Text: S.394 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 116-121 (03/03/2020)

[116th Congress Public Law 121]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 137]]

                               ACT OF 2019

[[Page 134 STAT. 138]]

Public Law 116-121
116th Congress

                                 An Act

To amend the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 to improve the orderly 
          transfer of the executive power during Presidential 
            transitions. <<NOTE: Mar. 3, 2020 -  [S. 394]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Presidential 
Transition Enhancement Act of 2019. 3 USC 1 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Presidential Transition Enhancement 
Act of 2019''.

    (a) In General.--Section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act of 
1963 (3 U.S.C. 102 note) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  in the matter preceding 
                paragraph (1), by striking ``upon request,'' and all 
                that follows through ``including'' and inserting ``upon 
                request, to each President-elect, each Vice-President-
                elect, and, for up to 60 days after the date of the 
                inauguration of the President-elect and Vice-President-
                elect, each President and Vice President, for use in 
                connection with the preparations for the assumption of 
                official duties as President or Vice President necessary 
                services and facilities, including''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) by inserting ``, or an employee of a 
                      committee of either House of Congress, a joint 
                      committee of the Congress, or an individual Member 
                      of Congress,'' after ``any branch of the 
                      Government''; and
                          (ii) by inserting ``, or in the case of an 
                      employee in a position in the legislative branch, 
                      with the consent of the supervising Member of 
                      Congress'' after ``with the consent of the head of 
                      the agency'';
            (2) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

    ``(b) The Administrator shall expend funds for the provision of 
services and facilities under this section--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  in connection with any 
        obligation incurred by the President-elect or Vice-President-
        elect, or after the inauguration of the President-elect as 
        President and the inauguration of the Vice-President-elect as 
        Vice President incurred by the President or Vice President, 
        during the period--
                    ``(A) beginning on the day after the date of the 
                general elections held to determine the electors of the 
                President and Vice President under section 1 or 2 of 
                title 3, United States Code; and

[[Page 134 STAT. 139]]

                    ``(B) ending on the date that is 60 days after the 
                date of such inauguration; and
            ``(2) without regard to whether the President-elect, Vice-
        President-elect, President, or Vice President submits to the 
        Administrator a request for payment regarding services or 
        facilities before the end of such period.'';
            (3) in subsection (h)(2)(B)(ii), by striking ``computers'' 
        and inserting ``information technology''; and
            (4) By adding at the end the following:

    ``(i) Memorandums of Understanding.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In general.--Not later than 
        September 1 of a year during which a Presidential election 
        occurs, the Administrator shall, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, enter into a memorandum of understanding with each 
        eligible candidate, which shall include, at a minimum, the 
        conditions for the administrative support services and 
        facilities described in subsection (a).
            ``(2) Existing resources.--To the maximum extent 
        practicable, a memorandum of understanding entered into under 
        paragraph (1) shall be based on memorandums of understanding 
        relating to previous Presidential transitions.
            ``(3) Transition representative.--
                    ``(A) Designation of representative for inquiries.--
                Each memorandum of understanding entered into under this 
                subsection shall designate a representative of the 
                eligible candidate to whom the Administrator shall 
                direct any inquiries or legal instruments regarding the 
                records of the eligible candidate that are in the 
                custody of the Administrator.
                    ``(B) Change in transition representative.--The 
                designation of a new individual as the transition 
                representative of an eligible candidate shall not 
                require the execution of a new memorandum of 
                understanding under this subsection.
                    ``(C) Termination of designation.--The designation 
                of a transition representative under a memorandum of 
                understanding shall terminate--
                          ``(i) not later than September 30 of the year 
                      during which the inauguration of the President-
                      elect as President and the inauguration of the 
                      Vice-President-elect as Vice President occurs; or
                          ``(ii) before the date described in clause 
                      (i), upon request of the President-elect or the 
                      Vice-President-elect or, after such inauguration, 
                      upon request of the President or the Vice 
            ``(4) Amendments.--Any amendment to a memorandum of 
        understanding entered into under this subsection shall be agreed 
        to in writing.
            ``(5) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Prior notification of 
        deviation.--Each party to a memorandum of understanding entered 
        into under this subsection shall provide written notice, except 
        to the extent prohibited under another provision of law, not 
        later than 3 days before taking any action that deviates from 
        the terms and conditions agreed to in the memorandum of 
            ``(6) Definition.--In this subsection, the term `eligible 
        candidate' has the meaning given that term in subsection 

    (b) Agency Transitions.--Section 4 of the Presidential Transition 
Act of 1963 (3 U.S.C. 102 note) is amended--

[[Page 134 STAT. 140]]

            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) in paragraph (3), by striking ``and'' at the 
                    (B) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); 
                    (C) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:
            ``(4) the term `nonpublic information'--
                    ``(A) means information from the Federal Government 
                that a member of a transition team obtains as part of 
                the employment of the member that such member knows or 
                reasonably should know has not been made available to 
                the general public; and
                    ``(B) includes information that a member of the 
                transition team knows or reasonably should know--
                          ``(i) is exempt from disclosure under section 
                      552 of title 5, United States Code, or otherwise 
                      protected from disclosure by law; and
                          ``(ii) is not authorized by the appropriate 
                      government agency or officials to be released to 
                      the public; and'';
            (2) in subparagraphs (C) and (D) of subsection (e)(3), by 
        inserting ``serving in a career position'' after ``senior 
            (3) by striking subsection (f)(2) and inserting the 
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Deadline. Succession plan.>>  Acting 
        officers.--Not later than September 15 of a year during which a 
        Presidential election occurs, and in accordance with subchapter 
        III of chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, the head of 
        each agency shall ensure that a succession plan is in place for 
        each senior noncareer position in the agency.''; and
            (4) in subsection (g)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``November 1'' and 
                inserting ``October 1''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(3) Ethics plan.--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  In general.--Each 
                memorandum of understanding under paragraph (1) shall 
                include an agreement that the eligible candidate will 
                implement and enforce an ethics plan to guide the 
                conduct of the transition beginning on the date on which 
                the eligible candidate becomes the President-elect.
                    ``(B) Contents.--The ethics plan shall include, at a 
                          ``(i) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  a description 
                      of the ethics requirements that will apply to all 
                      members of the transition team, including any 
                      specific requirement for transition team members 
                      who will have access to nonpublic or classified 
                          ``(ii) a description of how the transition 
                      team will--
                                    ``(I) address the role on the 
                                transition team of--
                                            ``(aa) lobbyists registered 
                                        under the Lobbying Disclosure 
                                        Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et 
                                        seq.) and individuals who were 
                                        former lobbyists registered 
                                        under that Act; and
                                            ``(bb) persons registered 
                                        under the Foreign Agents 
                                        Registration Act of 1938 (22 

[[Page 134 STAT. 141]]

                                        611 et seq.), foreign nationals, 
                                        and other foreign agents;
                                    ``(II) prohibit a transition team 
                                member with conflicts of interest 
                                similar to those applicable to Federal 
                                employees under section 2635.402(a) and 
                                section 2635.502(a) of title 5, Code of 
                                Federal Regulations, related to current 
                                or former employment, affiliations, 
                                clients, or investments, from working on 
                                particular matters involving specific 
                                parties that affect the interests of 
                                such member; and
                                    ``(III) address how the covered 
                                eligible candidate will address his or 
                                her own conflicts of interest during a 
                                Presidential term if the covered 
                                eligible candidate becomes the 
                          ``(iii) a Code of Ethical Conduct, which each 
                      member of the transition team will sign and be 
                      subject to, that reflects the content of the 
                      ethics plans under this paragraph and at a minimum 
                      requires transition team members to--
                                    ``(I) seek authorization from 
                                transition team leaders or their 
                                designees before seeking, on behalf of 
                                the transition, access to any nonpublic 
                                    ``(II) keep confidential any 
                                nonpublic information provided in the 
                                course of the duties of the member with 
                                the transition and exclusively use such 
                                information for the purposes of the 
                                transition; and
                                    ``(III) not use any nonpublic 
                                information provided in the course of 
                                transition duties, in any manner, for 
                                personal or private gain for the member 
                                or any other party at any time during or 
                                after the transition; and
                          ``(iv) a description of how the transition 
                      team will enforce the Code of Ethical Conduct, 
                      including the names of the members of the 
                      transition team responsible for enforcement, 
                      oversight, and compliance.
                    ``(C) <<NOTE: Web posting.>>  Publicly available.--
                The transition team shall make the ethics plan described 
                in this paragraph publicly available on the internet 
                website of the General Services-

[[Page 134 STAT. 142]]

                Administration the earlier of--
                          ``(i) the day on which the memorandum of 
                      understanding is completed; or
                          ``(ii) October 1.''.

    Approved March 3, 2020.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 116-13 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                                                        Vol. 165 (2019):
                                    Aug. 1, considered and passed 
                                                        Vol. 166 (2020):
                                    Feb. 5, considered and passed House.


Share This