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   104th Congress 1st            SENATE                 Report
         Session
                                                       104-147
_______________________________________________________________________



                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 193
 
              CONGRESSIONAL AWARD AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1995

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                             together with



                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                              to accompany

                                S. 1267




   September 22 (legislative day, September 5), 1995.--Ordered to be 
                                printed
                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

   TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
JOHN GLENN, Ohio                     WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware
SAM NUNN, Georgia                    WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee
DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas                THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi
JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut     CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        BOB SMITH, New Hampshire
    Albert L. McDermott, Staff 
             Director
  Susanne Marshall, Professional 
               Staff
   Mark Eichler, Staff Assistant
  Leonard Weiss, Minority Staff 
             Director
  Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk


                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. History and Need for Legislation.................................1
III. Legislative History and Committee Consideration..................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Regulatory Impact................................................3
 VI. Cost Impact......................................................3
VII. Additional Views of Senator Glenn................................4
VIII.Changes in Existing Law..........................................6

                                                       Calendar No. 193
104th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                    104-147
_______________________________________________________________________



               CONGRESSIONAL AWARD AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1995

                                _______


   September 22 (legislative day, September 5), 1995.--Ordered to be 
                                printed

_______________________________________________________________________


Mr. Stevens (for Mr. Roth), from the Committee on Governmental Affairs, 
                          filed the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 1267]

    The Committee on Governmental Affairs, which has 
jurisdiction over the Congressional Award Act has hereby 
considered an original bill to extend the Congressional Awards 
Board and reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    This bill provides for the reauthorization of the 
Congressional Award program through October 1, 1998 to ensure 
direct oversight on a regular basis. It also mandates continued 
General Accounting Office reports of the program's finances to 
be made to Congress annually.

                  II. History and Need for Legislation

    The Congress established the Congressional Award Program in 
1979 to promote initiative, achievement and excellence among 
young people age 14-23 who dedicate time to public service, 
personal development and physical activities. The program is 
managed by a Congressional Award Board, which established a 
nonprofit corporation to carry out daily operations.
    Since its inception, more than 5,500 young people from 43 
states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have earned 
bronze, silver or gold Congressional Awards. The volunteer 
public service hours accumulated in the process total more than 
1,000,000.
    With the exception of an unauthorized appropriation in 
December, 1987, the program has been and currently is financed 
entirely from private sources. The program was quite successful 
in fund-raising from its inception to approximately 1986, 
subsequent to the first director's departure. The General 
Accounting Office conducted an evaluation of the program and an 
audit to comply with Public Law 99-161 in November 1988 and 
made several findings. GAO reported that while the program was 
operating well at the local council level, there were serious 
financial and administrative problems at the national level. 
The board was heavily in debt, its financial accounting system 
in disarray, and several questionable expenditures had been 
made. Further, there was a high number of vacancies on the 
Board, and a consequent inability to meet quorum requirements 
for meetings.
    As a result of these problems, the Committee mandated a 
number of strict and substantial financial, administrative, and 
operational reforms and linked future reauthorizations to the 
Board's performance in meeting these objectives. Among these 
were: a reliable and accurate financial accounting system; 
elimination of past debts; imposition of term limits for Board 
members and attendance requirements; and, regular audits by the 
General Accounting Office.
    At the House Subcommittee on Select Education hearing of 
July 12, 1990, GAO indicated that many of the problems 
identified in their November, 1988 report had either been 
resolved or were in the process of resolution. The program was 
reauthorized for 3 years in 1992. By fiscal year 1995 GAO 
reported the Congressional Award was no longer burdened by 
debt, and had achieved a fund balance of over $300,000. Much of 
the credit for this return to solvency can be attributed to 
increased interest in the program by the Congress, a revamped 
Board of Directors, and a downsized administrative structure 
staffed by people dedicated to the program's effectiveness and 
survival.

                          challenges lie ahead

    The primary challenge for the Congressional Award program 
is increased participation. Accomplishing this goal will 
require elevated involvement in the program by individual 
Members of Congress and an emphasis on raising funds.
    Despite the benefits of interaction with young constituents 
and their families, less than three-fifths of the States and 
less than one-tenth of Congressional Districts contain active 
Congressional Award Councils. This severely limits the number 
of young people aware of the programs existence and therefor, 
its level of participation. Individual Senators and House 
members should be made aware of what this program could mean to 
their constituents at no cost to the federal taxpayer. The 
establishment of Congressional Award Councils must be pursued 
in those States and Congressional districts where one does not 
currently exist.
    As with any nonprofit corporation, the ability of the 
Congressional Award to be effective is directly dependent on 
the amount of money it raises. Despite the program's 
affiliation with the Congress, in no year have donations to the 
program totaled over $1,000,000. The program's Administrative 
team has professionally overcome the burdens of their 
predecessors in erasing the debts which encumbered them and 
balancing the Fund's books. Now is the time to begin the 
Congressional Award's growth. Clearly, for this program to 
achieve the awareness, prestige and participation intended at 
its inception, it must raise the funds required.

          III. Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    On August 10, 1995, the full Committee on Governmental 
Affairs ordered favorably reported the bill, by a voice vote, 
without amendment.

                    IV. Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1: Title.
    Section 2: Extends the years for which the General 
Accounting Office is to submit annual reports on the 
Congressional Award's finances to Congress to 1997.
    Section 3: Extends the authorization of the Congressional 
Award program to October 1, 1998.

                          V. Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to paragraph 11(b), rule XXVI of the standing 
rules of the Senate, the Committee, after due consideration, 
concludes that S. 1267 will have virtually no regulatory 
impact.

                          VI. CBO Cost Impact

    This report includes no CBO cost estimate as no 
appreciation is requested.
                 VII. ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR GLENN

    I would like to add my support for the reauthorization of 
the Congressional Awards Program. It is one on which I have 
spent a great deal of time and effort.
    My first experience with this program, however, was much 
different. A few years back--just as I was assuming Chair of 
this Committee--this program was in shambles. The significant 
sums of money raised from private sources were not being spent 
to expand the program and reach out to attract more young 
adults. Rather, they were being frittered away on staff 
salaries, lavish offices, personal items, and unofficial 
travel. Its accounts were in complete disarray, though it was 
difficult to redress; the Board went almost four years without 
a quorum to conduct business. Worst of all, an emergency 
appropriation had to be made to cover the shortfall--even 
though the original charter specifically spelled out there 
would be no federal funding.
    At that time, in 1987-88, I came very close to removing 
this program from its emergency life support by withholding 
reauthorization. But I had to consider, and ultimately was 
convinced, that those who would suffer most would be the youth 
who had volunteered their time for community service and 
personal development--all under the Congressional imprimatur.
    In the end, I agreed to keep this program alive by 
requiring extremely tough operational, administrative, and 
management criteria, particularly in the financial realm. I 
also drew a line in the sand: No more congressional bailouts. 
But I did have faith and confidence that with the right people 
on board, through hard work and commitment, this program could 
survive and flourish, supported by private sources without 
reliance on federal funds. It would fulfill its original 
mission to encourage our young people to set their own goals, 
volunteer their time, help their community, but more 
importantly, discover something about themselves. Besides the 
pride and satisfaction which comes from the giving of yourself 
for others, their only award is a medal with the Congressional 
seal. I am glad, parenthetically, that at least the awardees do 
not now have to pay for their own medals out of pocket.
    So this program has been reenergized and transformed. It is 
a very moving experience to attend the Gold Award ceremonies in 
the Capitol and hear how our young people, rather than being 
detached and disinterested--as some have suggested about 
today's youth--have devoted their time to help out in homeless 
shelters, nursing homes, libraries, or cleaning up rivers and 
parks. All in the name of Congress, but with no rewards or 
reimbursement, save for the medal itself.
    Now that this program has achieved a foundation of 
financial stability, I do wish to stress its next objective 
must be to engage in aggressive outreach and educational 
efforts. If this program is ever to expand and become truly 
national in scope--and to justify our continued support and 
interest--more students must be enrolled. At some point in the 
near future, we have to be prepared to answer the question of 
whether all the time and energy spent to raise funds and manage 
the program is worth it, for only a few hundred medal awardees 
each year. Though this not yet the proper time to ask that 
question, we do really need to expand and improve those 
numbers.
    In the meantime, I did want to express my appreciation to 
the efforts of the program staff and Board members for helping 
to turn this program around, and I wish them continued success.

                                                        John Glenn.
                     VIII. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, existing law to which no change is proposed is shown in 
Roman):

                        CONGRESSIONAL AWARD ACT

          * * * * * * *

                     procedures for fiscal control

    Sec. 5(2)(A) The Comptroller General of the United States 
shall determine, for calendar years 1993 [and 1994], 1994, 
1995, 1996, and 1997 whether the Director has substantially 
complied with paragraph (1). The findings made by the 
Comptroller General under the preceding sentence shall be 
included in the first report submitted under section 807(b) of 
this title after December 31, 1994.
          * * * * * * *

                              termination

    Sec. 9. The board shall terminate [October 1, 1995] October 
1, 1998.