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                                                       Calendar No. 630
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-388
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                       UNITED STATES PARK POLICE

                                _______
                                

  October 9 (legislative day, October 2), 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2247]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2247) to permit the payment of medical 
expenses incurred by the United States Park Police in the 
performance of duty to be made directly by the National Park 
Service, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                         Purpose of the Measure

    The purpose of S. 2247 is to amend section 12(e) of the Act 
of September 1, 1916 to allow the National Park Service to pay 
medical bills, directly to medical providers, for services 
rendered for United States Park Police members who become 
injured or ill in the performance of their duties.

                          Background and Need

    The District of Columbia (District) pays all medical 
expenses for services rendered for United States Park Police 
officers who become injured or ill in the performance of their 
duties. The National Park Service then reimburses the District 
for medical payments made on behalf of the Park Police. Fiscal 
constraints experienced by the District have resulted in 
untimely payments of these expenses. Consequently, some Park 
Police officers have been denied treatment and others have had 
their credit ratings adversely affected. Medical vendors for 
officers, in the Washington metropolitan area, have submitted 
payment requests to the District of Columbia up to six times 
before the bills were paid.
    The District of Columbia is also responsible for paying 
prescription benefits for Park Police, and then seeking 
reimbursement from the National Park Service. Recently, 
Metropolitan Police officials informed the Park Police that no 
pharmaceutical vendors would honor prescriptions written by the 
Police and Fire Clinic because of lack of payment by the D.C. 
Government.

                          Legislative History

    S. 2247 was introduced June 26, 1998 by Senator Murkowski, 
at the request of the Administration, and referred to the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Historic Preservation, and Recreation held a 
hearing on S. 2247 on September 17, 1998.
    At its business meeting on September 24, 1998, the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 2247, 
favorably reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on September 24, 1998, by a unanimous voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
2247 as described herein.

                           Summary of S. 2247

    S. 2247 amends the Act of September 1, 1916, section 12(e), 
to allow the National Park Service to pay medical providers 
directly for expenses incurred by the U.S. Park Police while on 
official duty.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the costs of 
this measure has been requested but was not received at the 
time the report was filed. When the report is available, the 
Chairman will request it to be printed in the Congressional 
Record for the advise of the Senate.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 2247. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards of 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from 
enactment of S. 2247, as ordered reported.

                        Executive Communications

    S. 2247 was introduced at the request of the 
Administration. On March 11, 1998, the Department of the 
Interior transmitted a letter to the Energy and Natural 
Resources Committee requesting that the bill be introduced and 
passed. A copy of the letter, and the testimony of the National 
Park Service follows:

                   U.S. Department of the Interior,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                    Washington, DC, March 11, 1998.
Hon. Albert Gore, Jr.,
President of the Senate,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. President: Enclosed is a draft bill, ``to permit 
the payment of medical expenses incurred by the U.S. Park 
Police in the performance of duty to be made directly by the 
National Park Service, and other purposes.''
    We recommend the bill be introduced, referred to the 
appropriate committee for consideration, and enacted.
    The District of Columbia (District) is currently charged 
with paying all medical bills for services rendered for 
National Park Police members who become injured or ill in the 
performance of their duties. Subsequently, the National Park 
Service reimburses the District for medical payments made on 
behalf of the Park Police. Fiscal constraints experienced by 
the District have resulted in untimely payments of these 
expenses. Consequently, some Park Police members have been 
denied treatment and others have had their credit ratings 
adversely affected. This situation is untenable. It compromises 
the law enforcement capability of the Park Police and places an 
undue burben on Park Police employees. The enclosed draft 
legislation would amend the Act of September 1, 1916, section 
12(e), to allow the National Park Service to make these 
payments directly to the medical providers. Amended language is 
urgently needed. We respectfully request that this draft 
legislation be expedited.
    The Office of Management and Budget has advised that there 
is no objection to the enactment of the enclosed draft 
legislation from the standpoint of the Administration's 
program.
            Sincerely,
                                              Donald Barry,
        Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

   Statement of Destry Jarvis, Assistant Director, External Affairs, 
           National Park Service, Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 2247, a bill to permit 
the payment of medical expenses incurred by the United States 
Park Police in The performance of duty to be made directly by 
the National Park Service, and for other purposes.
    The Administration submitted a proposal to Congress on 
March 11, 1998, to address this issue. Senator Murkowski 
introduced the legislation as S. 2247 on June 26, 1998. The 
language is identical to our proposal, and we strong support 
it.
    In accordance with Title 4 District of Columbia Code 613 
entitled ``Payment of Medical Expenses--Active Members,'' the 
District of Columbia (District) is charged with the 
responsibility of paying all medical bills for services 
rendered for United States Park Police (USPP) members who 
become injured or ill in the performance of their duties. 
Subsequently, the National Park Service reimburses the District 
for medical payments on behalf of the USPP. There are presently 
222 officers who are subject to medical services being provided 
under the auspices of 4 D.C. Code 613. Of these officers 162 
are assigned to the Washington metropolitan area, 19 to our San 
Francisco Field Office, 24 to our New York Field Office, 8 to 
the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, 
Georgia, and 9 to the various Park Service field areas.
    Fiscal constraints experienced by the District over the 
last several years have resulted in untimely payment of these 
medical expenses. Consequently, some Park Police members have 
been denied treatment and others have had their credit ratings 
adversely affected.
    Currently, the USPP has outstanding medical bills from 
1995, 1996 and 1997, which the District has not paid. In the 
last two years, 6 officers in the Washington Metropolitan Area, 
along with 5 officers assigned to our field offices, have had 
their unpaid medical bills submitted by multiple vendors to 
collection agencies. We have one totally disabled retiree who 
is confined to a nursing home. His medical bills generally 
amount to between $24,000 and $27,000 per month. The District 
is normally about 2-3 months in arrears on these payments. All 
of this despite the readiness of the Park Service to reimburse 
the District for these payments.
    The District has also tightened its procurement controls. 
It now requires a contract with a medical provider before 
payments can be made to such providers. Since the Park Police 
routinely use medical providers other than those with whom the 
District has contracts, many of our medical vendors' bills are 
sent to the District's Finance Office where they remain unpaid.
    We view prompt payment of medical bills to be critical to 
the operation of the Park Police. We do not want to jeopardize 
medical services to our members, nor do we want their credit 
ratings to be marred due to circumstances beyond their control. 
The present situation is untenable. It compromises the law 
enforcement capability of the Park Police and places an undue 
burden on Park Police employees. The language contained in S. 
2247 would amend the Act of September 1, 1916, section 12(e), 
to allow the Park Service to make these payments directly to 
the medical providers. This legislation is urgently needed, and 
we respectfully request favorable consideration of this issue.
    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks. I would be happy 
to answer any questions you may have.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill S. 2247, as ordered reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman);

                  (Public Law 85-157, August 21, 1957)

    Whenever any member shall become temporarily disabled by 
injury received or disease contracted in the performance of 
duty, to such an extent as to require medical or surgical 
services, other than such as can be rendered by the Mayor, or 
to require hospital treatment, the expense of such medical or 
surgical services, or hospital treatments, shall be paid by the 
District of Columbia; in the case of Metropolitan Police 
members, or by the National Park Service in the case of United 
States Park Police; but no such expense shall be paid except 
upon a certificate of the Mayor in the case of Metropolitan 
Police members, or upon a certificate of the Chief, United 
States Park Police, in the case of United States Park Police 
members; setting forth the necessity for such services of 
treatment and the nature of the injury or disease which 
rendered the same necessary.