Description: TO PASS H.R. 6790, PROMOTING THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE U.S. BY STRENGTHENING THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE U.S. (MOTION PASSED)
Bill summary: (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 96-1432)
Foreign Service Act of 1980 - =Title I: The Foreign Service of the United States= - Sets forth the objectives and functions of the Foreign Service.
Requires all personnel actions to be made in accordance with merit principles. Directs the Secretary of State to ensure that members of and applicants for the Service are free from discrimination, free from reprisals for specified disclosures, free to submit any report, and free from prohibited
personnel practices. Directs the Secretary to establish a minority recruiting program and report to Congress annually concerning such program.
Consolidates the authority of the Secretary of State to administer, direct, and regulate the Foreign Service. Authorizes specified heads of other agencies to utilize Foreign Service personnel and to exercise the Secretary's functions over such personnel in their agency, if not expressly vested in the Secretary. Authorizes the Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce to utilize the Foreign Service personnel system with respect to personnel of their Departments serving abroad. Requires the Foreign Service to be administered in conformity with the Civil Service and other government systems with regard to personnel and retirement.
Gives the chief of mission to a foreign country full responsibility over U.S. employees in that country.
Provides for the appointment of a Director General to assist the Secretary in the management of the Foreign Service and an Inspector General. Sets forth the duties of the Inspector General. Limits the authority of the Secretary over the Inspector General. Gives the Inspector General the same authority as is granted under the Inspector General Act of 1978. Requires the Inspector General to report to the Secretary concerning the Inspector General's activities, such report to be transmitted to the appropriate congressional committees. Directs the President to establish a Board of the Foreign Service to advise the Secretary and a Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service to develop, administer, and review the examinations given to candidates for appointment in the Service.
Authorizes the Secretary to appoint all members of the Foreign Service other than chiefs of mission, ambassadors at large, ministers, career members of the Senior Foreign Service, or Foreign Service officers, who may be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Declares that chiefs of mission, ambassadors at large, and ministers serve at the pleasure of the President. Requires the advice and consent of the Senate for ambassadorial and ministerial appointments unless temporary. Requires the President to report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concerning such temporary appointments, unless urgent circumstances require immediate conferral of such rank. Sets forth criteria for chief of mission, Senior Foreign Service, and career appointments. Requires the chief of mission to report to the appropriate congressional committees concerning the mission chief's and staff's foreign language competency. Prohibits initially assigning a Foreign Service Officer candidate higher than class 4 of the Foreign Service Schedule unless specified conditions exist. Authorizes the Secretary to recall retired career Foreign Service members, in the same personnel category as the member was serving at retirement, to any appropriate class. Stipulates that limited appointments not exceed five years. Provides for renewable limited appointments of family members of government personnel assigned abroad. Authorizes the commissioning as a diplomatic and/or consular officer of any member of the Foreign Service who is a U.S. citizen.
Provides for the salaries of chiefs of mission, the Senior Foreign Service (the latter comparable to that for the Civil Service Senior Executive Service), and career appointees in the Senior Executive Service accepting limited appointments in the Senior Foreign Service. Directs the President to establish a Foreign Service Schedule for U.S. citizen employees whose salaries are not otherwise provided for by this Act.
Authorizes the Secretary to assign Foreign Service officers and personnel to an appropriate salary class, with specified exceptions. Makes provisions for retention of pay in reduction-in-force cases.
Makes members of the Senior Foreign Service eligible for performance pay similar to that available to members of the Senior Executive Service. Provides for within-class salary increases after specified periods under the Foreign Service Schedule, unless the individual does not meet the class standards of performance. Authorizes the Secretary to grant additional increases in salary for meritorious service. Authorizes lower salary rates for certain Foreign Service personnel performing routine duties. Stipulates that family members paid in accordance with local compensation plans receive at least the Federal minimum wage. Authorizes the Secretary to regulate local compensation plans for the guidance of all Federal agencies. Sets forth provisions concerning salaries of consular agents and compensation of foreign nationals imprisoned by reason of their employment by the U.S. Government. Provides extra compensation for: (1) temporary service, in excess of a minimum period, as a principal officer; or (2) regular work substantially in excess of normal requirements. Requires the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees before limiting such special differential pay. Permits compensatory time off for Foreign Service officers. Authorizes the payment of a gratuity to surviving dependents of any Foreign Service employee who dies as a result of injuries sustained in the performance of duty abroad.
Directs the Secretary to classify all positions to be occupied by members of the Foreign Service, giving appropriate weight to job factors relating to service abroad and compensation practices of U.S. corporations abroad. Permits such positions to be filled by personnel of other Federal agencies. Authorizes the Secretary to assign members of the Foreign Service to non-Foreign Service positions. Provides that career personnel of the Foreign Service shall be expected to serve abroad for substantial portions of their careers.
Declares that promotions are by appointment of either the President or the Secretary or by assignment to a higher salary class depending on the position. Requires all promotions of members of the Senior Foreign Service or under the Foreign Service Schedule to be based on the recommendations and rankings of selection boards. Sets forth the criteria for promotion into the Senior Foreign Service. Declares that, if a member withdraws a request for consideration for promotion into the Senior Foreign Service, such member may not thereafter request such consideration. Requires selection boards to include public members, women, and minorities. Prescribes the basis for selection board review. Authorizes the Secretary to make a promotion or grant an award of performance pay or salary increase on the recommendations of other specified boards.
Authorizes the Secretary to prescribe the maximum time during which Senior Foreign Service members (not less than three years), Foreign Service officers, and other designated Foreign Service personnel may remain in a salary class without a promotion. Authorizes the Secretary to increase or decrease such maximum time, with specified protections for those whose maximum time is decreased. Permits limited extensions of career appointments in the case of those whose maximum time in class expires. Requires the extension of the appointment of any person who was appointed to a position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, until the termination of the appointment. Limits extensions to one year. Stipulates that a member shall be retired from the Foreign Service if such member fails to meet prescribed standards of performance. Provides retirement benefits for those who must retire.
Declares that the administrative procedure for challenging a separation for cause from the Foreign Service shall be conducted before the Foreign Grievance Board, exclusively. Sets forth provisions concerning termination of limited appointments and of consular agents and foreign national employees.
Directs the President to establish an awards system for outstanding contributions by members of the Foreign Service.
Directs the Secretary to operate the Foreign Service Institute and to provide training and counseling to members of the Foreign Service and other Federal employees. Requires the Secretary to establish: (1) foreign language proficiency requirements for Foreign Service members assigned abroad; and (2) a professional development program to assure that members of the Foreign Service obtain required skills and knowledge. Directs the Secretary to report annually to Congress and the President concerning such professional development program. Authorizes training grants for family members attending approved programs of studies. Directs the Secretary to establish a family liason office to facilitate the employment of spouses.
Sets forth provisions concerning the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System. Permits the Binational Center Grantees with at least five years of satisfactory service to participate in such system. Mandates retirement at 65 with a five-year extension if public interest so requires. Requires the joint election of a spouse or a former spouse, who has resided with a member for ten years or more, and the member participant to waive or reduce the survivor's annuity. Permits such election without the spousal consent if the participant has taken all reasonable steps to determine the whereabouts of the spouse or former spouse.
Makes former spouses eligible for specified annuities and payments. Requires the Secretary to inform spouses and former spouses of their annuity rights. Sets forth provisions regarding annuities for former spouses. Requires recomputation of annuities if the former spouse dies or remarries before age 60. Gives credit for annuity purposes for periods of internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Permits the assignment of all or part of annuities or retirement benefits to the extent that such assignment does not infringe a spousal agreement for which an annuity reduction has been made or a former spouse's court ordered right to such benefits. Directs the Secretary to make payments, otherwise due an annuitant, to another person pursuant to a decree of legal separation or court-approved property settlement. Stipulates that the ten year requirement for former spouses shall not affect such spouses' rights under State law.
Sets forth provisions concerning travel expenses, health care benefits, and representation allowances. Directs the Secretary, to the maximum extent possible, to provide for the use of American products in the representation of U.S. interests.
Sets forth labor-management provisions applicable to all members of the Foreign Service, including former members, but excluding management officials, confidential employees, consular agents, and strikers, in the Department of State, International Communication Agency, the International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce. Authorizes the President to exclude other offices or posts for national security purposes or in emergency situations. Sets forth labor and management rights.
Establishes the Foreign Service Labor Relations Board to supervise representation elections, certify exclusive bargaining agents, and resolve complaints of unfair labor practices, failure to bargain in good faith, and breaches of the collective bargaining agreement. Requires Board decisions to be consistent with decisions rendered by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Authorizes the Authority's General Counsel to investigate alleged unfair labor practices, file and prosecute complaints, and exercise other functions of the Board under this Act. Provides for judicial review and enforcement of the Board's action and for temporary relief on filing an unfair labor practice complaint. Establishes within the Federal Labor Relations Authority a Foreign Service Impasse Disputes Panel to assist in resolving negotiating impasses.
States that the Department shall constitute a single worldwide bargaining unit. Sets forth the duties and rights of the exclusive representative. Establishes a grievance procedure for disputes arising out of the implementation of agreements. Defines unfair labor practices, which shall not include picketing that does not interfere with the Department's operations. Requires the General Counsel to investigate any unfair labor practice charge. Sets forth requirements to be met by such General Counsel when issuing an unfair labor practice complaint. Specifies the procedures to be followed in determining whether an unfair labor practice exists.
Requires labor organizations to meet certain standards of conduct. Provides for union dues and use of official time.
Sets forth provisions regarding the grievance procedure applicable to the Departments of State, Agriculture, and Commerce, the International Communication Agency, and the International Development Cooperation Agency. Gives grievants the right to a representative of his or her own choosing at every stage of the proceeding, but gives the exclusive representative the right to appear if the grievant is a member of a bargaining unit. Establishes the Foreign Service Grievance Board to resolve grievances. Provides for access to records by the Board.
=Title II: Transition, Amendments to Other Laws, and Miscellaneous Provisions= - Sets forth provisions for pay and benefits of Foreign Service personnel pending conversion. Directs the Secretary to convert present members of the Foreign Service to the appropriate classes in the Foreign Service schedule within specified periods depending on whether they are available for assignment abroad. Permits Foreign Service officers and Foreign Service Reserve officers, with class 2 or higher appointments and available for world-wide assignment, to request appointment to the Senior Foreign Service. Requires those eligible, who do not elect to enter the Senior Foreign Service, to retire within three years. Makes such conversions effective for pay and benefits purposes on October 1, 1980. Requires the conversion of present members of the Foreign Service, who are not available for world-wide assignment, to the Civil Service in a comparable grade, with an extension for International Communication Agency employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to designate those positions in the Foreign Agricultural Service to be occupied by career members of the Foreign Service. Requires employees in such position to elect conversion to the Foreign Service or decline conversion but receive Foreign Service pay and benefits.
Declares that a conversion shall not cause any reduction in the individual's class, grade, or salary. Permits continued participation in the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System by those converted to the Civil Service. Prohibits the Foreign Service from retiring Foreign Service members based upon their relative performances for ten years or until they become eligible for their annuities.
Permits any participant or former participant in the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System to elect by spousal agreement to receive a reduced annuity and provide a survivor annuity for a former spouse.
Amends the Act providing certain basic authority for the Department of State to add provisions, presently found in the Foreign Service Act of 1946, concerning: (1) gifts; (2) attorneys; (3) family employment opportunities; (4) vehicle use; (5) educational facilities; (6) malpractice protection; and (7) services to post employees. Designates such Act as the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956.
Amends the Peace Corps Act, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Act to conform to this Act. Provides for lower pay for Foreign Service personnel assigned to the Peace Corps performing routine duties. Makes the Chairman of the Development Assistance Committee a Federal employee for purposes of specified Civil Service benefits.
Repeals specified provisions of the Foreign Service Act of 1946, the Foreign Relations Authorization Acts, Fiscal Years 1979, 1978, and 1977, the Department of State Appropriations Authorization Act of 1973, the Act establishing a Foreign Service Information Officer Corps, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Peace Corps Act, the International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1977, the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956, Foreign Service Annuity Adjustments Acts of 1952, 1956, 1958, 1960, and 1965, which are superceded by this Act.
Makes conforming amendments to the Asian Development Bank Act, the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, joint resolutions providing for membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization, the African Development Fund Act, the Mutual Security Act of 1954, the International Atomic Energy Agency Participation Act of 1957, the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West Act of 1960, the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, the International Development Cooperation Act of 1979, a 1954 agricultural stability Act, an Act providing for language training of Armed Forces dependents, the Defense Department Overseas Teachers Pay and Personnel Practices Act, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, an Act providing for veterans' benefits for overseas Federal employees, and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.
Directs the Secretary to designate at least two Foreign Service posts as model foreign language competence posts. Requires the Secretary to report to Congress concerning such posts.
Entitles Federal employees, who accept limited appointments in the Foreign Service, to be reemployed in their former position or a higher position. Includes Ambassadors at Large within level II of the Executive Schedule. Authorizes pay advances for departures from outside the United States when such a departure is officially authorized or ordered in the national interest or where there is imminent danger to the lives of employees or their families. Makes conforming changes in the Civil Service premium pay and severance pay provisions. Amends Civil Service provisions allowing attorney fees to be awarded in unfair labor practice and grievance proceedings to include Foreign Service personnel within such coverage. Authorizes: (1) separate maintenance allowances for employees or their families who are compelled or authorized to leave a foreign assignment post; (2) additional pay differentials for employees assigned to a post with an especially adverse environment; (3) advance pay on assignment to a foreign post; and (4) a danger pay allowance. Permits only one annual roundtrip for dependents (currently two permitted for college students). Limits the amount of additional pay for assignments to adverse environments and dangerous places. Includes specified members of the Senior Foreign Service and the Foreign Service within the Civil Service leave provisions. Authorizes home leave for employees whose assignment is terminated before two years at the convenience of the Government. Exempts members of the Senior Foreign Service from limitations on accumulated leave. Deems periods of imprisonment of foreign national employees as creditable service for retirement benefits. Makes conforming amendments to the Civil Service provisions. Makes service performed after July 1, 1946, for specified international broadcasting networks creditable for purposes of Civil Service retirement benefits. Continues the effectiveness of actions taken under laws superceded by this Act, but does not affect the benefit rights of individuals entitled to such benefits prior to this Act.
Requires the Secretary of State to report to Congress, by February 1, 1982, and annually thereafter, on the implementation of this Act by agencies utilizing the Foreign Service personnel system. States that such reports shall include the number of Foreign Service members assigned to positions more than one grade higher or lower than their personal rank. Requires the Secretary to consult with the exclusive representative, if any, of the members of the Foreign Service respecting implementation of this Act.
Makes this Act effective February 15, 1981, except the mandatory retirement and pay pending conversion provisions which shall be effective as of enactment. Makes the provisions for annuities for former spouses applicable only to those individuals who become a former spouse after the effective date of this Act unless a spousal agreement has been entered into.
Click to hide full description.
Bill titles: A bill to promote the foreign policy of the United States by strengthening and improving the Foreign Service of the United States, and for other purposes.
Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 139, p. 8662;
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov