The Secretary shall appoint such officers and employees as may be necessary for the transaction of the business of the Corporation pursuant to civil-service laws and regulations, fix their compensation in accordance with the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, define their authority and duties, and delegate to them such of the powers vested in the Corporation as the Secretary may determine appropriate. However, personnel paid by the hour, day, or month when actually employed may be appointed without regard to civil-service laws and regulations.
Insofar as applicable, the benefits of subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, shall extend to persons given employment under the provisions of this subchapter, including the employees of the committees and associations referred to in subsection (c) of this section and the members of such committees.
In the administration of this subchapter, the Board shall, to the maximum extent possible, (1) establish or use committees or associations of producers and make payments to them to cover the administrative and program expenses, as determined by the Board, incurred by them in cooperating in carrying out this subchapter, (2) contract with private insurance companies, private rating bureaus, and other organizations as appropriate for actuarial services, services relating to loss adjustment and rating plans of insurance, and other services to avoid duplication by the Federal Government of services that are or may readily be available in the private sector and to enable the Corporation to concentrate on regulating the provision of insurance under this subchapter and evaluating new products and materials submitted under section 1508(h) or 1523 of this title, and reimburse such companies for the administrative and program expenses, as determined by the Board, incurred by them, under terms and provisions and rates of compensation consistent with those generally prevailing in the insurance industry, and (3) encourage the sale of Federal crop insurance through licensed private insurance agents and brokers and give the insured the right to renew such insurance for successive terms through such agents and brokers, in which case the agent or broker shall be reasonably compensated from premiums paid by the insured for such sales and renewals recognizing the function of the agent or broker to provide continuing services while the insurance is in effect: Provided, That such compensation shall not be included in computations establishing premium rates. The Board shall provide such agents and brokers with indemnification, including costs and reasonable attorney fees, from the Corporation for errors or omissions on the part of the Corporation or its contractors for which the agent or broker is sued or held liable, except to the extent the agent or broker has caused the error or omission. Nothing in this subsection shall permit the Corporation to contract with other persons to carry out the responsibility of the Corporation to review and approve policies, rates, and other materials submitted under section 1508(h) of this title.
In carrying out the provisions of this subchapter the Board may, in its discretion, utilize producer-owned and producer-controlled cooperative associations.
The Board should use, to the maximum extent possible, the resources, data, boards, and the committees of (1) the Soil Conservation Service, in assisting the Board in the classification of land as to risk and production capability and in the development of acceptable conservation practices; (2) the Forest Service, in assisting the Board in the development of a timber insurance plan; (3) the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, in assisting the Board in the determination of individual producer yields and in serving as a local contact point for farmers where the Board deems necessary; and (4) other Federal agencies in any way the Board deems necessary in carrying out this subchapter.