[USC02] 7 USC 6921: Office of Tribal Relations
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7 USC 6921: Office of Tribal Relations Text contains those laws in effect on September 17, 2019
From Title 7-AGRICULTURECHAPTER 98-DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REORGANIZATIONSUBCHAPTER I-GENERAL REORGANIZATION AUTHORITIES

§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

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