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Calendar No. 134
105th Congress Report
1st Session 105-71
OKLAHOMA CITY NATIONAL MEMORIAL
September 2, 1997.--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. 871]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 871) to establish the Oklahoma City
National Memorial as a unit of the National Park System; to
designate the Oklahoma City Memorial Trust, 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. 871 is to establish the Oklahoma City
National Memorial as a unit of the National Park System and to
establish the Oklahoma City Memorial Trust and to manage the
background and need
One hundred and sixty-eight Americans lost their lives and
many more were injured on April 19, 1995, when a bomb was
detonated at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma. This tragedy constitutes the worst domestic
terrorist incident in American history.
This legislation would create a memorial at the site of the
Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City on 5th Street, Between
Robinson and Harvey Streets and would also include the sites of
the Water Resources Building and Journal Record Building.
Concepts for the memorial were solicited through a design
competition that included 624 design submissions from all 50
states and 23 foreign countries. The design that was selected
was created by Hans-Ekkehard Butzer, Torrey Butzer and Sven
Berg, a German-based design team. The design includes 168
chairs in the Murrah Building footprint, a water element
designed to reflect spirit of change, a survivor tree,
envisioned to reflect hope and ``gates of time'' on each end of
Fifth Street that focus the visitor's attention on memorial
inscriptions and the other elements of the memorial. Torrey
Butzer of the German team states, ``We watched Oklahomans and
the world respond to this terrible tragedy from afar. This is
our way of giving something to honor the victims, survivors and
the heros. This design will tell the story of all of us changed
The memorial established pursuant to this Act would serve
not only as a monument to those who died and were injured in
the bombing on April 19th, but also as a symbol of the
galvanization of assistance, courage and good will shown by
local citizens and Americans across the country in their
outpouring of aid following the incident.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial will be designated as a
unit of the National Park System. It will be placed under the
charge of a wholly-owned government corporation, to be known as
the Oklahoma City National Trust (Trust). The Trust will be
governed by a nine-member Board of Directors (Board) which will
have the authority to appoint an executive director and other
key staff. Interim staff are authorized for two years to assist
in the development of the memorial. Permanent National Park
service staff and the ability to retain staff from other
Federal agencies are also provided for by this measure on a
S. 871 authorizes $5 million in Federal funds for
construction and maintenance, but stipulates that any Federal
expenditures must be matched by non-Federal funds, dollar for
dollar. It is expected that matching fund sources will include
the Oklahoma State legislature and private donations.
S. 871 was introduced June 10, 1997 by Senators Nickles and
Inhofe and was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources. The Subcommittee on National Parks, Historic
Preservation and Recreation held a hearing in Oklahoma City on
July 3, 1997 and in Washington, D.C. on July 17, 1997.
committee recommendations and tabulation of votes
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on July 30, 1997, bya unanimous vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 871 without
The rollcall vote on reporting the measure was 20 yeas, 0
nays, as follows:
Mr. Campbell \1\
Mr. Burns \1\
Mr. Bingaman \1\
Ms. Landrieu \1\
\1\ Indicates voted by proxy.
Section 1 entitles the bill the ``Oklahoma City National
Memorial Act of 1997''.
Section 2 sets forth Congressional findings and purpose.
The purpose of the bill is to establish the Oklahoma City
National Memorial as a unit of the National Park System and to
further establish how the memorial will be developed and
Section 3 defines certain terms in the bill.
Section 4(a) establishes the Oklahoma City National
Memorial (Memorial) and further establishes the Memorial as a
unit of the National Park System.
Subsection (b) references the official boundary map for the
memorial and authorizes the Oklahoma City National Memorial
Trust (the Trust) to make boundary revisions when necessary.
Section 5(a) establishes a wholly owned government
corporation to be known as the Oklahoma City National Memorial
Subsection (b)(1) sets forth the membership of the Board of
Directors (Board) for the Trust. The 9-member Board shall
consist of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) or his
designee and 8 additional members appointed by the President,
but selected from lists of nominees submitted by the Governor
of Oklahoma, the Mayor of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma
delegations from the United States House of Representatives and
Senate. This section also directs that the President is to
appoint the Board members within 90 days after the date of
Paragraph (b)(2) sets the terms of Board members at 4 years
and limits consecutive terms to 8 years. The section also
staggers the first series of appointments, with two members
serving for 2 years and two members serving a term of 3 years.
Paragraph (b)(3) directs that 5 members shall constitute a
Paragraph (b)(4) directs that the Board shall organize
itself in a manner it deems most appropriate and that members
shall not receive compensation, but may be reimbursed for
actual and necessary travel and subsistence associated with
Paragraph (b)(5) establishes that Board members will not be
considered Federal employees except for purposes of the Federal
Tort Claims Act, the Ethics in Government Act and provisions of
titles 11 and 18 of the United States Code.
Paragraph (b)(6) directs the Board to meet at least 3 times
per year in Oklahoma City, with at least two of those meetings
open to the public. The Paragraph also allows the Board to hold
additional meetings and the authority to determine if those
meetings are open or closed to the public by majority vote. The
Paragraph also authorizes the Board the ability to establish
procedures for providing public information and soliciting
public comment regarding operations, maintenance and management
of the Memorial as well as input on policy, planning and design
Paragraph (b)(7) authorizes the Trust to appoint and fix
compensation and duties of an executive director of the
Memorial and other officers it deems necessary without regard
to provisions of Title 5 of the United States Code. The
Paragraph also authorizes the Secretary of the Interior (at the
request of the Trust) to provide interim employees as necessary
for appointments not to exceed 2 years; to provide uniformed
personnel on a reimbursable basis to carry out day to day
duties; and at the request of the Trust, the Director of any
other Federal agency may provide personnel on a reimbursable
basis to carry out day to day visitor services programs.
Paragraph (b)(8) states that the Trust shall have all
powers necessary and proper to exercise the authorities vested
Paragraph (b)(9) provides that the Trust and all properties
administered by the Trust shall be exempt from all city, State
and local taxes.
Paragraph (b)(10) states that the Trust shall be treated as
a wholly owned government corporation, subject to 31 U.S.C.
Government Corporations Act and that Trust financial statements
shall be audited annually. The Paragraph also directs the Trust
to submit a comprehensive report of operations, activities and
accomplishments for the prior fiscal year to the Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House
Committee on Resources, as well as a report, in general terms,
of goals for the current fiscal year.
Section 6(a) directs that the Trust shall administer the
operation, maintenance, management and interpretation of the
Memorial, including, but not limited to leasing,
rehabilitation, repair and improvement of Memorial property in
accordance with existing Federal law including: provisions of
law generally applicable to the National Park Service,
including the 1916 Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1, 2-4) and the
Historic Preservation Act of 1935; the general objectives set
forth in the ``Memorial Mission Statement'', adopted March 26,
1996 and the Oklahoma Memorial Foundation Intergovernmental
Letter of Understanding, dated, October 28, 1996.
Subsection 6(b)(1) authorizes the Trust to participate in
the development of programs and activities at the Memorial and
to negotiate and enter into agreements, leases, and contracts
with persons, firms, organizations including Federal, State and
local government entities, as necessary to carry out its
authorized activities and that such agreements may be entered
into without regard to section 321, 40 U.S.C. 303(b).
Paragraph (b)(2) directs the Trust to establish procedures
for lease agreements for the use and occupancy of Memorial
facilities, including a requirement that in entering into such
agreements, the Trust shall obtain reasonable competition.
Paragraph (b)(3) prohibits the Trust from disposing of or
reconveying title to any real property transferred to the Trust
under this Act.
Paragraph (b)(4) directs that Federal laws and regulations
governing procurement shall not apply to the Trust with the
exception of those related to Federal contracts governing
working conditions and any applicable civil rights provisions
which are otherwise applicable.
Paragraph (b)(5) directs the Trust, in consultation with
the Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy to establish
and promulgate procedures enabling the Trust's procurement of
goods and services, including, but not limited to the award of
contracts on the basis of price, reasonable buying practices,
competition and qualifications.
Subsection 6(c) directs that the Trust shall, within one
year of passage of the Act, develop in consultation with the
Secretary, a comprehensive program for management of those
lands, operations and facilities associated with the Memorial.
Subsection 6(d) authorizes the Trust to solicit and accept
donations for the purposes of carrying out its duties.
Subsection 6(e) authorizes that all proceeds received by
the Trust may be retained and used by the Trust without further
appropriation for uses in the administration, operation,
preservation, restoration, maintenance, repair and improvements
at the Memorial and that the Secretary of the Treasury at the
request of the Trust, shall invest excess monies in public debt
Subsection 6(f) establishes that the Trust may sue and be
sued to the same extent as the Federalgovernment and that
litigation shall be conducted by the Attorney General, with the
provision that the Trust may retain private attorneys for advice and
council and that the District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma
shall have exclusive jurisdiction over suits filed against the Trust.
Subsection 6(g) authorizes the Trust to adopt, amend,
repeal and enforce bylaws, rules and regulations governing the
way it conducts its business and the way by which it powers may
be exercised. The Section also authorizes the Trust, in
consultation with the Secretary to adopt and enforce those
National Park Service regulations necessary and appropriate to
carry out its duties and requires that the Trust shall give
notice of its adoption of any such rules or regulations by
publication in the Federal Register.
Subsection 6(h) directs the Trust to require any contractor
or leaseholders to procure insurance, as is reasonable and
customary, against any loss connected with properties under
lease or contract or from related activities.
Section 7 authorizes $5 million for the furtherance of the
Act and stipulates that expenditure of any Federally
appropriated money must be matched, one to one, with non-
Federal monies and that donated monies will be construed, for
purposes of this Section, as non-Federal matching monies.
Section 8 states that prior to the construction of the
memorial, the General Services Administration shall exchange,
sell, lease, donate or otherwise dispose of the Alfred P.
Murrah Federal Building to the Trust and that such transfer
shall not be subject to the Public Building Act of 1959; the
Federal Property and Administration Services Act of 1949 or any
other Federal law establishing requirements or procedures for
the disposal of Federal property.
Section 9 directs that 6 years after the first meeting of
the Board, General Accounting Office shall conduct an interim
study on the activities of the Trust (and how it is meeting its
obligations under this Act) and report the results of that
study to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
and Appropriations, and to the Committee on Resources and the
Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
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 this report was filed. When the report is available, the
Chairman will request it to be printed in the Congressional
Record for the advice 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. 871. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 871, as ordered reported.
On August 1, 1997, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 871. These reports
had not been received at the time the report on S. 871 was
filed. When these reports become available, the Chairman will
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for
the advice of the Senate. The testimony of the Department of
the Interior at the Subcommittee hearing follows:
Statement by Katherine H. Stevenson, Associate Director of Cultural
Resource Stewardship and Partnerships, National Park Service,
Department of the Interior
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for
the opportunity to appear before you to address S. 871, a bill
to establish the Oklahoma City National Memorial as a unit of
the National Park System and to designate the Oklahoma City
Memorial Trust. We support the establishment of a memorial for
the victims of Oklahoma City, and look forward to working with
the Committee during the legislative process to finalize a
concept that appropriately reflects the tragedy and its
implications to the United States.
If enacted, S. 871 would create a new unit of the National
Park System in Oklahoma City--a memorial to recognize the
profound changes brought to so many lives the morning of April
19, 1995. The legislation would direct the National Park
Service to provide technical assistance to the Oklahoma City
Memorial Trust and, along with other Federal agencies, to carry
out day-to-day visitor services programs at the Memorial.
After the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building,
President Clinton recognized the impact of this event on all
Americans by declaring the Sunday following the bombing a
national day of mourning for the victims of the bombing. He
asked the people of the United States to pray for the victims
and the community when they gathered in their places of
worship. He delivered a personal message to the children of
Oklahoma City and this country letting them know that almost
all the adults in this country are good people who love their
children. He didn't want the children to believe something
terrible about life, but wanted them to know that most adults
are good people.
The President also traveled to Oklahoma City on that Sunday
to participate in a memorial service for the bombing victims.
At the service, the President personally thanked all those who
worked so heroically to save lives and to solve this crime and
all of those across the land who came to lend a hand. He
pledged to do all he could to help heal the injured, and to
rebuild the city. He praised the federal workers affected by
this act, and thanked them for serving their country so well.
The President promised to stand with all the people of Oklahoma
City for as long as it takes.
The unity citizens from throughout the nation experienced
after the Oklahoma City bombing found its expression in many
ways. Along with the national day of mourning and the
rededication of public servants to their calling, personal
mementos were left, and continue to be left at the site of the
bombing. Through citizen action, the Oklahoma City Memorial
Foundation was established to create an appropriate memorial on
the site. The Foundation has done a tremendous job of involving
the public, defining its mission and goals, and holding a
design competition for the memorial. Building upon these
efforts is the legislation introduced by the Oklahoma
This legislation departs in two significant ways from the
norm for creation of units of the National Park System. First,
places that may be deemed historical in nature are not
designated until the passage of a sufficient interval of time
to allow for historical judgment--in general that is fifty
years. Yet, this event is so clearly important to contemporary
America that some kind of national recognition is appropriate
now. Second, units of the National Park System are not normally
administered through other entities such as the Trust. Yet, the
specific tie to local citizens, especially those citizens who
lost family members, friends and colleagues in the Oklahoma
City bombing, make it necessary to consider the best ways to
ensure the close and continued involvement of those most
affected by the tragedy in planning the memorial and
interpreting its significance.
Mr. Chairman, we would like to explore with the Committee
and the delegation the best way for us to work in partnership
with the Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation. It was clear to us
from the testimony given at the recent field hearing in
Oklahoma City that it is the wish of local citizens and the
State of Oklahoma to retain a strong level of local control and
involvement in all aspects of Memorial's operation and
We commend Senators Nickles and Inhofe, and the other
members of the Oklahoma delegation in their efforts to
appropriately memorialize the lives of the innocent victims of
the Oklahoma City bombing. We look forward to working closely
with the delegation and the Committee staff in developing a
legislative concept which will work well for the Oklahoma City
Memorial Foundation, the National Park Service, and all of
those who have been affected by this tragic event.
That completes my remarks, Mr. Chairman. I would be happy
to answer any questions that you may have.
changes in existing law
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 871 as