The Secretary of Agriculture shall designate a Crisis Management Team within the Department of Agriculture, which shall be—
(1)composed of senior departmental personnel with strong subject matter expertise selected from each relevant agency of the Department; and
(2)headed by a team leader with management and communications skills.
(b) Duties of Crisis Management Team
The Crisis Management Team shall be responsible for the following:
(1)Developing a Department-wide crisis management plan, taking into account similar plans developed by other government agencies and other large organizations, and developing written procedures for the implementation of the crisis management plan.
(2)Conducting periodic reviews and revisions of the crisis management plan and procedures developed under paragraph (1).
(3)Ensuring compliance with crisis management procedures by personnel of the Department and ensuring that appropriate Department personnel are familiar with the crisis management plan and procedures and are encouraged to bring information regarding crises or potential crises to the attention of members of the Crisis Management Team.
(4)Coordinating the Department’s information gathering and dissemination activities concerning issues managed by the Crisis Management Team.
(5)Ensuring that Department spokespersons convey accurate, timely, and scientifically sound information regarding crises or potential crises that can be easily understood by the general public.
(6)Cooperating with, and coordinating among, other Federal agencies, States, local governments, industry, and public interest groups, Department activities regarding a crisis.
(c) Role in prioritizing certain research
The Crisis Management Team shall cooperate with the Advisory Board in the prioritization of agricultural research conducted or funded by the Department regarding animal health, natural disasters, food safety, and other agricultural issues.
(d) Cooperative agreements
The Secretary shall seek to enter into cooperative agreements with other Federal departments and agencies that have related programs or activities to help ensure consistent, accurate, and coordinated dissemination of information throughout the executive branch in the event of a crisis, such as, in the case of a threat to human health from food-borne pathogens, developing a rapid and coordinated response among the Department, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Food and Drug Administration.
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Statutes at Large
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