Strengthening Civil Rights Management, 10825-10826 [2018-05051]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / Notices for the various servicing authorities. Servicing actions become necessary due Title: 7 CFR 1780, Water and Waste to the development of financial or other Disposal Loan and Grant Program. problems and may be initiated by either OMB Control Number: 0572–0121. Summary of Collection: Section 306 of a recipient which recognizes that a problem exists and wished to resolve it, the Consolidated Farm and Rural or by the Agency. If a problem exists, a Development Act (CONACT), 7 U.S.C. recipient must furnish financial 1926, authorizes Rural Utilities Service information which is used to aid in (RUS) to make loans and grants to resolving the problem through republic entities, federally-recognized amortization, sale, transfer, debt American Indian tribes, and nonprofit corporations. The loans and grants fund restructuring, liquidation, or other means provided in the regulations. the development of drinking water Description of Respondents: Business waste water, solid waste disposal, and or other for-profit; non-profit storm wastewater disposal facilities in institutions; State and local rural areas with populations of up to governments. 10,000 residents. Number of Respondents: 62. Need and Use of the Information: Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Rural Development’s field offices will On occasion. collect information from applicants/ Total Burden Hours: 729. borrowers and consultants to determine eligibility and project feasibility. The Ruth Brown, information will help to ensure Departmental Information Collection borrowers operate on a sound basis and Clearance Officer. use loan funds for authorized purposes. [FR Doc. 2018–05026 Filed 3–12–18; 8:45 am] There are agency forms required as well BILLING CODE 3410–15–P as other requirements that involve certifications from the borrower, lenders, and other parties. Failure to DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE collect proper information could result Office of the Secretary in improper determinations of eligibility, use of funds and or unsound Strengthening Civil Rights loans. Management Description of Respondents: State, Local or Tribal Government; Not-forAGENCY: Office of the Secretary, USDA. profit institutions. ACTION: Request for Information (RFI). Number of Respondents: 865. Frequency of Responses: Reporting: SUMMARY: Consistent with Executive On occasion. Order 13781, ‘‘Comprehensive Plan for Total Burden Hours: 150,339. Reorganizing the Executive Branch,’’ and using the authority of the Secretary Rural Utility Service to reorganize the Department under Title: Servicing of Water Programs section 4(a) of Reorganization Plan No. Loans and Grants. 2 of 1953 the U.S. Department of OMB Control Number: 0572–0137. Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting public Summary of Collection: Authority for comment on a proposed realignment of servicing of Water Programs Loan and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Grants is contained in Section 306e of Civil Rights (OASCR), which will the Consolidated Farm and Rural improve customer service, better align Development Act, as amended. The functions within the organization, and information collected covers loan and ensure improved consistency, resource grant servicing regulations, 7 CFR part management, and strategic decision1782, which prescribes policies and making. responsibilities for servicing actions DATES: Comments and information are necessary in connection with Water and requested on or before March 25, 2018. Environmental Programs (WEP) loans and grants. WEP provides loans, ADDRESSES: Interested persons are guaranteed loans and grants for water, invited to submit comments regarding sewer, storm water, and solid waste this notice. All submissions must refer disposal facilities in rural areas and to ‘‘Improving Civil Rights’’ to ensure towns of up to 10,000 people. proper delivery. Need and Use of the Information: The • Electronic Submission of Rural Utilities Service will collect Comments. Interested persons may information using various forms. The submit comments electronically through collected information for the most part the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// is financial in nature and needed by the www.regulations.gov. USDA strongly Agency to determine if borrowers, based encourages commenters to submit on their individual situations, qualify comments electronically. Electronic amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Rural Utility Service VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10825 submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, and ensures timely receipt by USDA. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically. • Submission of Comments by Mail, Hand Delivery, or Courier. Paper, disk, or CD–ROM submissions should be submitted to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, USDA, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 507–W, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Winona Lake Scott, Telephone Number: (202) 720–3808, winona.scott@ osec.usda.gov. USDA is committed to operating efficiently, effectively, and with integrity, and minimizing the burdens on individuals, businesses, and communities for participation in and compliance with USDA programs. USDA works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The Department’s wide range of programs and responsibilities touches the lives of every American every day. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Order 13781 Executive Order 13781, ‘‘Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch’’, is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch. The principles in the Executive Order provide the basis for taking actions to enhance and strengthen the delivery of USDA programs. II. Reorganization Actions On March 9, 2018, Secretary Perdue will be announcing his intent to take actions to strengthen civil rights and customer service at USDA by taking the following actions to ensure integrity, consistency, and fairness: • USDA will eliminate inefficiencies in delivering civil rights services at the agency and staff office level, thereby resulting in improved civil rights management. Under the realignment, a Civil Rights Director and appropriate Equal Opportunity staff will be aligned as follows: (1) Departmental Administration, staff offices, and Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs will share civil rights resources; (2) Each remaining Departmental Mission Area will consolidate its sub- E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 10826 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / Notices agency resources at the Mission Area level; and (3) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) shall have an independent Civil Rights Director. • OASCR will direct all Departmental civil rights activities, including those of the Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, staff offices, and to the extent appropriate and lawful, OIG. The delegations for the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights shall be revised as necessary to reflect OASCR’s direct responsibility in providing civil rights policy direction to Mission Area and other Civil Rights Directors and Civil Rights staff and conveying the clear guidance of the Office of the Secretary on all civil rights issues. • OASCR will implement a timely, fair, transparent, and consistent approach to addressing all Equal Employment Opportunity or program complaints, including those based on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that shall be adopted by all Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, staff offices and, to the extent appropriate and lawful, OIG. • OASCR will direct an effective, robust, and compliant mandatory civil rights training program for all staff, including Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, staff offices and, to the extent appropriate and lawful, OIG. • OASCR will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the reasonable accommodation process by the Mission Areas, Departmental Management, staff offices and, to the extent appropriate and lawful, OIG. • OASCR will not address matters that Office of Human Resource Management (OHRM) handles exclusively, such as setting human resources policy, investigating and evaluating harassment allegations for misconduct, and reviewing and advising on requests for reasonable accommodations, but will serve as a collaborative partner with OHRM on all appropriate issues affecting civil rights policy, implementation, and compliance. • OASCR will request the Mission Areas to provide a list of all civil rights positions on-board (full-time, part-time, or collateral duty) within 30 days from issuance of this Memorandum to determine staff needs to effectuate the purpose of this Memorandum. • Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, and the Staff Offices will implement all organizational changes necessary to effectuate the civil rights staff realignments indicated above based upon the direction of OASCR. When conducting any reorganizations, the Mission Areas, Departmental VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 Administration, and Staff Offices will adhere to all relevant Departmental Directives, including Departmental Regulation 1010 and the corresponding Congressional notification requirements. • OASCR will eliminate the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR), so as to flatten the organization with the Associate Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights assuming the responsibilities of the Deputy ASCR. • OASCR will eliminate its Policy Division, which is no longer necessary in an era of decreased regulations, and will perform reduced policy functions with staff from other areas of the organization. • OASCR will eliminate its Training and Cultural Transformation Division and will develop training with staff from other areas of the organization. • OASCR will eliminate its Early Resolution and Complaint Division, and the Department will carry out informal counseling within each Mission Area, with coordination from a Mission Area Liaison within OASCR. • OASCR’s career Senior Executive Service (SES) Director for the Office of Compliance, Policy, Training and Cultural Transformation will be reclassified as the career SES Executive Director for Civil Rights Operations, a position responsible for managing the Mission Area Liaison, the Compliance Division, and the Data and Records Management Division over customer service, data, and information technology. The largest component in this part of the OASCR organization is the Compliance Division, which will continue addressing compliance reporting to oversight entities as well as limited regulatory and policy review. • OASCR’s career SES Director for the Office of Adjudication will be reclassified as the career SES Executive Director for Civil Rights Enforcement, a position responsible for leading not only the Office of Adjudication, but also the Program Planning, and Accountability Division over budget, contracting and procurement, human resources management, facilities management, strategic planning, and Continuity of Operations for OASCR. The largest component of this part of the OASCR organization is the Office of Adjudication is responsible for intake, investigation, and adjudication of employment discrimination complaints from USDA employees and program complaints of discrimination arising within any program conducted or assisted by USDA. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 III. Request for Information USDA is seeking public comment on these actions and notes that this notice is issued solely for information and program-planning purposes. While responses to this notice do not bind USDA to any further actions, all submissions will be reviewed by the appropriate program office, and made publicly available on http:// www.regulations.gov. Dated: March 8, 2018. Winona Lake Scott, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. [FR Doc. 2018–05051 Filed 3–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–01–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection: Generic Clearance for Social Science and Economics Data Collections on Natural Disasters and Disturbances Forest Service, USDA. Notice; request for comment. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a new generic information collection request, Social Science and Economics Data Collections on Natural Disasters and Disturbances. DATES: Comments must be received in writing on or before May 14, 2018 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Kenli Kim, National Program Leader for Social Science Research, Forest Service, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop 1114, Washington, DC 20250–1114, or by electronic mail to PRAcomments@ fs.fed.us, with ‘‘PRA comment on natural disasters and disturbances’’ in the subject line. If comments are sent by electronic mail, the public is requested not to send duplicate written comments via regular mail. Please confine written comments to issues pertinent to the information collection request, explain the reasons for any recommended changes, and, where possible, reference the specific section or paragraph being addressed. All timely submitted comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received on this information SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 49 (Tuesday, March 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10825-10826]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-05051]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of the Secretary


Strengthening Civil Rights Management

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, USDA.

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

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SUMMARY: Consistent with Executive Order 13781, ``Comprehensive Plan 
for Reorganizing the Executive Branch,'' and using the authority of the 
Secretary to reorganize the Department under section 4(a) of 
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) is soliciting public comment on a proposed realignment of the 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR), which will 
improve customer service, better align functions within the 
organization, and ensure improved consistency, resource management, and 
strategic decision-making.

DATES: Comments and information are requested on or before March 25, 
2018.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding 
this notice. All submissions must refer to ``Improving Civil Rights'' 
to ensure proper delivery.
     Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may 
submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: 
http://www.regulations.gov. USDA strongly encourages commenters to 
submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments 
allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, and 
ensures timely receipt by USDA. Commenters should follow the 
instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.
     Submission of Comments by Mail, Hand Delivery, or Courier. 
Paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to the Office of 
the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, USDA, Jamie L. Whitten 
Building, Room 507-W, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Winona Lake Scott, Telephone 
Number: (202) 720-3808, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: USDA is committed to operating efficiently, 
effectively, and with integrity, and minimizing the burdens on 
individuals, businesses, and communities for participation in and 
compliance with USDA programs. USDA works to support the American 
agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and 
conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and 
nutritious food supply for the American people. The Department's wide 
range of programs and responsibilities touches the lives of every 
American every day.

I. Executive Order 13781

    Executive Order 13781, ``Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the 
Executive Branch'', is intended to improve the efficiency, 
effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch. The 
principles in the Executive Order provide the basis for taking actions 
to enhance and strengthen the delivery of USDA programs.

II. Reorganization Actions

    On March 9, 2018, Secretary Perdue will be announcing his intent to 
take actions to strengthen civil rights and customer service at USDA by 
taking the following actions to ensure integrity, consistency, and 
fairness:
     USDA will eliminate inefficiencies in delivering civil 
rights services at the agency and staff office level, thereby resulting 
in improved civil rights management. Under the realignment, a Civil 
Rights Director and appropriate Equal Opportunity staff will be aligned 
as follows:
    (1) Departmental Administration, staff offices, and Trade and 
Foreign Agricultural Affairs will share civil rights resources;
    (2) Each remaining Departmental Mission Area will consolidate its 
sub-

[[Page 10826]]

agency resources at the Mission Area level; and
    (3) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) shall have an 
independent Civil Rights Director.
     OASCR will direct all Departmental civil rights 
activities, including those of the Mission Areas, Departmental 
Administration, staff offices, and to the extent appropriate and 
lawful, OIG. The delegations for the Assistant Secretary for Civil 
Rights shall be revised as necessary to reflect OASCR's direct 
responsibility in providing civil rights policy direction to Mission 
Area and other Civil Rights Directors and Civil Rights staff and 
conveying the clear guidance of the Office of the Secretary on all 
civil rights issues.
     OASCR will implement a timely, fair, transparent, and 
consistent approach to addressing all Equal Employment Opportunity or 
program complaints, including those based on discrimination, 
harassment, and retaliation that shall be adopted by all Mission Areas, 
Departmental Administration, staff offices and, to the extent 
appropriate and lawful, OIG.
     OASCR will direct an effective, robust, and compliant 
mandatory civil rights training program for all staff, including 
Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, staff offices and, to the 
extent appropriate and lawful, OIG.
     OASCR will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the 
reasonable accommodation process by the Mission Areas, Departmental 
Management, staff offices and, to the extent appropriate and lawful, 
OIG.
     OASCR will not address matters that Office of Human 
Resource Management (OHRM) handles exclusively, such as setting human 
resources policy, investigating and evaluating harassment allegations 
for misconduct, and reviewing and advising on requests for reasonable 
accommodations, but will serve as a collaborative partner with OHRM on 
all appropriate issues affecting civil rights policy, implementation, 
and compliance.
     OASCR will request the Mission Areas to provide a list of 
all civil rights positions on-board (full-time, part-time, or 
collateral duty) within 30 days from issuance of this Memorandum to 
determine staff needs to effectuate the purpose of this Memorandum.
     Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, and the Staff 
Offices will implement all organizational changes necessary to 
effectuate the civil rights staff realignments indicated above based 
upon the direction of OASCR. When conducting any reorganizations, the 
Mission Areas, Departmental Administration, and Staff Offices will 
adhere to all relevant Departmental Directives, including Departmental 
Regulation 1010 and the corresponding Congressional notification 
requirements.
     OASCR will eliminate the position of Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR), so as to flatten the organization 
with the Associate Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights assuming the 
responsibilities of the Deputy ASCR.
     OASCR will eliminate its Policy Division, which is no 
longer necessary in an era of decreased regulations, and will perform 
reduced policy functions with staff from other areas of the 
organization.
     OASCR will eliminate its Training and Cultural 
Transformation Division and will develop training with staff from other 
areas of the organization.
     OASCR will eliminate its Early Resolution and Complaint 
Division, and the Department will carry out informal counseling within 
each Mission Area, with coordination from a Mission Area Liaison within 
OASCR.
     OASCR's career Senior Executive Service (SES) Director for 
the Office of Compliance, Policy, Training and Cultural Transformation 
will be reclassified as the career SES Executive Director for Civil 
Rights Operations, a position responsible for managing the Mission Area 
Liaison, the Compliance Division, and the Data and Records Management 
Division over customer service, data, and information technology. The 
largest component in this part of the OASCR organization is the 
Compliance Division, which will continue addressing compliance 
reporting to oversight entities as well as limited regulatory and 
policy review.
     OASCR's career SES Director for the Office of Adjudication 
will be reclassified as the career SES Executive Director for Civil 
Rights Enforcement, a position responsible for leading not only the 
Office of Adjudication, but also the Program Planning, and 
Accountability Division over budget, contracting and procurement, human 
resources management, facilities management, strategic planning, and 
Continuity of Operations for OASCR. The largest component of this part 
of the OASCR organization is the Office of Adjudication is responsible 
for intake, investigation, and adjudication of employment 
discrimination complaints from USDA employees and program complaints of 
discrimination arising within any program conducted or assisted by 
USDA.

III. Request for Information

    USDA is seeking public comment on these actions and notes that this 
notice is issued solely for information and program-planning purposes. 
While responses to this notice do not bind USDA to any further actions, 
all submissions will be reviewed by the appropriate program office, and 
made publicly available on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: March 8, 2018.
Winona Lake Scott,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.
[FR Doc. 2018-05051 Filed 3-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-01-P