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

S. 615

A bill to provide additional personnel authorities for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Sponsor
Sen. Susan M. Collins

Date
June 15, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

S. 615 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on March 17, 2009.

Bill Summary

S. 615 gives the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) authorities similar to those provided to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The bill 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.

Background

The Senate passed S. 615 on April 30, 2009, by unanimous consent.

The United States has spent almost $32 billion on humanitarian and other aid for Afghanistan since 2001. Due to reports of misuse of aid and corruption, in 2008 Congress created the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to provide oversight of U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

As of April 1, 2009, the SIGAR office had only filled seven out of 18 designated auditor positions, five of 13 designated inspector positions, and one of 18 investigator positions. SIGAR officials have told Congress that they have had difficulty hiring qualified individuals for this assignment, and that the staffing shortfall has contributed to the lack of independent audits or investigations by the office thus far. This legislation seeks to expedite the hiring of individuals for these positions

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing S. 615 would have no significant effect on spending subject to appropriation.