[USC02] 7 USC CHAPTER 98, SUBCHAPTER I: GENERAL REORGANIZATION AUTHORITIES
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7 USC CHAPTER 98, SUBCHAPTER I: GENERAL REORGANIZATION AUTHORITIES
From Title 7—AGRICULTURECHAPTER 98—DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REORGANIZATION

SUBCHAPTER I—GENERAL REORGANIZATION AUTHORITIES

§6911. Repealed. Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12414(a)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4981

Section, Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §211, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3209; Pub. L. 104–127, title VII, §722(c), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1115; Pub. L. 107–171, title VI, §6201(d)(3), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 419, related to transfer of Department functions to Secretary of Agriculture.

Construction of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12414(c), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4981, provided that: "Nothing in the amendments made by this section [repealing sections 6911, 6913, 6914, 6917, 6935, 6963, 6972, and 7013 of this title] shall be construed as affecting—

"(1) the authority of the Secretary to continue to carry out a function vested in, and performed by, the Secretary as of the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2018] under any provision of Federal law other than the provisions repealed by subsections (a) and (b); or

"(2) the authority of an agency, office, officer, or employee of the Department of Agriculture to continue to perform all functions delegated or assigned to the agency, office, officer, or employee as of the date of enactment of this Act any provision of Federal law other than the provisions repealed by subsections (a) and (b)."

§6912. Authority of Secretary to delegate transferred functions

(a) Delegation of authority

(1) Delegation authorized

Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may delegate to any agency, office, officer, or employee of the Department the authority to perform any function transferred to the Secretary under section 6911(a) 1 of this title or any other function vested in the Secretary as of October 13, 1994. The authority provided in the preceding sentence includes the authority to establish, consolidate, alter, or discontinue any agency, office, or other administrative unit of the Department.

(2) Condition on authority

The delegation authority provided by paragraph (1) shall be subject to—

(A) sections 6942, 6971(f), 6993, and 2204e of this title and subsections (a) and (b)(1) of section 6981 of this title;

(B) sections 5692 and 5693 of this title; and

(C) section 590h(b)(5) of title 16.

(b) Cost-benefit analysis required for name change

(1) Analysis required

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall conduct a cost-benefit analysis before changing the name of any agency, office, division, or other unit of the Department to ensure that the benefits to be derived from changing the name of the agency, office, division, or other unit outweigh the expense of executing the name change.

(2) Exception

Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to any name change required or authorized by this chapter.

(c) Public comment on proposed reorganization

To the extent that the implementation of the authority provided to the Secretary by this chapter to reorganize the Department involves the creation of new agencies or offices within the Department or the delegation of major functions or major groups of functions to any agency or office of the Department (or the officers or employees of such agency or office), the Secretary shall, to the extent considered practicable by the Secretary—

(1) give appropriate advance public notice of the proposed reorganization action or delegation; and

(2) afford appropriate opportunity for interested parties to comment on the proposed reorganization action or delegation.

(d) Interagency transfer of records, property, personnel, and funds

(1) Related transfers

Subject to paragraph (2), as part of the transfer or delegation of a function of the Department made or authorized by this chapter, the Secretary may transfer within the Department—

(A) any of the records, property, or personnel affected by the transfer or delegation of the function; and

(B) unexpended balances (available or to be made available for use in connection with the transferred or delegated function) of appropriations, allocations, or other funds of the Department.

(2) Applicable law relating to funds transfer

Section 1531 of title 31 shall apply to any transfer of funds under paragraph (1).

(e) Exhaustion of administrative appeals

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person shall exhaust all administrative appeal procedures established by the Secretary or required by law before the person may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction against—

(1) the Secretary;

(2) the Department; or

(3) an agency, office, officer, or employee of the Department.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §212, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3210; Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, §7511(c)(27), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1270; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title VII, §7511(c)(27), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2031.)

References in Text

Section 6911 of this title, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was repealed by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12414(a)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4981.

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (b)(2), (c), and (d)(1), was in the original "this title", meaning title II of Pub. L. 103–354, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3209, known as the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994. For complete classification of title II to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6901 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 110–246, §7511(c)(27), substituted "6971(f)," for "6971(d),".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

Amendment by section 7511(c)(27) of Pub. L. 110–246 effective Oct. 1, 2009, see section 7511(c) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 1522 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§§6913, 6914. Repealed. Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12414(a)(2), (3), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4981

Section 6913, Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §213, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3211, related to reductions in number of Department personnel.

Section 6914, Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §214, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3211, related to consolidation of headquarters offices.

§6915. Combination of field offices

(a) Combination of offices required

Where practicable and to the extent consistent with efficient, effective, and improved service, the Secretary shall combine field offices of agencies within the Department to reduce personnel and duplicative overhead expenses.

(b) Joint use of resources and offices required

When two or more agencies of the Department share a common field office, the Secretary shall require the agencies to jointly use office space, equipment, office supplies, administrative personnel, and clerical personnel associated with that field office.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §215, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3211.)

§6916. Improvement of information sharing

Whenever the Secretary procures or uses computer systems, as may be provided for in advance in appropriations Acts, the Secretary shall do so in a manner that enhances efficiency, productivity, and client services and is consistent with the goal of promoting computer information sharing among agencies of the Department.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §216, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3212.)

§6917. Repealed. Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12414(a)(4), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4981

Section, Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §217, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3212, related to reports by Secretary.

§6918. Assistant Secretaries of Agriculture

(a) Authorization

The Secretary is authorized to establish in the Department the positions of—

(1) Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations and Intergovernmental Affairs;

(2) Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration; and

(3) Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights.

(b) Confirmation required

If the Secretary establishes any position of Assistant Secretary authorized under paragraph (1) or (3) of subsection (a), the Assistant Secretary shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(c) Duties of Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights

The Secretary may delegate to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights responsibility for—

(1) ensuring compliance with all civil rights and related laws by all agencies and under all programs of the Department;

(2) coordinating administration of civil rights laws (including regulations) within the Department for employees of, and participants in, programs of the Department; and

(3) ensuring that necessary and appropriate civil rights components are properly incorporated into all strategic planning initiatives of the Department and agencies of the Department.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §218, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3212; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title X, §1001(1)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-41; Pub. L. 107–171, title X, §10704(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 518; Pub. L. 112–166, §2(a)(1), Aug. 10, 2012, 126 Stat. 1283; Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §§12401(a), 12415(b)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4971, 4981.)

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §12401(a), substituted "Relations and Intergovernmental Affairs" for "Relations".

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 115–334, §12415(b)(1), amended this section, as in effect on the day before the effective date of the amendments made by section 2(a)(1) of Pub. L. 112–166, by redesignating subsec. (d) as (c) and striking out former subsec. (c). Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (c) read as follows: "Any official who is serving as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration or Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations on October 13, 1994, and who was appointed as such Assistant Secretary by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall not be required to be reappointed under subsection (b) of this section to the successor position authorized under subsection (a) of this section if the Secretary establishes the position, and the official occupies the new position, within 180 days after October 13, 1994 (or such later date set by the Secretary if litigation delays rapid succession)." See 2012 Amendment note and Effective Date of 2012 Amendment note below.

2012—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–166, §2(a)(1)(A), substituted "paragraph (1) or (3) of subsection (a)" for "subsection (a)".

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 112–166, §2(a)(1)(B), (C), which directed that subsec. (b) be amended by striking out subsec. (c) and redesignating subsec. (d) as (c), was executed by making the amendment to the entire section, striking out subsec. (c) and redesignating subsec. (d) as (c), to reflect the probable intent of Congress. Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (c) read as follows: "Any official who is serving as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration or Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations on October 13, 1994, and who was appointed as such Assistant Secretary by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall not be required to be reappointed under subsection (b) of this section to the successor position authorized under subsection (a) of this section if the Secretary establishes the position, and the official occupies the new position, within 180 days after October 13, 1994 (or such later date set by the Secretary if litigation delays rapid succession)."

2002—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 107–171, §10704(a)(1), added par. (3).

Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 107–171, §10704(a)(2), added subsec. (d) and struck out former subsecs. (d) and (e), which amended section 5315 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, and section 3128 of this title and repealed sections 2212 to 2212c of this title and section 2 of Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1953, set out as a note under section 2201 of this title.

1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–277 inserted "and" at end of par. (1), substituted a period for "; and" at end of par. (2), and struck out par. (3) which read as follows: "Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs."

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12415(b)(2), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4981, provided that: "The amendments made by paragraph (1) [amending this section] take effect on the effective date described in section 6(a) of the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 (Public Law 112–166; 126 Stat. 1295) [see Effective Date of 2012 Amendment note below]."

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–166 effective 60 days after Aug. 10, 2012, and applicable to appointments made on and after that effective date, including any nomination pending in the Senate on that date, see section 6(a) of Pub. L. 112–166, set out as a note under section 113 of Title 6, Domestic Security.

Succession of Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations

Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12401(b), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4971, provided that: "Any official who is serving as the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2018] and who was appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall not be required to be reappointed as a result of the change made to the name of that position under the amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section]."

§6919. Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison

(a) Authorization

The Secretary shall establish in the Department the position of Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison.

(b) Duties

The Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison shall—

(1) provide information to returning veterans about, and connect returning veterans with, beginning farmer training and agricultural vocational and rehabilitation programs appropriate to the needs and interests of returning veterans, including assisting veterans in using Federal veterans educational benefits for purposes relating to beginning a farming or ranching career;

(2) provide information to veterans concerning the availability of, and eligibility requirements for, participation in agricultural programs, with particular emphasis on beginning farmer and rancher programs;

(3) serve as a resource for assisting veteran farmers and ranchers, and potential farmers and ranchers, in applying for participation in agricultural programs;

(4) advocate on behalf of veterans in interactions with employees of the Department;

(5) establish and periodically update the website described in subsection (d); and

(6) in carrying out the duties described in paragraphs (1) through (5), consult with and provide technical assistance to any Federal agency, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Labor.

(c) Contracts and cooperative agreements

For purposes of carrying out the duties under subsection (b), the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison may enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with the research centers of the Agricultural Research Service, institutions of higher education (as defined in section 1001 of title 20), or nonprofit organizations for—

(1) the conduct of regional research on the profitability of small farms;

(2) the development of educational materials;

(3) the conduct of workshops, courses, and certified vocational training;

(4) the conduct of mentoring activities; or

(5) the provision of internship opportunities.

(d) Website required

(1) In general

The website required under subsection (b)(5) shall include the following:

(A) Positions identified within the Department of Agriculture that are available to veterans for apprenticeships.

(B) Apprenticeships, programs of training on the job, and programs of education that are approved for purposes of chapter 36 of title 38.

(C) Employment skills training programs for members of the Armed Forces carried out pursuant to section 1143(e) of title 10.

(D) Information designed to assist businesses, nonprofit entities, educational institutions, and farmers interested in developing apprenticeships, on-the-job training, educational, or entrepreneurial programs for veterans in navigating the process of having a program approved by a State approving agency for purposes of chapter 36 of title 38, including—

(i) contact information for relevant offices in the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor, and Small Business Administration;

(ii) basic requirements for approval by each State approving agency;

(iii) recommendations with respect to training and coursework to be used during apprenticeships or on-the-job training that will enable a veteran to be eligible for agricultural programs; and

(iv) examples of successful programs and curriculums that have been approved for purposes of chapter 36 of title 38 (with consent of the organization and without any personally identifiable information).

(2) Review of website

(A) In general

Not later than 5 years after December 20, 2018, and once every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall conduct a study to determine if the website required under subsection (b)(5) is effective in providing veterans the information required under paragraph (1).

(B) Ineffective website

If the Secretary determines that the website is not effective under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall—

(i) notify the agriculture and veterans committees described in subparagraph (C) of that determination; and

(ii) not earlier than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary provides notice under clause (i), terminate the website.

(C) Agriculture and veterans committees

The agriculture and veterans committees referred to in subparagraph (B)(i) are—

(i) the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives;

(ii) the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate;

(iii) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(iv) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate.

(e) Consultation required

In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with organizations that serve veterans.

(f) Report

(1) In general

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, and annually thereafter, the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison shall submit a report on beginning farmer training for veterans and agricultural vocational and rehabilitation programs for veterans to—

(A) the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives;

(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives;

(C) the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate; and

(D) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate.

(2) Contents of report

The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include—

(A) a summary of the measures taken to carry out subsections (b) and (c);

(B) a description of the information provided to veterans under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b);

(C) recommendations for best informing veterans of the programs described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b);

(D) a summary of the contracts or cooperative agreements entered into under subsection (c);

(E) a description of the programs implemented under subsection (c);

(F) a summary of the employment outreach activities directed to veterans;

(G) recommendations for how opportunities for veterans in agriculture should be developed or expanded;

(H) a summary of veteran farm lending data and a summary of shortfalls, if any, identified by the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison in collecting data with respect to veterans engaged in agriculture; and

(I) recommendations, if any, on how to improve activities under subsection (b).

(g) Public dissemination of information

(1) In general

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, and annually thereafter, the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison shall make publicly available and share broadly, including by posting on the website of the Department—

(A) the report of the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison on beginning farmer training for veterans and agricultural vocational and rehabilitation programs; and

(B) the information disseminated under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b).

(2) Further dissemination

Not later than the day before the date on which the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison makes publicly available the information under paragraph (1), the Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison shall provide that information to the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Labor.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §219, as added Pub. L. 113–79, title XII, §12304, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 985; amended Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12402, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4971.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 6919, Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §219, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3213, provided that compensation of any officer or employee of the Department on Oct. 13, 1994, was not to be increased as a result of enactment of this chapter, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(e) [title III, §362], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681-305.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b)(5), (6). Pub. L. 115–334, §12402(1), added pars. (5) and (6).

Subsecs. (d) to (g). Pub. L. 115–334, §12402(2), added subsecs. (d) to (g).

§6920. Office of Energy Policy and New Uses

The Secretary shall establish for the Department, in the Office of the Secretary, an Office of Energy Policy and New Uses.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §220, as added Pub. L. 105–185, title VI, §602, June 23, 1998, 112 Stat. 585.)

§6921. Office of Tribal Relations

(a) In general

The Secretary shall maintain in the Office of the Secretary an Office of Tribal Relations, which shall advise the Secretary on policies related to Indian tribes and carry out such other functions as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(b) Tribal Advisory Committee

(1) Definitions

In this subsection:

(A) Indian tribe

The term "Indian tribe" has the meaning given the term in section 5304 of title 25.

(B) Relevant committees of Congress

The term "relevant committees of Congress" means—

(i) the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives;

(ii) the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate; and

(iii) the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate.

(C) Tribal organization

The term "tribal organization" has the meaning given the term in section 5304 of title 25.

(2) Establishment of committee

(A) In general

The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee, to be known as the Tribal Advisory Committee (referred to in this subsection as the "Committee") to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary on matters relating to Tribal and Indian affairs.

(B) Facilitation

The Committee shall facilitate, but not supplant, government-to-government consultation between the Department of Agriculture (referred to in this subsection as the "Department") and Indian tribes.

(3) Membership

(A) Composition

The Committee shall be composed of 11 members, of whom—

(i) 3 shall be appointed by the Secretary;

(ii) 1 shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate;

(iii) 1 shall be appointed by the ranking member of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate;

(iv) 1 shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate;

(v) 1 shall be appointed by the ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate;

(vi) 2 shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives; and

(vii) 2 shall be appointed by the ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives.

(B) Nominations

The Secretary shall accept nominations for members of the Committee from any of the following:

(i) An Indian tribe.

(ii) A tribal organization.

(iii) A national or regional organization with expertise in issues relating to the duties of the Committee described in paragraph (4).

(C) Diversity

To the maximum extent feasible, the Secretary shall ensure that the members of the Committee represent a diverse set of expertise on issues relating to geographic regions, Indian tribes, and the agricultural industry.

(D) Limitation

No member of the Committee shall be an officer or employee of the Federal Government.

(E) Period of appointment; vacancies

(i) In general

Each member of the Committee—

(I) subject to clause (ii), shall be appointed to a 3-year term; and

(II) may be reappointed to not more than 3 consecutive terms.

(ii) Initial staggering

The first 3 appointments by the Secretary under paragraph (3)(A)(i) shall be for a 2-year term.

(iii) Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment not more than 90 days after the date on which the position becomes vacant.

(F) Meetings

(i) In general

The Committee shall meet in person not less than twice each year.

(ii) Office of Tribal Relations representative

Not fewer than 1 representative from the Office of Tribal Relations of the Department shall be present at each meeting of the Committee.

(iii) Department of Interior representative

The Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior (or a designee) shall be present at each meeting of the Committee.

(iv) Nonvoting representatives

The individuals described in clauses (ii) and (iii) shall be nonvoting representatives at meetings of the Committee.

(4) Duties of Committee

The Committee shall—

(A) identify evolving issues of relevance to Indian tribes relating to programs of the Department;

(B) communicate to the Secretary the issues identified under subparagraph (A);

(C) submit to the Secretary recommendations for, and solutions to—

(i) the issues identified under subparagraph (A);

(ii) issues raised at the Tribal, regional, or national level; and

(iii) issues relating to any Tribal consultation carried out by the Department;


(D) discuss issues and proposals for changes to the regulations, policies, and procedures of the Department that impact Indian tribes;

(E) identify priorities and provide advice on appropriate strategies for Tribal consultation on issues at the Tribal, regional, or national level regarding the Department;

(F) ensure that pertinent issues of the Department are brought to the attention of an Indian tribe in a timely manner so that timely feedback from an Indian tribe can be obtained; and

(G) identify and propose solutions to any interdepartmental barrier between the Department and other Federal agencies.

(5) Reports

(A) In general

Not less frequently than once each year, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary and the relevant committees of Congress a report that describes—

(i) the activities of the Committee during the previous year; and

(ii) recommendations for legislative or administrative action for the following year.

(B) Response from Secretary

Not more than 45 days after the date on which the Secretary receives a report under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall submit a written response to that report to—

(i) the Committee; and

(ii) the relevant committees of Congress.

(6) Compensation of members

Members of the Committee shall be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5 for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Committee.

(7) Federal Advisory Committee Act exemption

Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Committee.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title III, §309, as added Pub. L. 113–79, title XII, §12303, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 985; amended Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12303, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4962.)

References in Text

Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(7), is section 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, and not as part of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 which in part comprises this chapter.

Amendments

2018Pub. L. 115–334 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

§6922. Office of Homeland Security

(a) Definition of agriculture and food defense

In this section, the term "agriculture and food defense" means any action to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, or recover from a naturally occurring, unintentional, or intentional threat to the agriculture and food system.

(b) Authorization

The Secretary shall establish in the Department the Office of Homeland Security.

(c) Executive Director

The Office of Homeland Security shall be headed by an Executive Director, who shall be known as the Executive Director of Homeland Security.

(d) Duties

The Executive Director of Homeland Security shall—

(1) serve as the principal advisor to the Secretary on homeland security, including emergency management and agriculture and food defense;

(2) coordinate activities of the Department, including policies, processes, budget needs, and oversight relating to homeland security, including emergency management and agriculture and food defense;

(3) act as the primary liaison on behalf of the Department with other Federal departments and agencies in activities relating to homeland security, including emergency management and agriculture and food defense, and provide for interagency coordination and data sharing;

(4)(A) coordinate in the Department the gathering of information relevant to early warning and awareness of threats and risks to the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector; and

(B) share that information with, and provide assistance with interpretation and risk characterization of that information to, the intelligence community (as defined in section 3003 of title 50), law enforcement agencies, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and State fusion centers (as defined in section 124h(j) of title 6 1 ;

(5) liaise with the Director of National Intelligence to assist in the development of periodic assessments and intelligence estimates, or other intelligence products, that support the defense of the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector;

(6) coordinate the conduct, evaluation, and improvement of exercises to identify and eliminate gaps in preparedness and response;

(7) produce a Department-wide centralized strategic coordination plan to provide a high-level perspective of the operations of the Department relating to homeland security, including emergency management and agriculture and food defense; and

(8) carry out other appropriate duties, as determined by the Secretary.

(e) Agriculture and food threat awareness partnership program

(1) Interagency exchange program

The Secretary, in partnership with the intelligence community (as defined in section 3003 of title 50) and fusion centers (as defined in section 124h(j) of title 6 1 that have analysis and intelligence capabilities relating to the defense of the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector, shall establish and carry out an interagency exchange program of personnel and information to improve communication and analysis for the defense of the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector.

(2) Collaboration with Federal, State, and local authorities

To carry out the program established under paragraph (1), the Secretary may—

(A) enter into 1 or more cooperative agreements or contracts with Federal, State, or local authorities that have analysis and intelligence capabilities and expertise relating to the defense of the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector; and

(B) carry out any other activity under any other authority of the Secretary that is appropriate to engage the authorities described in subparagraph (A) for the defense of the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector, as determined by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §221, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12202, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4944.)

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a closing parenthesis.

§6923. Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

(a) Office

(1) In general

The Secretary shall establish in the Department an Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.

(2) Director

The Secretary shall appoint a senior official to serve as the Director of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (referred to in this section as the "Director").

(3) Mission

The mission of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production shall be to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices, including—

(A) community gardens and farms located in urban areas, suburbs, and urban clusters;

(B) rooftop farms, outdoor vertical production, and green walls;

(C) indoor farms, greenhouses, and high-tech vertical technology farms;

(D) hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farm facilities; and

(E) other innovations in agricultural production, as determined by the Secretary.

(4) Responsibilities

The Director shall be responsible for engaging in activities to carry out the mission described in paragraph (3), including by—

(A) managing programs, including for community gardens, urban farms, rooftop agriculture, and indoor vertical production;

(B) advising the Secretary;

(C) coordinating with the agencies and officials of the Department to update relevant programs;

(D) engaging in stakeholder relations and developing external partnerships;

(E) identifying common State and municipal best practices for navigating local policies;

(F) coordinating networks of community gardens and facilitating connections to local food banks, in partnership with the Food and Nutrition Service; and

(G) collaborating with other Federal agencies.

(b) Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall establish an Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee (referred to in this subsection as the "Committee") to advise the Secretary on—

(A) the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices; and

(B) any other aspects of the implementation of this section.

(2) Membership

(A) In general

The Committee shall be composed of 12 members, of whom—

(i) 4 shall be individuals who are agricultural producers, of whom—

(I) 2 individuals shall be agricultural producers located in an urban area or urban cluster; and

(II) 2 individuals shall be farmers that use innovative technology;


(ii) 2 shall be representatives from an institution of higher education or extension program;

(iii) 1 shall be an individual who represents a nonprofit organization, which may include a public health, environmental, or community organization;

(iv) 1 shall be an individual who represents business and economic development, which may include a business development entity, a chamber of commerce, a city government, or a planning organization;

(v) 1 shall be an individual with supply chain experience, which may include a food aggregator, wholesale food distributor, food hub, or an individual who has direct-to-consumer market experience;

(vi) 1 shall be an individual from a financing entity; and

(vii) 2 shall be individuals with related experience or expertise in urban, indoor, and other emerging agriculture production practices, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Initial appointments

The Secretary shall appoint the members of the Committee not later than 180 days after December 20, 2018.

(3) Period of appointment; vacancies

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a member of the Committee shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.

(B) Initial appointments

Of the members first appointed to the Committee—

(i) 4 of the members, as determined by the Secretary, shall be appointed for a term of 3 years;

(ii) 4 of the members, as determined by the Secretary, shall be appointed for a term of 2 years; and

(iii) 4 of the members, as determined by the Secretary, shall be appointed for a term of 1 year.

(C) Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Committee—

(i) shall not affect the powers of the Committee; and

(ii) shall be filled as soon as practicable in the same manner as the original appointment.

(D) Consecutive terms

An initial appointee of the committee may serve an additional consecutive term if the member is reappointed by the Secretary.

(4) Meetings

(A) Frequency

The Committee shall meet not fewer than 3 times per year.

(B) Initial meeting

Not later than 180 days after the date on which the members are appointed under paragraph (2)(B), the Committee shall hold the first meeting of the Committee.

(5) Duties

(A) In general

The Committee shall—

(i) develop recommendations and advise the Director on policies, initiatives, and outreach administered by the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production;

(ii) evaluate and review ongoing research and extension activities relating to urban, indoor, and other innovative agricultural practices;

(iii) identify new and existing barriers to successful urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices; and

(iv) provide additional assistance and advice to the Director as appropriate.

(B) Reports

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the Committee is established, and every 2 years through 2023, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary, the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing the recommendations developed under subparagraph (A).

(6) Personnel matters

(A) Compensation

A member of the Committee shall serve without compensation.

(B) Travel expenses

A member of the Committee shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with section 5703 of title 5.

(7) Termination

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the Committee shall terminate on the date that is 5 years after the date on which the members are appointed under paragraph (2)(B).

(B) Extensions

Before the date on which the Committee terminates, the Secretary may renew the Committee for 1 or more 2-year periods.

(c) Grants

The Director shall award competitive grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production to any of the following eligible entities:

(1) A nonprofit organization.

(2) A unit of local government.

(3) A Tribal government.

(4) Any school that serves any of grades kindergarten through grade 12.

(d) Pilot projects

(1) Urban and suburban county committees

(A) In general

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall establish a pilot program for not fewer than 5 years that establishes 10 county committees in accordance with section 590h(b)(5)(B)(ii)(II) of title 16 to operate in counties located in urban or suburban areas with a high concentration of urban or suburban farms.

(B) Effect

Nothing in this paragraph requires or precludes the establishment of a Farm Service Agency office in a county in which a county committee is established under subparagraph (A).

(C) Report

For fiscal year 2019 and each fiscal year thereafter through fiscal year 2023, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing a summary of—

(i) the status of the pilot program under subparagraph (A);

(ii) meetings and other activities of the committees established under that subparagraph; and

(iii) the types and volume of assistance and services provided to farmers in counties in which county committees are established under that subparagraph.

(2) Increasing community compost and reducing food waste

(A) In general

The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall carry out pilot projects under which the Secretary shall offer to enter into cooperative agreements with local or municipal governments in not fewer than 10 States to develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.

(B) Eligible entities and purposes of pilot projects

Under a cooperative agreement entered into under this paragraph, the Secretary shall provide assistance to municipalities, counties, local governments, or city planners, as appropriate, to carry out planning and implementing activities that will—

(i) generate compost;

(ii) increase access to compost for agricultural producers;

(iii) reduce reliance on, and limit the use of, fertilizer;

(iv) improve soil quality;

(v) encourage waste management and permaculture business development;

(vi) increase rainwater absorption;

(vii) reduce municipal food waste; and

(viii) divert food waste from landfills.

(C) Evaluation and ranking of applications

(i) Criteria

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall establish criteria for the selection of pilot projects under this paragraph.

(ii) Consideration

In selecting, undertaking, or funding pilot projects under this paragraph, the Secretary shall consider any commonly known significant impact on existing food waste recovery and disposal by commercial, marketing, or business relationships.

(iii) Priority

In selecting a pilot project under this paragraph, the Secretary shall give priority to an application for a pilot project that—

(I) anticipates or demonstrates economic benefits;

(II) incorporates plans to make compost easily accessible to agricultural producers, including community gardeners;

(III) integrates other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts; and

(IV) provides for collaboration with multiple partners.

(D) Matching requirement

The recipient of assistance for a pilot project under this paragraph shall provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both from sources other than funds provided through the grant in an amount equal to not less than 25 percent of the amount of the grant.

(E) Evaluation

The Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of the pilot projects funded under this paragraph to assess different solutions for increasing access to compost and reducing municipal food waste, including an evaluation of—

(i) the amount of Federal funds used for each project; and

(ii) a measurement of the outcomes of each project.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section and the amendments made by this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §222, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12302, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4958.)

§6924. Food Loss and Waste Reduction Liaison

(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a Food Loss and Waste Reduction Liaison to coordinate Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental programs, and other efforts, to measure and reduce the incidence of food loss and waste in accordance with this section.

(b) In general

The Food Loss and Waste Reduction Liaison shall—

(1) coordinate food loss and waste reduction efforts within the Department of Agriculture and with other Federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration;

(2) support and promote Federal programs to measure and reduce the incidence of food loss and waste and increase food recovery;

(3) provide information to, and serve as a resource for, entities engaged in food loss and waste reduction and food recovery, including information about the availability of, and eligibility requirements for, participation in Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental programs;

(4) raise awareness of the liability protections afforded under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (42 U.S.C. 1791) to persons engaged in food loss and waste reduction and food recovery; and

(5) make recommendations with respect to expanding innovative food recovery models and reducing the incidence of food loss and waste.

(c) Cooperative agreements

For purposes of carrying out the duties under subsection (b), the Food Loss and Waste Reduction Liaison may enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with the research centers of the Research, Education, and Economics mission area, institutions of higher education (as defined in section 1001 of title 20), or nonprofit organizations for—

(1) the development of educational materials;

(2) the conduct of workshops and courses; or

(3) the conduct of research on best practices with respect to food loss and waste reduction and food recovery.

(d) Study on food waste

The Secretary shall conduct a study, in consultation with the Food Loss and Waste Reduction Liaison, to evaluate and determine—

(1) methods of measuring food waste;

(2) standards for the volume of food waste;

(3) factors that contribute to food waste;

(4) the cost and volume of food loss;

(5) the effectiveness of existing liability protections afforded under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (42 U.S.C. 1791); and

(6) measures to ensure that programs contemplated, undertaken, or funded by the Department of Agriculture do not disrupt existing food waste recovery and disposal efforts by commercial, marketing, or business relationships.

(e) Reports

(1) Initial report

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, the Food Loss and Waste Liaison shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that describes the results of the study conducted under subsection (d).

(2) Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of the submission of the report under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that contains, with respect to the preceding year—

(A) an estimate of the quantity of food waste during such year; and

(B) the results of the food waste reduction and loss prevention activities carried out or led by the Department of Agriculture.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §224, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12504, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4987.)

§6925. Food Access Liaison

(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish the position of Food Access Liaison to coordinate Department programs to reduce barriers to food access and monitor and evaluate the progress of such programs in accordance with this section.

(b) Duties

The Food Access Liaison shall—

(1) coordinate the efforts of the Department, including regional offices, to experiment and consider programs and policies aimed at reducing barriers to food access for consumers, including but not limited to participants in nutrition assistance programs;

(2) provide outreach to entities engaged in activities to reduce barriers to food access in accordance with the statutory authorization for each program;

(3) provide outreach to entities engaged in activities to reduce barriers to food access, including retailers, markets, producers, and others involved in food production and distribution, with respect to the availability of, and eligibility for, Department programs;

(4) raise awareness of food access issues in interactions with employees of the Department;

(5) make recommendations to the Secretary with respect to efforts to reduce barriers to food access; and

(6) submit to Congress an annual report with respect to the efforts of the Department to reduce barriers to food access.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §225, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12614(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 5014.)

Codification

Another section 225 of Pub. L. 103–354 is classified to section 6931 of this title.

Technical Assistance

Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12614(b), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 5014, provided that: "The Secretary [of Agriculture] shall provide technical assistance to entities that are participants, or seek to participate, in Department of Agriculture programs related to reduction of barriers to food access."