H. R. 1536
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 12, 2013
Ms. Hahn introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To establish the Office of Agriculture Inspection within the Department of Homeland Security, which shall be headed by the Assistant Commissioner for Agriculture Inspection, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Safeguarding American Commerce and
Agriculture Act of 2013
Establishment of the office of agricultural inspection
Title IV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 ( 6 U.S.C. 201 et seq. ) is amended by inserting after section 421 the following:
Office of agricultural inspection
There is established within U.S. Customs and Border Protection an Office of Agriculture Inspection, which shall be headed by an Assistant Commissioner.
Agriculture specialist career track
shall identify appropriate career paths for customs and border protection agriculture specialists, including the education, training, experience, and assignments necessary for career progression within U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
shall publish information on the career paths identified under paragraph (1); and
may establish criteria by which appropriately qualified customs and border protection technicians may be promoted to customs and border protection agriculture specialists.
Education, training, and experience
The Secretary shall provide customs and border protection agriculture specialists the opportunity to acquire the education, training, and experience necessary to qualify for promotion within U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Agriculture specialist recruitment and retention
Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall develop a plan to more effectively recruit and retain qualified customs and border protection agriculture specialists. The plan shall include—
numerical goals for recruitment and retention; and
the use of recruitment incentives, as appropriate and permissible under existing laws and regulations.
Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall—
determine the minimum equipment and other resources that are necessary at U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspection stations and facilities to enable customs and border protection agriculture specialists to fully and effectively carry out their mission;
complete an inventory of the equipment and other resources available at each U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspection station and facility;
identify the necessary equipment and other resources that are not currently available at agriculture inspection stations and facilities; and
develop a plan to address any resource deficiencies identified under paragraph (3).
Interagency rotation program
The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Agriculture are authorized to enter into an agreement that—
establishes an interagency rotation program; and
provides for personnel of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture to take rotational assignments within U.S. Customs and Border Protection and vice versa for the purposes of strengthening working relationships between agencies and promoting interagency experience.
Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that describes—
the status of the implementation of the action plans developed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Task Force on Improved Agriculture Inspection;
the findings of the Secretary under paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (e);
the plan described in paragraph (e)(4);
the implementation of the remaining requirements under such subsection (e); and
any additional legal authority that the Secretary determines to be necessary to effectively carry out the agriculture inspection mission of the Department of Homeland Security.
The Secretary shall carry out this section acting through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in consultation with the Assistant Commissioner for Agricultural Inspection.