H.R. 4802, a bill to amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize rewards under the Department of State’s rewards program relating to information regarding individuals or entities engaged in activities in contravention of United S
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on October 30, 2019
H.R. 4802 would authorize the Department of State to offer rewards for information about the identity or location of individuals and entities that defy sanctions imposed by the United States or the United Nations.
Since the mid-1980s, the department has awarded more than $250 million under several reward programs for information leading to the arrest or conviction of designated terrorists and criminals engaged in human trafficking, smuggling, and other transnational crimes. Most awards range between $1 million and $5 million. Many of the individuals and entities designated under those programs are also subject to sanctions; CBO expects that the authority provided under the bill would be implemented through those programs.
To the extent that the bill would allow the department to offer and pay more rewards, implementing H.R. 4802 would increase spending subject to appropriation; however, it is uncertain whether and when the department would do so. On the basis of information about past awards—averaging about $7 million each year—CBO estimates that under H.R. 4802 the department would pay less than $500,000, on average, in additional awards in any given year and a total of $1 million over the 2020-2024 period. That spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.