Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

111th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                          Report
                                                                 111-15
_______________________________________________________________________
                                                       Calendar No. 53 
 
                    TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL

                      AUTHORITIES FOR THE SPECIAL

                         INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR

                       AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 615


 TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL AUTHORITIES FOR THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR 
                 GENERAL FOR AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION




                 April 29, 2009.--Ordered to be printed
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

               JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut, Chairman
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware           JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana          JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JON TESTER, Montana
ROLAND W. BURRIS, Illinois
MICHAEL BENNET, Colorado

                  Michael L. Alexander, Staff Director
                     Kevin J. Landy, Chief Counsel
                   Lawrence B. Novey, Senior Counsel
                       Holly A. Idelson, Counsel
     Brandon L. Milhorn, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel
        Amanda Wood, Minority Director for Governmental Affairs
                    Lisa M. Nieman, Minority Counsel
                  Trina Driessnack Tyrer, Chief Clerk
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section by Section Summary of the Bill...........................3
  V. Regulatory Impact and Evaluation.................................3
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................3
VII. Changes in Existing Law..........................................4
                                                        Calendar No. 53
111th Congress
                                 SENATE
                                                                 Report
 1st Session                                                     111-15

======================================================================

 PROVIDING ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL AUTHORITIES FOR THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR 
                 GENERAL FOR AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION

                                _______
                                

                 April 29, 2009.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Lieberman, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 615]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 615) to provide 
additional personnel authorities for the Special Inspector 
General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    This legislation would amend the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to provide to the 
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction 
(SIGAR) personnel authorities similar to those given to the 
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).\1\ 
The legislation would expedite the standard hiring process for 
civil service positions by permitting the SIGAR to use 
employment authorities granted to heads of temporary 
organizations. Such authorities allow organizations to hire 
staff for limited terms, notwithstanding the requirements 
normally applicable to civil service positions. This 
legislation is intended to help the SIGAR quickly hire 
experienced, well-qualified employees to conduct necessary 
oversight of reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Employees 
hired under this new authority could serve until the 
termination of the SIGAR office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\P.L. 110-181.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                II. Background and Need for Legislation

    The United States has committed almost $32 billion in 
humanitarian and other aid to Afghanistan since 2001.\2\ 
Congress created the SIGAR in the FY 2008 National Defense 
Authorization Act, which passed in January 2008. The SIGAR 
provides independent and objective oversight of U.S. 
reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and oversees the 
accounting of money expended for the effective reconstruction 
of Afghanistan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan 
Reconstruction Quarterly Report to Congress, January 30, 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Fields was sworn into office as the SIGAR on July 
22, 2008. The SIGAR has issued two quarterly reports, both of 
which are descriptive in nature, as they discuss the background 
of U.S. funding for Afghanistan reconstruction and review 
activities, findings, and recommendations of other Inspectors 
General and the Government Accountability Office.\3\ The SIGAR 
office has yet to conduct any independent audits or 
investigations. The quarterly reports provide an overview of 
the SIGAR's plans for conducting oversight, but do not yet 
identify specific contracts to audit or programs to oversee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan 
Reconstruction Quarterly Reports to Congress, January 30, 2009 and 
October 30, 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As of April 1, 2009, the SIGAR office had only filled seven 
of the 18 designated auditor positions, five of the 13 
designated inspector positions, and one of the 18 investigator 
positions. SIGAR officials have informed the Committee that 
they have had difficulty hiring qualified individuals for this 
unique and challenging assignment, and that the staffing 
shortfall has contributed to the lack of independent audits or 
investigations by the office thus far. This legislation would 
give the SIGAR additional hiring authorities to facilitate his 
ability to quickly hire experienced, well-qualified employees 
to fill these positions.

                        III. Legislative History

    Congress created the SIGAR in the National Defense 
Authorization Act for FY 2008, which was enacted in January 
2008, to conduct oversight of reconstruction efforts in 
Afghanistan.\4\ SIGAR is charged with overseeing the accounting 
for monies expended for the effective reconstruction of 
Afghanistan. Although established in January 2008, SIGAR had 
only $2 million available on June 30, 2008, and an additional 
$9 million available on September 30, 2008. SIGAR did not have 
access to the full $16 million it was appropriated until 
October 1, 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\P.L. 110-181.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Congress based SIGAR's enabling statute on language from 
the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and 
for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan,\5\ which 
established the SIGIR in 2004. Although SIGIR initially hired 
employees under a form of temporary hiring authority, the 
authority was not legislatively granted to SIGIR until Congress 
passed the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill in January 
2008.\6\ These flexible authorities are necessary and 
appropriate given the uniquely challenging nature of SIGIR's 
work, and the temporary nature of the organization--factors 
that apply equally to the SIGAR. Thus far, the SIGAR has been 
hiring its employees through the SIGIR and then having these 
personnel detailed to the SIGAR. However, the Department of 
Defense (DoD) (which conducts hiring for both the SIGIR and the 
SIGAR), the Office of Personnel Management and the SIGAR have 
jointly determined that DoD needs independent statutory 
authority to hire SIGAR employees under these flexible 
authorities going forward. This bill would grant such 
authority.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\P.L. 108-106, Section 3001.
    \6\P.L. 110-181, Section 1221.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 1, 2009, the Committee ordered S. 615 to be 
reported favorably without amendment en bloc by voice vote. 
Senators present were: Lieberman, Akaka, Carper, Pryor, Tester, 
Burris, Bennet, Collins, Coburn, and Voinovich.

               IV. Section-by-Section Summary of the Bill


Section 1. Additional personnel authorities for the Special Inspector 
        General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

    Section 1(A) allows the Special Inspector General (SIGAR) 
to select, appoint, and employ officers and employees as may be 
necessary for carrying out the SIGAR's duties, subject to the 
provisions of title 5 of the United States Code governing 
appointments in the competitive service and chapter 51 and 
subchapter 53 of title 5 governing classification and General 
Schedule pay rates.
    Section 1(B) allows the Special Inspector General to 
exercise the additional, more flexible hiring authorities that 
are accorded to ``temporary organizations'' under subsections 
(b) through (i) of 5 USC 3161. Those authorities include the 
ability to hire an individual without going through the normal 
competitive process and at more flexible pay rates. These 
authorities would generally guarantee existing civil servants 
who go to work for the SIGAR with the consent of the former 
employing agency a right to return to their original job or an 
equivalent position. In exercising the employment authorities, 
the employees' periods of appointment could not extend beyond 
by the termination of the SIGAR office.

                  V. Regulatory Impact and Evaluation

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill. The 
Congressional Budget Office states that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandate Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of 
state, local, or tribal governments. The enactment of this 
legislation will not have significant regulatory impact.

             IV. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     U.S. Congress,
                                     Washington, DC, April 7, 2009.
Hon. Joseph I. Lieberman,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 615, a bill to 
provide additional personnel authorities for the Special 
Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is John Chin.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                              (For Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 615--A bill to provide additional personnel authorities for the 
        Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

    S. 615 would amend the National Defense Authorization Act 
for Fiscal Year 2008 to provide additional personnel 
authorities to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan 
Reconstruction (SIGAR) similar to those provided to the Special 
Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). The 
legislation would expedite the standard hiring process for 
civil service positions by permitting the SIGAR to use certain 
employment authorities currently granted to heads of other 
temporary organizations. Employees hired under this new 
authority could serve until the termination of the SIGAR 
office.
    According to the SIGAR, the agency has been able to bypass 
the standard hiring process by hiring all of its employees 
through the SIGIR--which already has the additional authorities 
provided in this bill--and then having these personnel detailed 
to the SIGAR. Thus, CBO expects that allowing the SIGAR to 
begin hiring such personnel directly would not significantly 
affect the amount or timing of the agency's expenditures. CBO 
therefore estimates that implementing the bill would have no 
significant effect on spending subject to appropriation. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 615 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is John Chin. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      VII. Changes in Existing Law

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

        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008


(Public Law 110-181; 122 Stat. 381)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 1229. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (h) Personnel, Facilities, and Other Resources.--
          [(1) Personnel.--The Inspector General may select, 
        appoint, and employ such officers and employees as may 
        be necessary for carrying out the duties of the 
        Inspector General, subject to the provisions of title 
        5, United States Code, governing appointments in the 
        competitive service, and the provisions of chapter 51 
        and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title, 
        relating to classification and General Schedule pay 
        rates.]
          (1) Personnel.--
                  (A) In general.--The Inspector General may 
                select, appoint, and employ such officers and 
                employees as may be necessary for carrying out 
                the duties of the Inspector General, subject to 
                the provisions of title 5, United States Code, 
                governing appointments in the competitive 
                service, and the provisions of chapter 51 and 
                subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title, 
                relating to classification and General Schedule 
                pay rates.
                  (B) Additional authorities.--
                          (i) In general.--Subject to clause 
                        (ii), the Inspector General may 
                        exercise the authorities of subsections 
                        (b) through (i) of section 3161 of 
                        title 5, United States Code (without 
                        regard to subsection (a) of that 
                        section).
                          (ii) Periods of appointments.--In 
                        exercising the employment authorities 
                        under subsection (b) of section 3161 of 
                        title 5, United States Code, as 
                        provided under clause (i) of this 
                        subparagraph--
                                  (I) paragraph (2) of that 
                                subsection (relating to periods 
                                of appointments) shall not 
                                apply; and
                                  (II) no period of appointment 
                                may exceed the date on which 
                                the Office of the Special 
                                Inspector General for 
                                Afghanistan Reconstruction 
                                terminates under subsection 
                                (o).