The Secretary is authorized (1) to issue a license to any individual upon presentation to the Secretary of satisfactory evidence that such individual is competent, and is employed (or is supervised under a contractual arrangement) by an official agency or a State agency delegated authority under section 79 or 79a of this title, to perform all or specified functions involved in original inspection or reinspection functions involved in official inspection, or in the official weighing or the supervision of weighing, other than appeal weighing, of grain in the United States; (2) to authorize any competent employee of the Secretary to (A) perform all or specified original inspection, reinspection, or appeal inspection functions involved in official inspection of grain in the United States, or of United States grain in Canadian ports, (B) perform official weighing or supervision of weighing (including appeal weighing) of grain in the United States, or of United States grain in Canadian ports, (C) supervise the official inspection, official weighing, or supervision of weighing of grain in the United States and of United States grain in Canadian ports or the testing of equipment, and (D) perform monitoring activities in foreign ports with respect to grain officially inspected and officially weighed under this chapter; (3) to contract with any person or governmental agency to perform specified sampling, laboratory testing, inspection, weighing, and similar technical functions and to license competent persons to perform such functions pursuant to such contract; and (4) to contract with any competent person for the performance of monitoring activities in foreign ports with respect to grain officially inspected and officially weighed under this chapter. Except as otherwise provided in sections 79(i) and 79a(d) of this title, no person shall perform any official inspection or weighing function for purposes of this chapter unless such person holds an unsuspended and unrevoked license or authorization from the Secretary under this chapter.
All classes of licenses issued under this chapter shall terminate every 5 years on a date or dates to be fixed by regulation of the Secretary: Provided, That any license shall be suspended automatically when the licensee ceases to be employed by an official agency or by a State agency under a delegation of authority pursuant to this chapter or to operate under the terms of a contract for the conduct of any functions under this chapter: Provided further, That subject to subsection (c) of this section such license shall be reinstated if the licensee is employed by an official agency or by a State agency under a delegation of authority pursuant to this chapter or resumes operation under such a contract within one year of the suspension date and the license has not expired in the interim.
Persons employed or supervised under a contractual arrangement by an official agency (including persons employed or supervised under a contractual arrangement by a State agency under a delegation of authority pursuant to this chapter) and persons performing official inspection functions under contract with the Secretary shall not, unless otherwise employed by the Federal Government, be determined to be employees of the Federal Government of the United States: Provided, That such persons shall be considered in the performance of any official inspection, official weighing, or supervision of weighing function as prescribed by this chapter or by the rules and regulations of the Secretary, as persons acting for or on behalf of the United States, for the purpose of determining the application of section 201 of title 18, to such persons and as employees of the Department of Agriculture assigned to perform inspection functions for the purposes of sections 1114 and 111 of title 18.
The Secretary may hire (without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service) as official inspection personnel any individual who is licensed (on October 21, 1976) to perform functions of official inspection under this chapter and as personnel to perform supervisory weighing or official weighing functions any individual who, on October 21, 1976, was performing similar functions: Provided, That the Secretary determines that such individual is of good moral character and is technically and professionally qualified for the duties to which the individual will be assigned. The Secretary may compensate such personnel at any rate within the appropriate grade of the General Schedule as the Secretary deems necessary without regard to section 5333 of title 5.
The Secretary shall develop and effectuate standards for the recruiting, training, and supervising of official inspection personnel and appropriate work production standards for such personnel, which shall be applicable to the Secretary, all State agencies under delegation of authority pursuant to this chapter, and all official agencies and all persons licensed or authorized to perform functions under this chapter: Provided, That persons licensed or authorized on October 21, 1976, to perform any official function under this chapter, shall be exempted from the uniform recruiting and training provisions of this subsection and regulations or standards issued pursuant thereto if the Secretary determines that such persons are technically and professionally qualified for the duties to which they will be assigned and they agree to complete whatever additional training the Secretary deems necessary.