On January 9, 1974 the FmHA Administrator recognized NACS as a consultative body. NACS recognition as a consultative body is an important event in the history of NACS. With the reorganization of USDA in 1995 and FmHA and the NACS membership being transferred to Rural Development and Farm Service Agency both agencies continued to recognized NACS as a consultative body.
Being recognized as a consultative body is totally separate from being a labor organization. Agencies must establish consultative relationships with associations whose membership is primarily composed of Federal supervisory and/or management personnel, provided that such associations are not affiliated with any labor organization and that they have sufficient agency membership to assure a worthwhile dialogue with executive management.
Consultations should have as their objectives the improvement of managerial effectiveness and the working conditions of supervisors and managers, as wel las the identification and resolution o fproblems affecting agency operations and employees, including supervisors and managers.
An agency may provide support services to an organization when the agency determines that such action would benefit the agency's programs or would be warranted as a service to employees who are members of the organization and complies with applicable statutes and regulations. Examples of such support services are as follows:
(1)Permitting employees, in appropriate cases, to use agency equipment or administrative support services for preparing papers to be presented at conferences or symposia or published in journals;
(2)Using the authority under 5 U.S.C. 4109 and 4110, as implemented by 5CFR part 410, to pay expenses of employees to attend professional organization meetings when such attendance is for the purpose of employee development ordirectly concerned withagency functions or activitiesand the agency can derive benefits from employee attendance at such meetings; and
(3)Following a liberal policy in authorizing excused absence for other employees who are willing to pay their own expenses to attend a meeting of a professional association or other organization from which an agency could derive some benefits.
(b)Agencies may provide Government resources support to organizations (such as space in Government facilities for meeting purposes and the use of agency bulletin boards, internal agency mail distribution systems, electronic bulletin boards and other means of informing agency employees about meetings and activities)in accordance with appropriate General Services Administration regulations contained in title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations.The mere provision of such support to any organization is not to be construed as Federal sponsorship, sanction,or endorsement of the organization or its activities.
A copy of Part 251 can be found starting on page 1-5 of the NACS Operating Manual that is available at nacs-fsa.org.
Being recognized as a consultative organization is different than a labor organization. Regulations that an agency has to follow in dealing with a labor organization are in Chapter 71 of title 5 of the U.S. Code.
Being recognized as a consultative organization has helped NACS have a positive influence on the programs we deliver and provide improved service to rural America.
LeAnn is a Farm Loan Chief from New Mexico. She was elected NACS President at the June 2019 Convention.