(a) Authorities

The Chief Executive Officer shall have the following authorities:

(1) To supervise all broadcasting activities conducted pursuant to this chapter, the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act [22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.],,1 the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act [22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.], and Worldnet Television, except as provided in section 6205(b) of this title.

(2) To review and evaluate the mission and operation of, and to assess the quality, effectiveness, and professional integrity of, all such activities within the context of the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States.

(3) To ensure that United States international broadcasting is conducted in accordance with the standards and principles contained in section 6202 of this title.

(4) To review, evaluate, and determine, at least annually, after consultation with the Secretary of State, the addition or deletion of language services.

(5) To make and supervise grants and cooperative agreements for broadcasting and related activities in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter and on behalf of other agencies, accordingly.

(6) To allocate funds appropriated for international broadcasting activities among the various elements of the Agency and grantees, subject to reprogramming notification requirements in law for the reallocation of funds.

(7) To review engineering activities to ensure that all broadcasting elements receive the highest quality and cost-effective delivery services.

(8) To undertake such studies as may be necessary to identify areas in which broadcasting activities under its authority could be made more efficient and economical.

(9) To submit to the President and the Congress an annual report which summarizes and evaluates activities under this chapter, the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act [22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.], and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act [22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.]. Each annual report shall place special emphasis on the assessment described in paragraph (2).

(10) To the extent considered necessary to carry out the functions of the Chief Executive Officer, procure, rent, or lease supplies, services, and other property for journalism, media, production, and broadcasting, and related support services, notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to such acquisition, rental, or lease, and under the same terms and conditions as authorized under section 501(b) of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1461(b)), and for multiyear contracts and leases for periods of up to 20 years subject to the requirements of subsections (b) through (f) of section 3903 of title 41.

(11) To appoint such personnel for the Chief Executive Officer as the Chief Executive Officer may determine to be necessary, which shall not be subject to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, and to fix their compensation in accordance with the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.

(12) To obligate and expend, for official reception and representation expenses, such amount as may be made available through appropriations (which for each of the fiscal years 1998 and 1999 may not exceed the amount made available to the Chief Executive Officer and the International Broadcasting Bureau for such purposes for fiscal year 1997).

(13) To make available in the annual report required by paragraph (9) information on funds expended on administrative and managerial services by the Agency and by grantees and the steps the Chief Executive Officer has taken to reduce unnecessary overhead costs for each of the broadcasting services.

(14) The Chief Executive Officer may provide for the use of United States Government transmitter capacity for transmission or relay of Radio Free Asia or any other grantee authorized under this chapter.

(15)(A) To procure personal services at rates not to exceed the daily equivalent of the rate provided for positions classified above grade GS-15 of the General Schedule under section 5108 of title 5.

(B) To allow those providing such services, while away from their homes or their regular places of business, travel expenses (including per diem in lieu of subsistence) as authorized by section 5703 of title 5 for persons in the Government service employed intermittently, while so employed.

(16) To procure, pursuant to section 1535 of title 31 (commonly known as the “Economy Act”), such goods and services from other departments or agencies for the Chief Executive Officer and the International Broadcasting Bureau as the Chief Executive Officer determines are appropriate.

(17) To utilize the provisions of titles III, IV, V, VII, VIII, IX, and X of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 [22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.], and section 6 of Reorganization Plan Number 2 of 1977, as in effect on the day before the effective date of title XIII of the Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998, to the extent the Chief Executive Officer considers necessary in carrying out the provisions and purposes of this chapter.

(18) To utilize the authorities of any other statute, reorganization plan, Executive order, regulation, agreement, determination, or other official document or proceeding that had been available to the Director of the United States Information Agency, the Chief Executive Officer, or the Chief Executive Officer 2 before the effective date of title XIII of the Foreign Affairs Consolidation Act of 1998 for carrying out the broadcasting activities covered by this chapter.

(19)(A) To provide for the payment of primary and secondary school expenses for dependents of personnel stationed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) at a cost not to exceed expenses authorized by the Department of Defense for such schooling for dependents of members of the Armed Forces stationed in the Commonwealth, if the Chief Executive Officer determines that schools available in the Commonwealth are unable to provide adequately for the education of the dependents of such personnel.

(B) To provide transportation for dependents of such personnel between their places of residence and those schools for which expenses are provided under subparagraph (A), if the Chief Executive Officer determines that such schools are not accessible by public means of transportation.

(20) To redirect or reprogram funds within the scope of any grant or cooperative agreement, or between grantees, as necessary (and not later than 15 days before any such redirection of funds between language services, to notify the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate regarding such redirection),.1

(21) To change the name of the Agency pursuant to congressional notification 60 days prior to any such change.

(22) To—

(A) require annual content reviews of each language service of Voice of America, The Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and each grantee network, consisting of a review of at least 10 percent of available unique weekly content from any selected week from the previous year, which shall be conducted, to the extent practicable, by fluent language speakers and experts without direct affiliation to the language service being reviewed, who are seeking any evidence of inappropriate or unprofessional content, which shall be submitted to the Office of Policy Research, the head and Board of the respective language service, and the Chief Executive Officer;

(B) submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of anomalous reports, including status updates on anomalous services during the 3-year period commencing on the date of receipt of the first report of biased, unprofessional, or otherwise problematic content.”; 3 and

(C) launch a review, using external, native-language and regional experts, the results of which are to be reported to the appropriate congressional committees, if a widespread pattern of violations of the principles, standards, or journalistic code of ethics of a language service or grantee network has been identified.

(b) Professional independence of broadcasters

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Terms Used In 22 USC 6204

  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • State: means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other territory or possession of the United States. See 1 USC 7
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.

The Secretary of State and the Chief Executive Officer, in carrying out their functions, shall respect the professional independence and integrity of the Agency, its broadcasting services, and the grantees of the Agency.

(c) Limitation on corporate leadership of grantees

(1) In general

The Chief Executive Officer may not award any grant under subsection (a) to RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Asia, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, the Open Technology Fund, or any other grantee authorized under this chapter (collectively referred to as “Agency Grantee Networks”) unless the incorporation documents of any such grantee require that the corporate leadership and Board of Directors of such grantee be selected in accordance with this chapter.

(2) Conflicts of interest

(A) Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer may not serve on any of the corporate boards of any grantee under subsection (a).

(B) Federal employees

A full-time employee of a Federal agency may not serve on a corporate board of any grantee under subsection (a).

(3) Qualifications of grantee board members

Individuals appointed under subsection (a) to the Board of Directors of any of the Agency Grantee Networks shall have requisite expertise in journalism, technology, broadcasting, or diplomacy, or appropriate language or cultural understanding relevant to the grantee’s mission.