The Secretary of Commerce and representatives of Federal agencies with responsibility for Federal recreational sites in rural areas (including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tennessee Valley Authority, and such other Federal agencies as the Board determines appropriate) shall be nonvoting ex-officio members of the Board.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board shall be elected by the voting members of the Board for terms of two years.
The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairman and there shall be at least two meetings each year. A majority of the voting members of the Board serving at any one time shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Foundation shall have an official seal, which shall be judicially noticed. Voting membership on the Board shall not be deemed to be an office within the meaning of the laws of the United States.
No compensation shall be paid to the members of the Board for their services as members, but they may be reimbursed for actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as such members out of Foundation funds available to the Board for such purposes.
The Foundation is authorized to accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer, and use any gifts, devises, or bequests, either absolutely or in trust, of real or personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein for the benefit of or in connection with rural tourism, except that the Foundation may not accept any such gift, devise, or bequest which entails any expenditure other than from the resources of the Foundation. A gift, devise, or bequest may be accepted by the Foundation even though it is encumbered, restricted, or subject to beneficial interests of private persons if any current or future interest therein is for the benefit of rural tourism.
A gift, devise, or bequest accepted by the Foundation for the benefit of or in connection with rural tourism on Indian reservations, pursuant to section 5341 of title 25, shall be maintained in a separate accounting for the benefit of Indian tribes in the development of tourism on Indian reservations.
Except as otherwise required by the instrument of transfer, the Foundation may sell, lease, invest, reinvest, retain, or otherwise dispose of or deal with any property or income thereof as the Board may from time to time determine. The Foundation shall not engage in any business, nor shall the Foundation make any investment that may not lawfully be made by a trust company in the District of Columbia, except that the Foundation may make any investment authorized by the instrument of transfer and may retain any property accepted by the Foundation.
The Foundation shall have perpetual succession, with all the usual powers and obligations of a corporation acting as a trustee, including the power to sue and to be sued in its own name, but the members of the Board shall not be personally liable, except for malfeasance.
The Foundation shall have the power to enter into contracts, to execute instruments, and generally to do any and all lawful acts necessary or appropriate to its purposes.
In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Board may adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations necessary for the administration of its functions and may hire officers and employees and contract for any other necessary services. Such officers and employees shall be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapters 51 and 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.
The Secretary of Commerce may accept the voluntary and uncompensated services of the Foundation, the Board, and the officers and employees of the Foundation in the performance of the functions authorized under this section, without regard to section 1342 of title 31 or the civil service classification laws, rules, or regulations.
Neither an officer or employee hired under paragraph (1) nor an individual who provides services under paragraph (2) shall be considered a Federal employee for any purpose other than for purposes of chapter 81 of title 5, relating to compensation for work injuries, and chapter 171 of title 28, relating to tort claims.
The Foundation and any income or property received or owned by it, and all transactions relating to such income or property, shall be exempt from all Federal, State, and local taxation with respect thereto. The Foundation may, however, in the discretion of the Board, contribute toward the costs of local government in amounts not in excess of those which it would be obligated to pay such government if it were not exempt from taxation by virtue of this subsection or by virtue of its being a charitable and nonprofit corporation and may agree so to contribute with respect to property transferred to it and the income derived therefrom if such agreement is a condition of the transfer. Contributions, gifts, and other transfers made to or for the use of the Foundation shall be regarded as contributions, gifts, or transfers to or for the use of the United States.
The United States shall not be liable for any debts, defaults, acts, or omissions of the Foundation.
The Foundation shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year, transmit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives an annual report of its proceedings and activities, including a full and complete statement of its receipts, expenditures, and investments.