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Pres Bush Signing Statement 01-28-08 for HR 4986 and
Texts of Affected Sections: 841, 846, 1079 and 1222

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080128-10.html

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 28, 2008

President Bush Signs H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 into Law


Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. The Act authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, for military construction, and for national security-related energy programs.

Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President's ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.

GEORGE W. BUSH

THE WHITE HOUSE,

January 28, 2008.

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TEXTS OF SECTIONS OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
"WAIVED" BY PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENT:

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SEC. 841. COMMISSION ON WARTIME CONTRACTING IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.


(a) Establishment- There is hereby established a commission to be known as the 'Commission on Wartime Contracting' (in this section referred to as the 'Commission').

(b) Membership Matters --

(1) MEMBERSHIP -- The Commission shall be composed of 8 members, as follows:

(A) 2 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, in consultation with the Chairmen of the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

(B) 2 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Chairmen of the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(C) 1 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, in consultation with the Ranking Minority Members of the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

(D) 1 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(E) 2 members shall be appointed by the President, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.

(2) DEADLINE FOR APPOINTMENTS -- All appointments to the Commission shall be made not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(3) CO-CHAIRMEN -- The Commission shall have two co-chairmen, including--

(A) a co-chairman who shall be a member of the Commission jointly designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate; and

(B) a co-chairman who shall be a member of the Commission jointly designated by the minority leader of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the Senate.

(4) VACANCY -- In the event of a vacancy in a seat on the Commission, the individual appointed to fill the vacant seat shall be --

(A) appointed by the same officer (or the officer's successor) who made the appointment to the seat when the Commission was first established; and

(B) if the officer in subparagraph (A) is of a party other than the party of the officer who made the appointment to the seat when the Commission was first established, chosen in consultation with the senior officers in the Senate and the House of Representatives of the party which is the party of the officer who made the appointment to the seat when the Commission was first established.

(c) Duties --

(1) GENERAL DUTIES -- The Commission shall study the following matters:

(A) Federal agency contracting for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan.

(B) Federal agency contracting for the logistical support of coalition forces operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(C) Federal agency contracting for the performance of security functions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(2) SCOPE OF CONTRACTING COVERED -- The Federal agency contracting covered by this subsection includes contracts entered into both in the United States and abroad for the performance of activities described in paragraph (1).

(3) PARTICULAR DUTIES -- In carrying out the study under this subsection, the Commission shall assess --

(A) the extent of the reliance of the Federal Government on contractors to perform functions (including security functions) in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impact of this reliance on the achievement of the objectives of the United States;

(B) the performance exhibited by Federal contractors for the contracts under review pursuant to paragraph (1), and the mechanisms used to evaluate contractor performance;

(C) the extent of waste, fraud, and abuse under such contracts;

(D) the extent to which those responsible for such waste, fraud, and abuse have been held financially or legally accountable;

(E) the appropriateness of the organizational structure, policies, practices, and resources of the Department of Defense and the Department of State for handling program management and contracting for the programs and contracts under review pursuant to paragraph (1);

(F) the extent to which contractors under such contracts have engaged in the misuse of force or have used force in a manner inconsistent with the objectives of the operational field commander; and

(G) the extent of potential violations of the laws of war, Federal law, or other applicable legal standards by contractors under such contracts.

(d) Reports-

(1) INTERIM REPORT -- On March 1, 2009, the Commission shall submit to Congress an interim report on the study carried out under subsection (c), including the results and findings of the study as of that date.

(2) OTHER REPORTS -- The Commission may from time to time submit to Congress such other reports on the study carried out under subsection (c) as the Commission considers appropriate.

(3) FINAL REPORT -- Not later than two years after the date of the appointment of all of the members of the Commission under subsection (b), the Commission shall submit to Congress a final report on the study carried out under subsection (c). The report shall --

(A) include the findings of the Commission;

(B) identify lessons learned relating to contingency program management and contingency contracting covered by the study; and

(C) include specific recommendations for improvements to be made in --

(i) the process for defining requirements and developing statements of work for contracts in contingency contracting;

(ii) the process for awarding contracts and task or delivery orders in contingency contracting;

(iii) the process for contingency program management;

(iv) the process for identifying, addressing, and providing accountability for waste, fraud, and abuse in contingency contracting;

(v) the process for determining which functions are inherently governmental and which functions are appropriate for performance by contractors in a contingency operation (including during combat operations), especially whether providing security in an area of combat operations is inherently governmental;

(vi) the organizational structure, resources, policies, and practices of the Department of Defense and the Department of State for performing contingency program management; and

(vii) the process by which roles and responsibilities with respect to management and oversight of contracts in contingency contracting are distributed among the various departments and agencies of the Federal Government, and interagency coordination and communication mechanisms associated with contingency contracting.

(e) Other Powers and Authorities --

(1) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any portion thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section --

(A) hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, administer such oaths (provided that the quorum for a hearing shall be three members of the Commission); and

(B) provide for the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents;

as the Commission, or such portion thereof, may determine advisable.

(2) INABILITY TO OBTAIN DOCUMENTS OR TESTIMONY -- In the event the Commission is unable to obtain testimony or documents needed to conduct its work, the Commission shall notify the committees of Congress of jurisdiction and appropriate investigative authorities.

(3) ACCESS TO INFORMATION -- The Commission may secure directly from the Department of Defense and any other department or agency of the Federal Government any information or assistance that the Commission considers necessary to enable the Commission to carry out the requirements of this section. Upon request of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information expeditiously to the Commission. Whenever information or assistance requested by the Commission is unreasonably refused or not provided, the Commission shall report the circumstances to Congress without delay.

(4) PERSONNEL -- The Commission shall have the authorities provided in section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, and shall be subject to the conditions set forth in such section, except to the extent that such conditions would be inconsistent with the requirements of this section.

(5) DETAILEES -- Any employee of the Federal Government may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and such detailee shall retain the rights, status, and privileges of his or her regular employment without interruption.

(6) SECURITY CLEARANCES -- The appropriate departments or agencies of the Federal Government shall cooperate with the Commission in expeditiously providing to the Commission members and staff appropriate security clearances to the extent possible pursuant to existing procedures and requirements, except that no person shall be provided with access to classified information under this section without the appropriate security clearances.

(7) VIOLATIONS OF LAW --

(A) REFERRAL TO ATTORNEY GENERAL -- The Commission may refer to the Attorney General any violation or potential violation of law identified by the Commission in carrying out its duties under this section.

(B) REPORTS ON RESULTS OF REFERRAL -- The Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report on each prosecution, conviction, resolution, or other disposition that results from a referral made under this subparagraph.

(f) Termination -- The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 60 days after the date of the submittal of its final report under subsection (d)(3).

(g) Definitions -- In this section:

(1) CONTINGENCY CONTRACTING -- The term 'contingency contracting' means all stages of the process of acquiring property or services during a contingency operation.

(2) CONTINGENCY OPERATION -- The term 'contingency operation' has the meaning given that term in section 101 of title 10, United States Code.

(3) CONTINGENCY PROGRAM MANAGEMENT -- The term 'contingency program management' means the process of planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, and leading the combined efforts of participating personnel for the management of a specific acquisition program or programs during contingency operations.


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SEC. 846. PROTECTION FOR CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEES FROM REPRISAL FOR DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION.

(a) Increased Protection From Reprisal -- Subsection (a) of section 2409 of title 10, United States Code, is amended --

(1) by striking 'disclosing to a Member of Congress' and inserting 'disclosing to a Member of Congress, a representative of a committee of Congress, an Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, a Department of Defense employee responsible for contract oversight or management,'; and

(2) by striking 'information relating to a substantial violation of law related to a contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract)' and inserting 'information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of gross mismanagement of a Department of Defense contract or grant, a gross waste of Department of Defense funds, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or a violation of law related to a Department of Defense contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract) or grant'.

(b) Clarification of Inspector General Determination -- Subsection (b) of such section is amended --

(1) by inserting '(1)' after `Investigation of Complaints -- ';

(2) by striking 'an agency' and inserting 'the Department of Defense, or the Inspector General of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the case of a complaint regarding the National Aeronautics and Space Administration'; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

'(2)(A) Except as provided under subparagraph (B), the Inspector General shall make a determination that a complaint is frivolous or submit a report under paragraph (1) within 180 days after receiving the complaint.

'(B) If the Inspector General is unable to complete an investigation in time to submit a report within the 180-day period specified in subparagraph (A) and the person submitting the complaint agrees to an extension of time, the Inspector General shall submit a report under paragraph (1) within such additional period of time as shall be agreed upon between the Inspector General and the person submitting the complaint.'.

(c) Acceleration of Schedule for Denying Relief or Providing Remedy -- Subsection (c) of such section is amended --

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking 'If the head of the agency determines that a contractor has subjected a person to a reprisal prohibited by subsection (a), the head of the agency may' and inserting after '(1)' the following: `Not later than 30 days after receiving an Inspector General report pursuant to subsection (b), the head of the agency concerned shall determine whether there is sufficient basis to conclude that the contractor concerned has subjected the complainant to a reprisal prohibited by subsection (a) and shall either issue an order denying relief or shall';

(2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (4) and (5), respectively; and

(3) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraphs:

'(2) If the head of an executive agency issues an order denying relief under paragraph (1) or has not issued an order within 210 days after the submission of a complaint under subsection (b), or in the case of an extension of time under paragraph (b)(2)(B), not later than 30 days after the expiration of the extension of time, and there is no showing that such delay is due to the bad faith of the complainant, the complainant shall be deemed to have exhausted all administrative remedies with respect to the complaint, and the complainant may bring a de novo action at law or equity against the contractor to seek compensatory damages and other relief available under this section in the appropriate district court of the United States, which shall have jurisdiction over such an action without regard to the amount in controversy. Such an action shall, at the request of either party to the action, be tried by the court with a jury.

'(3) An Inspector General determination and an agency head order denying relief under paragraph (2) shall be admissible in evidence in any de novo action at law or equity brought pursuant to this subsection.'.

(d) Definitions -- Subsection (e) of such section is amended --

(1) in paragraph (4), by inserting 'or a grant' after 'a contract'; and

(2) by inserting before the period at the end the following: 'and any Inspector General that receives funding from, or has oversight over contracts awarded for or on behalf of, the Secretary of Defense'.


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SEC. 1079. COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COMMITTEES ON ARMED SERVICES OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.


(a) Requests of Committees -- The Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, the Director of a national intelligence center, or the head of any element of the intelligence community shall, not later than 45 days after receiving a written request from the Chair or ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate or the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives for any existing intelligence assessment, report, estimate, or legal opinion relating to matters within the jurisdiction of such Committee, make available to such committee such assessment, report, estimate, or legal opinion, as the case may be.

(b) Assertion of Privilege --

(1) IN GENERAL -- In response to a request covered by subsection (a), the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, the Director of a national intelligence center, or the head of any element of the intelligence community shall provide to the Committee making such request the document or information covered by such request unless the President determines that such document or information shall not be provided because the President is asserting a privilege pursuant to the Constitution of the United States.

(2) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS -- The White House Counsel shall submit to Congress in writing any assertion by the President under paragraph (1) of a privilege pursuant to the Constitution.

(c) Definitions -- In this section:

(1) INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY -- The term 'intelligence community' has the meaning given the term in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(4)).

(2) INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT -- The term 'intelligence assessment' means an intelligence-related analytical study of a subject of policy significance and does not include building-block papers, research projects, and reference aids.

(3) INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE -- The term 'intelligence estimate' means an appraisal of available intelligence relating to a specific situation or condition with a view to determining the courses of action open to an enemy or potential enemy and the probable order of adoption of such courses of action.


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SEC. 1222. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES RELATING TO IRAQ.


No funds appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act may be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:

(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.

(2) To exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.


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