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Revision of Delegations of Authority

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document revises the delegations of authority from the Secretary of Agriculture and general officers of the Department due to passage of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Effective February 4, 2000.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Philip Schwab, Science Advisor and Legislative Affairs, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA, Room 305-A, Jamie L. Whitten Federal Bldg., Washington, DC 20250, telephone 202-720-4423.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On June 23, 1998, the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-185, was signed into law. With the enactment of this new law many existing authorities were either modified or extended and some new ones added. It is necessary for these authorities to be delegated to Agency Administrators. This document also delegates authority for the Census of Agriculture as provided for in the Census of Agriculture Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-113 (7 U.S.C. 2204g). This document lays out these delegations of authority as they have been modified and expanded. This rule relates to internal agency management. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, notice of proposed rulemaking and opportunity for comment are not required, and this rule may be made effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Further, since this rule relates to internal agency management, it is exempt from the provisions of Executive Orders 12866 and 12988. Finally, this action is not a rule as defined by Pub. L. 96-354, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Enforcement Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., and, thus, is exempt from their provisions.

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 2

End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part

Accordingly,

End Amendment Part Start Part

PART 2—DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority for Part 2 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: Sec. 212(a), Pub. L. 103-354, 108 Stat. 3210, 7 U.S.C. 6912(a)(1); 5 U.S.C. 301; Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953; 3 CFR 1949-1953 Comp., p. 1024.

End Authority

Subpart C—Delegations of Authority to the Deputy Secretary, the Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries

Start Amendment Part

2. Amend § 2.21 as follows:

End Amendment Part

a. Redesignate paragraphs (a)(1)(cxl) through (a)(1)(cxlix) as paragraphs (a)(1)(cxli) through (a)(1)(cl);

b. Add new paragraphs (a)(1)(cxl), and (a)(1)(cli) through (a)(1)(clxxi);

c. Remove and reserve paragraphs (a)(1)(lxxviii), (a)(1)(lxxxiii), (a)(1)(lxxxiv), (a)(1)(lxxxv), (a)(1)(lxxxvi), and (a)(1)(xc); and

d. Revise paragraphs (a)(1)(x), (a)(1)(xliv), (a)(1)(l), (a)(1)(liii), (a)(1)(lvii), (a)(1)(lix), (a)(1)(lxxix), and (b)(1)(i) and to add paragraphs (a)(1)(1iv), (a)(1)(lxxx), (a)(1)(lxxxi), and (a)(1)(lxxxvii) to read as follows:

Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(x) Evaluate, assess, and report to congressional agriculture committees on the merits of proposals for agricultural research facilities in the States; establish a task force on a 10-year strategic plan for agricultural research facilities; ensure that each research activity conducted by an Agricultural Research Service facility serves a national or multistate need; and review periodically Start Printed Page 5415each operating agricultural research facility constructed in whole or in part with Federal funds, pursuant to criteria established, to ensure that a comprehensive research capacity is maintained (7 U.S.C. 390 et seq.).

* * * * *

(xx) Administer and direct a program of competitive grants for research, and special grants for research, education, or extension, to State agricultural experiment stations, colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, national laboratories (competitive grants only), private organizations or corporations, and individuals, and of facilities grants to State agricultural experiment stations and other designated colleges and universities, to promote research, extension, or education, in food, agriculture and related areas (7 U.S.C. 450i).

* * * * *

(xliv) Formulate and administer programs to strengthen secondary education and two-year post secondary teaching programs; promote linkages between secondary, two-year post secondary, and higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences; administer grants to secondary education and two-year post secondary teaching programs, and to colleges and universities; maintain a national food and agricultural education information system (7 U.S.C. 3152).

* * * * *

(l) Support continuing agricultural and forestry extension and research, at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University, and administer a grant program for five National Research and Training Centers (7 U.S.C. 3221, 3222, 3222c, 3222d).

* * * * *

(liii) Provide policy direction and coordinate the Department's work with national and international institutions and other persons throughout the world in the performance of agricultural research, extension, teaching, and development activities; administer a program of competitive grants for collaborative projects involving Federal scientists or scientists from colleges and universities working with scientists at international agricultural research centers in other nations focusing either on new technologies and programs for increasing the production of food and fiber or training scientists and a program of competitive grants to colleges and universities to strengthen United States economic competitiveness and to promote international market development; and provide a biennial report to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate on efforts of the Federal Government to coordinate international agricultural research within the Federal Government, and to more effectively link the activities of domestic and international agricultural researchers, particularly researchers of the Agricultural Research Service (7 U.S.C. 3291, 3292b).

* * * * *

(liv) Provide for an agricultural research and development program with the United States/Mexico Foundation for Science (7 U.S.C. 3292a).

* * * * *

(lvii) Enter into cost-reimbursable agreements with State cooperative institutions or other colleges and universities for the acquisition of goods or services in support of research, extension, or teaching activities in the food and agricultural sciences, including the furtherance of library and related information programs (7 U.S.C. 3319a).

* * * * *

(lix) Administer an Aquaculture Assistance Program, involving centers, by making grants to eligible institutions for research and extension to facilitate or expand production and marketing of aquacultural food species and products; making grants to States to formulate Aquaculture development plans for the production and marketing of aquacultural species and products; and conducting a program of research, extension and demonstration at aquacultural demonstration centers (7 U.S.C. 3321-22).

* * * * *

(lxxviii) [Removed and reserved]

* * * * *

(lxxix) Conduct a research initiative known as the Agricultural Genome Initiative, and make grants or enter into cooperative agreements on a competitive basis to carry out the Initiative (7 U.S.C. 5924).

(lxxx) Administer a competitive high priority research and extension grants program in specified subject areas (7 U.S.C. 5925).

(lxxxi) Administer a program of competitive grants to support research and extension activities in Nutrient Management Research and Extension (7 U.S.C. 5925a).

* * * * *

(lxxxiii)—(lxxxvi) [Removed and reserved]

(lxxxvii) Administer competitive grants to support research and extension activities regarding organically grown and processed agricultural commodities (7 U.S.C. 5925b).

* * * * *

(xc) [Removed and reserved]

* * * * *

(cxl) Make competitive grants to 1994 Land-Grant Institutions to conduct agricultural research that addresses high priority concerns of tribal, national, or multistate significance (Section 536 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, 7 U.S.C. 301 note).

* * * * *

(cli) Ensure that agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service, and agricultural research, extension, or education activities administered by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service on a competitive basis address a concern that is a priority and has national, multistate, or regional significance (7 U.S.C. 7611).

(clii) Solicit and consider input and recommendations from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education and, after consultation with appropriate subcabinet officials, establish priorities for agricultural research, extension, and education activities conducted or funded by the Department; promulgate regulations concerning implementation of a process for obtaining stakeholder input at 1862, 1890, and 1994 Institutions; and ensure that federally supported and conducted agricultural research, extension, and education activities are accomplished in accord with identified management principles (7 U.S.C. 7612).

(cliii) Establish procedures that provide for scientific peer review of each agricultural research grant administered on a competitive basis, and for merit review of each agricultural extension or education grant administered, on a competitive basis, by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (7 U.S.C. 7613(a)).

(cliv) Consider the results of the annual review performed by the Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board regarding the relevance to priorities of the funding of all agricultural research, extension, or education activities conducted or funded by the Department and the adequacy of funding, when formulating each request for proposals, and evaluating proposals, involving an agricultural research, extension, or education activity funded, on a competitive basis, by the Department; and solicit and consider input from persons who conduct or use agricultural Start Printed Page 5416research, extension, or education regarding the prior year's request for proposals for each activity funded on a competitive basis (7 U.S.C. 7613(c)).

(clv) Establish, in consultation with appropriate subcabinet officials, procedures to ensure scientific peer review of all research activities conducted by the Department (7 U.S.C. 7613(d)).

(clvi) Require a procedure to be established by each 1862, 1890, and 1994 Institution, for merit review of each agricultural research and extension activity funded and review of the activity in accordance with the procedure (7 U.S.C. 7613(e)).

(clvii) Administer an Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (except with respect to funds provided by the Secretary to the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation) (7 U.S.C. 7621).

(clviii) Administer a program of competitive grants to eligible partnerships to coordinate and manage research and extension activities to enhance the quality of high-value agricultural products (7 U.S.C. 7622).

(clix) Administer a program of competitive grants to eligible entities to conduct research, education, or information dissemination projects for the development and advancement of precision agriculture (7 U.S.C. 7623).

(clx) Coordinate the resources of the Department to develop, commercialize, and promote the use of biobased products, and enter into cooperative agreements with private entities to operate pilot plants and other large-scale preparation facilities under which the facilities and technical expertise of the Agricultural Research Service may be made available (7 U.S.C. 7624).

(clxi) Administer the Thomas Jefferson Initiative for Crop Diversification program of competitive grants and contracts for the purpose of conducting research and development, in cooperation with other public and private entities, on the production and marketing of new and nontraditional crops needed to strengthen and diversify the agricultural production base of the United States (7 U.S.C. 7625).

(clxii) Administer competitive grants for integrated, multifunctional agricultural research, education, and extension activities (7 U.S.C. 7626).

(clxiii) Administer a coordinated program of research, extension, and education to improve the competitiveness, viability, and sustainability of small and medium size dairy, livestock, and poultry operations (7 U.S.C. 7627).

(clxiv) Administer a grant to a consortium of land-grant colleges and universities to enhance the ability of the consortium to carry out a multi-State research project aimed at understanding and combating diseases of wheat and barley caused by Fusarium graminearum and related fungi (7 U.S.C. 7628).

(clxv) Operate and administer the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database through contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements with appropriate colleges or universities (7 U.S.C. 7642).

(clxvi) Update on a periodic basis, nutrient composition data and report to Congress the method that will be used to update the data and the timing of the update (7 U.S.C. 7651).

(clxvii) Establish and maintain a Food Safety Research Information Office at the National Agricultural Library to provide to the research community and the general public information on publicly and privately funded food safety research initiatives (7 U.S.C. 7654(a)).

(clxviii) Develop a national program of safe food handling education for adults and young people to reduce the risk of food-borne illness (7 U.S.C. 7655).

(clxix) Conduct a performance evaluation to determine whether federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education programs result in public goods that have national or multistate significance, including through a contract with one or more entities to provide input and recommendations with respect to federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education programs (7 U.S.C. 7671).

(clxx) Request the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of the role and mission of federally funded agricultural research, extension, and education (7 U.S.C. 7672).

(clxxi) Take a census of agriculture in 1998 and every fifth year thereafter pursuant to the Census of Agriculture Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-113 (7 U.S.C. 2204g).

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Withhold funds from States in accordance with section 1436 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3198).

* * * * *

Subpart K—Delegations of Authority by the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics

Start Amendment Part

3. Amend § 2.65 to add new paragraphs (a)(28), (a)(99) through (a)(107), to remove and reserve paragraphs (a)(41), (a)(42), and (a)(43), and to revise paragraphs (a)(23), (a)(39), and (a)(71), to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Administrator, Agricultural Research Service.

(a) * * *

(23) Enter into cost-reimbursable agreements with State cooperative institutions or other colleges and universities for the acquisition of goods or services in support of research, extension, or teaching activities in the food and agricultural sciences, including the furtherance of library and related information programs (7 U.S.C. 3319a).

* * * * *

(28) Provide a biennial report to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate on efforts of the Federal Government to coordinate international agricultural research within the Federal Government, and to more effectively link the activities of domestic and international agricultural researchers, particularly researchers of the Agricultural Research Service (7 U.S.C. 3291(d)(2)).

* * * * *

(39) Conduct a research initiative known as the Agricultural Genome Initiative, and make grants or enter into cooperative agreements on a competitive basis to carry out the Initiative (7 U.S.C. 5924).

* * * * *

(41)—(43) [Removed and reserved]

* * * * *

(71) Establish and maintain a Food Safety Research Information Office at the National Agricultural Library to provide to the research community and the general public information on publicly and privately funded food safety research initiatives (7 U.S.C. 7654(a)).

* * * * *

(99) Ensure that agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) addresses a concern that is a priority and has national, multistate, or regional significance (7 U.S.C. 7611).

(100) Solicit and consider input and recommendations from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education (7 U.S.C. 7612(b)).

(101) Consider the results of the annual review performed by the Start Printed Page 5417Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board regarding the relevance to priorities of the funding of all agricultural research, extension, or education activities conducted or funded by the Department and the adequacy of funding when formulating each request for proposals, and evaluating proposals, involving an agricultural research, extension, or education activity funded, on a competitive basis, by the Department; and solicit and consider input from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education regarding the prior year's request for proposals for each activity funded on a competitive basis (7 U.S.C. 7613(c)).

(102) Establish procedures that ensure scientific peer review of all research activities conducted by the Agricultural Research Service (7 U.S.C. 7613(d)).

(103) Coordinate the resources of the Department to develop, commercialize, and promote the use of biobased products, and enter into cooperative agreements with private entities to operate pilot plants and other large-scale preparation facilities under which the facilities and technical expertise of the Agricultural Research Service may be made available (7 U.S.C. 7624).

(104) Administer a grant to a consortium of land-grant colleges and universities to enhance the ability of the consortium to carry out a multi-State research project aimed at understanding and combating diseases of wheat and barley caused by Fusarium graminearum and related fungi (7 U.S.C. 7628).

(105) Administer a program of fees to support the Patent Culture Collection maintained and operated by the Agricultural Research Service (7 U.S.C. 7641).

(106) Update on a periodic basis, nutrient composition data, and report to Congress the method that will be used to update the data and the timing of the update (7 U.S.C. 7651).

(107) Ensure that each research activity conducted by an Agricultural Research Service facility serves a national or multistate need (7 U.S.C. 390a(e)).

* * * * *

4. Amend § 2.66 to remove and reserve paragraphs (a)(27), (a)(38), (a)(41), (a)(47), and (a)(107), to revise paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(8), (a)(13), (a)(18), (a)(20), (a)(24), (a)(26), (a)(39), (a)(42), (a)(43), to redesignate paragraphs (a)(101) through (a)(117) as (a)(102) through (a)(118), and to add new paragraphs (a)(44), (a)(101) and (a)(119) through (a)(130), to read as follows:

Administrator, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.

(a) * * *

(5) Administer an agricultural research facilities proposal review process for submission to Congress (7 U.S.C. 390, 390a(a)-(d)).

* * * * *

(8) Administer a program of special grants to carry out research, extension, or education activities to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of food and agricultural sciences and to facilitate or expand ongoing State-Federal food and agricultural research, extension, or education programs; and administer a program of facilities grants to renovate and refurbish research spaces (7 U.S.C. 450i (c) and (d)).

* * * * *

(13) Formulate and administer programs to strengthen secondary education and two-year post secondary teaching programs; promote linkages between secondary, two-year post-secondary, and higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences; administer grants to secondary education and two-year post secondary teaching programs, and to colleges and universities; and maintain a national food and agricultural education information system (7 U.S.C. 3152).

* * * * *

(18) Support continuing agricultural and forestry extension and research, at 1890 land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University, and administer a grant program for five National Research and Training Centennial Centers (7 U.S.C. 3221, 3222, 3222c, 3222d).

* * * * *

(20) Provide policy direction and coordinate the Department's work with national and international institutions and other persons throughout the world in the performance of agricultural research, extension, and teaching, and development activities; administer a program of competitive grants for collaborative projects involving Federal scientists or scientists from colleges and universities working with scientists at international agricultural research centers in other nations focusing on new technologies and programs for increasing the production of food and fiber or training scientists and a program of competitive grants to colleges and universities to strengthen United States economic competitiveness and to promote international market development (7 U.S.C. 3291, 3292b).

* * * * *

(24) Enter into cost-reimbursable agreements with State cooperative institutions or other colleges and universities for the acquisition of goods or services in support of research, extension, or teaching activities in the food and agricultural sciences, including the furtherance of library and related information programs (7 U.S.C. 3319a).

* * * * *

(26) Administer an Aquaculture Assistance Program, involving centers, by making grants to eligible institutions for research and extension to facilitate or expand production and marketing of aquacultural food species and products; making grants to States to formulate aquaculture development plans for the production and marketing of aquacultural species and products; conducting a program of research, extension and demonstration at aquacultural demonstration centers (7 U.S.C. 3321-3322).

(27) [Removed and reserved]

* * * * *

(38) [Removed and reserved]

(39) Conduct a research initiative known as the Agricultural Genome Initiative; and make grants or enter into cooperative agreements on a competitive basis with individuals and organizations to carry out the Initiative (7 U.S.C. 5924).

* * * * *

(41) [Removed and reserved]

(42) Administer a competitive high priority research and extension grants program in specified subject areas (7 U.S.C. 5925).

(43) Administer a program of competitive grants to support research and extension activities in Nutrient Management Research and Extension (7 U.S.C. 5925a).

(44) Administer competitive grants to support research and extension activities regarding organically grown and processed agricultural commodities (7 U.S.C. 5925b).

* * * * *

(47) [Removed and reserved]

* * * * *

(101) Make competitive grants to 1994 Land-Grant Institutions to conduct agricultural research that addresses high priority concerns of tribal, national, or multistate significance (Section 536 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, 7 U.S.C. 301 note).

* * * * *

(108) [Removed and reserved]

* * * * *

(119) Ensure that agricultural research, extension, or education activities administered, on a competitive basis, by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Start Printed Page 5418Extension Service address a concern that is a priority and has national, multistate, or regional significance (7 U.S.C. 7611).

(120) Solicit and consider input and recommendations from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education; ensure that Federally supported and conducted agricultural research, extension, and education activities are accomplished in accord with identified management principles; and promulgate regulations concerning implementation of a process for obtaining stakeholder input at 1862, 1890, and 1994 Institutions (7 U.S.C. 7612 (b), (c)and (d)).

(121) Establish procedures that provide for scientific peer review of each agricultural research grant administered, on a competitive basis, and for merit review of each agricultural extension or education grant administered, on a competitive basis, by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (7 U.S.C. 7613(a)).

(122) Consider the results of the annual review performed by the Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board regarding the relevance to priorities of the funding of all agricultural research, extension, or education activities conducted or funded by the Department and the adequacy of funding, when formulating each request for proposals, and evaluating proposals, involving an agricultural research, extension, or education activity funded, on a competitive basis, by the Department; and solicit and consider input from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education regarding the prior year's request for proposals for each activity funded on a competitive basis (7 U.S.C. 7613(c)).

(123) Require a procedure to be established by each 1862, 1890, and 1994 Institution, for merit review of each agricultural research and extension activity funded and review of the activity in accordance with the procedure (7 U.S.C. 7613(e)).

(124) Administer an Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (except with respect to funds provided by the Secretary to the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation) (7 U.S.C. 7621).

(125) Administer a program of competitive grants to eligible partnerships to coordinate and manage research and extension activities to enhance the quality of high-value agricultural products (7 U.S.C. 7622).

(126) Administer a program of competitive grants to eligible entities to conduct research, education, or information dissemination projects for the development and advancement of precision agriculture (7 U.S.C. 7623).

(127) Administer the Thomas Jefferson Initiative for Crop Diversification program of competitive grants and contracts for the purpose of conducting research and development, in cooperation with other public and private entities, on the production and marketing of new and nontraditional crops needed to strengthen and diversify the agricultural production base of the United States (7 U.S.C. 7625).

(128) Administer competitive grants for integrated, multifunctional agricultural research, education, and extension activities (7 U.S.C. 7626).

(129) Operate and administer the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database through contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements with appropriate colleges or universities (7 U.S.C. 7642).

(130) Develop a national program of safe food handling education for adults and young people to reduce the risk of food-borne illness (7 U.S.C. 7655).

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

5. Amend § 2.67 to add new paragraphs (a)(15), (a)(16), and (a)(17), to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Administrator, Economic Research Service.

(a) * * *

(15) Solicit and consider input and recommendations from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education (7 U.S.C. 7612(b)).

(16) Consider the results of the annual review performed by the Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board regarding the relevance to priorities of the funding of all agricultural research, extension, or education activities conducted or funded by the Department and the adequacy of funding, when formulating each request for proposals, and evaluating proposals, involving an agricultural research, extension, or education activity funded, on a competitive basis, by the Department; and solicit and consider input from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, extension, or education regarding the prior year's request for proposals for each activity funded on a competitive basis (7 U.S.C. 7613(c)).

(17) Establish procedures that ensure scientific peer review of all research activities conducted by the Economic Research Service (7 U.S.C. 7613(d)).

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

6. Amend § 2.68 to add a new paragraph (a)(9), to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

(a) * * *

(9) Take a census of agriculture in 1998 and every fifth year thereafter pursuant to the Census of Agriculture Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-113 (7 U.S.C. 2204g).

* * * * *
Start Signature

Done at Washington, DC.

For subpart C:

Dated: January 20, 2000.

Dan Glickman,

Secretary of Agriculture.

For Subpart K:

Dated: January 21, 2000.

Eileen Kennedy,

Acting Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-2396 Filed 2-3-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-01-P