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                                                       Calendar No. 254
116th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    116-134

======================================================================



 
                  TIMELY REVIEW OF INFRASTRUCTURE ACT

                                _______
                                

                October 22, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 607]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 607) to amend the Department of Energy 
Organization Act to address insufficient compensation of 
employees and other personnel of the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
    At the end, add the following:

SEC. 3. REPORT ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY TO IMPLEMENT 
                    FLEXIBLE COMPENSATION MODELS.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Energy shall submit to Congress a report examining the 
full scope of the hiring authority made available to the Secretary by 
the Office of Personnel Management to implement flexible compensation 
models, including pay for performance and pay banding, throughout the 
Department of Energy, including at the National Laboratories, for the 
purposes of hiring, recruiting, and retaining employees responsible for 
conducting work of a scientific, technological, engineering, or 
mathematical nature.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 607 is to amend the Department of Energy 
Organization Act to address insufficient compensation of 
employees and other personnel of the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission (FERC or Commission).

                          Background and Need

    Because of its obligations regarding the permitting of 
energy infrastructure, FERC hires staff and consultants for the 
purpose of advising the Commission on matters of a scientific, 
technological, engineering, or mathematical nature. These 
positions are sometimes called STEM jobs, where STEM is an 
acronym for scientific, technological, engineering, and 
mathematical skills.
    Because people with STEM skills are in high demand in the 
private sector, the rate of pay offered by FERC is often 
insufficient to attract and retain such employees. To ensure 
that FERC is able to carry out the functions of the Commission 
in a timely, efficient, and effective manner, this bill 
authorizes FERC, under certain conditions, to pay persons with 
STEM skills at a higher level than the rate allowed under the 
civil service in order to attract and retain such employees.

                          Legislative History

    S. 607 was introduced by Senators Cassidy, Gardner, and 
Murkowski on February 28, 2019. The Subcommittee on Energy held 
a hearing on the measure on September 11, 2019.
    Related legislation, H.R. 1426, was introduced in the House 
of Representatives by Representatives Olson (R-TX), Doyle (D-
PA), Thompson (D-MS), and Weber (R-TX) on February 28, 2019, 
and referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee. 
Representatives Hudson (R-NC), Gonzales (D-TX), Harder (D-CA), 
O'Halleran (D-AZ), and Crenshaw (R-TX) cosponsored at a later 
date.
    During the 115th Congress, Senators Cassidy and Murkowski 
introduced a similar measure, S. 8, which was referred to the 
Committee on November 27, 2018. Senator Gardner was later added 
as a cosponsor. Representative Olson introduced a similar 
measure, H.R. 6552, in the House of Representatives on July 26, 
2018, which was referred to the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on September 25, 2019, and ordered S. 607 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on September 25, 2019, by a majority 
voice vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass 
S. 607, if amended as described herein. Senators Stabenow, 
Hirono, and King asked to be recorded as voting no.

                          Committee Amendment

    During its consideration of S. 607 the Committee adopted an 
amendment to require the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) to 
report to Congress on the authority of the Secretary to 
implement flexible compensation models at the Department of 
Energy (DOE).

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides a short title to the bill.

Sec. 2. Addressing insufficient compensation of employees and other 
        personnel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    Section 2(a) amends section 401 of the Department of Energy 
Organization Act (Public Law 95-91) by adding a new subsection 
(k) to authorize the FERC Chairman to certify that compensation 
for a category of employees or other personnel of the 
Commission is insufficient to retain or attract employees and 
other personnel to allow the Commission to carry out its 
functions in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.
    The new subsection (k)(2) requires that any such 
certification only apply to persons with STEM skills; specify a 
maximum amount of extra compensation; be valid for five years; 
be no broader than necessary; and include an explanation for 
why other approaches for retaining and attracting employees are 
inadequate.
    The new subsection (k)(3) provides that prior to the 
expiration of a certification, the Chairman must determine 
whether certification should be renewed for a subsequent five-
year period.
    The new subsection (k)(4) requires that after the 
expiration of a certification, newly hired employees will not 
be eligible for compensation at the level that would have 
applied had the certification been in effect.
    The new subsection (k)(5) provides that for a category of 
existing employees paid at a higher level because of a 
certification, the Chairman has the discretion to retain that 
higher rate of compensation even after expiration of the 
certification.
    The new subsection (k)(6) requires the Chairman to consult 
with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management in 
implementing subsection (k), including in the determination of 
the proper amount of compensation for each category of 
employee.
    The new subsection (k)(7) authorizes the Chairman to obtain 
the services of experts and consultants in accordance with 5 
U.S.C. 3109, and pay those experts and consultants for each day 
(including travel time) at rates not in excess of the rate of 
pay for level IV of the ExecutiveSchedule under section 5315 of 
that title. This subsection further specifies that any contract with an 
expert or consultant must be subject to renewal no less than annually, 
and the Chairman must limit the use of such experts and consultants to 
the maximum extent practicable.
    Section 2(b) directs that the FERC Chairman, within one 
year of enactment, and every two years thereafter for 10 years, 
submit to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the 
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee a report on 
information relating to hiring, vacancies, and compensation at 
FERC, including an analysis of any relevant trends and 
compensation, and a description of the efforts to retain and 
attract employees or other personnel responsible for conducting 
work of a STEM nature.

Sec. 3. Report on the authority of the Secretary of Energy to implement 
        flexible compensation models

    Section 3 directs the Secretary, within 180 days of 
enactment, to submit a report to Congress that examines the 
full scope of the hiring authority made available to the 
Secretary by the Office of Personnel Management to implement 
flexible compensation models, including pay for performance and 
pay banding, throughout DOE, including at the National 
Laboratories, for the purposes of hiring, recruiting, and 
retaining employees responsible for conducting work of a STEM 
nature.

                   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 Congressional Budget Office 
completes its cost estimate, it will be posted on the internet 
at www.cbo.gov.

                      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. 607. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    While personal information is already collected on federal 
employees under existing law, no additional 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 the 
enactment of S. 607, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 607 as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission at the September 11, 2019, hearing on S. 607 
follows:

   Testimony of Anton C. Porter, Executive Director, Federal Energy 
                         Regulatory Commission

    Chairman Cassidy, Ranking Member Heinrich, and Members of 
the Committee:
    My name is Anton C. Porter and I serve as the Executive 
Director for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The 
Office of the Executive Director is responsible for providing 
administrative support services to the Commission, including 
human resources, financial management, information technology, 
security, procurement, logistics, and organizational 
management. It is my honor to provide testimony this afternoon 
responsive to S.607, the ``Timely Review of Infrastructure 
Act'' which would amend the Department of Energy Organizational 
Act to address insufficient compensation of employees and other 
personnel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As a 
member of the Commission's staff, the views I express in this 
testimony are my own, and not necessarily those of the 
Commission or of any individual Commissioner.
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or 
Commission) is composed of twelve program offices that support 
the agency's mission of ensuring consumers can obtain 
economically efficient, safe, reliable, and secure energy 
services. Our largest program office, the Office of Energy 
Projects (OEP), is responsible for performing the engineering 
and environmental review of natural gas pipeline projects, 
liquefied natural gas facilities and non-federal hydroelectric 
projects. The Commission's Office of Electric Reliability (OER) 
helps protect and improve the reliability and security of the 
nation's bulk power system through effective regulatory 
oversight of the development of mandatory reliability and 
security standards. In addition, the Office of Energy 
Infrastructure Security provides leadership, expertise and 
assistance to the energy industry to identify, communicate and 
seek comprehensive solutions to potential risks of FERC-
jurisdictional facilities from cyber-attacks and such physical 
threats as electromagnetic pulses. All three offices, which 
employ specialists in highly technical fields, would be 
impacted by S.607.
    For example, OEP is made up of 345 specialists, including 
archeologists, biologists, geologists, engineers, environmental 
protection specialists, and recreation planners, engaged in 
infrastructure review. As industry invests in and develops more 
LNG projects, OEP's workload will increase prospectively. At 
the same time, the level of expertise required to support 
FERC's LNG program responsibilities is highly technical and 
scarce within the job market. FERC supports these 
responsibilities with professionals specializing in an array of 
engineering disciplines to include mechanical, civil, petroleum 
and fire protection. Due to this scarcity in the market, FERC 
has experienced difficulties recruiting and retaining staff in 
the Washington, DC area due to compensation constraints. Among 
its staff with engineering disciplines FERC has observed a 
separation rate of approximately 30% over the past 4 fiscal 
years. As such, we have been forced to replace a third of this 
valuable expertise over this term to keep pace with this rate 
of attrition.
    During this period, the Commission has constantly attempted 
to recruit candidates to fill these positions to ensure OEP 
stays at the targeted 345 full-time equivalent staffing level, 
issuing 176 vacancy announcements. However, 39% of these 
postings failed to result in the identification of any 
desirable candidates after conducting initial screenings, 
interviews and/or reference checks. In postings that did return 
candidates with the needed professional and interpersonal 
skills, 18 percent of job offers were turned down, with the 
majority of those candidates indicating compensation 
constraints as a principal reason. As a result, OEP has not 
been able to keep pace with staff attrition. This issue has 
been more pronounced in extending job offers for LNG 
engineering positions where we have experienced a 50% success 
rate relative to acceptances.
    Attracting qualified employees to work in the Washington, 
DC area has come with only marginal success. According to the 
Economic Research Institute, a compensation analysis firm, the 
annual median salary for a petroleum engineers in the 
Washington, DC area is $175,861. The current annual median 
salary for a Commission petroleum engineer is $122,605. This 
compensation analysis is based on salary survey data collected 
directly from employers in the Washington, DC area.
    FERC has previously considered alternative approaches to 
supporting its technical workload, to include acquiring 
contractor support. In fact, it uses contractor engineering 
support on a limited basis to assist with LNG inspections. 
However, engaging contractors in a more extensive fashion 
presents unique challenges. The universe of qualified and 
capable firms that can support FERC's LNG activities is very 
small. Industry leverages these consultants to a large extent 
in support of their activities. These existing relationships 
create organizational conflicts of interest that preclude FERC 
from leveraging this limited universe more extensively. Due to 
these constraints, Federal staff provide the optimal continuity 
for seamless execution of the agency's related obligations.
    FERC's continued issues recruiting and retaining technical 
staff to be stationed in the DC area, and at FERC's recently-
announced office in Houston, Texas, will eventually have a 
negative impact on LNG program performance unless it finds 
other viable recruiting and compensation strategies to acquire 
and retain skilled staff.
    These problems have not been confined to OEP. Many of the 
Commission's other offices have had similar experiences. Over 
the past four years, many of our offices have experienced 
double digit attrition rates that have been difficult to 
address despite our aggressive hiring efforts due to 
compensation constraints.
    The Commission has realized an unsteady hire rate in key 
Commission occupations within the last four fiscal years. Given 
the 9% average attrition rate of engineers, for example, our 
agency has not been able to rise above attrition. In FY 2016 
engineers comprised 16% of the total number of agency-wide 
hires. Though there was growth in FY 2017, with Engineers 
making up 22% of total agency-wide hires, in FY 2018 that 
number plummeted to 13%, its lowest levels the past four fiscal 
years. It is a real concern that our agency will not be able to 
on-board as many Engineers as separate, leaving our Engineering 
ranks perpetually lacking.
    In the annual 2018 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, 
administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), 
26% of Commission employees responded that they are considering 
leaving the Commission within the next year. Among those who 
are considering leaving within the next year, only 46% of them 
expressed satisfaction with their pay. Among the respondents 
who have Doctoral or Professional Degrees the overall 
satisfaction with pay (regardless of intent to leave) was the 
lowest, at 62%, compared to respondents with no degrees or 
other degrees. We are awaiting 2019 survey data results from 
OPM.
    Over the past four fiscal years, the Commission has made 
hiring a strategic priority, working diligently to hire ahead 
of forecasted attrition. Over this period, our average time to 
hire has been under our 55 calendar days metric, with an 
average time to hire of 49 calendar days in FY 2018. While this 
has addressed our ability to be responsive to applicants, we 
remain challenged with attracting quality candidates to fill 
our positions. We have also maximized our use of available 
Title 5 recruitment incentives, including offering one-time 
recruitment and relocation bonuses, offering creditable service 
for annual leave accrual for non-Federal work experience and 
experience in uniformed service, as well as using superior 
qualifications for setting pay above the minimum rate. Once 
employees are on-board, we have also maximized our use of 
available Title 5 retention incentives, including investing 
just over $1 million annually in providing Student Loan 
Repayment Program incentives to staff. Even with these 
flexibilities, 18% of candidates that declined offers noted 
they did so to pursue private sector opportunities that 
provided greater compensation. These compensation issues are 
compounded in the Washington, DC Headquarters location and in 
our San Francisco Regional Office by higher costs of living.
    The Commission has used Federal Government-wide direct hire 
authorities for Information Technology professionals with 
information security experience over the past eight years. This 
year we have also expanded our use of Government-wide direct 
hire authorities granted for Economists, Biological Scientists, 
Fishery Biologists, General Engineers, Engineers, Physical 
Scientists, and Acquisition occupations. While the direct hire 
authority expedites the hiring process, we are often faced with 
not being able to offer competitive compensation for these 
needed skill sets.
    In summary, the language contained in S.607, the ``Timely 
Review of Infrastructure Act'' will assist the Commission in 
attracting and retaining the needed workforce with additional 
compensation authorities. This concludes my testimony. I would 
be happy to answer any of your questions.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the changes in existing law made 
by S. 607, as 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):

                 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ORGANIZATION ACT

Public Law 95-91, As Amended

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



             TITLE IV--FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

                     APPOINTMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

    Sec. 401. (a) There is hereby established within the 
Department an independent regulatory commission to be known as 
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
    (b)(1) The Commission shall be composed of five members 
appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate. One of the members shall be designated by the 
President as Chairman. Members shall hold office for a term of 
5 years and may be removed by the President only for 
inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. Not 
more than three members of the Commission shall be members of 
the same political party. Any Commissioner appointed to fill a 
vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which 
his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the 
remainder of such term. A Commissioner may continue to serve 
after the expiration of his term until his successor is 
appointed and has been confirmed and taken the oath of Office, 
except that such Commissioner shall not serve beyond the end of 
the session of the Congress in which such term expires. Members 
of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, 
vocation, or employment while serving on the Commission.
    (2) Notwithstanding the third sentence of paragraph (1), 
the terms of members first taking office after the date of 
enactment of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Member 
Term Act of 1990 shall expire as follows:
                  (A) In the case of members appointed to 
                succeed members whose terms expire in 1991, one 
                such member's term shall expire on June 30, 
                1994, and one such member's term shall expire 
                on June 30, 1995, as designated by the 
                President at the time of appointment.
                  (B) In the case of members appointed to 
                succeed members whose terms expire in 1992, one 
                such member's term shall expire on June 30, 
                1996, and one such member's term shall expire 
                on June 30, 1997, as designated by the 
                President at the time of appointment.
                  (C) In the case of the member appointed to 
                succeed the member whose term expires in 1993, 
                such member's term shall expire on June 30, 
                1998.
    (c) The Chairman shall be responsible on behalf of the 
Commission for the executive and administrative operation of 
the Commission, including functions of the Commission with 
respect to (1) the appointment and employment of hearing 
examiners in accordance with the provisions of title 5, United 
States Code, (2) the selection, appointment, and fixing of the 
compensation of such personnel as he deems necessary, including 
an executive director, (3) the supervision of personnel 
employed by or assigned to the Commission, except that each 
member of the Commission may select and supervise personnel for 
his personal staff, (4) the distribution of business among 
personnel and among administrative units of the Commission, and 
(5) the procurement of services of experts and consultants in 
accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code. 
The Secretary shall provide to the Commission such support and 
facilities as the Commission determines it needs to carry out 
its functions.
    (d) In the performance of their functions, the members, 
employees, or other personnel of the Commission shall not be 
responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of 
any officer, employee, or agent of any other part of the 
Department.
    (e) The Chairman of the Commission may designate any other 
member of the Commission as Acting Chairman to act in the place 
and stead of the Chairman during his absence. The Chairman (or 
the Acting Chairman in the absence of the Chairman) shall 
preside at all sessions of the Commission and a quorum for the 
transaction of business shall consist of at least three members 
present. Each member of the Commission, including the Chairman, 
shall have one vote. Actions of the Commission shall be 
determined by a majority vote of the members present. The 
Commission shall have an official seal which shall be 
judicially noticed.
    (f) The Commission is authorized to establish such 
procedural and administrative rules as are necessary to the 
exercise of its functions. Until changed by the Commission, any 
procedural and administrative rules applicable to particular 
functions over which the Commission has jurisdiction shall 
continue in effect with respect to such particular functions.
    (g) In carrying out any of its functions, the Commission 
shall have the powers authorized by the law under which such 
function is exercised to hold hearings, sign and issue 
subpenas, administer oaths, examine witnesses, and receive 
evidence at any place in the United States it may designate. 
The Commission may, by one or more of its members or by such 
agents as it may designate, conduct any hearing or other 
inquiry necessary or appropriate to its functions, except that 
nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to supersede the 
provisions of section 556 of title 5, United States Code 
relating to hearing examiners.
    (h) The principal office of the Commission shall be in or 
near the District of Columbia, where its general sessions shall 
be held, but the Commission may sit anywhere in the United 
States.
    (i) For the purpose of section 552b of title 5, United 
States Code, the Commission shall be deemed to be an agency. 
Except as provided in section 518 of title 28, United States 
Code, relating to litigation before the Supreme Court, 
attorneys designated by the Chairman of the Commission may 
appear for, and represent the Commission in, any civil action 
brought in connection with any function carried out by the 
Commission pursuant to this Act or as otherwise authorized by 
law.
    (j) In each annual authorization and appropriation request 
under this Act, the Secretary shall identify the portion 
thereof intended for the support of the Commission and include 
a statement by the Commission (1) showing the amount requested 
by the Commission in its budgetary presentation to the 
Secretary and the Office of Management and Budget and (2) as 
assessment of the budgetary needs of the Commission. Whenever 
the Commission submits to the Secretary, the President, or the 
Office of Management and Budget, any legislative recommendation 
or testimony, or comments on legislation, prepared for 
submission to Congress, the Commission shall concurrently 
transmit a copy thereof to the appropriate committees of 
Congress.
    (k) Addressing Insufficient Compensation of Employees and 
Other Personnel of the Commission.--
          (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
        of law, if the Chairman publicly certifies that 
        compensation for a category of employees or other 
        personnel of the Commission is insufficient to retain 
        or attract employees and other personnel to allow the 
        Commission to carry out the functions of the Commission 
        in a timely, efficient, and effective manner, the 
        Chairman may fix the compensation for the category of 
        employees or other personnel without regard to chapter 
        51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United 
        States Code, or any other civil service law.
          (2) Certification requirements.--A certification 
        issued under paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) apply with respect to a category of 
                employees or other personnel responsible for 
                conducting work of a scientific, technological, 
                engineering, or mathematical nature;
                  (B) specify a maximum amount of reasonable 
                compensation for the category of employees or 
                other personnel;
                  (C) be valid for a 5-year period beginning on 
                the date on which the certification is issued;
                  (D) be no broader than necessary to achieve 
                the objective of retaining or attracting 
                employees and other personnel to allow the 
                Commission to carry out the functions of the 
                Commission in a timely, efficient, and 
                effective manner; and
                  (E) include an explanation for why the other 
                approaches available to the Chairman for 
                retaining and attracting employees and other 
                personnel are inadequate.
          (3) Renewal.--
                  (A) In general.--Not later than 90 days 
                before the date of expiration of a 
                certification issued under paragraph (1), the 
                Chairman shall determine whether the 
                certification should be renewed for a 
                subsequent 5-year period.
                  (B) Requirement.--If the Chairman determines 
                that a certification should be renewed under 
                subparagraph (A), the Chairman may renew the 
                certification, subject to the certification 
                requirements under paragraph (2) that were 
                applicable to the initial certification.
          (4) New hires.--
                  (A) In general.--An employee or other 
                personnel that is a member of a category of 
                employees or other personnel that would have 
                been covered by a certification issued under 
                paragraph (1), but was hired during a period in 
                which the certification has expired and has not 
                been renewed under paragraph (3) shall not be 
                eligible for compensation at the level that 
                would have applied to the employee or other 
                personnel if the certification had been in 
                effect on the date on which the employee or 
                other personnel was hired.
                  (B) Compensation of new hires on renewal.--On 
                renewal of a certification under paragraph (3), 
                the Chairman may fix the compensation of the 
                employees or other personnel described in 
                subparagraph (A) at the level established for 
                the category of employees or other personnel in 
                the certification.
          (5) Retention of level of fixed compensation.--A 
        category of employees or other personnel, the 
        compensation of which was fixed by the Chairman in 
        accordance with paragraph (1), may, at the discretion 
        of the Chairman, have the level of fixed compensation 
        for the category of employees or other personnel 
        retained, regardless of whether a certification 
        described under that paragraph is in effect with 
        respect to the compensation of the category of 
        employees or other personnel.
          (6) Consultation required.--The Chairman shall 
        consult with the Director of the Office of Personnel 
        Management in implementing this subsection, including 
        in the determination of the amount of compensation with 
        respect to each category of employees or other 
        personnel.
          (7) Experts and consultants.--
                  (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), 
                the Chairman may--
                          (i) obtain the services of experts 
                        and consultants in accordance with 
                        section 3109 of title 5, United States 
                        Code;
                          (ii) compensate those experts and 
                        consultants for each day (including 
                        travel time) at rates not in excess of 
                        the rate of pay for level IV of the 
                        Executive Schedule under section 5315 
                        of that title; and
                          (iii) pay to the experts and 
                        consultants serving away from the homes 
                        or regular places of business of the 
                        experts and consultants travel expenses 
                        and per diem in lieu of subsistence at 
                        rates authorized by sections 5702 and 
                        5703 of that title for persons in 
                        Government service employed 
                        intermittently.
                  (B) Limitations.--The Chairman shall--
                          (i) to the maximum extent 
                        practicable, limit the use of experts 
                        and consultants pursuant to 
                        subparagraph (A); and
                          (ii) ensure that the employment 
                        contract of each expert and consultant 
                        employed pursuant to subparagraph (A) 
                        is subject to renewal not less 
                        frequently than annually.

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