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CSCE :: About the Commission  

Title: Act of June 3, 1976, Public Law No. 94-304, 90 Stat. 661 (codified as amended at 22 U.S.C. 3001-3009)

Sec. 3001. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; establishment

There is established the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (hereafter in this chapter referred to as the ''Commission'').

Sec. 3002. Function and duties of Commission

The Commission is authorized and directed to monitor the acts of the signatories which reflect compliance with or violation of the articles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, with particular regard to the provisions relating to human rights and Cooperation in Humanitarian Fields. The Commission is further authorized and directed to monitor and encourage the development of programs and activities of the United States Government and private organizations with a view toward taking advantage of the provisions of the Final Act to expand East-West economic cooperation and a greater interchange of people and ideas between East and West.

Sec. 3003. Commission membership

(a) Selection and appointment of members

The Commission shall be composed of twenty-one members as follows:

(1) Nine Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Five Members shall be selected from the majority party and four Members shall be selected, after consultation with the minority leader of the House, from the minority party.

(2) Nine Members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate. Five Members shall be selected from the majority party of the Senate, after consultation with the majority leader, and four Members shall be selected, after consultation with the minority leader of the Senate, from the minority party.

(3) One member of the Department of State appointed by the President of the United States.

(4) One member of the Department of Defense appointed by the President of the United States.

(5) One member of the Department of Commerce appointed by the President of the United States.

(b) Commission Chairman and Cochairman

There shall be a Chairman and a Cochairman of the Commission.

(c) Designation of Chairman

At the beginning of each odd-numbered Congress, the President of the Senate, on the recommendation of the majority leader, shall designate one of the Senate Members as Chairman of the Commission. At the beginning of each even-numbered Congress, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall designate one of the House Members as Chairman of the Commission.

(d) Designation of Cochairman

At the beginning of each odd-numbered Congress, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall designate one of the House Members as Cochairman of the Commission. At the beginning of each even-numbered Congress, the President of the Senate, on the recommendation of the majority leader, shall designate one of the Senate Members as Cochairman of the Commission.

Sec. 3004. Testimony of witnesses, production of evidence; issuance of subpena; administration of oaths

In carrying out this chapter, the Commission may require, by subpena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memorandums, papers, and documents as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued over the signature of the Chairman of the Commission or any member designated by him, and may be served by any person designated by the Chairman or such member. The Chairman of the Commission, or any member designated by him, may administer oaths to any witness.

Sec. 3005. Presidential report to Congress; annual submission; contents

In order to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Commission an annual report discussing the overall United States policy objectives that are advanced through meetings of decision-making bodies of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the OSCE implementation review process, and other activities of the OSCE. The report shall also include a summary of specific U.S. policy objectives with respect to participating States where there is a particular concern relating to the implementation of OSCE commitments or where an OSCE presence exists. This summary shall address the role played by OSCE institutions, mechanisms, or field activities in achieving U.S. policy objectives. The report, covering the period from January 1 to December 31, shall be submitted within 90 days after the end of the reporting period. The report shall be posted on the website of the Department of State.

Sec. 3006. Commission report to Congress; periodic reports; expenditure of appropriations

The Commission is authorized and directed to report to the House of Representatives and the Senate with respect to the matters covered by this chapter on a periodic basis and to provide information to Members of the House and Senate as requested. For each fiscal year for which an appropriation is made the Commission shall submit to Congress a report on its expenditures under such appropriation.

Sec. 3007. Appropriations for Commission

(a) Authorization; disbursements

(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for each fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to enable it to carry out its duties and functions. Appropriations to the Commission are authorized to remain available until expended.

(2) Appropriations to the Commission shall be disbursed on vouchers approved -

(A) jointly by the Chairman and the Cochairman, or

(B) by a majority of the members of the personnel and administration committee established pursuant to section 3008(a) of this title.

(b) Use of foreign currencies

For purposes of section 1754(b) of this title, the Commission shall be deemed to be a standing committee of the Congress and shall be entitled to use funds in accordance with such sections.

(c) Official reception and representational expenses

Not to exceed $6,000 of the funds appropriated to the Commission for each fiscal year may be used for official reception and representational expenses.

(d) Foreign travel for official purposes

Foreign travel for official purposes by Commission members and staff may be authorized by either the Chairman or the Cochairman.

Sec. 3008. Commission staff

(a) Personnel and administration committee

The Commission shall have a personnel and administration committee composed of the Chairman, the Cochairman, the senior Commission member from the minority party in the House of Representatives, and the senior Commission member from the minority party in the Senate.

(b) Committee functions

All decisions pertaining to the hiring, firing, and fixing of pay of Commission staff personnel shall be by a majority vote of the personnel and administration committee, except that -

(1) the Chairman shall be entitled to appoint and fix the pay of the staff director, and the Cochairman shall be entitled to appoint and fix the pay of his senior staff person; and

(2) the Chairman and Cochairman each shall have the authority to appoint, with the approval of the personnel and administration committee, at least four professional staff members who shall be responsible to the Chairman or the Cochairman (as the case may be) who appointed them. The personnel and administration committee may appoint and fix the pay of such other staff personnel as it deems desirable.

(c) Staff appointments

All staff appointments shall be made without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and general schedule pay rates.

(d) Commission employees as congressional employees

(1) For purposes of pay and other employment benefits, rights, and privileges and for all other purposes, any employee of the Commission shall be considered to be a congressional employee as defined in section 2107 of title 5.

(2) For purposes of section 3304(c)(1) [1] of title 5, staff personnel of the Commission shall be considered as if they are in positions in which they are paid by the Secretary of the Senate or the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives.

[1] See References in Text note below.

(3) The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be effective as of June 3, 1976.

Sec. 3009. Printing and binding costs

For purposes of costs relating to printing and binding, including the costs of personnel detailed from the Government Printing Office, the Commission shall be deemed to be a committee of the Congress.



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From left, Rep. Smith, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, Chairman Cardin, and Ranking Member Hastings hear testimony on threats to media freedom at a hearing June 9, 2010