|Manager's Amendment to S 2037, the Science and
Technology Emergency Mobilization Act, also known as the Net Guard Act.
Offered by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Date: May 17, 2002.
[STAFF WORKING DRAFT]
May 14, 2002
Purpose: To establish a national emergency technology guard so that communities across the country can locate science and technology volunteers in times of emergency; to facilitate the spread of cutting-edge technologies to homeland security and emergency relief agencies by creating a center for evaluating antiterrorism and disaster response technology.
IN THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION —107TH Cong., 2D Sess.
S. 2037, 107TH Congress, 2D Session
MAY 16, 2002
INTENDED to be proposed by Mr. WYDEN (FOR HIMSELF AND MR. ALLEN)
Viz: Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Science and Technology Emergency Mobilization Act’’.
SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress finds the following:
(1) In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many private-sector technology and science experts provided valuable assistance to rescue and recovery efforts by donating their time and expertise. However, many who wished to help had significant difficulty determining how they could be most useful. They were hampered by the lack of any organizational structure to harness their abilities and coordinate their efforts.
(2) A prompt and well-coordinated volunteer base of technology and science expertise could help save lives, aid rescue efforts, and rebuild critical technology infrastructures in the event of a future major terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other emergency. Technology and science expertise also could help minimize the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to future attacks or natural disasters.
(3) Police, fire personnel, and other local emergency responders frequently could benefit from timely technological assistance, and efforts to organize a system to assist in locating the desired help should be expedited.
(4) Efforts to develop and deploy innovative new technologies for use by government emergency prevention and response agencies would be improved by the designation of a clear contact point within the federal government for intake and evaluation of technology ideas.
(5) The creation of compatible communications systems would strengthen emergency response efforts of police, fire, and other emergency response personnel to communicate effectively with each other and with their counterparts from nearby jurisdictions. Some programs, such as the Capital Wireless Integrated Network (CapWIN), have made significant progress in addressing the issue of interoperable communications between emergency service providers in particular urban areas and the Federal government has sought to address the issue through the Public Safety Wireless Networks program. Relatively few States and localities, however, have achieved a sufficient level of communications interoperability.
(b) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this Act is to reinforce, focus, and expedite ongoing efforts to mobilize America’s extensive capability in technology and science in responding to the threats posed by terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other major emergencies, by creating—
(1) a national emergency technology guard or ‘‘NET Guard’’ that includes—
(A) Rapid response teams of volunteers with technology and science expertise, organized at the local level; and
(B) opportunities for NET Guard volunteers to assist with non-emergency tasks related to local preparedness and prevention, including reducing the vulnerability of government information technology systems;
(2) a national clearinghouse for innovative civilian technologies relating to emergency prevention and response; and
(3) a pilot program to assist state efforts to achieve the interoperability of communications systems used by fire, law enforcement, and emergency preparedness and response agencies.
SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY TECHNOLOGY GUARD.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment, the President shall designate within an appropriate department, agency, or office a repository database of nongovernmental technology and science experts who have offered to help Federal agencies counter terrorism and can be mobilized.
(b) NET GUARD DISASTER RESPONSE TEAMS.—
(1) CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES.—The President may designate an appropriate department, agency, or office to develop a procedure by which a group of volunteers with technological or scientific expertise are encouraged to team with individuals from the state and local governments; local emergency response agencies; and nongovernmental emergency aid, assistance, and relief organizations.
(2) TEAM FORMATION.—The entity designated may develop and implement a system for facilitating the formation of such volunteers to be incorporated into local teams by helping individuals that wish to participate in such teams to locate and contact one another.
(3) CRITERIA FOR CERTIFICATION.—The entity designated may establish criteria for the certification of such teams, including—
(A) the types of expertise, capabilities, and equipment required; and
(B) minimum training and practice requirements, including participation in not less than 2 emergency drills each year.
(4) CERTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALS.—The entity designated may
(A) certify any group of individuals requesting certification as a NET Guard disaster response team that complies with the procedures established under paragraph (1) and meets the criteria established under paragraph (3);
(B) issue credentials and forms of identification as appropriate identifying each such team and its members; and
(C) suspend, withdraw, or terminate certification of and recover credentials and forms of identification from, any NET Guard team, or any member thereof, when the head of the entity designated deems it appropriate.
(5) COMPENSATION; PER DIEM, TRAVEL, AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.—The entity designated may authorize the payment to a member of a NET Guard disaster response team, for the period that member is engaged in performing duties as such member at the request of the United States—
(A) compensation as employees for temporary or intermittent services as experts or consultants under section 3109 of title 5, United States Code; and
(B) travel or transportation expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as provided by section 5703 of title 5.
(d) ADDITIONAL AUTHORITIES.—The head of the entity designated may—
(1) activate NET Guard disaster response teams in an emergency (as defined in section 102(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(1)) or a major disaster (as defined in section 102(2) of that Act);
(2) provide for access by team members to emergency sites; and
(3) assign, on a voluntary basis, NET Guard volunteers to work, on a temporary basis on—
(A) the development and maintenance of the database described in subsection (a) and the procedures for access to the database; and
(B) such other technology related projects to improve emergency preparedness and prevention as may be appropriate.
SEC. 4. CENTER FOR CIVILIAN HOMELAND SECURITY TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION.
(a) IN GENERAL.—The President may establish a Center for Civilian Homeland Security Technology Evaluation within the Executive Branch to evaluate innovative technologies relating to security and emergency preparedness and response and to serve as a national clearinghouse for such technologies.
(b) FUNCTION.—The Center shall—
(1) serve as a principle, national contact point for the intake of innovative technologies relating to security and emergency preparedness and response;
(2) evaluate promising new technologies relating to security and emergency preparedness and response;
(3) assure persons and companies that have submitted a technology receive a timely response to inquiries;
(4) upon request by Federal agencies consult with and advise Federal agencies about the development, modification, acquisition, and deployment of technology relating to security and emergency preparedness and response; and
(5) provide individuals and companies that have submitted information about a technology the ability to track, to the extent practicable, the current status of their submission online; and
(c) MODEL.—The Center may be modeled on the Technical Support Working Group that provides an interagency forum to coordinate research and development of technologies for combating terrorism.
(d) INTERNET ACCESS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The President may create an online portal accessible through the First.Gov Internet website, or any successor to such website, to provide individuals and companies with innovative technologies a single point of access to the Center and a single point of contact at each Federal agency participating in the Center.
(2) FUNCTIONS.—The Center portal shall—
(A) provide individuals and companies with an online opportunity to obtain information about various open solicitations relevant to homeland security and points of contact for submission of solicited and unsolicited proposals;
(B) include safeguards to ensure that business proprietary information is protected and that no personally identifiable information is accessible to unauthorized persons.
(e) PROCUREMENT NOT CONDITIONED ON SUBMISSION.—Nothing in this section requires a technology to be submitted to, or evaluated by, the Center in order to be eligible for procurement by Federal agencies.
SEC. 5. COMMUNICATIONS INTEROPERABILITY PILOT PROJECTS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—The President may establish within an appropriate department, agency, or office a pilot program for planning or implementation of interoperable communications systems for appropriate emergency response agencies.
(b) GRANTS.—The head of the agency shall make grants under the program of $5,000,000 each to 7 different States for pilot projects under the program.
(c) CRITERIA; ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.—The head of the entity designated in subsection (a), in consultation with other appropriate agencies, shall prescribe such criteria for eligibility for projects and for grantees, including applications, fund use assurance and accounting, and reporting requirements as the head of the entity deems appropriate. In prescribing such criteria, the head of the entity shall consult with the administrators of existing projects designed to facilitate public safety communications interoperability concerning the best practices and lessons learned from such projects.
SEC. 6. REPORTS.
(a) WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITIES FOR FIRST RESPONDERS.—Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall designate an appropriate department, agency, or office to submit a report to the Congress setting forth policy options for ensuring that emergency officials and first responders have access to effective and reliable wireless communications capabilities. The report shall include an examination of the possibility of—
(1) developing a system of priority access to existing commercial wireless systems;
(2) designating national emergency spectrum to be held in reserve for public safety and emergency purposes; and
(3) creating a specialized public safety communications network or networks for use with wireless devices customized for public safety use.
(b) IN-KIND DONATIONS.—Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies, shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives a report on the barriers to acceptance by Federal agencies of in-kind donations of technology and services during emergency situations.
SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) NATIONAL EMERGENCY TECHNOLOGY GUARD.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the department, agency, or officer to which subsection 3(a) refers $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2003 and 2004 to carry out section 3.
(b) PIOLT PROGRAMS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the entity designated in subsection 5(a) $35,000,000 for fiscal year 2003 to carry out section 5 of this Act, such seems to remain available until expended.
(c) REPORT.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the entity designated in subsection 6(a) $500,000 for fiscal year 2003 to carry out section 6(a) of this Act.
SEC. 8. EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES.
In this Act, the term ‘‘emergency response agency’’ includes agencies providing any of the following services:
(1) Law Enforcement services.
(2) Fire services.
(3) Emergency Medical services.
(4) Public Safety Communications.
(5) Emergency Preparedness.