[Congressional Bills 117th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 2687 Engrossed in Senate (ES)]

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117th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2687

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To provide the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        testimonial subpoena authority, and for other purposes.

    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 ``Strengthening Oversight for Veterans 
Act of 2021''.

SEC. 2. TESTIMONIAL SUBPOENA AUTHORITY OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE 
              DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Section 312 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(d)(1)(A) In addition to the authority otherwise provided by the 
Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) and in accordance with 
the requirements of this subsection, the Inspector General, in carrying 
out the provisions of this section, may require by subpoena the 
attendance and testimony of witnesses as necessary in the performance 
of the functions assigned to the Inspector General by the Inspector 
General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) and this section, which in the case 
of contumacy or refusal to obey, such subpoena shall be enforceable by 
order of any appropriate district court of the United States.
    ``(B) The Inspector General may not require by subpoena the 
attendance and testimony under subparagraph (A) of--
            ``(i) any current Federal employee; or
            ``(ii) any witness as part of any criminal proceeding.
    ``(2) The authority to issue a subpoena under paragraph (1) may not 
be delegated.
    ``(3)(A) The Inspector General shall notify the Attorney General of 
the intent to issue a subpoena under paragraph (1).
    ``(B) Not later than 10 days after the date on which the Attorney 
General is notified pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Attorney General 
may object in writing to the issuance of the subpoena if the subpoena 
will interfere with an ongoing investigation and, if the Attorney 
General makes such an objection, the Inspector General may not issue 
the subpoena.
    ``(C) If the Attorney General does not object in writing to the 
issuance of the subpoena during the 10-day period described in 
subparagraph (B), the Inspector General may issue the subpoena.
    ``(4) Before requiring by subpoena under paragraph (1) the 
attendance and testimony of a witness, the Inspector General shall, to 
the degree practicable--
            ``(A) notify the witness of the intent of the Inspector 
        General to issue the subpoena; and
            ``(B) provide the witness an opportunity to attend and 
        testify voluntarily.
    ``(5) Whenever requiring by subpoena under paragraph (1) the 
attendance and testimony of a witness, the Inspector General shall, to 
the greatest extent practicable, travel to residence of the witness, 
the principal place of business of the witness, or other similar 
location that is in proximity to the residence of the witness.
    ``(6)(A) Along with each semiannual report submitted by the 
Inspector General pursuant to section 5(b) of the Inspector General Act 
of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. 5(b)), the Inspector General shall include a 
report on the exercise of the authority provided by paragraph (1).
    ``(B) Each report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include, 
for the most recently completed six-month period, the following:
            ``(i) The number of testimonial subpoenas issued and the 
        number of individuals interviewed pursuant to such subpoenas.
            ``(ii) The number of proposed testimonial subpoenas with 
        respect to which the Attorney General objected under paragraph 
        (3)(B).
            ``(iii) A discussion of any challenges or concerns that the 
        Inspector General has encountered exercising the authority 
        provided by paragraph (1).
            ``(iv) Such other matters as the Inspector General 
        considers appropriate.
    ``(7)(A) The authority provided by paragraph (1)(A) shall terminate 
on May 31, 2025.
    ``(B) The termination of authority by subparagraph (A) shall not 
affect the enforceability of a subpoena issued under paragraph (1)(A) 
before the date of such termination.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--
            (1) In general.--Subsection (d) of section 312 of title 38, 
        United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall take 
        effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
            (2) Semiannual report.--Paragraph (6) of subsection (d) of 
        such section, as so added, shall apply beginning on the date 
        that is seven months after the first day of the first fiscal 
        year beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

            Passed the Senate April 7, 2022.

            Attest:

                                                             Secretary.
117th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                                S. 2687

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

To provide the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        testimonial subpoena authority, and for other purposes.