7 U.S. Code § 2008m - National Rural Development Partnership

(a) Definitions
In this section:
(1) Agency with rural responsibilities
The term “agency with rural responsibilities” means any executive agency (as defined in section 105 of title 5) that implements a Federal law, or administers a program, targeted at or having a significant impact on rural areas.
(2) Coordinating Committee
The term “Coordinating Committee” means the National Rural Development Coordinating Committee established by subsection (c) of this section.
(3) Partnership
The term “Partnership” means the National Rural Development Partnership continued by subsection (b) of this section.
(4) State rural development council
The term “State rural development council” means a State rural development council that meets the requirements of subsection (d) of this section.
(b) Partnership
(1) In general
The Secretary shall continue the National Rural Development Partnership composed of—
(A) the Coordinating Committee; and
(B) State rural development councils.
(2) Purposes
The purposes of the Partnership are to empower and build the capacity of States and rural communities to design flexible and innovative responses to their own special rural development needs, with local determinations of progress and selection of projects and activities.
(3) Governing panel
(A) In general
A panel consisting of representatives of the Coordinating Committee and State rural development councils shall be established to lead and coordinate the strategic operation, policies, and practices of the Partnership.
(B) Annual reports
In conjunction with the Coordinating Committee and State rural development councils, the panel shall prepare and submit to Congress an annual report on the activities of the Partnership.
(4) Role of Federal Government
The role of the Federal Government in the Partnership may be that of a partner and facilitator, with Federal agencies authorized—
(A) to cooperate with States to implement the Partnership;
(B) to provide States with the technical and administrative support necessary to plan and implement tailored rural development strategies to meet local needs;
(C) to ensure that the head of each agency with rural responsibilities designates a senior-level agency official to represent the agency on the Coordinating Committee and directs appropriate field staff to participate fully with the State rural development council within the jurisdiction of the field staff; and
(D) to enter into cooperative agreements with, and to provide grants and other assistance to, the Coordinating Committee and State rural development councils.
(c) National Rural Development Coordinating Committee
(1) Establishment
The Secretary shall establish a National Rural Development Coordinating Committee within the Department of Agriculture.
(2) Composition
The Coordinating Committee shall be composed of—
(A) 1 representative of each agency with rural responsibilities; and
(B) representatives, approved by the Secretary, of—
(i) national associations of State, regional, local, and tribal governments and intergovernmental and multijurisdictional agencies and organizations;
(ii) national public interest groups;
(iii) other national nonprofit organizations that elect to participate in the activities of the Coordinating Committee; and
(iv) the private sector.
(3) Duties
The Coordinating Committee shall—
(A) support the work of the State rural development councils;
(B) facilitate coordination of rural development policies, programs, and activities among Federal agencies and with those of State, local, and tribal governments, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations;
(C) review and comment on policies, regulations, and proposed legislation that affect or would affect rural areas and gather and provide related information;
(D) develop and facilitate strategies to reduce or eliminate administrative and regulatory impediments; and
(E) require each State rural development council receiving funds under this section to submit an annual report on the use of the funds, including a description of strategic plans, goals, performance measures, and outcomes for the State rural development council of the State.
(4) Federal participation in Coordinating Committee
(A) In general
A Federal employee shall fully participate in the governance and operations of the Coordinating Committee, including activities related to grants, contracts, and other agreements, in accordance with this section.
(B) Conflicts
Participation by a Federal employee in the Coordinating Committee in accordance with this paragraph shall not constitute a violation of section 205 or 208 of title 18.
(5) Administrative support
The Secretary may provide such administrative support for the Coordinating Committee as the Secretary determines is necessary to carry out the duties of the Coordinating Committee.
(6) Procedures
The Secretary may prescribe such regulations, bylaws, or other procedures as are necessary for the operation of the Coordinating Committee.
(d) State rural development councils
(1) Establishment
Notwithstanding chapter 63 of title 31, each State may elect to participate in the Partnership by entering into an agreement with the Secretary to recognize a State rural development council.
(2) Composition
A State rural development council shall—
(A) be composed of representatives of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, regional organizations, the private sector, and other entities committed to rural advancement; and
(B) have a nonpartisan and nondiscriminatory membership that—
(i) is broad and representative of the economic, social, and political diversity of the State; and
(ii) shall be responsible for the governance and operations of the State rural development council.
(3) Duties
A State rural development council shall—
(A) facilitate collaboration among Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and the private and nonprofit sectors in the planning and implementation of programs and policies that have an impact on rural areas of the State;
(B) monitor, report, and comment on policies and programs that address, or fail to address, the needs of the rural areas of the State;
(C) as part of the Partnership, in conjunction with the Coordinating Committee, facilitate the development of strategies to reduce or eliminate conflicting or duplicative administrative or regulatory requirements of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments; and
(D)
(i) provide to the Coordinating Committee an annual plan with goals and performance measures; and
(ii) submit to the Coordinating Committee an annual report on the progress of the State rural development council in meeting the goals and measures.
(4) Federal participation in State rural development councils
(A) In general
A State Director for Rural Development of the Department of Agriculture, other employees of the Department, and employees of other Federal agencies with rural responsibilities shall fully participate as voting members in the governance and operations of State rural development councils (including activities related to grants, contracts, and other agreements in accordance with this section) on an equal basis with other members of the State rural development councils.
(B) Conflicts
Participation by a Federal employee in a State rural development council in accordance with this paragraph shall not constitute a violation of section 205 or 208 of title 18.
(e) Administrative support of the Partnership
(1) Detail of employees
(A) In general
In order to provide experience in intergovernmental collaboration, the head of an agency with rural responsibilities that elects to participate in the Partnership may, and is encouraged to, detail to the Secretary for the support of the Partnership 1 or more employees of the agency with rural responsibilities without reimbursement for a period of up to 1 year.
(B) Civil service status
The detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(2) Additional support
The Secretary may provide for any additional support staff to the Partnership as the Secretary determines to be necessary to carry out the duties of the Partnership.
(3) Intermediaries
The Secretary may enter into a contract with a qualified intermediary under which the intermediary shall be responsible for providing administrative and technical assistance to a State rural development council, including administering the financial assistance available to the State rural development council.
(f) Matching requirements for State rural development councils
(1) In general
Except as provided in paragraph (2), a State rural development council shall provide matching funds, or in-kind goods or services, to support the activities of the State rural development council in an amount that is not less than 33 percent of the amount of Federal funds received from a Federal agency under subsection (g)(2) of this section.
(2) Exceptions to matching requirement for certain Federal funds
Paragraph (1) shall not apply to funds, grants, funds provided under contracts or cooperative agreements, gifts, contributions, or technical assistance received by a State rural development council from a Federal agency that are used—
(A) to support 1 or more specific program or project activities; or
(B) to reimburse the State rural development council for services provided to the Federal agency providing the funds, grants, funds provided under contracts or cooperative agreements, gifts, contributions, or technical assistance.
(3) Department’s share
The Secretary shall develop a plan to decrease, over time, the share of the Department of Agriculture of the cost of the core operations of State rural development councils.
(g) Funding
(1) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2018.
(2) Federal agencies
(A) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law limiting the ability of an agency, along with other agencies, to provide funds to the Coordinating Committee or a State rural development council in order to carry out the purposes of this section, a Federal agency may make grants, gifts, or contributions to, provide technical assistance to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, the Coordinating Committee or a State rural development council.
(B) Assistance
Federal agencies are encouraged to use funds made available for programs that have an impact on rural areas to provide assistance to, and enter into contracts with, the Coordinating Committee or a State rural development council, as described in subparagraph (A).
(3) Contributions
The Coordinating Committee and a State rural development council may accept private contributions.
(h) Termination
The authority provided under this section shall terminate on September 30, 2018.

Source

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, § 378, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title VI, § 6021,May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 363; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title VI, § 6019,May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1172; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VI, § 6019,June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1933; Pub. L. 113–79, title VI, § 6021,Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 847.)
Codification

The authorities provided by each provision of, and each amendment made by, Pub. L. 110–246, as in effect on Sept. 30, 2012, to continue, and the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the authorities, until the later of Sept. 30, 2013, or the date specified in the provision of, or amendment made by, Pub. L. 110–246, see section 701(a) ofPub. L. 112–240, set out in a 1-Year Extension of Agricultural Programs note under section 8701 of this title.
Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Amendments

2014—Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, § 6021(1), substituted “2018” for “2012”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 113–79, § 6021(2), substituted “2018” for “2012”.
2008—Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 110–246, § 6019(1), substituted “2008 through 2012” for “2003 through 2007”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 110–246, § 6019(2), substituted “September 30, 2012” for “the date that is 5 years after May 13, 2002”.
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

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

 

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