[109th Congress Public Law 125]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ125.109]

[[Page 119 STAT. 2544]]

Public Law 109-125
109th Congress

                                 An Act

  To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to recruit volunteers to 
   assist with, or facilitate, the activities of various agencies and 
offices of the Department of the Interior. <<NOTE: Dec. 7, 2005 -  [H.R. 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Department of the Interior 
Volunteer Recruitment Act of 2005. 43 USC 1451 note.>> assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Department of the Interior Volunteer 
Recruitment Act of 2005''.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 43 USC 1475b note.>> PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to recruit and use volunteers to assist with, or facilitate, 
the programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the United States 
Geological Survey, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Office of the 


    (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior may recruit, train, 
and accept, without regard to the civil service classification laws, 
rules, or regulations, the services of individuals, contributed without 
compensation as volunteers, for aiding in or facilitating the activities 
administered by the Secretary through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the 
United States Geological Survey, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the 
Office of the Secretary.
    (b) Restrictions on Activities of Volunteers.--
            (1) In general.--In accepting such services of individuals 
        as volunteers, the Secretary shall not permit the use of 
        volunteers in law enforcement work, in regulatory and 
        enforcement work, in policymaking processes, or to displace any 
            (2) Private property.--No volunteer services authorized by 
        this Act may be conducted on private property unless the officer 
        or employee charged with supervising the volunteer obtains 
        appropriate consent to enter the property from the property 
            (3) Hazardous duty.--The Secretary may accept the services 
        of individuals in hazardous duty only upon a determination by 
        the Secretary that such individuals are skilled in performing 
        hazardous duty activities.
            (4) Supervision.--The Secretary shall ensure that an 
        appropriate officer or employee of the United States provides 
        adequate and appropriate supervision of each volunteer whose 
        services the Secretary accepts.

[[Page 119 STAT. 2545]]

    (c) Provision of Services and Costs.--The Secretary may provide for 
services and costs incidental to the utilization of volunteers, 
including transportation, supplies, uniforms, lodging, subsistence 
(without regard to place of residence), recruiting, training, 
supervision, and awards and recognition (including nominal cash awards).
    (d) Federal Employment Status of Volunteers.--
            (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a 
        volunteer shall not be deemed a Federal employee and shall not 
        be subject to the provisions of law relating to Federal 
        employment, including those provisions relating to hours of 
        work, rates of compensation, leave, unemployment compensation, 
        and Federal employee benefits.
            (2) Volunteers shall be deemed employees of the United 
        States for the purposes of--
                    (A) the tort claims provisions of title 28, United 
                States Code;
                    (B) subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, United 
                States Code; and
                    (C) claims relating to damage to, or loss of, 
                personal property of a volunteer incident to volunteer 
                service, in which case the provisions of section 3721 of 
                title 31, United States Code, shall apply.
            (3) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>> Volunteers 
        under this Act shall be subject to chapter 11 of title 18, 
        United States Code, unless the Secretary, with the concurrence 
        of the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, determines 
        in writing published in the Federal Register that the provisions 
        of that chapter, except section 201, shall not apply to the 
        actions of a class or classes of volunteers who carry out only 
        those duties or functions specified in the determination.

    Approved December 7, 2005.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 109-156 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
            Mar. 14, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 16, considered and passed Senate.