[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 119, 109th Congress, 1st Session]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

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 2545]]
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.