thefederalregister.com

Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION

12 CFR Chapter VI

Board Policy Statements

AGENCY: Farm Credit Administration.
ACTION: Notice of policy statement and index.
SUMMARY: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA), as part of its annual public notification process, is publishing for notice an index of the 18 Board policy statements currently in existence. Most of the policy statements remain unchanged since our lastFederal Registernotice on September 1, 2011 (76 FR 54638), except for one with minor technical updates on September 17, 2012, and another on Ethics, Independence, Arm's-Length Role, Ex Parte Communications and Open Government.
DATES: October 25, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to Board, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102-5090, (703) 883-4009, TTY (703) 883-4056; or Wendy R. Laguarda, Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102-5090, (703) 883-4020, TTY (703) 883-4020.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A list of the 18 FCA Board policy statements is set forth below. FCA Board policy statements may be viewed online atwww.fca.gov/handbook.nsf.

On November 7, 2011, the FCA Board adopted Policy Statement FCA-PS-81 on, “Ethics, Independence, Arm's-Length Role, Ex Parte Communications and Open Government.” It was published in theFederal Registeron November 17, 2011 (76 FR 71343).

On September 17, 2012, the FCA Board reaffirmed, and made technical updates only, to FCA-PS-62 on, “Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity.” The text of the policy statement is set forth below in its entirety. The FCA will continue to publish new or revised policy statements in their full text.

FCA Board Policy Statements FCA-PS-34Disclosure of the Issuance and Termination of Enforcement Documents FCA-PS-37Communications During Rulemaking FCA-PS-41Alternative Means of Dispute Resolution FCA-PS-44Travel FCA-PS-53Examination Philosophy FCA-PS-59Regulatory Philosophy FCA-PS-62Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity FCA-PS-64Rules for the Transaction of Business of the Farm Credit Administration Board FCA-PS-65Release of Consolidated Reporting System Information FCA-PS-67Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Agency Programs and Activities FCA-PS-68FCS Building Association Management Operations Policies and Practices FCA-PS-71Disaster Relief Efforts by Farm Credit Institutions FCA-PS-72Financial Institution Rating System (FIRS) FCA-PS-77Borrower Privacy FCA-PS-78Official Names of Farm Credit Institutions FCA-PS-79Consideration and Referral of Supervisory Strategies and Enforcement Actions FCA-PS-80Cooperative Operating Philosophy—Serving the Members of Farm Credit System Institutions FCA-PS-81Ethics, Independence, Arm's-Length Role, Ex Parte Communications and Open Government Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity FCA-PS-62

Effective Date:17-SEPT-12

Effect on Previous Action:Updates FCA-PS-62 [BM-13-JUL-06-03] (71 FR 46481, 8/14/2006) 7-13-06; amended by NV-11-15 (08-JUL-11); amended by NV-12-16 (07-SEPT-12).

Source of Authority:Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000eet seq.); Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. 621et seq.); Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 721et seq.); Equal Pay Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 206(d)); Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 3112); Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (NO FEAR Act) (5 U.S.C. 2301); Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 2000ffet seq.); section 5.9 of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (12 U.S.C. 2243); Executive Order 11478 (Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government), as amended by Executive Orders 13087 and 13152 to include prohibitions on discrimination based on sexual orientation and status as a parent; Executive Order 13166 (Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency); 29 CFR part 1614; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Management Directives.

Purpose

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or Agency) Board reaffirms its commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity (EEOD) and its belief that all FCA employees should be treated with dignity and respect. The Board also provides guidance to Agency management and staff for deciding and taking action in these critical areas.

Importance

Unquestionably, the employees who comprise the FCA are its most important resource. The Board fully recognizes that the Agency draws its strength from the dedication, experience, and diversity of its employees. The Board is firmly committed to taking whatever steps are needed to protect the rights of its staff and to carrying out programs that foster the development of each employee's potential. We believe an investment in efforts that strongly promote EEOD will prevent the conflict and the high costs of correction for taking no, or inadequate, action in these areas. The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) Board Adopts the Following Policy Statement:

It is the policy of the FCA to prohibit discrimination in Agency policies, program practices, and operations. Employees, applicants for employment, and members of the public who seek to take part in FCA programs, activities, and services will be treated fairly. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is ultimately responsible for ensuring that FCA meets all EEOD requirements and initiatives in accordance with laws and regulations,to maintain a workplace that is free from discrimination and that values all employees. FCA, under the appropriate laws and regulations, will:

• Ensure equal employment opportunity based on merit and qualification, without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, status as a parent, genetic information, or participation in discrimination or harassment complaint proceedings;

• Provide for the prompt and fair consideration of complaints of discrimination;

• Make reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants for employment and employees with physical or mental disabilities under law;

• Provide an environment free from harassment to all employees;

• Create and maintain an organizational culture that recognizes, values, and supports employee and public diversity and inclusion;

• Develop objectives within the Agency's operation and strategic planning process to meet the goals of EEOD and this policy;

• Implement affirmative programs to carry out this policy within the Agency; and

• To the extent practicable, seek to encourage the Farm Credit System to continue its efforts to promote and increase diversity.

Diversity and Inclusion

The FCA intends to be a model employer. That is, as far as possible, FCA will build and maintain a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of individual differences evident throughout this Nation. The Board views individual differences as complementary and believes these differences enrich our organization. When individual differences are respected, recognized, and valued, diversity becomes a powerful force that can contribute to achieving superior results. Therefore, we will create, maintain, and continuously improve on an organizational culture that fully recognizes, values, and supports employee diversity. The Board is committed to promoting and supporting an inclusive environment that provides to all employees, individually and collectively, the chance to work to their full potential in the pursuit of the Agency's mission. We will provide everyone the opportunity to develop to his or her fullest potential. When a barrier to someone achieving this goal exists, we will strive to remove this barrier.

Affirmative Employment

The Board reaffirms its commitment to ensuring FCA conducts all of its employment practices in a nondiscriminatory manner. The Board expects full cooperation and support from everyone associated with recruitment, selection, development, and promotion to ensure such actions are free of discrimination. All employees will be evaluated on their EEOD achievements as part of their overall job performance. Though staff commitment is important, the role of supervisors is paramount to success. Agency supervisors must be coaches and are responsible for helping all employees develop their talents and give their best efforts in contributing to the mission of the FCA.

Workplace Harassment

It is the policy of the FCA to provide a work environment free from unlawful discrimination in any form, and to protect all employees from any form of harassment, either physical or verbal. The FCA will not tolerate harassment in the workplace for any reason. The FCA also will not tolerate retaliation against any employee for reporting harassment or for aiding in any inquiry about reporting harassment.

Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program (DVAAP)

A disabled veteran is defined as someone who is entitled to compensation under the laws administered by the Veterans Administration or someone who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

The FCA is committed to increasing the representation of disabled veterans within its organization. Our Nation owes a debt to those veterans who served their country, especially those who were disabled because of service. To honor these disabled veterans, the FCA shall place emphasis on making vacancies known to and providing opportunities for employing disabled veterans.

Dated This 17th Day of September, 2012.

By Order of the Board.

Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board. Dated: October 19, 2012. Mary Alice Donner, Acting Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.