Natural Resources Conservation Service
National Civil Rights Committee
The NRCS civil rights program encompasses all equal employment opportunity and program delivery-related matters. The NCRC is designed to provide management officials and employees with counsel and advice that enhances and ensures compliance with their equal employment opportunity and program delivery responsibilities. Members of the NCRC will carry out their responsibilities consistent with USDA policies, procedures, and practices regarding employment and program delivery, which are nondiscriminatory with regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, political beliefs, parental status, protected genetic information, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. The NCRC provides assistance in the areas of policy formulation, program direction and administration.
Name. The name of the Committee shall be the National Civil Rights Committee, hereinafter referred to as the Committee.
Purpose. The purpose of the Committee shall be to serve as an advisor on employment and program delivery issues to the Equal Opportunity Officer of the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service is the Equal Opportunity Officer.
Functions. The Committee serves in the following functions:
Serves as an advisory body to the NRCS Chief to promote and assist in meaningful and effective affirmative employment consistent with the goals and objectives set forth by management.
Provides feedback on agency performance in equal employment opportunity and civil rights compliance, identifies areas of weakness, and makes recommendations for improvement.
Identifies emerging areas needing special attention by the Chief and NRCS top management.
Makes recommendations to the Chief regarding policies, practices, and procedures that enhance the achievement of equal opportunity NRCS-wide.
Membership. The Committee shall be composed of thirteen (13) voting members and one (or more) non-voting advisor(s), appointed by the Chief.
Chair Nomination. The Associate Chief; Deputy Chiefs, Regional Conservationists; State Conservationists; Directors of the Caribbean Area; Directors of the Pacific Basin; Areas Centers and National Headquarters Divisions may annually submit nominations to the Committee for new members. The Committee shall review the nominations and recommend employees for committee membership to the Chief to fill vacancies.
Committee Chair. The Committee Chair shall be one of the following: State Conservationist; Directors of Centers; Caribbean or Pacific Basin Area; or a National Headquarters Division Director. To ensure the meaningful importance of diversity on the Committee, a male and female of each group (White, Black, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, and People with a Disability) will be selected to serve as members. Selections shall be made by the Chief. To the extent possible, the Committee shall be representative of the various grade levels, classification series, and geographic regions.
Advisor members shall include; a representative from the Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Outreach and Civil Rights Divisions of NRCS , Office of Outreach and Advocacy, Customer outreach; Tribal Affairs; and Special Emphasis Program Managers (FWPM, AA/PIEPM, BEPM, AI/ANEPM, DEPM, VEPM, HEPM and GLBT)
Term. Each Committee member shall be appointed to serve a three-year term, beginning on October 1 of the fiscal year, with one third of the committee membership newly appointed each year. The Chair and Committee advisor(s) length of term is at the discretion of the Chief.
Term Transition. The members shall serve overlapping terms to be affected by providing for the appointment of new members each year.
Interim Appointment. In the event a Committee member leaves the Committee before serving a full term, the procedure set forth in Article III, Section 2, shall be used to fill the vacancy. Each entity as stated in Section 2 shall have the opportunity to nominate candidates as needed.
Eligibility. All members shall be permanent NRCS employees. Approval of appointment from the Chief and written concurrence of support from their supervisor are also required.
Officers. The officers of the Committee shall be the Chair and the Vice Chair.
Voting. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be voting members.
Selection of Officers. The Chief shall formally appoint the Chair. The Vice Chair shall be the hosting or appointed Regional Conservationist.
Term. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee shall serve a term at the discretion of the Chief.
Duties. The officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these Bylaws and the parliamentary authority cited in Article IX.
Special Duties of the Recorder. The Committee Chair shall provide for the services of a recorder and other appropriate resources to the Committee.
Regular Meetings. There shall be at least two regular meetings a year. The exact dates shall be set by the Committee Chair in consultation with the NRCS Chief and Committee members.
Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the Chair in consultation with the Chief.
Quorum. Seven voting members shall constitute a quorum.
Decisions. Except as otherwise specifically provided for in these Bylaws, decisions shall be reached by majority vote of the members at meetings in which a quorum is present.
Proxy. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted, except on votes pertaining to amending the Bylaws.
Purpose. The sub-committees provide for the well-organized and competent use of established procedures to accomplish routine and special tasks.
Standing Sub-committee Chair. The Chair of each standing subcommittee shall be appointed by the Chair. The Standing sub committees are:
Membership Subcommittee ( Orientation/Vacancy)
Communications Subcommittee (Publicity/Accomplishment/Annual Report)
Advisory Subcommittee (CR Issues, Concerns, Recommendations)
CR Awards & Recognition Subcommittee (CR Awards/Award Recommendations for Chief)
Meeting Subcommittee (logistics/Agenda Coordination)
Executive Committee (/Business Plan/Budget Plan)
Other Subcommittees. Such other ad hoc subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chair, as deemed necessary to carry out the work of the Committee. The NCRC Chair shall be an ex officio member of all subcommittees
Role of the Subcommittees.
Membership (Orientation/Vacancy)- This subcommittee shall be composed of at least one voting Committee member appointed by the Chair of the subcommittee. This subcommittee will assist with recruiting and renewing membership. Support and resources will be devoted to membership marketing and recruitment. An orientation of Committee goals, objectives, expectations and necessary training are to be provided to new members to support an easy transition and orientation. The subcommittee chair, upon approval by the Chair, can recruit external voluntary support as necessary to complete assignments.
Communications (Publicity/Accomplishment/Annual Report) - This subcommittee shall be composed of at least one voting Committee members appointed by the Chair of the subcommittee. The primary responsibility of the Communication Sub-committee also provides Civil Rights information of interest and value to NRCS leadership and employees. They are also to provide vehicles of communication for receiving and disseminating information informing from NRCS internal and external stakeholders. The Communications Committee strives to strengthen Civil Rights awareness and the activities that support the agencies Civil Rights goals and objectives. The subcommittee chair, upon approval by the Chair, can recruit external voluntary support as necessary to complete assignments.
Advisory Subcommittee (CR Issues, Concerns, Recommendations) - This subcommittee shall be composed of at least two voting Committee members appointed by the Chair of the subcommittee. The advisory subcommittee advises, assist, support, and advocate the adherence Civil Rights policies and regulatory requirement. The subcommittees also reviews NRCS operational functions’ and make specific recommendations ensure the quality of Civil Rights conveyed through human capital services and program delivery.The subcommittee chair, upon approval by the Chair, can recruit external voluntary support as necessary to complete assignments.
CR Awards & Recognition Subcommittee (CR Awards/Award Recommendations for Chief)- This subcommittee shall be composed of two or more voting Committee members appointed by the Chair of the Committee. This Subcommittee is responsible for obtaining the nominations for the awards, compiling and presenting the nominations to the full committee for review and developing of the recommendations to the Chief.
Meeting logistics/Agenda Coordination (Handbook Item) -This subcommittee shall be composed of two or more voting Committee members appointed by the Chair of the subcommittee. This subcommittee is responsible for the meeting agenda and onsite meeting logistics providing comprehensive instructions detailing all logistics of the meeting and if appropriate, and any additional special logistical requirements for participants. The subcommittee chair, upon approval by the Chair, can recruit external voluntary support as necessary to complete assignments.
Executive (/Business Plan/Budget Plan) -This subcommittee shall be composed of the NCRC Chair and subcommittee Chairs. Four or more subcommittee chairs attending this meeting is a quorum. The Executive Committee directs, either separately or in conjunction with the council, the affairs of the NCRC during the interval between regularly scheduled meetings of the Council. The Executive Committee may direct all functions of the NCRC, except those expressly reserved to the Council in the Bylaws. Executive Committee shall provide guidance and recommendations to the Committee concerning the conduct of business operations. The Executive Committee shall from time to time evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Committee’s efforts and make recommendations at least annually.
Other Subcommittees - Such other ad hoc subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chair, as deemed necessary to carry out the work of the Committee.
Removal of Members
Membership Removal. Removal of a member from the Committee for cause shall be determined by the Chief.
Amendment of Bylaws
Amending Bylaws. Motions to amend these Bylaws may be submitted by any voting member of the Committee to the Chair.
Voting. Decisions to amend Bylaws shall be reached by majority vote of the members at the meetings in which a quorum is present.
Approval. All amendments to these Bylaws are subject to the approval of the Chief. These Bylaws were amended and approved on ____________(Date).
Name, Chief Name, Chair
Natural Resources Conservation Service National Civil Rights Committee