7 CFR 2.24 - Assistant Secretary for Administration.
(2)Related to information technology and information resources.
(ii) Oversee all information technology and information resource management activities relating to the programs and operations of the Department and component agencies. This oversight includes approving information technology investments, monitoring and evaluating the performance of those investments and information resource management activities, approval of all architectures and components thereto and determining whether to continue, modify, or terminate an information technology program or project.
(iii) Provide advice and other assistance to the Secretary and other senior management personnel to ensure that information technology is acquired and managed for the Department consistent with chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (Coordination of Federal Information Policy).
(iv) Develop, implement, and maintain a sound and integrated Department-wide information technology architecture.
(v) Promote the effective and efficient design and operation of all major information resources management processes for the Department, including improvements to work processes of the Department.
(vi) Approve the acquisition or procurement of information technology resources by, or on behalf of, any Department agency or office.
(vii) Collaborate with Department procurement personnel with respect to information technology acquisition strategy and policy.
(viii) Designate the Major Information Technology Systems Executive in USDA to integrate and unify the management process for the Department's major information technology system acquisitions and to monitor implementation of the policies and practices set forth in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-109, Major Systems Acquisitions, for information technology. This includes the authority to:
(A) Ensure that OMB Circular No. A-109 is effectively implemented for information technology systems in the Department and that the management objectives of the Circular are realized.
(B) Review the program management of each major information technology system acquisition.
(C) Approve the appointment of the program manager for each major information technology systems acquisition.
(D) Designate any Departmental information technology acquisition as a major system acquisition under OMB Circular No. A-109.
(ix) On an annual basis:
(A) Assess Department-wide personnel requirements regarding knowledge and skill in information resources management, and the adequacy of such requirements, to achieve the performance goals established for information resources management.
(B) Develop strategies and specific plans for hiring, training, and professional development at the executive and management level to meet personnel information technology personnel requirements.
(C) Report to the Secretary on progress made in improving information resources management capability.
(x) Designate the senior official to carry out the responsibilities of the Department under chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (Coordination of Federal Information Policy), including:
(A) Ensure that the information policies, principles, standards, guidelines, rules and regulations prescribed by OMB are appropriately implemented within the Department.
(B) Review proposed Department reporting and record keeping requirements, including those contained in rules and regulations, to ensure that they impose the minimum burden upon the public and have practical utility for the Department.
(C) Develop and implement procedures for assessing the burden to the public and costs to the Department of information requirements contained in proposed legislation affecting Department programs.
(xi) The Assistant Secretary for Administration is also responsible for the following:
(A) Provide Department-wide guidance and direction in planning, developing, documenting, and managing applications software projects in accordance with Federal and Department information processing standards, procedures, and guidelines.
(B) Provide Department-wide guidance and direction in all aspects of information technology, including: Feasibility studies; economic analyses; systems design; acquisition of equipment, software, services, and timesharing arrangements; systems installation; systems performance and capacity evaluation; information technology investment governance; cybersecurity; and privacy. Monitor these activities for agencies' major systems development efforts to assure effective and economic use of resources and compatibility among systems of various agencies when required.
(C) Manage the Enterprise Data Centers, including setting rates to recover the cost of goods and services within approved policy and funding levels; and oversee the delivery of Enterprise Data Center goods and services, with authority to take actions required by law or regulation to perform such services as a Working Capital Fund activity.
(D) Manage a comprehensive set of end user office automation services, including setting rates to recover the cost of goods and services within approved policy and funding levels; and oversee the delivery of goods and services associated with end user office automation services, including desktop computers, enterprise networking support, handheld devices, and voice telecommunications, with authority to take actions required by law or regulation to perform such services as a Working Capital Fund activity.
(E) Manage the Agricultural Security Operations Center to enable the Department to effectively monitor, detect, analyze, protect, report, and respond against known cyber vulnerabilities, attacks, and exploitations.
(F) Manage the Department's Certification and Accreditation process to ensure the Department and agencies have successfully conducted periodic risk assessments of its systems; grant the authority to operate for systems that have successfully completed the Certification and Accreditation process; and rescind or suspend the authority to operate for systems subject to repeated and/or significant security issues.
(G) Ensure that OMB Circular No. A-16, Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities, is effectively implemented in the Department and that the management objectives of the Circular are realized; and provide Department-wide guidance and direction in governing, developing, implementing, and maintaining a sound and integrated geospatial architecture.
(H) Provide technical assistance, coordination, and guidance to Department agencies in planning, developing, and carrying out satellite remote sensing activities to ensure full consideration and evaluation of advanced technology; designate the Executive Secretary for the Remote Sensing Coordination Committee; and coordinate administrative, management, and budget information relating to the Department's remote sensing activities including:
(1) Inter- and intra-agency meetings, correspondence, and records;
(2) Budget and management tracking systems; and
(3) Inter-agency contacts and technology transfer.
(I) Review and evaluate information technology activities related to delegated functions to assure that they conform to all applicable Federal and Department information technology management policies, plans, standards, procedures, and guidelines.
(J) Design, develop, implement, and revise systems, processes, work methods, and techniques to improve the management and operational effectiveness of information resources.
(K) Administer the Departmental records, forms, reports and Directives Management Programs.
(L) Manage all aspects of the USDA Telecommunications Program including planning, development, acquisition, and use of equipment and systems for voice, data, and communications, excluding the actual procurement of data transmission equipment, software, maintenance, and related supplies.
(M) Manage Departmental telecommunications contracts.
(N) Provide technical advice throughout the Department.
(O) Implement a program for applying information resources management technology to improve productivity in the Department.
(P) Plan, develop, install, and operate computer-based systems for message exchange, scheduling, computer conferencing, televideo technologies, and other applications of office automation technology which can be commonly used by multiple Department agencies and offices.
(Q) Represent the Department in contacts with the Government Accountability Office, the General Services Administration, OMB, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other organizations or agencies on matters related to delegated responsibilities.
(xii) Implement policies established pursuant to paragraphs (a)(2)(ii) through (a)(2)(xi) of this section by:
(A) Disposing of information technology that is acquired by a Department agency in violation of procedures or standards for the Department Information Systems Technology Architecture.
(B) Establishing information technology and information resources management performance standards for agency Chief Information Officers, information resources managers, and project managers to be used in the performance appraisal process.
(D) Providing recommendations to Agency Heads for the removal or replacement of information technology project managers, when, in the opinion of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, applicable laws and policies are being violated, or, when the cost, schedule, or performance of an information technology project would indicate management deficiencies.
(E) Withdrawing agencies' authority to obligate funds on Information Technology programs or projects if the agency violates the Assistant Secretary for Administration policies, standards, or Department Information Systems Technology Architecture.
(G) Requiring approval by the Assistant Secretary for Administration of any proposed acquisition of information technology (whether through the award or modification of a procurement contract, a cooperative or other agreement with a non-Federal party, or an interagency agreement) to ensure technical conformance to the Department technical architecture.
(H) Providing guidance to USDA regarding implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as on-going consultative assistance regarding information technology accessibility, and reviewing progress made toward achieving information technology accessibility for USDA employees and individuals with disabilities.
(xiii)Related to the Privacy Act. Appoint a Department Privacy Act Officer; oversee general officers and agency heads in the development and implementation of policies issued pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a; and provide consultation and guidance regarding those policies.
(xiv)Related to the Freedom of Information Act. Designate the Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer for the Department; oversee general officers and agency heads in efficient and appropriate compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act ( 5 U.S.C. 552); monitor implementation of 5 U.S.C. 552 throughout the agency and keep the Secretary, the General Counsel, and the Attorney General informed regarding agency performance in its implementation; recommend to the Secretary necessary adjustments to agency practices, policies, personnel, and funding to improve implementation of 5 U.S.C. 552; review and report to the Attorney General, through the Secretary, as the Attorney General may direct; and facilitate public understanding of the purposes of the statutory exemptions contained in 5 U.S.C. 552.
(4)Related to human resources management.
(i) Formulate and issue Department policy, standards, rules, and regulations relating to human resources management.
(ii) Provide human resources management procedural guidance and operational instructions.
(iii) Set standards for human resources data systems.
(iv) Inspect and evaluate human resources management operations and issue instructions or take direct action to insure conformity with appropriate laws, Executive Orders, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) rules and regulations, and other appropriate rules and regulations.
(v) Exercise final authority in all human resources matters, including individual cases, that involve the jurisdiction of more than one General Officer or agency head, or otherwise as deemed appropriate.
(vi) Receive, review, and recommend action on all requests for the Secretary's approval in human resources matters.
(vii) Authorize and make final decisions on adverse actions, except in those cases where the Assistant Secretary for Administration has participated.
(viii) Represent the Department in human resources matters in all contacts outside the Department.
(ix) Exercise specific authorities in the following operational matters:
(A) Waive repayment of training expenses where an employee fails to fulfill service agreement.
(B) Establish or change standards and plans for awards to private citizens.
(C) Execute, change, extend, or renew:
(1) Labor-Management Agreements.
(2) Certifications of supervisory/managerial and non-labor union employee and professional organizations or associations.
(D) Represent the Department in contacts with the national offices of labor organizations in fulfilling the Department's national consultation obligations under 5 U.S.C. 7113.
(E) Change a position (with no material change in duties) from one pay system to another.
(F) Grant restoration rights, and release employees with administrative reemployment rights.
(G) Authorize any mass dismissals of employees in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
(H) Approve “normal line of promotion” cases in the excepted service where not in accordance with time-in-grade criteria.
(I) Make the final decision on all classification appeals filed with the Department of Agriculture.
(J) Authorize all employment actions (except nondisciplinary separations and LWOP) and classification actions for senior level and equivalent positions including Senior Executive Service positions and special authority professional and scientific positions responsible for carrying out research and development functions.
(K) Authorize all employment actions (except LWOP) for the following positions:
(1) Schedule C.
(2) Non-career Senior Executive Service or equivalent.
(3) Administrative Law Judge.
(L) Authorize and make final decisions on adverse actions for positions in GS-1 - 15 or equivalent.
(M) Authorize and make final decisions on adverse actions for positions in the career Senior Executive Service or equivalent.
(N) Approve the details of Department employees to the White House.
(O) Authorize adverse actions based in whole or in part on an allegation of violation of 5 U.S.C. chapter 73, subchapter III, for employees in the excepted service.
(P) Authorize long-term training in programs which require Departmentwide competition.
(Q) Initiate and take adverse action in cases involving a violation of the merit system.
(R) Any other human resources operational matter.
(x) As used in this section, the term human resources includes:
(A) Position management.
(B) Position classification.
(D) Pay administration.
(E) Automation of human resources data and systems.
(F) Hours of duty.
(G) Performance management.
(I) Employee development.
(J) Incentive Programs.
(M) Human resources program management accountability and evaluation.
(N) Social security.
(O) Life insurance.
(P) Health benefits.
(Q) Unemployment compensation.
(R) Labor management relations.
(S) Intramanagement consultation.
(W) Drug Testing Program.
(X) Worklife Program.
(Y) Transit Subsidy Program.
(xi) Maintain, review, and update Departmental delegations of authority.
(xii) Authorize organizational changes.
(xiii) Formulate and promulgate departmental organizational objectives and policies.
(xiv) Approve coverage and waiver of individual law enforcement and firefighter positions under the special retirement provisions of the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System.
(xv) Provide for diversity and inclusion, as follows:
(A) Establish, direct, and provide policy and oversight for a Departmentwide Special Emphasis Program (SEP) including: Women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Disabled, and Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender.
(B) Provide oversight and support for Departmental SEP recognition programs.
(C) Direct and oversee the Department-wide SEPM Council.
(D) Administer Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program.
(xvi) Oversee and manage the Department's administrative grievance program.
(xvii) Make final decisions in those cases where an agency head has appealed the recommended decision of a grievance examiner.
(xviii) Administer the administrative appeals process related to the inclusion of positions in the testing designated position listing in the Department's Drug-Free Workplace Program and designate the final appeal officer for that Program.
(xix) Formulate and issue Department policy, standards, rules, and regulations relating to the Senior Scientific Research Service ( 7 U.S.C. 7657).
(xx) Provide human resources operational services for the following:
(A) The Secretary of Agriculture.
(B) The general officers of the Department.
(C) The offices and agencies reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
(D) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.
(E) Any other offices or agencies of the Department as may be agreed.
(xxi) Redelegate, as appropriate, any authority delegated under paragraphs (a)(4)(i) through (a)(4)(xx) to general officers of the Department and heads of Departmental agencies.
(5)Related to small and disadvantaged business utilization. Provide general administrative support to the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, consistent with the other delegations of authority to the Assistant Secretary for Administration in this section.
(6)Related to procurement and property management.
(i) Exercise full Departmentwide contracting and procurement authority.
(ii) Promulgate policies, standards, techniques, and procedures, and represent the Department, in the following:
(A) Acquisition, including, but not limited to, the procurement of supplies, services, equipment, and construction.
(B) Socioeconomic programs relating to contracting.
(C) Selection, standardization, and simplification of program delivery processes utilizing contracts.
(D) Acquisition, leasing, utilization, value analysis, construction, maintenance, and disposition of real and personal property, including control of space assignments.
(E) Motor vehicle and aircraft fleet and other vehicular transportation.
(F) Transportation of things (traffic management).
(G) Prevention, control, and abatement of pollution with respect to Federal facilities and activities under the control of the Department ( Executive Order 12088, “Federal Compliance With Pollution Control Standards,” 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 243).
(I) Development and implementation of sustainable operations actions including establishing and achieving greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, reducing energy intensity, increasing renewable energy use, increasing water efficiency, reducing petroleum use and increasing alternative fuel use, increasing recycling and waste diversion, preventing pollution, reducing use of toxic chemicals, procuring sustainable products and services, achieving sustainable principles for new and existing buildings, promoting electronic stewardship, and continuing environmental management system use. Maintain liaison with the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Energy, and other Government agencies in these matters.
(K) Entering into cooperative agreements to further research programs in the food and agricultural sciences, related to establishing and implementing Federal biobased procurement and voluntary biobased labeling programs ( 7 U.S.C. 3318).
(L) Implementation of the policies and procedures set forth in OMB Circular No. A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities.
(iii) Exercise the following special authorities:
(A) Designate the Departmental Debarring Officer to perform the functions of 48 CFR part 9, subpart 9.4 related to procurement activities, except for commodity acquisitions on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation ( 7 CFR part 1407); with authority to redelegate suspension and debarment authority for contracts awarded under the School Lunch and Surplus Removal Programs ( 42 U.S.C. 1755 and 7 U.S.C. 612c).
(C) Maintain custody and permit appropriate use of the official seal of the Department.
(D) Establish policy for the use of the official flags of the Secretary and the Department.
(E) Coordinate collection and disposition of personal property of historical significance.
(F) Make information returns to the Internal Revenue Service as prescribed by 26 U.S.C. 6050M and by 26 CFR 1.6050M-1 and such other Treasury regulations, guidelines or procedures as may be issued by the Internal Revenue Service in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 6050M. This includes making such verifications or certifications as may be required by 26 CFR 1.6050M-1 and making the election allowed by 26 CFR 1.6050M-1(d)(5)(1).
(G) Promulgate regulations for the management of contracting and procurement for information technology and telecommunication equipment, software, services, maintenance and related supplies.
(H) Represent the Department in working with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the General Services Administration, OMB, and other organizations or agencies on matters related to assigned responsibilities.
(I) Serve as the designated Chief Acquisition Officer for the Department pursuant to section 1702 of title 41, United States Code.
(iv) Serve as the Acquisition Executive in the Department to integrate and unify the management process for the Department's major system acquisitions and to monitor implementation of the policies and practices set forth in OMB Circular No. A-109, Major Systems Acquisitions. This includes the authority to:
(A) Ensure that OMB Circular No. A-109 is effectively implemented in the Department and that the management objectives of the Circular are realized.
(B) Review the program management of each major system acquisition.
(C) Designate the program manager for each major systems acquisition.
(D) Designate any Departmental acquisition as a major system acquisition under OMB Circular No. A-109.
(v) Pursuant to Executive Order 12931, “Federal Procurement Reform,” 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 925, and sections 16, 22, and 37 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as amended, 41 U.S.C. 414, 418b, and 433, designate the Senior Procurement Executive for the Department and delegate responsibility for the following:
(A) Prescribing and publishing Departmental acquisition policies, advisories, regulations, and procedures.
(B) Taking any necessary actions consistent with policies, regulations, and procedures with respect to purchases, contracts, leases, agreements, and other transactions.
(C) Designating contracting officers.
(D) Establishing clear lines and limitations of contracting authority through written delegations of authority.
(E) Approving any Departmental and component agency procurement systems and processes.
(F) Managing and enhancing career development of the Department's acquisition workforce.
(G) Participating in the development of Governmentwide procurement policies, regulations, and standards, and determining specific areas where Governmentwide performance standards should be established and applied.
(H) Developing unique Departmental standards as required.
(I) Overseeing the development of procurement goals, guidelines, and innovation.
(J) Measuring and evaluating procurement office performance against stated goals.
(K) Advising the Secretary whether goals are being achieved.
(L) Prescribing standards for agency Procurement Executives.
(M) Redelegating, suspending, or revoking, as appropriate, the authority in paragraph (a)(6)(v)(A) of this section to agency Procurement Executives or other qualified agency officials with no power of further redelegation.
(N) Redelegating, suspending, or revoking, as appropriate, the authorities in paragraphs (a)(6)(v)(B), (C), (D), (F), and (G) of this section to agency Procurement Executives or other qualified agency officials with the power of further redelegation.
(vi) Represent the Department in establishing standards for acquisition transactions within the electronic data interchange environment.
(vii) Designate the Departmental Task Order Ombudsman pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 253j.
(viii) Designate the Departmental Remedy Coordination Official pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 255 to determine whether payment to any contractor should be reduced or suspended based on substantial evidence that the request of the contractor for advance, partial, or progress payment is based on fraud.
(ix) Review and approve exemptions for USDA contracts, subcontracts, grants, agreements, and loans from the requirements of the Clean Air Act, as amended ( 42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended ( 33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.), and Executive Order 11738, “Providing for Administration of the Clean Air Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act With Respect to Federal Contracts, Grants, or Loans,” 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 799, when he or she determines that the paramount interest of the United States so requires as provided in these acts and Executive Order and the regulations of the EPA ( 2 CFR 1532.1140).
(x) Transfer excess research equipment to eligible educational institutions or certain non-profit organizations for the conduct of technical and scientific education and research activities under section 11(i) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 ( 15 U.S.C. 3710(i)) ( 7 CFR part 2812).
(xi) Promulgate policy and obtain and furnish Federal excess personal property in accordance with section 923 of Public Law 104-127 ( 7 U.S.C. 2206a), to support research, educational, technical and scientific activities or for related programs, to:
(xii) Make available to organizations excess or surplus computers or other technical equipment of the Department for the purpose of distribution to cities, towns, or local government entities in rural areas ( 7 U.S.C. 2206b).
(xiii) Issue regulations and directives to implement or supplement the Federal Acquisition Regulations (48 CFR Chapters 1 and 4).
(xiv) Issue regulations and directives to implement or supplement the Federal Property Management Regulations (41 CFR chapter 101) and the Federal Management Regulation (41 CFR chapter 102).
(xv) Serve as USDA Senior Sustainability Officer under Executive Order 13514, “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” ( 74 FR 52117, Oct. 8, 2009) responsible for developing and achieving greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, developing and implementing a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, achieving sustainable practice goals in Executive Order 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” 3 CFR, 2007 Comp., p. 191, and reporting USDA's progress to OMB and the Council on Environmental Quality.
(xvi) Pursuant to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (Act), as amended ( 41 U.S.C. 401, et seq.), designate the Department's Advocate for Competition with the responsibility for section 20 of the Act ( 41 U.S.C. 418), including:
(A) Reviewing the procurement activities of the Department.
(B) Developing new initiatives to increase full and open competition.
(C) Developing goals and plans and recommending actions to increase competition.
(D) Challenging conditions unnecessarily restricting competition in the acquisition of supplies and services.
(E) Promoting the acquisition of commercial items.
(F) Designating an Advocate for Competition for each procuring activity within the Department.
(xvii)Related to compliance with environmental laws and sustainable operating requirements.
(A) Serve as Chair of the USDA Sustainable Operations Council.
(B) Represent USDA in consulting or working with the EPA, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Domestic Policy Council, and others to develop policies relating to hazardous materials management and Federal facilities compliance with applicable pollution control laws.
(C) Monitor, review, evaluate, and oversee hazardous materials management program activities and compliance Department-wide.
(E) Represent USDA on the National Response Team and exercise responsibility for USDA response efforts for hazardous substance releases and oil spills pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended ( 42 U.S.C. 9601, et seq.); the Clean Water Act, as amended ( 33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.); Oil Pollution Act, as amended ( 33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq.); Executive Order 12580, “Superfund Implementation,” 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193; Executive Order 12777, “Implementation of section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of October 18, 1972, as amended, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990,” 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351, and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan, 40 CFR Part 300.
(F) Approve disbursements from the New World Mine Response and Restoration Account, approve the New World Mine Response and Restoration Plan, and make quarterly reports to Congress under Sections 502(d) and (f) of Title V of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1998, Public Law 105-83.
(G) Ensure that the Hazardous Materials Management Program Department-wide is accomplished with regard to, and in compliance with , Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” 3 CFR, 1994 Comp. p. 859.
(H) Take such action as may be necessary, with the affected agency head and with the concurrence of the General Counsel, including issuance of administrative orders and agreements with any person to perform any response action under sections 106(a) and 122 (except subsection (b)(1)) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended ( 42 U.S.C. 9606(a), 9622), pursuant to sections 4(c)(3) and 4(d)(3) of Executive Order 12580, “Superfund Implementation,” 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193, as amended by Executive Order 13016, “Amendment to Executive Order No. 12580,” 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 214.
(I) Represent USDA on the EPA Brownfields Federal Partnership and coordinate USDA support for Brownfields redevelopment and establish policy and guidance for the implementation of the June 2003 amendment to Executive Order 12580, “Superfund Implementation,” 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193 ( Executive Order 13308, “Further Amendment to Executive Order 12580, As Amended, Superfund Implementation,” 3 CFR, 2003 Comp., p. 239).
(xviii)Related to occupational safety and health.
(A) Establish Departmentwide safety and health policy and provide leadership in the development, coordination, and implementation of related standards, techniques, and procedures, and represent the Department in complying with laws, Executive Orders and other policy and procedural issuances related to occupational safety and health and workers' compensation programs within the Department.
(B) Represent the Department in all rulemaking, advisory, or legislative capacities on any groups, committees, or Governmentwide activities that affect the Department's Occupational Safety and Health Management Program; and serve as the USDA Designated Safety and Health Official.
(C) Determine and provide Departmentwide technical services and regional staff support for the safety and health programs.
(D) Administer the computerized management information systems for the collection, processing and dissemination of data related to the Department's occupational safety and health programs.
(E) Administer the Department's Occupational Health and Preventive Medicine Program, as well as design and operate employee assistance and workers' compensation activities.
(F) Provide education and training on a Departmentwide basis for safety and health-related issues and develop resource and operational manuals.
(xix) In coordination with the Chief Financial Officer, implement the debarment authorities in section 14211 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 ( 7 U.S.C. 2009j), in connection with procurement activities.
(xx) Provide services, including procurement of supplies, services, and equipment, with authority to take actions required by law or regulation to perform such services for:
(A) The Secretary of Agriculture.
(B) The general officers of the Department, except the Inspector General.
(7)Related to advocacy and outreach.
(i) Ensure that small farms and ranches, beginning farmers or ranchers, and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers have access to, and equitable participation in, programs and services of the Department pursuant to section 226B(c) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 ( 7 U.S.C. 6934(c)).
(ii) Oversee the Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.
(iii) Oversee the operations of the Office of Small Farms Coordination.
(iv) Administer section 2501 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 ( 7 U.S.C. 2279), except for authorities related to the Census of Agriculture and economic studies in subsection (h) of that section.
(v) Establish and oversee the Minority Farmer Advisory Committee pursuant to section 14008 of FCEA ( 7 U.S.C. 2279 note).
(vii) Consult with appropriate entities regarding integration of farmworker interests into Department programs, including assisting farmworkers in becoming agricultural producers or landowners, and research, program improvements, and agricultural education opportunities for low-income and migrant seasonal farmworkers.
(x) Administer section 2501A of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 ( 7 U.S.C. 2279-1), including the authority to coordinate Department policy for the issuance of receipts under subsection (e) of that section.
(xi) Provide strategic planning and performance measurement, coordinate outreach activities, monitor goals and objectives, and evaluate programs, of Department programs and activities involving small farms or ranches and beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.
(xii) Administer the USDA/1994 Land Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) Programs.
(xiii) Administer the USDA/1890 Liaison Officer Program.
(8)Related to homeland security, personnel and document security, and emergency coordination.
(i) Provide administrative supervision to the unit that grants, denies, or revokes security clearances for USDA employees and contractors.
(ii) Administer the Department Emergency Preparedness Program. This includes:
(A) Coordinate the delegations and assignments made to the Department under the Defense Production Act of 1950, 50 U.S.C. App. 2061, et seq.; the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121, et seq.; and by Executive Orders 12148, “Federal Emergency Management” (3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 412), 12656, “Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities” (3 CFR, 1988 Comp., p. 585), and 13603, “National Defense Resources Preparedness” (3 CFR, 2012 Comp., p. 225), or any successor to these Executive Orders, to ensure that the Department has sufficient capabilities to respond to any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or any all hazards incident.
(B) Manage the Department Emergency Operations Center at Headquarters and the Secretary's alternative facilities; provide senior staff with international, national, and regional situational awareness reports; and provide and maintain current information systems technology and National Security Systems to support USDA executive crisis management capability.
(C) Provide facilities and equipment to facilitate inter-agency coordination during emergencies.
(D) Activate the USDA incident management system in accordance with the National Response Framework and the National Incident Management System in the event of a major incident; and provide oversight and coordination of the Department's Emergency Support Functions as outlined in the National Response Framework.
(E) Develop and promulgate policies for the Department regarding emergency preparedness and national security, including matters relating to anti-terrorism and agriculture-related emergency preparedness planning both national and international, and guidance to USDA State and County Emergency Boards.
(F) Establish and provide oversight of a Department-wide training program for the National Incident Management System to include Incident Command System, National Response Framework, Continuity programs, and Critical Infrastructure Protection program.
(G) Provide representation and liaison for the Department in contacts with other Federal entities and organizations, including the National Security Council, Homeland Security Council, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of The Director of National Intelligence, and Department of Defense concerning matters of a national security, natural disaster, other emergencies, and agriculture/food-related international civil emergency planning and related activities.
(I) Develop and submit a coordinated budget request for homeland security requirements.
(J) Provide guidance and direction regarding radiological emergency preparedness programs and the implementation of the National Response Framework's Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex to Departmental staff offices, mission areas, and agencies.
(L) Represent USDA on the Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee (FRPCC) and Regional Assistance Committees (RACs) and assist them in carrying out their functions.
(iv) Serve as the primary point of contact for Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audits of USDA homeland security activities.
(v) Coordinate interaction between Department agencies and private sector businesses and industries in emergency planning and public education under Department authorities delegated or assigned under the National Response Framework, National Infrastructure Protection Plan, Defense Production Act of 1950, 50 U.S.C. App. 2061, et seq., and Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121, et seq.
(vi) Oversee the Department's ability to collect and disseminate information and prepare for an agricultural disease emergency, agroterrorist act, or other threat to agricultural biosecurity, and coordinate such activities among agencies and offices within the Department ( 7 U.S.C. 8912).
(vii) Administer a funded competitive grant program to support the development and expansion of advanced training programs in agricultural biosecurity planning and response for food science professionals and veterinarians; administer a funded competitive grant and low-interest loan assistance program to assist States in assessing agricultural disease response capability ( 7 U.S.C. 8913).
(viii) Promulgate Departmental policies, standards, techniques, and procedures; and represent the Department in maintaining the security of physical facilities and providing security guidance to the Food and Agricultural Sector nationwide.
(A) Lead and coordinate the development and maintenance of a mission critical facility inventory with agency involvement to ensure proper security countermeasures are implemented in the Department's most critical infrastructure.
(D) Represent and act as liaison for the Department in contacts with other Federal security entities and organizations, including the Interagency Security Committee and the Department of Homeland Security.
(E) Provide guidance and direction to ensure physical security and agriculture/food security are fully integrated in USDA's security preparations, which are reported to and coordinated with the White House.
(F) Provide assistance to the USDA agencies in preparation for and during a disaster to identify critical assets and possible alternate storage locations.
(G) Conduct physical security investigations and compliance reviews Department-wide.
(H) Review and provide coordinated technical physical security assessments for all new construction of laboratories, data centers, germplasm repositories, and other mission critical infrastructure during the design phase, and all leased facilities prior to contract award.
(I) Oversee and manage physical security aspects of the Common Identification Card (LincPass) Program to ensure National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and General Services Administration (GSA) compliancy within the National Capital Region and the physical access to USDA facilities.
(J) Provide enterprise connectivity to agency physical access control systems that provide cost leveraging and provisioning/de-provisioning nationwide.
(A) Provide guidance and direction regarding continuity of operations to the Office of the Secretary, Departmental staff offices, mission areas, and agencies.
(A) Direct and administer USDA's public trust program established pursuant to 5 CFR part 731 and Executive Order 13488, “Granting Reciprocity on Excepted Service and Federal Contractor Employee Fitness and Reinvestigating Individuals in Positions of Public Trust” ( 74 FR 4111, Jan. 22, 2009).
(B) Direct and administer USDA's program under which information is safeguarded pursuant to Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” ( 75 FR 707, Jan. 5, 2010), or subsequent orders.
(C) Establish and maintain Information Security policies and procedures for classifying, declassifying, safeguarding, and disposing of classified national security information and materials.
(D) Investigate or delegate authority to investigate any potential compromises of classified national security information and take corrective action for violations or infractions under section 5.5(b) of Executive Order 13526 or any subsequent order.
(E) Develop and maintain oversight of all facilities throughout USDA where classified national security information is or will be safeguarded, discussed, or processed including sole authority to liaison with the Central Intelligence Agency concerning guidance, approval, requirements, and oversight of USDA secure facilities.
(F) Act as the USDA focal point to identify, receive, disseminate and safeguard USDA related intelligence information as required; convey information to USDA policy officials; and liaise with the intelligence community, as appropriate.
(xi) Control within USDA the acquisition, use, and disposal of material and equipment that can be a source of ionizing radiation.
(B) Maintain and ensure compliance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations (Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations) and license(s) issued to USDA for the acquisition, use, and disposal of radioactive materials.
(9)Related to operations support to the Department of Agriculture headquarters complex, George Washington Carver Center, and leased facilities in the Washington metro area.
(i) Provide services relating to facilities management and daily operational support for agencies and offices occupying USDA's headquarters complex, George Washington Carver Center, and, in coordination with the General Services Administration (GSA), USDA leased facilities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, as well as at emergency relocation sites and certain critical facilities specified by the Assistant Secretary for Administration in the following areas:
(A) Acquiring, leasing, utilizing, constructing, maintaining, and disposing of real property, including control of space assignments, and architecture and engineering design oversight.
(B) Sustainable Operations leadership and management in the areas of internal energy efficiency, conservation and recycling in support of Executive Orders 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” 3 CFR, 2007 Comp., p. 193, and 13514, “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” ( 74 FR 52117, Oct. 8, 2009).
(C) Occupational health, safety, and related functions; and environmental compliance pursuant to Executive Order 12088, “Federal Compliance with Pollution Control Standards,” 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 243, to ensure actions are taken for the prevention, control, and abatement of environmental pollution.
(ii) Provide centralized Departmental business services including:
(A) Printing, copy reproducing, offset composing, mail management and delivery, and automated mailing lists.
(B) USDA Nationwide mail management policy.
(C) Operation of a disability resource center for all USDA agencies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and nationwide in the areas of accessible technologies and reasonable accommodations.
(D) General supplies, shipping and receiving, warehouse and labor services.
(F) Excess personal property operations with disposition responsibility for all USDA agencies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
(G) Operation of a GSA authorized Federal excess property Sales Center for USDA property and other government agencies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area via Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
(iii) Promulgate Departmental regulations, standards, techniques, and procedures and represent the Department in managing and maintaining a comprehensive physical and technical security program including access control, management of special police officer and guard services, executive driving, parking, ID badging in accordance with HSPD-12, occupant emergency and warden services at the USDA Headquarters Complex, George Washington Carver Center and, in coordination with GSA, USDA leased facilities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, as well as at emergency relocation sites and certain critical facilities specified by the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
(v) Represent the Department in contacts with other organizations or agencies on matters related to assigned responsibilities.
(vi) Provide services, including travel support, conference management, and general administrative support including coordination of office renovations and moves (within USDA Whitten Building), with authority to take actions required by law or regulation to perform such services for:
(A) The Secretary of Agriculture.
(B) The general officers of the Department, except the Inspector General.
(C) The offices and agencies reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
(D) The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.
(E) Any other offices or agencies of the Department as may be agreed.
(vii) Prepare responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act with authority to take actions as required by law or regulation for the office and agencies reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
(viii) Administer the records management program in support of Departmental Management, and prepare and coordinate responses to management audits by the Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office, with authority to take actions as required by law or regulation for the offices and agencies reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
(10)Related to Secretarial correspondence.
(i) Exercise responsibility for all correspondence control and related records management functions for the Office of the Secretary.
(12)Related to Office of Administrative Law Judges.
(i) Assign, after appropriate consultation with other general officers, to the Office of Administrative Law Judges proceedings not subject to 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557, involving the holdings of hearings and performance of related duties pursuant to the applicable rules of practice, when the Assistant Secretary for Administration determines that because of the nature of the proceeding it would be desirable for the proceeding to be presided over by an Administrative Law Judge and that such duties and responsibilities would not be inconsistent with those of an Administrative Law Judge.
(ii) Provide administrative supervision of the Office of Administrative Law Judges.
(iii) Maintain overall responsibility and control over the Hearing Clerk's activities which include the custody of and responsibility for the control, maintenance, and servicing of the original and permanent records of all USDA administrative proceedings conducted under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557:
(A) Receiving, filing and acknowledging the receipt of complaints, petitions, answers, briefs, arguments, and all other documents that may be submitted to the Secretary or the Department of Agriculture in such proceedings.
(B) Receiving and filing complaints, notices of inquiry, orders to show cause, notices of hearing, designations of Administrative Law Judges or presiding officers, answers, briefs, arguments, orders, and all other documents that may be promulgated or issued by the Secretary or other duly authorized officials of the Department of Agriculture in such proceedings.
(C) Supervising the service upon the parties concerned of any documents that are required to be served, and where required, preserving proof of service.
(D) Keeping a docket record of all such documents and proceedings.
(E) Filing a stenographic record of each administrative hearing where a transcript is required.
(F) Preparing for certification and certifying under the Secretary's facsimile signature, material on file in the Hearing Clerk's office.
(G) Performing any other clerical duties with respect to the documents relative to such proceedings as may be required to be performed.
(H) Cooperating with the Office of Operations in the letting of contracts for stenographic and reporting services; and forwarding vouchers to appropriate agencies for payment.
(I) Receiving and compiling data, views or comments filed in response to notices of proposed standards or rules or regulations.
(J) Performing upon request the following services with respect to any hearings in such proceedings:
(1) Arranging for suitable hearing place.
(2) Arranging for stenographic reporting of hearings and handling details in connection therewith.
(i) Carry out prize competition authorities in section 24 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 ( 15 U.S.C. 3719) related to functions otherwise delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, except for authorities delegated to the Chief Financial Officer in § 2.28(a)(29) and authorities reserved to the Secretary in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
(b) The following authorities are reserved to the Secretary of Agriculture:
(1)Related to financial systems and budget formulation and execution.
(i) Final approval of the Department's program and financial plans.
(2)Related to human resources management. Make final determinations in the following areas:
(i) Separation of employees for security reasons.
(ii) Restoration to duty of employees following suspension from duty for security reasons.
(iii) Reinstatement or restoration to duty or the employment of any person separated for security reasons.
(iv) Issuance of temporary certificates to occupy sensitive positions.
(i) Approval of prize competitions that may result in the award of more than $1,000,000 in cash prizes under section 24(m)(4)(B) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 ( 15 U.S.C. 3719(m)(4)(B)).
Title 7 published on 2015-08-22
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 7 CFR Part 2 after this date.
- 7 CFR 2.97 — Director, Office of the Executive Secretariat.
- 7 CFR 2.96 — Director, Office of Operations.
- 7 CFR 2.28 — Chief Financial Officer.
- 7 CFR 2.27 — Office of Administrative Law Judges.
- 7 CFR 2.87 — Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration.
- 7 CFR 2.94 — Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
- 7 CFR 2.95 — Director, Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Coordination.
- 7 CFR 2.91 — Director, Office of Human Resources Management.
- 7 CFR 2.93 — Director, Office of Procurement and Property Management.
- 7 CFR 2.89 — Chief Information Officer.