Statutory Law - US Code - 22 USC 6208. Radio Free Asia


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22 USC § 6208. Radio Free Asia

*Current through Public Law 112-173, August 16th, 2012.

(a) Authority
(1) Grants authorized under section 6204 of this title shall be available to make annual grants for the purpose of carrying out radio broadcasting to the following countries: The People's Republic of China, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam.
(2) Such broadcasting service shall be referred to as “Radio Free Asia”.
(b) Functions
Radio Free Asia shall—
(1) provide accurate and timely information, news, and commentary about events in the respective countries of Asia and elsewhere; and
(2) be a forum for a variety of opinions and voices from within Asian nations whose people do not fully enjoy freedom of expression.
(c) Grant agreement
Any grant agreement or grants under this section shall be subject to the following limitations and restrictions:
(1) The Board may not make any grant to Radio Free Asia unless the headquarters of Radio Free Asia and its senior administrative and managerial staff are in a location which ensures economy, operational effectiveness, and accountability to the Board.
(2) Any grant agreement under this section shall require that any contract entered into by Radio Free Asia shall specify that all obligations are assumed by Radio Free Asia and not by the United States Government.
(3) Any grant agreement shall require that any lease agreements entered into by Radio Free Asia shall be, to the maximum extent possible, assignable to the United States Government.
(4) Grants made for the operating costs of Radio Free Asia may not exceed $30,000,000 in each of the fiscal years 2000 and 2001.
(5) Grants awarded under this section shall be made pursuant to a grant agreement which requires that grant funds be used only for activities consistent with this section, and that failure to comply with such requirements shall permit the grant to be terminated without fiscal obligation to the United States.
(d) Limitations on administrative and managerial costs
It is the sense of the Congress that administrative and managerial costs for operation of Radio Free Asia should be kept to a minimum and, to the maximum extent feasible, should not exceed the costs that would have been incurred if Radio Free Asia had been operated as a Federal entity rather than as a grantee.
(e) Assessment of effectiveness of Radio Free Asia
Not later than 3 years after the date on which initial funding is provided for the purpose of operating Radio Free Asia, the Board shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on—
(1) whether Radio Free Asia is technically sound and cost-effective,
(2) whether Radio Free Asia consistently meets the standards for quality and objectivity established by this chapter,
(3) whether Radio Free Asia is received by a sufficient audience to warrant its continuation,
(4) the extent to which such broadcasting is already being received by the target audience from other credible sources; and
(5) the extent to which the interests of the United States are being served by maintaining broadcasting of Radio Free Asia.
(f) Notification and consultation regarding displacement of Voice of America broadcasting
(1) Notification
The Board shall notify the appropriate congressional committees before—
(A) entering into any agreements for the utilization of Voice of America transmitters, equipment, or other resources that will significantly reduce the broadcasting activities of the Voice of America in Asia or any other region in order to accommodate the broadcasting activities of Radio Free Asia; or
(B) entering into any agreements in regard to the utilization of Radio Free Asia transmitters, equipment, or other resources that will significantly reduce the broadcasting activities of Radio Free Asia.
(2) Consultation
The Chairman of the Board shall consult with such committees on the impact of any such reduction in Voice of America broadcasting activities or Radio Free Asia broadcasting activities.
(g) Not a Federal agency or instrumentality
Nothing in this chapter may be construed to make Radio Free Asia a Federal agency or instrumentality.
(Pub. L. 103–236, title III, §309, Apr. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 439; Pub. L. 103–415, §1(s)(2), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4302; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(7) [div. A, title V, §501], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–450; Pub. L. 110–321, §4, Sept. 19, 2008, 122 Stat. 3535; Pub. L. 111–71, §1, Oct. 9, 2009, 123 Stat. 2058; Pub. L. 111–202, §3, July 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 1374.)
Amendments
2010—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 111–202, §3(1), struck out “, and shall further specify that funds to carry out the activities of Radio Free Asia may not be available after September 30, 2010” after “Government”.
Subsecs. (f) to (h). Pub. L. 111–202, §3(2)–(4), redesignated subsecs. (g) and (h) as (f) and (g), respectively, designated first sentence of subsec. (f) as par. (1), inserted heading, inserted subpar. (A) designation before “entering into any agreements for the utilization of Voice of America”, added subpar. (B), designated second sentence of subsec. (f) as par. (2), inserted heading, inserted “or Radio Free Asia broadcasting activities” before period at end, and struck out former subsec. (f) which related to sunset provisions.
Findings
Pub. L. 111–202, §1, July 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 1373, provided that: “Congress finds the following:
“(1) Radio Free Asia (referred to in this Act [amending this section] as ‘RFA’)—
“(A) was authorized under section 309 of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6208);
“(B) was incorporated as a private, non-profit corporation in March 1996 in the hope that its operations would soon be obviated by the global advancement of democracy; and
“(C) is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional offices in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Ankara, and Taipei.
“(2) RFA broadcasts serve as substitutes for indigenous free media in regions lacking free media outlets.
“(3) The mission of RFA is ‘to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press’ in order to enable informed decisionmaking by the people within Asia.
“(4) RFA provides daily broadcasts of news, commentary, analysis, and cultural programming to Asian countries in several languages, including—
“(A) 12 hours per day in Mandarin;
“(B) 8 hours per day in 3 Tibetan dialects, Uke, Kham, and Amdo;
“(C) 4 hours per day in Korean and Burmese;
“(D) 2 hours per day in Cantonese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Khmer (Cambodian), and Uyghur; and
“(E) 1½ hours per week in Wu (local Shanghai dialect).
“(5) The governments of the countries targeted for these broadcasts have consistently denied and blocked attempts at Medium Wave and FM transmissions into their countries, forcing RFA to rely on Shortwave broadcasts and the Internet.
“(6) RFA has provided continuous online news to its Asian audiences since 2004, although some countries—
“(A) routinely and aggressively block RFA's website;
“(B) monitor access to RFA's website; and
“(C) discourage online users by making it illegal to access RFA's website.
“(7) Despite these attempts, RFA has successfully managed to reach its online audiences through proxies, cutting-edge software, and active republication and repostings by its audience.
“(8) RFA also provides forums for local opinions and experiences through message boards, podcasts, web logs (blogs), cell phone-distributed newscasts, and new media, including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
“(9) Freedom House has documented that freedom of the press is in decline in nearly every region of the world, particularly in Asia, where none of the countries served by RFA have increased their freedom of the press during the past 5 years.
“(10) In fiscal year 2010, RFA is operating on a $37,000,000 budget, less than $400,000 of which is available to fund Internet censorship circumvention.
“(11) Congress currently provides grant funding for RFA's operations on a fiscal year basis.”