U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 05, 2023
(a) The following delegations of authority are made by the Secretary of Agriculture to the Assistant Secretary for Administration:
(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.
(xxii) Exercise the authority to noncompetitively convert to an appointment in the competitive service a recent graduate or student who is a United States citizen and has been awarded and successfully completed a scholarship program granted to the individual by the Department through the 1890 National Scholars Program or the 1994 Tribal Scholars Program, provided the individual meets the requirements for such conversion and meets Office of Personnel Management qualification standards, as determined by the Assistant Secretary for Administration (7 U.S.C. 2279j).
(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).
(H) Implementation of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601, et seq.).
(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.
(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).
(B) Conduct liaison with the Office of the Federal Register (1 CFR part 16) including the making of required certifications pursuant to 1 CFR part 18.
(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,designate,advisories,regulations,and.
(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:
(A) Any 1994 Institutions (as defined in section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103–382; 7 U.S.C. 301 note)).
(B) Any Institutions eligible to receive funds under the Act of August 30, 1890 (7 U.S.C. 321, et seq.) including Tuskegee University.
(C) Any Hispanic-serving Institutions (as defined in sections 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b)).
(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.
(D) Monitor, review, evaluate, and oversee USDA agency expenditures for hazardous materials management program accomplishments.
(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.
(C) Any other offices or agencies of the Department as may be agreed, including as a Working Capital Fund activity.
(8) Related to homeland security. (i) Serve as the principal advisor to the Secretary on national security, including emergency management, agriculture and food defense, and foreign investments in U.S. agriculture.
(ii) Coordinate activities of the Department, including policies, processes, budget needs, and oversight relating to national security, including emergency management, biodefense, agriculture and food defense, and foreign investments in U.S. agriculture.
(iii) Act as the primary liaison on behalf of the Department with other Federal departments and agencies in activities relating to national security, including emergency management, integrated laboratory networks, agriculture and food defense, foreign investments in U.S. agriculture, national intelligence collection priorities, and interagency coordination and data sharing.
(iv) Coordinate in the Department the gathering of information relevant to early warning and awareness of threats and risks to the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector; and share that information with, and provide assistance with interpretation and risk characterization of that information to, the intelligence community (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 3003), law enforcement agencies, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and State fusion centers (as defined in section 210A(j) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 124h(j)).
(v) Establish and maintain an effective defensive Counterintelligence Program to counter Foreign Intelligence Entity (FIE) threats to Departmental sensitive information and assets that includes identification and risk assessment to sensitive assets, development and implementation of mitigation strategies, integration of counter-FIE efforts across the Department, sharing of threat information and warnings, and promotion of counterintelligence training awareness.
(vi) Liaise with the Intelligence Community to assist in the development of periodic assessments and intelligence estimates, or other intelligence products, that support the defense of the food and agriculture critical infrastructure sector and risks associated with foreign investments in U.S. agriculture.
(vii) Coordinate the conduct, evaluation, and improvement of exercises to identify and eliminate gaps in preparedness and response.
(viii) Produce a Department-wide centralized strategic coordination plan to provide a high-level perspective of the operations of the Department relating to homeland and national security, including emergency management and agriculture and food defense.
(ix) Establish and carry out an interagency Agriculture and Food Threat Awareness Partnership Program, including by entering into cooperative agreements or contracts with Federal, State, or local authorities (7 U.S.C. 6922).
(x) Administer the Department's 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.
(G) Provide representation and liaison for the Department in contacts with other Federal entities and organizations, including the National Security Council's functional directorates, Homeland Security Council, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Defense concerning matters of a national security, multilateral weapons conventions, natural disasters, other emergencies, and agriculture/food-related international civil emergency planning and related activities.
(H) Act as the primary USDA representative for anti-terrorism activities and coordinates and oversees USDA's agroterrorism defense activities and programs.
(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.
(K) Provide program leadership and coordination for USDA's radiological emergency preparedness requirements with respect to Emergency Management and Assistance (44 CFR parts 350 through 352).
(L) Represent USDA on the Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee (FRPCC) and Regional Assistance Committees (RACs) and assist them in carrying out their functions.
(M) Support USDA in its management of the Department's emergency response program with respect to radiological emergency response activities.
(xi) Administer the Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program for the Department pursuant to E.O. 13556, “Controlled Unclassified Information” (75 FR 68675, 3 CFR, 2011 Comp., p. 267) and 32 CFR part 2002.
(xii) Serve as the primary point of contact for Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audits of USDA homeland and national security activities.
(xiii) 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.
(xiv) Oversee the Department's ability to collect and disseminate information and prepare for an agricultural disease emergency, agroterrorism act, or other threat to agricultural biosecurity, and coordinate such activities among agencies and offices within the Department (7 U.S.C. 8912).
(xv) Promulgate Departmental policies, standards, techniques, and procedures and represent the Department in providing security guidance to the Food and Agricultural Sector nationwide. This includes the following duties:
(A) Provide guidance to USDA agencies and the Food and Agricultural Sector in matters of security through use of assessments and development of mitigation strategies.
(B) 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.
(C) Provide guidance and direction to ensure agriculture/food security are fully integrated in USDA's security preparations, which are reported to and coordinated with the White House.
(D) Provide assistance to the USDA agencies in preparation for and during a disaster to identify critical assets and possible alternate storage locations.
(xvi) Provide oversight and coordination of the development and administration of the Department Continuity Program. This includes:
(A) Provide guidance and direction regarding continuity of operations to the Office of the Secretary, Departmental staff offices, mission areas, and agencies.
(B) Represent and act as liaison for the Department in contacts with other Federal entities and organizations concerning matters of assigned continuity program responsibilities.
(C) Oversee Department continuity of operations and emergency relocation facility planning, development, equipping, and preparedness to ensure that resources are in a constant state of readiness.
(xvii) Establish procedures to prevent unnecessary access to classified national security information (CNSI) including procedures that require that need for access to CNSI is established before initiating security clearance procedures; and ensure that the number of persons granted access CNSI is limited to the minimum consistent with operational and security requirements:
(A) Direct and administer USDA's CNSI program pursuant to E.O. 13526, “Classified National Security Information” (75 FR 707, 3 CFR, 2010 Comp., p. 298), or subsequent orders.
(B) Establish and maintain Information Security policies and procedures for classifying, declassifying, safeguarding, and disposing of CNSI and materials.
(C) Investigate or delegate authority to investigate any potential compromises of CNSI and take corrective action for violations or infractions under section 5.5(b), of E.O. 13526 or any subsequent order.
(D) Develop and maintain oversight of all facilities throughout USDA where CNSI 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.
(xviii) Control within USDA the acquisition, use, and disposal of material and equipment that can be a source of ionizing radiation.
(A) Promulgate policies and procedures for ensuring the safety of USDA employees, the public, and the environment resulting from USDA's use of ionizing radiation sources.
(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.
(xix) Provide administrative supervision to the unit that grants, denies, or revokes security clearances for USDA employees and contractors.
(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.
(E) Operation of a USDA Consolidated Forms and Publications Distribution Center for storage and nationwide distribution of USDA program forms and publications.
(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).
(iv) Provide management and oversight of the Secretary's People's Garden initiative and the USDA Visitor's Center for education and outreach to USDA and the public.
(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 Administration, 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.
(11) Related to safety, security, and protection. (i) 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. This includes the following activities:
(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.
(B) Provide guidance to USDA agencies in matters of physical security through use of physical security assessments and development of mitigation strategies.
(C) Conduct physical security investigations and compliance reviews Department-wide.
(D) 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.
(E) 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.
(F) Provide enterprise connectivity to agency physical access control systems that provide cost leveraging and provisioning/de-provisioning nationwide.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Carry out protection operations for the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and other individuals as specified in Section 12520 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, including by authorizing law enforcement officers or special agents to carry firearms; conduct criminal investigations into potential threats to the security of individuals protected under Section 12520; make arrests without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the law enforcement officer or special agent; perform protective intelligence work, including identifying and mitigating potential threats and conducting advance work to review security matters relating to sites and events; and coordinate with local law enforcement authorities (7 U.S.C. 2279k).
(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.
(13) Other general. (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.
(ii) Provide Departmentwide coordination for efforts to improve customer service.
(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.
(3) Other general. (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)).