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(b) In carrying out the flood insurance program pursuant to subsection (a), the Director

(1) shall provide insurance coverage without regard to any estimated risk premium rates which would otherwise be determined under section 1307; and

(2) shall utilize the provisions and procedures contained in or prescribed by this part (other than section 1334) and sections 1345 and 1316 to such extent and in such manner as he may consider necessary or appropriate to carry out the purpose of this section. PART B- GOVERNMENT PROGRAM WITH INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE

FEDERAL OPERATION OF THE PROGRAM Sec. 1340. (a) If at any time, after consultation with representatives of the insurance industry, the Director determines that operation of the flood insurance program as provided under part A cannot be carried out, or that such operation, in itself, would be assisted materially by the Federal Goverment's assumption, in whole or in part, of the operational responsibility for flood insurance under this title (on a temporary or other basis) he shall promptly undertake any necessary arrangements to carry out the program of flood insurance authorized under chapter I through the facilities of the Federal Government, utilizing, for purposes of providing flood insurance coverage, either

(1) insurance companies and other insurers, insurance agents and brokers, and insurance adjustment organizations, as fiscal agents of the United States,

(2) such other officers and employees of any executive agency (as defined in section 105 of title 5 of the United States Code) as the Director and the head of any such agency may from time to time, agree upon, on a reimbursement or other basis, or

(3) both the alternative specified in paragraphs (1) and (2). (b) Upon making the determination referred to in subsection (a), and at least thirty days prior to implementing the program of flood insurance authorized under chapter I through the facilities of the Federal Government, the Director shall make a report to the Congress and such report shall

(1) state the reasons for such determination,
(2) be supported by pertinent findings,

(3) indicate the extent to which it is anticipated that the insurance industry will be utilized in providing flood insurance coverage under the program, and

(4) contain such recommendations as the Director deems advisable.

ADJUSTMENT AND PAYMENT OF CLAIMS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW Sec. 1341. In the event the program is carried out as provided in section 1340, the Director shall be authorized to adjust and make payment of any claims for proved and approved losses covered by flood insurance, and upon the disallowance by the Director of any such claims, or upon the refusal of the claimant to accept the amount allowed upon any such claim, the claimant, within one year after the date of mailing of notice of disallowance or partial disallowance by the Director, may institute an action against the Director on such claim in the United States district court for the district in which the insured property or the major part thereof shall have been situated, and original exclusive jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon such court to hear and determine such action without regard to the amount in controversy.

PART C-PROVISIONS OF GENERAL APPLICABILITY

SERVICES BY INSURANCE INDUSTRY

SEC. 1345. (a) In administering the flood insurance program under this chapter, the Director is authorized to enter into any contracts, agreements, or other appropriate arrangements which may, from time to time, be necessary for the purpose of utilizing, on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, the facilities and services of any insurance companies or other insurers, insurance agents and brokers, or insurance adjustment organizations; and such contracts, agreements, or arrangements may include provision for payment of applicable operating costs and allowances for such facilities and services as set forth in the schedules prescribed under section 1311.

(b) Any such contracts, agreements, or other arrangements may be entered into without regard to the provisions of section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5) or any other provisions of law requiring competitive bidding.

(c) The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall hold any agent or broker selling or undertaking to sell flood insurance under this title harmless from any judgment for damages against such agent or broker as a result of any court action by a policyholder or applicant arising out of an error or omission on the part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and shall provide any such agent or broker with indemnification, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees, arising out of and caused by an error or omission on the part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its contractors. The Director of the Federal Emergency Agency may not hold harmless or indemnify an agent or broker for his or her error or ommission.

USE OF INSURANCE POOL, COMPANIES, OR OTHER PRIVATE

ORGANIZATIONS FOR CERTAIN PAYMENTS

Sec. 1346 (a) In order to provide for maximum efficency in the administration of the flood insurance program and in order to facilitate the expeditious payment of any Federal funds under such program, the Director may enter into contracts with a pool formed or otherwise created under section 1331, or any insurance company or other private organization, for the purpose of securing performance by such pool, company, or organization or any or all of the following responsibilities:

(1) estimating and later determining any amounts of payments to be made;

(2) receiving from the Director, disbursing, and accounting for funds in making such payments;

(3) making such audits of the records of any insurance company or other insurer, insurance agent or broker, or insurance adjustment organization as may be necessary to assure that proper payments are made; and

(4) otherwise assisting in such manner as the contract may provide to further the purposes of this title. (b) Any contract with the pool or an insurance company or other private organization under this section may contain such terms and conditions at the Director finds necessary or appropriate for carrying out responsibilities under subsection (a), and may provide for payment of any costs which the Director determines are incidental to carrying out such responsibilities which are covered by the contract.

(c) Any contract entered into under subsection (a) may be entered into without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5) or any other provision of law requiring competitive bidding.

(d) No contract may be entered into under this section unless the Director finds that the pool, company, or organization will perform its obligations under the contract efficiently and effectively, and will meet such requirements as to financial responsibility, legal authority, and other matters as he finds pertinent.

(eX(1) Any such contract may require the pool, company, or organization or any of its officers or employees certifying payments or disbursing funds pursuant to the contract, or otherwise participating in carrying out the contract, to give surety bond to the United States in such amount as the Director may deem appropriate.

(2) No individual designated pursuant to a contract under this section to certify payments shall, in the absence of gross negligence or intend to defraud the United States, be liable with respect to any payment certified by him under this section.

(3) No officer disbursing funds shall in the absence of gross negligence or intent to defraud the United States, be liable with respect to any payment by him under this section if it was based upon a voucher signed by an individual designated to certify payments as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(f) Any contract entered into under this section shall be for a term of one year, and may be made automatically renewable from term to term in the absence of notice by either party of an intention to terminate at the end of the current term; except that the Director may terminate any such contract at any time (after reasonable notice to the pool, company, or organization involved) if he finds that the pool, company, or organization has failed substantially to carry out the contract, or is carrying out the contract in a manner inconsistent with the efficient and effective administration of the flood insurance program authorized under this title.

SETTLEMENT AND ARBITRATION

SEC. 1347. (a) The Director is authorized to make final settlement of any claims or demands which may arise as a result of any financial transactions which he is authorized to carry out under this chapter, and may, to assist him in making any such settlement, refer any disputes relating to such claims or demands to arbitration, with the consent of the parties concerned.

(b) Such arbitration shall be advisory in nature, and any award, decision, or recommendation which may be made shall become final only upon the approval of the Director.

RECORDS AND AUDITS

Sec. 1348. (a) The flood insurance pool formed or otherwise created under part A of this chapter, and any insurance company or other private organization executing any contract, agreement, or other appropriate arrangement with the Director under part B of this chapter or this part, shall keep such records as the Director shall prescribe, including records which fully disclose the total costs of the program undertaken or the services being rendered, and such other records as will facilitate an effective audit.

(b) The Director and the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, documents, papers and any such insurance company or other private organization that are pertinent to the costs of the program undertaken or the services being rendered.

CHAPTER III-COORDINATION OF FLOOD INSURANCE WITH LAND-MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS IN FLOOD-PRONE AREAS

IDENTIFICATION OF FLOOD-PRONE AREAS

Sec. 1360. (a) The Director is authorized to consult with, receive information from, and enter into any agreements or other arrangements with the Secretaries of the Army, the Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the heads of other Federal departments or agencies, on a reimbursement basis, or with the head of any State or local agency, or enter into contracts with any persons or private firms, in order that he may

(1) identify and publish information with respect to all flood plain areas, including coastal areas located in the United States, which have special flood hazards, within five years following the date of the enactment of this Act, and

(2) establish flood-risk zones in all such areas, and make estimates with respect to the rates of probable flood-caused loss for the various flood-risk zones for each of these areas, by Septem

ber 30, 1985. (b) The Director is directed to accelerate the identification of risk zones within flood-prone and mudslide-prone areas, as provided by subsection (a)(2) of this section, in order to make known the degree of hazard within each such zone at the earliest possible date. To accomplish this objective, the Director is authorized, without regard to subsections (a) and (b) of section 3324 of title 31, United States Code, and section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5), to make grants, provide technical assistance, and enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, or other transactions, on such terms as he may deem appropriate, or consent to modifications thereof, and to make advance or progress payments in connection therewith.

(c) The Secretary of Defense (through the Army Corps of Engineers), the Secretary of the Interior (through the United States Geological Survey), the Secretary of Agriculture (through the Soil Conservation Service), the Secretary of Commerce (through the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration), the head of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the heads of all other Federal agencies engaged in the identification or delineation of flood-risk zones within the several States shall, in consultation with the Director, give the highest practicable priority in the allocation of available manpower and other available resources to the identification and mapping of flood hazard areas and flood-risk zones, in order to assist the Director to meet the deadline established by this section.

(d) The Director shall, not later than September 30, 1984, submit to the Congress a plan for bringing all communities containing flood-risk zones into full program status by September 30, 1987.

CRITERIA FOR LAND MANAGEMENT AND USE

Sec. 1361. (a) The Director is authorized to carry out studies and investigations, utilizing to the maximum extent practicable the existing facilities and services of other Federal departments or agencies, and State and local governmental agencies, and any other organizations, with respect to the adequacy of State and local measures in flood-prone areas as to land management and use, flood control, flood zoning, and flood damage prevention, and may enter into any contracts, agreements or other appropriate arrangements to carry out such authority.

(b) Such studies and investigations shall include, but not be limited to, laws, regulations or ordinances relating to encroachments and obstructions on stream channels and floodways, the orderly development and use of flood plains of rivers or streams, floodway encroachment lines, and flood plain zoning, building codes, building permits, and subdivision or other building restrictions.

(c) On the basis of such studies and investigations, and such other information as he deems necessary, the Director shall from time to time develop comprehensive critera designed to encourage, where necessary, the adoption of adequate State and local measures which, to the maximum extent feasible, will —

(1) construct the development of land which is exposed to flood damage where appropriate,

(2) guide the development of proposed construction away from locations which are threatened by flood hazards,

(3) assist in reducing damage caused by floods, and

(4) otherwise improve the long-range land management and

use of flood prone areas, and he shall work closely with and provide any necessary technical assistance to State, interstate, and local governmental agencies, to

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