Oversight Committee Priorities Included in Fiscal Year 2023 NDAA
Washington, D.C. (July 14, 2022)—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included several legislative efforts championed by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Safeguarding and Empowering Inspectors General (IG)
The NDAA includes IG reforms that incorporate many elements from Chairwoman Maloney’s IG Independence and Empowerment Act. These reforms would increase the independence of IGs, protect them from political retaliation, strengthen congressional oversight of IGs, and help ensure IGs have the information needed to thoroughly perform investigations.
Prohibiting Federal Contracts with Companies Doing Business in Russia
As Russia’s unjustified war in Ukraine continues, the NDAA includes the Federal Contracting for Peace and Security Act, a bill introduced by Chairwoman Maloney to prohibit the federal government from entering into or renewing contracts with companies that do business in Russia. The legislation makes several reasonable exceptions, including for companies pursuing all reasonable steps to cease business operations in Russia, contracts that are in the U.S. national security or public interest, and contracts or business operations that meet basic humanitarian needs.
Streamlining Veterans’ Access to Records
Also included in the NDAA is the Access for Veterans to Records Act, a bill introduced by Chairwoman Maloney to help eliminate the backlog of veteran records requests at the National Personnel Records Center, an office within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The legislation would require NARA to submit a plan for eliminating the backlog within 60 days and would authorize $60 million for NARA to digitize records and establish effective records retrieval infrastructure.
Requiring Data for Commercial Items Pricing
Following the Oversight Committee’s investigation into military contractor TransDigm for its price-gouging practices, section 802 of the NDAA addresses a longstanding loophole and adds transparency into government contractor pricing. The provision would increase accountability in government contracts to protect taxpayers from their price-gouging.
Increasing Transparency of the Executive Branch
The NDAA includes the bipartisan Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act (PLUM Act), which would require the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish and maintain a current, publicly available directory of senior government leaders online to increase transparency and accountability of senior leaders in the Executive Branch. By requiring OPM to develop and maintain a website with data on senior government leaders, the PLUM Act would provide timely and transparent information about senior government officials who are making decisions impacting the lives of millions of Americans.
Protecting Privacy with AI Technology
Modeled after Chairwoman Maloney’s AI In Counterterrorism Oversight Enhancement Act, the NDAA includes an amendment to modernize and strengthen the ability of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to oversee the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in executive branch agencies for counter-terrorism purposes. The amendment would implement a recommendation of the bipartisan National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence to require federal agencies that are engaged in counterterrorism activities to provide information on their use of AI technology, ensuring that the privacy and personal freedoms of Americans are protected.
Giving D.C. Control of its National Guard
Lastly, the NDAA includes the District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act, a bill introduced by Committee Member Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chairwoman Maloney, and others. The legislation would give the D.C. Mayor control over the D.C. National Guard to ensure that the Mayor has the appropriate tools to respond to emergencies following the tragic events of January 6, 2021.