United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: May 28, 2023
The term “agency with rural responsibilities” means any executive agency (as defined in section 105 of title 5) that implements a Federal law, or administers a program, targeted at or having a significant impact on rural areas.
The term “Coordinating Committee” means the National Rural Development Coordinating Committee established by subsection (c).
The term “Partnership” means the National Rural Development Partnership continued by subsection (b).
The term “State rural development council” means a State rural development council that meets the requirements of subsection (d).
The purposes of the Partnership are to empower and build the capacity of States and rural communities to design flexible and innovative responses to their own special rural development needs, with local determinations of progress and selection of projects and activities.
A panel consisting of representatives of the Coordinating Committee and State rural development councils shall be established to lead and coordinate the strategic operation, policies, and practices of the Partnership.
In conjunction with the Coordinating Committee and State rural development councils, the panel shall prepare and submit to Congress an annual report on the activities of the Partnership.
The Secretary shall establish a National Rural Development Coordinating Committee within the Department of Agriculture.
A Federal employee shall fully participate in the governance and operations of the Coordinating Committee, including activities related to grants, contracts, and other agreements, in accordance with this section.
Participation by a Federal employee in the Coordinating Committee in accordance with this paragraph shall not constitute a violation of section 205 or 208 of title 18.
The Secretary may provide such administrative support for the Coordinating Committee as the Secretary determines is necessary to carry out the duties of the Coordinating Committee.
The Secretary may prescribe such regulations, bylaws, or other procedures as are necessary for the operation of the Coordinating Committee.
Notwithstanding chapter 63 of title 31, each State may elect to participate in the Partnership by entering into an agreement with the Secretary to recognize a State rural development council.
A State Director for Rural Development of the Department of Agriculture, other employees of the Department, and employees of other Federal agencies with rural responsibilities shall fully participate as voting members in the governance and operations of State rural development councils (including activities related to grants, contracts, and other agreements in accordance with this section) on an equal basis with other members of the State rural development councils.
Participation by a Federal employee in a State rural development council in accordance with this paragraph shall not constitute a violation of section 205 or 208 of title 18.
In order to provide experience in intergovernmental collaboration, the head of an agency with rural responsibilities that elects to participate in the Partnership may, and is encouraged to, detail to the Secretary for the support of the Partnership 1 or more employees of the agency with rural responsibilities without reimbursement for a period of up to 1 year.
The detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
The Secretary may provide for any additional support staff to the Partnership as the Secretary determines to be necessary to carry out the duties of the Partnership.
The Secretary may enter into a contract with a qualified intermediary under which the intermediary shall be responsible for providing administrative and technical assistance to a State rural development council, including administering the financial assistance available to the State rural development council.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), a State rural development council shall provide matching funds, or in-kind goods or services, to support the activities of the State rural development council in an amount that is not less than 33 percent of the amount of Federal funds received from a Federal agency under subsection (g)(2).
The Secretary shall develop a plan to decrease, over time, the share of the Department of Agriculture of the cost of the core operations of State rural development councils.
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2023.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law limiting the ability of an agency, along with other agencies, to provide funds to the Coordinating Committee or a State rural development council in order to carry out the purposes of this section, a Federal agency may make grants, gifts, or contributions to, provide technical assistance to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, the Coordinating Committee or a State rural development council.
Federal agencies are encouraged to use funds made available for programs that have an impact on rural areas to provide assistance to, and enter into contracts with, the Coordinating Committee or a State rural development council, as described in subparagraph (A).
The Coordinating Committee and a State rural development council may accept private contributions.
The authority provided under this section shall terminate on