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7 U.S. Code § 5694 - Staff of Foreign Agricultural Service

(a) Personnel of Service

To ensure that the agricultural export programs of the United States are carried out in an effective manner, the authorized number of personnel for the Service shall not be less than 900 staff years each fiscal year.

(b) Rank of Foreign Agricultural Service officers in foreign missions

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State shall, on the request of the Secretary of Agriculture, accord the diplomatic title of Minister-Counselor to the senior Service officer assigned to any United States mission abroad. The number of Service officers holding such diplomatic title at any time may not exceed twelve.

Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in subsec. (b) of this section appear in the following appropriation acts:

Pub. L. 101–506, title IV, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1343.

Pub. L. 100–202, § 101(k) [title IV, § 401], Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329–322, 1329–350.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Language Proficiency and Evaluation of Foreign Agricultural Service Officers

Pub. L. 101–624, title XV, § 1556, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3698, as amended by Pub. L. 104–127, title II, § 281(b), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 980, provided that:

“(a) Assessment of Foreign Language Competence.—
The Foreign Agricultural Service shall revise its evaluation reports for its Foreign Service officers so as to require in a separate entry an assessment of the officer’s effectiveness in using, in his or her work, a foreign language or foreign languages tested at the General Professional Speaking Proficiency level or above, in cases where the supervisor is capable of making such an assessment.
“(b) Precedence in Promotion.—
The Director of Personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service shall instruct promotion panels to take account of language ability and, all criteria for promotion otherwise being equal, to give precedence in promotions to officers who have achieved at least the General Professional Speaking Proficiency level in 1 or more foreign languages over officers who lack that level of proficiency.”