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Congress & the Middle East:
Promoting Antiterrorism Cooperation through Technology & Science (PACTS Act)

(February 27, 2007)


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H.R. 884

To provide for the establishment of the Science and Technology Homeland Security International Cooperative Programs Office, 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 `Promoting Antiterrorism Cooperation through Technology and Science Act' or the `PACTS Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
      (1) The development and implementation of technology is critical to combating terrorism and other high consequence events and implementing a comprehensive homeland security strategy.
      (2) The United States and its allies in the global war on terrorism share a common interest in facilitating research, development, testing, and evaluation of equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services that will aid in detecting, preventing, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating against acts of terrorism.
      (3) Certain United States allies in the global war on terrorism, including Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Singapore have extensive experience with, and technological expertise in, homeland security.
      (4) The United States and certain of its allies in the global war on terrorism have a history of successful collaboration in developing mutually beneficial equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services in the areas of defense, agriculture, and telecommunications.
      (5) The United States and its allies in the global war on terrorism will mutually benefit from the sharing of technological expertise to combat domestic and international terrorism.
      (6) The establishment of an office to facilitate and support cooperative endeavors between and among government agencies, for-profit business entities, academic institutions, and nonprofit entities of the United States and its allies will safeguard lives and property worldwide against acts of terrorism and other high consequence events.

SEC. 3. PROMOTING ANTITERRORISM THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ACT.

    (a) In General- The Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by inserting after section 313 (6 U.S.C. 193) the following:

`SEC. 314. PROMOTING ANTITERRORISM THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROGRAM.

    `(a) Definitions- In this section:
      `(1) DIRECTOR- The term `Director' means the Director selected under subsection (b)(2).
      `(2) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE ACTIVITY- The term `international cooperative activity' includes--
        `(A) coordinated research projects, joint research projects, or joint ventures;
        `(B) joint studies or technical demonstrations;
        `(C) coordinated field exercises, scientific seminars, conferences, symposia, and workshops;
        `(D) training of scientists and engineers;
        `(E) visits and exchanges of scientists, engineers, or other appropriate personnel;
        `(F) exchanges or sharing of scientific and technological information; and
        `(G) joint use of laboratory facilities and equipment.
    `(b) Science and Technology Homeland Security International Cooperative Programs Office-
      `(1) ESTABLISHMENT- The Under Secretary shall establish the Science and Technology Homeland Security International Cooperative Programs Office.
      `(2) DIRECTOR- The Office shall be headed by a Director, who--
        `(A) shall be selected by and shall report to the Under Secretary; and
        `(B) may be an officer of the Department serving in another position.
      `(3) RESPONSIBILITIES-
        `(A) DEVELOPMENT OF MECHANISMS- The Director shall be responsible for developing, in consultation with the Department of State, understandings or agreements that allow and support international cooperative activity in support of homeland security research, development, and comparative testing.
        `(B) PRIORITIES- The Director shall be responsible for developing, in coordination with the Directorate of Science and Technology, the other components of the Department of Homeland Security, and other Federal agencies, strategic priorities for international cooperative activity in support of homeland security research, development, and comparative testing.
        `(C) ACTIVITIES- The Director shall facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of international cooperative activity to address the strategic priorities developed under subparagraph (B) through mechanisms the Under Secretary considers appropriate, including grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts to or with foreign public or private entities, governmental organizations, businesses, federally funded research and development centers, and universities.
        `(D) IDENTIFICATION OF PARTNERS- The Director shall facilitate the matching of United States entities engaged in homeland security research with non-United States entities engaged in homeland security research so that they may partner in homeland security research activities.
      `(4) COORDINATION- The Director shall ensure that the activities under this subsection are coordinated with those of other relevant research agencies, and may run projects jointly with other agencies.
      `(5) CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS- The Director may hold international homeland security technology workshops and conferences to improve contact among the international community of technology developers and to help establish direction for future technology goals.
    `(c) International Cooperative Activities-
      `(1) AUTHORIZATION- The Under Secretary is authorized to carry out international cooperative activities to support the responsibilities specified under section 302.
      `(2) MECHANISMS AND EQUITABILITY- In carrying out this section, the Under Secretary may award grants to and enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with United States governmental organizations, businesses (including small businesses and small and disadvantaged businesses), federally funded research and development centers, institutions of higher education, and foreign public or private entities. The Under Secretary shall ensure that funding and resources expended in international cooperative activities will be equitably matched by the foreign partner organization through direct funding or funding of complementary activities, or through provision of staff, facilities, materials, or equipment.
      `(3) LOANS OF EQUIPMENT- The Under Secretary may make or accept loans of equipment for research and development and comparative testing purposes.
      `(4) COOPERATION- The Under Secretary is authorized to conduct international cooperative activities jointly with other agencies.
      `(5) FOREIGN PARTNERS- Partners may include Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and other allies in the global war on terrorism, as appropriate.
      `(6) EXOTIC DISEASES- As part of the international cooperative activities authorized in this section, the Under Secretary, in coordination with the Chief Medical Officer, may facilitate the development of information sharing and other types of cooperative mechanisms with foreign countries, including nations in Africa, to strengthen American preparedness against threats to the Nation's agricultural and public health sectors from exotic diseases.
    `(d) Budget Allocation- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary, to be derived from amounts otherwise authorized for the Directorate of Science and Technology, $25,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2011 for activities under this section.
    `(e) Foreign Reimbursements- Whenever the Science and Technology Homeland Security International Cooperative Programs Office participates in an international cooperative activity with a foreign country on a cost-sharing basis, any reimbursements or contributions received from that foreign country to meet its share of the project may be credited to appropriate current appropriations accounts of the Directorate of Science and Technology.
    `(f) Report to Congress on International Cooperative Activities-
      `(1) INITIAL REPORT- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Under Secretary, acting through the Director, shall transmit to the Congress a report containing--
        `(A) a brief description of each partnership formed under subsection (b)(4), including the participants, goals, and amount and sources of funding; and
        `(B) a list of international cooperative activities underway, including the participants, goals, expected duration, and amount and sources of funding, including resources provided to support the activities in lieu of direct funding.
      `(2) UPDATES- At the end of the fiscal year that occurs 5 years after the transmittal of the report under subsection (a), and every 5 years thereafter, the Under Secretary, acting through the Director, shall transmit to the Congress an update of the report required under subsection (a).'.
    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents for the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by adding after the item relating to section 313 the following new item:
      `Sec. 314. Promoting antiterrorism through international cooperation program.'.

Sources: Library of Congress

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