Text: S.543 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/07/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 543 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 543

  To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of 
 Veterans Affairs to include in each contract into which the Secretary 
enters for necessary services authorities and mechanism for appropriate 
                   oversight, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 7, 2017

Mr. Tester (for himself, Mrs. McCaskill, and Mr. Bennet) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                           Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of 
 Veterans Affairs to include in each contract into which the Secretary 
enters for necessary services authorities and mechanism for appropriate 
                   oversight, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Performance Accountability and 
Contractor Transparency Act of 2017''.

SEC. 2. IMPROVING OVERSIGHT OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CONTRACTS 
              FOR SERVICES.

    (a) In General.--Section 513 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) in the first sentence, by striking ``The Secretary may, 
        for'' and inserting the following:
    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary may, for''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(b) Requirements.--(1) The Secretary shall ensure that each 
contract for a service into which the Secretary enters under subsection 
(a) includes the following:
            ``(A) Measurable metrics to ascertain the performance of 
        the provider of the service, relating to cost, schedule, and 
        fulfillment of contract requirements.
            ``(B) A plan of action and milestones for the provision of 
        the service, with estimates of the dates on which significant 
        portions of the contract will be completed and a description of 
        the resources the service provider will assign to provide the 
        service.
            ``(C) Safeguards to ensure that the service provided meets 
        a minimum threshold of quality determined by the Secretary, 
        including authority for the Secretary to levy a financial 
        penalty upon the service provider if the service provided fails 
        to meet such threshold.
            ``(D) Measurable metrics relating to the use of award or 
        incentive fees.
    ``(2) In each case of a contract for a service into which the 
Secretary enters into under subsection (a) that would result in the 
Department incurring an obligation of more than $100,000,000, the 
Secretary shall--
            ``(A) ensure the contract includes--
                    ``(i) a requirement that the service provider 
                documents through information technology systems of the 
                Department the work of the service provider so that the 
                Secretary can review and validate quality of the 
                service provided using the metrics set forth in the 
                contract under paragraph (1)(A); and
                    ``(ii) a requirement that, not later than 45 days 
                after the last day of each quarter for the duration of 
                the contract, the service provider shall submit to the 
                Secretary, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
                Senate, and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
                House of Representatives a report on the service 
                provided under the contract and an assessment as to how 
                such service compares with respect to the metrics set 
                forth in the contract under paragraph (1)(A); and
            ``(B) use the appropriate project management accountability 
        system of the Department to ensure that the contract provides 
        an adequate return on the investment of the Secretary;
            ``(C) whenever the Secretary provides notice to the service 
        provider that the service provider is failing to meet 
        contractual obligations, submit to the Committee on Veterans' 
        Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of 
        the House of Representatives a report on such failure, along 
        with--
                    ``(i) an explanation of the reasons for providing 
                such notice;
                    ``(ii) a description of the effect of such failure, 
                including with respect to cost, schedule, and 
                requirements;
                    ``(iii) a description of the actions taken by the 
                Secretary to mitigate such failure; and
                    ``(iv) a description of the actions taken by the 
                contractor to address such failure;
            ``(D) not later than 45 days after the last day of each 
        quarter for the duration of the contract, submit to the 
        Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee 
        on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report 
        that details the modifications made to the contract, if any, 
        and a justification for such modifications; and
            ``(E) publish on the Internet website of the Department 
        information about the contract and the modifications made to 
        the contract, if any.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--Subsection (b) of section 513 of such title, 
as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on the date of the 
enactment of this Act and shall apply with respect to contracts entered 
into by the Secretary after such date.
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