| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 516 (is) To benefit consumers by promoting competition in the electric power industry, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 516 (is) To benefit consumers by promoting competition in the electric power industry, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 515 To provide additional authority to the Office of Ombudsman of the Environmental Protection Agency. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES March 5, 2003 Mr. Crapo (for himself, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Allard, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Specter, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Santorum, and Mr. Grassley) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide additional authority to the Office of Ombudsman of the Environmental Protection Agency. 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 ``Ombudsman Reauthorization Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN. Section 2008 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6917) is amended to read as follows: ``SEC. 2008. OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN. ``(a) Definitions.--In this section: ``(1) Agency.--The term `Agency' means the Environmental Protection Agency. ``(2) Deputy ombudsman.--The term `Deputy Ombudsman' means any individual appointed by the Ombudsman under subsection (e)(1)(A)(i). ``(3) Office.--The term `Office' means the Office of the Ombudsman established by subsection (b)(1). ``(4) Ombudsman.--The term `Ombudsman' means the director of the Office. ``(b) Establishment.-- ``(1) In general.--There is established within the Agency an office to be known as the `Office of the Ombudsman'. ``(2) Oversight.-- ``(A) In general.--The Office shall be an independent office within the Agency. ``(B) Structure.--To the maximum extent practicable, the structure of the Office shall conform to relevant professional guidelines, standards, and practices. ``(3) Head of office.-- ``(A) Ombudsman.--The Office shall be headed by an Ombudsman, who shall-- ``(i) be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; and ``(ii) report directly to the Administrator. ``(B) Qualifications for and restrictions on employment.--A person appointed as Ombudsman-- ``(i) shall have experience as an ombudsman in a Federal, State, or local government entity; and ``(ii) shall not have been an employee of the Agency at any time during the 1-year period before the date of appointment. ``(C) Term.--The Ombudsman-- ``(i) shall serve for a term of 5 years; and ``(ii) may be reappointed for not more than 1 additional term. ``(D) Removal.-- ``(i) In general.--The President may remove or suspend the Ombudsman from office only for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office. ``(ii) Communication to congress.--If the President removes or suspends the Ombudsman, the President shall communicate the reasons for the removal or suspension to Congress. ``(c) Duties.--The Ombudsman shall-- ``(1) receive, and render assistance concerning, any complaint, grievance, or request for information submitted by any person relating to any program or requirement under-- ``(A) this Act; ``(B) the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.); or ``(C) any other program administered by the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response of the Agency; and ``(2) conduct investigations, make findings of fact, and make nonbinding recommendations to the Administrator concerning the programs and requirements described in paragraph (1). ``(d) Powers and Responsibilities.--In carrying out this section, the Ombudsman-- ``(1) may investigate any action of the Agency without regard to the finality of the action; ``(2) may select appropriate matters for action by the Office; ``(3) may-- ``(A) prescribe the methods by which complaints shall be made to, and received and addressed by, the Office; ``(B) determine the scope and manner of investigations made by the Office; and ``(C) determine the form, frequency, and distribution of conclusions and recommendations of the Office; ``(4) may request the Administrator to provide the Ombudsman notification, within a specified period of time, of any action taken on a recommendation of the Ombudsman; ``(5) may request, and shall be granted by any Federal agency or department, assistance and information that the Ombudsman determines to be necessary to carry out this section; ``(6) may examine any record of, and enter and inspect without notice any property under the administrative jurisdiction of-- ``(A) the Agency; or ``(B) any other Federal agency or department involved in a matter under the administrative jurisdiction of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response of the Agency; ``(7) may-- ``(A) issue a subpoena to compel any person to appear to give sworn testimony concerning, or to produce documentary or other evidence determined by the Ombudsman to be reasonable in scope and relevant to, an investigation by the Office; and ``(B) seek enforcement of a subpoena issued under subparagraph (A) in a court of competent jurisdiction; ``(8) may carry out and participate in, and cooperate with any person or agency involved in, any conference, inquiry on the record, public hearing on the record, meeting, or study that, as determined by the Ombudsman-- ``(A) is material to an investigation conducted by the Ombudsman; or ``(B) may lead to an improvement in the performance of the functions of the Agency; ``(9) may administer oaths and hold hearings in connection with any matter under investigation by the Office; ``(10) may engage in alternative dispute resolution, mediation, or any other informal process that the Ombudsman determines to be appropriate to carry out this section; ``(11) may communicate with any person, including Members of Congress, the press, and any person that submits a complaint, grievance, or request for information under subsection (c)(1); and ``(12) shall administer a budget for the Office. ``(e) Administration.-- ``(1) In general.--The Ombudsman shall-- ``(A)(i) appoint a Deputy Ombudsman for each region of the Agency; and ``(ii) hire such other assistants and employees as the Ombudsman determines to be necessary to carry out this section; and ``(B) supervise, evaluate, and carry out personnel actions (including hiring and dismissal) with respect to any employee of the Office. ``(2) Delegation of authority.--The Ombudsman may delegate to other employees of the Office any responsibility of the Ombudsman under this section except-- ``(A) the power to delegate responsibility; ``(B) the power to issue subpoenas; and ``(C) the responsibility to make recommendations to the Administrator. ``(3) Contact information.--The Ombudsman shall maintain, in each region of the Agency, a telephone number, facsimile number, electronic mail address, and post office address for the Ombudsman that are different from the numbers and addresses of the regional office of the Agency located in that region. ``(4) Reports.--The Ombudsman-- ``(A) shall, at least annually, publish in the Federal Register and submit to the Administrator, the President, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on the status of health and environmental concerns addressed in complaints and cases brought before the Ombudsman in the period of time covered by the report; ``(B) may issue reports, conclusions, or recommendations concerning any other matter under investigation by the Office; ``(C) shall solicit comments from the Agency concerning any matter under investigation by the Office; and ``(D) shall include any comments received by the Office in written reports, conclusions, and recommendations issued by the Office under this section. ``(f) Penalties.--An investigation conducted by the Ombudsman under this section constitutes-- ``(1) a matter under section 1001 of title 18, United States Code; and ``(2) a proceeding under section 1505 of title 18, United States Code. ``(g) Employee Protection.-- ``(1) In general.--No employer may discharge any employee, or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because the employee (or any person acting at the request of the employee) complied with any provision of this section. ``(2) Complaint.--Any employee that, in the opinion of the employee, is discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation of paragraph (1) may, not later than 180 days after the date on which the violation occurs, file a complaint in accordance with section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5851). ``(h) Applicability.-- ``(1) In general.--This section-- ``(A) does not limit any remedy or right of appeal; and ``(B) may be carried out notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary that provides that an agency action is final, not reviewable, or not subject to appeal. ``(2) Effect on procedures for grievances, appeals, or administrative matters.--The establishment of the Office does not affect any procedure concerning grievances, appeals, or administrative matters under this Act or any other law (including regulations). ``(i) Authorization of Appropriations.-- ``(1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section-- ``(A) $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 and 2005; ``(B) $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009; and ``(C) $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2013. ``(2) Separate line item.--In submitting the annual budget for the Federal Government to Congress, the President shall include a separate line item for the funding for the Office.''. <all>
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