H.R. 3619 also requires the Coast Guard to address shortcomings in acquisition management, by developing life-cycle cost estimates for assets that are expected to cost $10 million and to have a service life of 10 years or more. The bill prohibits contractor self-certification and requires the appointment of a Chief Acquisition Officer with professional qualifications in acquisition management. The legislation also authorizes the appropriation of $153 million to fund a new icebreaker for service on the Great Lakes.
Safety issues are addressed. Safety equipment standards are created for commercial fishing vessels operating three nautical miles or more from the U.S. coast. Rules are also specified, ensuring safety and security for passengers on cruise ships. Requirements include preservation by ship personnel of evidence of crimes committed onboard, and providing appropriate medical treatment to victims of sexual assaults.
Education is a major focus. A program would make loans available to eligible students to fund their training for jobs in the maritime industry and would provide grants on a competitive basis to develop services to enhance the recruitment, training, and retention of our mariner workforce. The legislation also allows Members of Congress to nominate individuals to attend the Coast Guard Academy, similar to the process used at the other service academies, supporting ongoing efforts to expand Academy diversity.
Finally, H.R. 3619 will support a comprehensive approach to combating smuggling on land, by air, and at sea by creating criminal penalties for those who bring unlawful aliens into the United States.