Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                    Calendar No. 44

116th Congress}                                            { Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session  }                                            { 116-13

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

            PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              TO ACCOMPANY

                                 S. 394

          TO AMEND THE PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION ACT OF 1963 TO
IMPROVE THE ORDERLY TRANSFER OF THE EXECUTIVE POWER DURING PRESIDENTIAL 
                              TRANSITIONS

[GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 March 25, 2019.--Ordered to be printed
                 
                 
                                __________
                               

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE                    
                             WASHINGTON : 2019                     
                     
                 
                 
                 
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
RICK SCOTT, Florida                  KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
JOSH HAWLEY, Missouri

                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Staff Director
                   Joseph C. Folio III, Chief Counsel
    Courtney J. Allen, Deputy Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
               David M. Weinberg, Minority Staff Director
               Zachary I. Schram, Minority Chief Counsel
      Ashley E. Poling, Minority Director of Governmental Affairs
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                     
                                                    Calendar No. 44

116th Congress}                                            { Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session  }                                            { 116-13

======================================================================
 
            PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

                 March 25, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 394]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 394), to amend the 
Presidential Transition Act of 1963 to improve the orderly 
transfer of the executive power during Presidential 
transitions, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill, as 
amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................4
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................5
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................5
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................6
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............7

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of S. 394, the Presidential Transition 
Enhancement Act of 2019, is to strengthen the presidential 
transition process by clarifying responsibilities of the 
General Services Administration (GSA) and other agencies during 
a transition and by requiring a contractual relationship 
between GSA and a transition team to guide the transition 
process.\1\ The bill also codifies ethics requirements during 
the presidential transition process by requiring presidential 
candidates to develop and publicly release ethics plans for 
their transition teams prior to the election, requires a set of 
minimum requirements for these ethics plans, and requires 
transition team members to sign an ethical code of conduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\On September 26, 2018, the Committee approved S. 3487, the 
Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2018. That bill is 
substantially similar to S. 394. Accordingly, this committee report is 
in large part a reproduction of Chairman Johnson's committee report for 
S. 3487, S. Rep. No. 115-386.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

              II. Background and Need for the Legislation

    To ``promote the orderly transfer of the executive power,'' 
Congress passed the Presidential Transition Act of 1963.\2\ 
This law and its successor statutes require the GSA to provide 
the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect with office 
space, equipment, staff, and communications services to prepare 
for the assumption of their official duties as President and 
Vice President.\3\ The Edward ``Ted'' Kaufman and Michael 
Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015 
established the White House Transition Coordinating Council and 
the agency transition directors council to ensure efficient 
coordination between Federal agencies and transition teams when 
conducting transition activities.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Presidential Transition Act of 1963, Sec. 2, Pub. L. No. 88-277, 
78 Stat. 153 (1964).
    \3\Id. at Sec.  3; see also Pre-Election Presidential Transition 
Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-283, 124 Stat. 3045 (2010).
    \4\Edward ``Ted'' Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential 
Transitions Improvements Act of 2015, Pub. L. No. 114-136, 130 Stat. 
301 (2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trump for America, Inc. (TFA) was the organization 
designated to carry out pre-election and post-election 
transition activities for then-candidate Donald J. Trump.\5\ In 
December 2017, the Committee received an allegation from TFA 
that GSA had unlawfully disclosed its privileged 
communications.\6\ Since the allegation raised concerns about 
whether future presidential transition teams would trust GSA to 
safeguard their confidential material, and as the committee 
tasked by the Standing Rules of the Senate to oversee 
presidential transitions, the Committee opened an examination 
of the GSA's actions.\7\ The Committee received 6,400 of pages 
of documents produced by GSA and conducted an interview with a 
GSA attorney.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Letter from Christopher J. Christie, Transition Chairman, Trump 
for America, Inc., to Timothy Horne, Federal Transition Coordinator, 
Gen. Serv. Admin. (Aug. 1, 2016).
    \6\Letter from Kory Langhofer, Counsel, Trump for America, Inc., to 
Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental 
Affairs (Dec. 16, 2017). Acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein 
appointed Robert S. Mueller III to serve as a Special Counsel of the 
U.S. Department of Justice on May 17, 2017, and ordered the Special 
Counsel to investigate ``the Russian government's efforts to interfere 
in the 2016 presidential election.'' See U.S. Dep't of Justice, Order 
No. 3915-2017, Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian 
Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters, 
available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/967231/
download.
    \7\Letter from Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman, S. Comm. on Homeland 
Sec. & Governmental Affairs, to Emily Murphy, Administrator, Gen. Serv. 
Admin. (Dec. 19, 2017). See also S. Rule XXV(k)(10) referring to the 
Committee matters relating to ``organization and reorganization of the 
executive branch of the Government.''
    \8\Letter from Emily Murphy, Administrator, Gen. Serv. Admin., to 
Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental 
Affairs (Jan. 19, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The information provided to the Committee demonstrated that 
both GSA and transition teams need additional guidance and 
protections in the event of third-party interest in the 
activities and records of a transition team. Specifically, 
there is no statutory requirement for GSA and transition teams 
to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to lay out 
the terms and responsibilities for each party regarding 
transition services. There also is no statutory language to 
ensure GSA is fully transparent with a transition team 
regarding its maintenance and distribution of transition team 
records. This bill will address those deficiencies by requiring 
GSA and transition teams to enter into a MOU that agrees upon 
the terms and conditions by which GSA will provide, and the 
transition team will receive, transition-related services. In 
addition, the MOU must designate a transition representative in 
the transition team to whom GSA must direct all third-party 
inquiries for transition team records. The bill also requires 
GSA and transition teams to provide advance notice if any 
deviation from the terms of MOU is anticipated.
    In addition to the issue regarding transition team records, 
the Partnership for Public Service (Partnership) learned of 
other statutory obstacles transition teams faced during the 
2016 presidential transition through interviews with transition 
officials.\9\ A main concern included differing interpretations 
of the services GSA could provide a transition team after 
inauguration day. According to the Partnership, despite the 
Presidential Transitions Improvements Act authorizing GSA to 
continue providing services and facilities for up to 180 days 
after inauguration day, GSA and the Trump transition team 
negotiated an agreement whereby the transition team paid a 
lease to remain in GSA building space through February 
2017.\10\ Transition officials also told the Partnership that 
60 days, rather than the 180 days authorized under current 
statute, is a sufficient amount of time to allow transition 
officials ``to focus on recruiting and filling key positions 
while also transitioning incoming White House personnel 
officials into their new physical quarters within the Executive 
Office of the President.''\11\ Current statute also caused 
delays for transition teams onboarding detailed Congressional 
staff because statute requires an agency head to approve the 
detail.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\E-mail from Partnership of Public Service to Committee staff 
(Nov. 2, 2018, 16:39 EDT).
    \10\Id. See also Edward ``Ted'' Kaufman and Michael Leavitt 
Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015, supra note 4 at ' 2.
    \11\Id.
    \12\Id. See also Presidential Transition Act of 1963, supra note 2 
at ' 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Partnership also identified areas of improved 
transition activities within agencies during a presidential 
transition. According to the Partnership, transition officials 
viewed the agency transition directors council, established 
under the Presidential Transitions Improvements Act, ``as 
helping to build trust with the incoming administration because 
almost all [council] members were the senior career officials 
responsible for their agencies' transitions.''\13\ However, a 
few agencies sent an official to the council who was not the 
person responsible for their agency's transition 
responsibilities, raising ``a risk of undermining the 
cohesiveness of the transition strategy.''\14\ The Partnership 
also learned of confusion among agencies regarding the 
statutory requirement to designate career officials to serve in 
an acting role for vacant senior political positions to be 
appointed by the incoming administration.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Id.
    \14\Id.
    \15\Id. See also Edward ``Ted'' Kaufman and Michael Leavitt 
Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015, supra note 4 at 
Sec.  2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a review of the Trump-Pence transition, the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) reported that, although transition 
team members who are not Federal employees, Members of 
Congress, or subject to post-Federal employment restrictions 
``are not subject to the laws and rules governing ethics,'' 
both the Trump-Pence and Obama-Biden transition teams ``asked 
their members to sign an ethical code of conduct prepared by 
the [t]ransition [t]eam as a condition of service'' which 
``prohibited [t]ransition [t]eam members from having any 
conflicts of interest that would preclude them from working on 
the matters assigned to them.''\16\ Further, ``[e]stablishing 
an ethical code of conduct was a requirement identified in the 
MOU between the Trump-Pence Transition Team and the White House 
and the Obama-Biden Transition Team and the White House.''\17\ 
GAO did note ``the ethical code of conduct for the Trump-Pence 
Transition Team did not identify any officials or entities to 
provide oversight'' for compliance with the code.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\U.S. Gov't Accountability Off., Presidential Transition: 
Information on Ethics, Funding, and Agency Services, 7-8, GAO-17-615R 
(Sept. 7, 2017).
    \17\Id. at 8.
    \18\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This bill will codify the existing practice of requiring 
transition team members to sign an ethical code of conduct, as 
part of an ethics plan to be developed by a transition team. 
Specifically, presidential candidates will be required to 
develop and publicly release ethics plans for their transition 
teams prior to the election. The ethics plans include a set of 
minimum requirements, including the identification of the 
individuals on a transition team that are responsible for 
ensuring compliance by transition team members with the ethical 
code of conduct. The ethics plans will also include information 
on how eligible presidential candidates will address their own 
conflicts of interest during a Presidential term if the 
Presidential candidate becomes the President-elect.
    This bill also addresses the concerns identified by the 
Partnership by clarifying that GSA can provide a transition 
team with services and facilities for up to 60 days after 
inauguration. This bill will reduce delays in detailing 
congressional staff to transition teams by having the Member of 
Congress for whom the staff works approve the detail rather 
than an agency head. The agency transition directors council 
will be required to be an agency employee whose job 
responsibilities include implementing presidential transition 
activities in order to prevent different individuals from 
leading transition activities of each agency and clarifies the 
requirement for agencies to establish a succession plan for 
each outgoing senior political position.

                        III. Legislative History

    S. 394 was introduced on February 7, 2019, by Senators Ron 
Johnson (R-WI), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). 
The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs on February 7, 2019.
    The Committee considered S. 394 at a business meeting on 
February 13, 2019. The legislation was passed by voice vote en 
bloc with Senators Johnson, Portman, Paul, Lankford, Romney, 
Enzi, Hawley, Peters, Carper, Hassan, Harris, Sinema and Rosen 
present.
    Consistent with Committee rules, the Committee reports the 
bill with a technical and conforming amendment.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section gives the bill the short title of the 
``Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019.''

Section 2. Presidential transition enhancements

    This section improves the operation of presidential 
transitions for GSA and presidential transition teams.
    Subsection (a) allows GSA to provide transition services to 
a transition team for up to 60 days after the inauguration of 
the President-elect and Vice-President-elect. This subsection 
clarifies that congressional employees may be detailed to a 
transition team and replaces the term ``computers'' with 
``information technology.'' Under this subsection, transition 
teams and GSA will be required to enter into a MOU that will 
include the conditions by which transition teams will access 
GSA staff, facilities, and agency documents. The MOU also 
requires the transition team to designate a transition 
representative to whom GSA will direct any inquiries or legal 
instruments for transition team records. This designation ends 
either upon the request of the transition team or 180 days 
after the inauguration of the President-elect and Vice-
President-elect. GSA will be required to notify a transition 
team at least three days in advance of taking any action that 
deviates from the terms and conditions of the MOU.
    Subsection (b) requires that an agency employee serving as 
a senior representative in the agency transition directors 
council must be serving in a career position at the agency. 
Each agency must also develop a succession plan for each senior 
non-career position in the agency by September 15 of a 
Presidential election year.
    This subsection also changes the required date of 
completion for a MOU between transition teams and the President 
of the United States from November 1 of an election year to 
October 1. This MOU must also include an agreement that the 
transition team will develop and enforce an ethics plan for all 
transition team members. Under this ethics plan, all transition 
team members must sign and be subject to a Code of Ethical 
Conduct, and the transition team must designate and identify 
the individuals responsible for enforcing the terms of the 
ethics plan. The ethics plan must also describe how covered 
eligible presidential candidates will address their own 
conflicts of interest during a Presidential term if the 
candidate becomes the President-elect. The ethics plan must be 
made publicly available on GSA's website by the earlier of the 
completion of the MOU or October 1 of an election year.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    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 and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 1, 2019.
Hon. Ron Johnson, 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. 394, the 
Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David Hughes.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.
    
[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    S. 394 would limit the period during which services and 
facilities are provided to Presidential transition teams by the 
General Services Administration (GSA). The bill also would set 
a timeline for GSA to enter into memorandums of understanding 
with Presidential campaigns to prepare for potential 
transitions. Finally, S. 394 would authorize the executive 
branch to pay legislative branch employees to work for the 
President-elect or Vice President-elect during transition 
periods.
    Using information from GSA, CBO expects that most of the 
bill's provisions would not have a significant effect on the 
cost of a Presidential transition. However, one provision would 
reduce the period during which a transition team may use 
government services and facilities following an inauguration 
from 180 days to 60 days. CBO estimates that condensing the 
time frame during which government services and facilities may 
be used would reduce federal costs for staffing and office 
space by less than $500,000 annually in the years of 
Presidential inaugurations.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is David Hughes. 
This estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    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 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 3--THE PRESIDENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 2--OFFICE AND COMPENSATION OF PRESIDENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SECTION 102--COMPENSATION OF THE PRESIDENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



NOTES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION ACT OF 1963

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 3. SERVICES AND FACILITIES AUTHORIZED TO BE PROVIDED TO 
                    PRESIDENTS-ELECT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS-ELECT.

    (a) The Administrator of General Services, referred to 
hereafter in this Act as ``the Administrator,'' is authorized 
to provide, [upon request, to each President-elect and each 
Vice-President-elect, for use in connection with his 
preparations for the assumption of official duties as President 
or Vice President necessary services and facilities, including] 
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 the 
following:
          (1) * * *
          (2) Payment of the compensation of members of office 
        staffs designated by the President-elect or Vice-
        President-elect at rates determined by them not to 
        exceed the rate provided by the Classification Act of 
        1949, as amended [chapter 51 and subchapter III of 
        chapter 53 of title 5], for grade GS-18: Provided, That 
        any employee of any agency of any branch of the 
        Government, or an employee of a committee of either 
        House of Congress, a joint committee of the Congress, 
        or an individual Member of Congress, may be detailed to 
        such staffs on a reimbursable basis with the consent of 
        the head of the agency, or in the case of an employee 
        in a position in the legislative branch, with the 
        consent of the supervising Member of Congress; and 
        while so detailed such employee shall be responsible 
        only to the employment without interruption. 
        Notwithstanding any other law, persons receiving 
        compensation as members of office staffs under this 
        subsection, other than those detailed from agencies, 
        shall not be held or considered to be employees of the 
        Federal Government except for purposes of the Civil 
        Service Reform Act [section 8301 et seq. of title 5], 
        the Federal Employees' Compensation Act [section 8501 
        et seq. of title 5], the Federal Employees' Group Life 
        Insurance Act of 1954 [section 8701 et seq. of title 
        5], and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 
        1959 [section 8901 et seq. of title 5].

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(b) The Administrator may not expend funds for the 
provision of services and facilities under this section in 
connection with any obligations incurred by the President-elect 
or Vice-President-elect--
          (1) before the day following the date of the general 
        elections held to determine the electors of President 
        and Vice President under section 1 or 2 of title 3, 
        United States Code; or
          (2) after 180 days after the date of the inauguration 
        of the President-elect as President and the 
        inauguration of the Vice-President-elect as Vice 
        President.]
    (b) The Administrator shall expend funds for the provision 
of services and facilities under this section--
          (1) 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
                  (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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (h) * * *
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) * * *
                          (i) * * *
                          (ii) shall, as appropriate, ensure 
                        that any [computers] information 
                        technology or communications services 
                        provided to an eligible candidate under 
                        this subsection are secure;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (i) Memorandums of Understanding.--
          (1) 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 of access to employees, facilities, and 
        documents of agencies by transition staff.
          (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 180 days after the 
                        date of the inauguration of the 
                        President-elect as President and the 
                        inauguration of the Vice-President-
                        elect as Vice President; or
                          (ii) before the date described in 
                        clause (i), upon the request of the 
                        President-elect or Vice-President-
                        elect, or after such inauguration upon 
                        request of the President or Vice 
                        President.
          (4) Amendments.--Any amendment to a memorandum of 
        understanding entered into under this subsection shall 
        be agreed to in writing.
          (5) 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 understanding.
          (6) Definition.--In this subsection, the term 
        ``eligible candidate'' has the meaning given that term 
        in subsection (h)(4).

SEC. 4. TRANSITION SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES BEFORE ELECTION.

    (a) * * *
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) the term ``eligible candidate'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 3(h)(4); [and]
          (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 
                and that such member knows or reasonably should 
                know has not been made available to the 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
          [(4)] (5) the term ``Presidential election'' means a 
        general election held to determine the electors of 
        President and Vice President under section 1 or 2 of 
        title 3, United States Code.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (e) * * *
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) * * *
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) * * *
                  (C) a senior representative serving in a 
                career position from each agency described in 
                section 901(b)(1) of title 31, United States 
                Code, the Office of Personnel Management, the 
                Office of Government Ethics, and the National 
                Archives and Records Administration whose 
                responsibilities include leading Presidential 
                transition efforts within the agency;
                  (D) a senior representative serving in a 
                career position from any other agency 
                determined by the Co-Chairpersons to be an 
                agency that has significant responsibilities 
                relating to the Presidential transition 
                process; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (f) * * *
          (1) * * *
          [(2) 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, for each noncareer 
        position in an agency that the head of the agency 
        determines is critical, the head of the agency shall 
        designate a qualified career employee to serve in that 
        position in an acting capacity if the position becomes 
        vacant.]
          (2) 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.
    (g) * * *
          (1) In general.--Not later than [November 1] October 
        1 of a year during which a Presidential election 
        occurs, the President (acting through the Federal 
        Transition Coordinator) shall, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, negotiate a memorandum of understanding 
        with the transition representative of each eligible 
        candidate, which shall include, at a minimum, the 
        conditions of access to employees, facilities, and 
        documents of agencies by transition staff.
          (2) * * *
          (3) Ethics plan.--
                  (A) 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 minimum--
                          (i) 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 
                        information;
                          (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 U.S.C. 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 
                                President-elect;
                          (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 plan 
                        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 
                                information;
                                  (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) Publicly available.--The transition team 
                shall make the ethics plan described in this 
                paragraph publicly available on the internet 
                website of the General Services Administration 
                the earlier of--
                          (i) the day on which the memorandum 
                        of understanding is completed; or
                          (ii) October 1.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]