps to facilitate volunteer work is--
``(A) documented in an appropriate site history file and in
the global tracking and recording system established pursuant to
section 8H(c); and
``(B) taken into account with respect to determinations
regarding placements of future volunteers at such post and the
provision of any funds or other benefit by the Peace Corps.''.
SEC. 304. EXTENSION OF THE OFFICE OF VICTIM ADVOCACY.
Section 8C of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2507c) is amended--
(1) by striking ``victim advocate'' each place it appears
and inserting ``Victim's Advocate'';
(2) by striking ``victim advocates'' each place it occurs
and inserting ``Victim's Advocates''; and
(3) by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:
``(e) The Director of the Peace Corps shall include the head of the
Office of Victim Advocacy in agency-wide policymaking processes in the
same manner and to the same extent as the directors or associate
directors of other offices within the Peace Corps.''.
SEC. 305. REFORM AND EXTENSION OF THE SEXUAL ASSAULT ADVISORY
Section 8D of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2507d) is amended--
(1) in subsection (b)--
(A) <<NOTE: President. Deadline.>> by striking
``not less than 8 individuals selected by the President,
not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment
of this section,'' and inserting ``not fewer than 8 and
not more than 14 individuals selected by the
(B) by inserting after the first sentence the
following new sentence: ``At least one member should be
licensed in the field of mental health and have prior
experience working as a counselor or therapist providing
mental health care to survivors of sexual assault in a
victim services agency or organization.''; and
(2) in subsection (c)--
(A) by inserting ``and implemented'' after ``sexual
assault policy developed''; and
(B) <<NOTE: Reviews.>> by adding at the end the
following new sentence: ``To carry out this subsection,
the Council may conduct case reviews and is authorized
to have access, including through interviews, to current
and former volunteers (to the extent that such
volunteers provide the Peace Corps express consent to be
interviewed by the Council), to volunteer surveys under
section 8E, to all data collected from restricted
reporting, and to any other information necessary to
conduct case reviews, except that the Council may not
have access to any personally identifying information
associated with such surveys, data, or information.'';
(3) in subsection (g), by striking ``2018'' and inserting
[[Page 132 STAT. 3659]]
SEC. 306. DEFINITIONS.
Section 26 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2522) is amended--
(1) by redesignating subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), (e),
(f), and (g) as paragraphs (1), (6), (2), (3), (8), (7), and
(5), respectively, by arranging such redesignated paragraphs in
numerical order, and by moving such paragraphs 2 ems to the
(2) in paragraph (1), as redesignated, by striking ``(1)''
and inserting the following:
``In this Act:
(3) by inserting after paragraph (3), as redesignated, the
``(4) The term `medical officer' means a physician, nurse
practitioner, physician's assistant, or registered nurse with
the professional qualifications, expertise, and abilities
consistent with the needs of the Peace Corps and the post to
which he or she is assigned, as determined by the Director of
the Peace Corps.''.
Approved October 9, 2018.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2259:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 164 (2018):
July 10, considered and passed House.
Sept. 24, considered and passed Senate.
DAILY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (2018):
Oct. 9, Presidential statement.