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Civil Rights Advisory Committee Bylaws

Bylaws of the USDA – NRCS, WYOMING CIVIL RIGHTS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 Part 404 – Civil Rights Advisory Committee

ARTICLE I – Name

Section 1: The name of this committee shall be the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Wyoming Civil Rights Advisory Committee (hereafter referred to as the CRAC).

ARTICLE II - Purpose

Section 1: The purpose of the CRAC is to serve as an advisor to the Deputy Equal Opportunity Officer (DEOO) of the Wyoming NRCS on employment and program delivery issues. The State Conservationist (STC) of the Wyoming NRCS is the DEOO.

Section 2: Specific responsibilities of the CRAC are:

  1. Serve as advisory body to the DEOO, to promote and assist in meaningful and effective affirmative action goals consistent with management objectives.
  2. Provide feedback on the performance in equal opportunity and civil rights compliance, identify areas of weakness, and make recommendations for improvement.
  3. Identify emerging areas needing special attention by the DEOO and Special Emphasis Program Managers.
  4. Make recommendations to the DEOO regarding policies, practices, and procedures as they affect equal opportunity in Wyoming. 

ARTICLE III – Parliamentary Authority

Section 1: The principles of Parliamentary Procedure shall govern the CRAC in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules the CRAC may adopt.

ARTICLE IV – Membership

Section 1: Membership – the CRAC will consist of 10 voting members appointed by the DEOO and 4 non-voting members. The 10 voting members are: 

  1. Chairperson
  2. At-Large West Area
  3. At-Large East Area
  4. At-Large State Office
  5. Federal Women’s Program Manager (FWPM)
  6. Native American Special Emphasis Program Manager (NAEPM)
  7. Veterans/Disability Program Manager (DVPM)
  8. Asian/Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program Manager (APIPM)
  9. Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager (HEPM)
  10. Black Special Emphasis Program Manager (BEPM) 

The four non-voting members are: 

  1. State Administrative Officer, who acts as the DEOO’s representative
  2. Human Resources Manager
  3. Tribal Liaison 
  4. Mentoring Coordinator 

Section 2: Representation – The membership of the CRAC shall, to the extent practicable, consist of representatives of various grade levels and classification series within NRCS Wyoming. 

Section 3: CRAC Vacancies – Vacancies are advertised by and applications submitted to the Human Resources Office. The CRAC reviews all applications responding to vacancy announcements and makes recommendations to the DEOO; the DEOO has final selection authority. 

Section 4: Term – Each CRAC member shall be appointed to serve a three-year term, with the exception of the Chairperson, who will serve a two-year term. All members’ terms may be extended one year by the DEOO. The term of membership shall begin with the call to order of the first regular CRAC meeting after appointment. 

Section 5: Training – All newly appointed members will attend the next available “Roles and Responsibilities of the EEO Advisory Committee” course. SEPMs will also attend the next available “Managing a Special Emphasis Program” course as well as attend an annual training conference relating to their area of special emphasis. 

Section 6: Appointments – Members shall serve overlapping terms, i.e., terms shall begin and end at different times to avoid having the majority of members leave at the same time. 

Section 7: Unfilled Terms – In the event a member leaves the CRAC before serving a full term, the procedure set forth in Article IV, Section 3 of the Bylaws will be used to fill the vacancy. 

Section 8: Eligibility – A person shall be a permanent NRCS employee or a career intern, and shall be willing to serve a 3-year term on the CRAC. 

ARTICLE V – Officers

Section 1: The officers of the CRAC shall consist of a Chairperson and a Recording Secretary, both of which are voting members.  In the case of the absence of the chairperson, the secretary will act as the chairperson. In the absence of the secretary, the chairperson shall request another CRAC member volunteer to act as secretary; if no CRAC member volunteers, the chairperson shall appoint a CRAC member to act as interim secretary until either the return of the designated secretary or until an election can be held. 

Section 2: Eligibility:  

The chairperson shall have served a minimum of 1 year on a Federal Civil Rights Committee prior to his or her appointment as chairperson. When possible, the secretary should have served a minimum of 1 year on the Wyoming CRAC prior to his or her appointment. The current secretary may be re-nominated to continue as secretary for an additional year.   

Section 3: Elections – An election for the position of secretary will be held annually during the last meeting of the fiscal year, which is held sometime during the last quarter. 

Section 4: Term: 

The secretary shall serve a one-year term commencing with the first meeting of the fiscal year following election. Thus, the secretary’s term will run from the first meeting of the first quarter of the fiscal year through the last meeting of the last quarter of the same fiscal year.  In case of a vacancy of the secretary, an interim will be elected by the committee to fulfill the remainder of the term.   

The chairperson shall serve a two-year term commencing with the first meeting following selection. In case of a vacancy of the chairperson, an interim will be elected by the committee, and the procedure set forth in Article IV, Section 3 of the Bylaws will be used to fill the vacancy. 

ARTICLE VI – Meetings

Section 1: Regular Meetings – A regular meeting will be held the first month of each quarter on the second Tuesday. The meetings will be a full work day on the first day and a half work day on the second day. If the second Tuesday falls on or if travel time to the meeting is on a Federal Holiday, the regular meeting shall be held on the third Tuesday of the first month of the quarter. 

Section 2: Special Meetings – Special meetings may be called by the chairperson in consultation with the CRAC. 

Section 3: Quorum – 6 voting members shall constitute a quorum. 

Section 4: Attendance – Each voting member will realize the importance of attending all meetings, and it is expected that each CRAC member will attend every meeting in its entirety in order to carry out his or her duties. Meeting attendance is mandatory. Requests to be absent must be discussed with the SAO or DEOO as soon as the conflict becomes known. The SAO or DEOO will determine if the request can be approved, and notify the member and the chairperson of the decision. 

ARTICLE VII – Voting

Section 1: Decisions – Except as otherwise specifically provided for in these Bylaws, decisions shall be reached by consensus. 

Section 2: Proxy – No voting shall be permitted by proxy. 

Section 3: The Chairperson should vote only in case of a tie. 

ARTICLE VIII – Subcommittees

Section 1: Membership – Subcommittees composed of members and/or other Wyoming NRCS employees appointed by the chairperson shall provide guidance and recommendations on issues to the CRC as needed. 

Section 2: Appointment – the subcommittee chairperson shall be a CRAC member and be appointed by the CRC chairperson. 

ARTICLE IX – Removal of Members

Section 1: Removal of a member from the CRC for cause shall be determined by the DEOO. 

Section 2: It is recognized that changes in professional and personal priorities may affect CRC members’ ability to perform successfully. Any member who feels he or she can no longer commit the necessary time to the CRC is encouraged to discuss options with the Chairperson, SAO or DEOO.  

ARTICLE X – Reports

Section 1: Quarterly Reports: 

  1. Quarterly SEPM reports will be submitted to the Secretary of the CRAC.
  2. The SAO and Chairperson will submit a quarterly summary report of CRAC actions to the DEOO. 

Section 2: Annual Reports: The following will be submitted to the SAO and Secretary at the first quarterly meeting of the new fiscal year: 

  1. The annual SEPM accomplishment reports
  2. The annual SEPM business plans/goals
  3. Annual budget projections from all members 

Members with approved absences from the meeting must submit required reports at least 2 days prior to the meeting. 

ARTICLE XI – Amendment of Bylaws

Section 1: Motions to amend these Bylaws may be submitted by any member of the CRC to the chairperson. 

Section 2: Decisions to amend the Bylaws shall be reached by 2/3 majority vote of the CRAC members. 

Section 3: All amendments to these Bylaws are subject to the approval of the DEOO. 

  

Recommended:             /S/ Brad Holliday         Date: 10/16/07

Brad Holliday, Chairperson
Wyoming Civil Rights Committee

 

Approved:                    /S/ J. Xavier Montoya     Date: 10/16/07

J. Xavier Montoya
Deputy Equal Opportunity Officer/
State Conservationist, Wyoming