Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
Title 3.2 of the Code of Virginia establishes the powers for the Commissioner, the Board of Agriculture & Consumer Services, the Divisions and Program Areas within the Department, and other entities related to the promotion of agricultural interests and providing consumer protection.
Section 3.2, Chapter 1directs the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to advise the Governor on the state of the agricultural industry and to work closely with all agencies concerned with rural resources development.
Section 3.2, Chapter 1 requires the Commissioner to see to the proper execution of the laws relating to the subject of his agency. This section also requires the Commissioner to investigate and promote subjects relating to the improvement of agriculture.
Title 3.2 and other titles establish responsibilities for the promulgation of regulations and the Commissioner’s duties for administering these regulations.
The Virginia Administrative Process Act (Title 2.2, Chapter 40) establishes specific requirements that the Department must follow in reviewing and making regulations. Although not considered as mandates, agency public participation guidelines adopted as required by the APA affect the process for making regulations.
The Virginia Register Act (Title 2.2, Chapter 41) establishes requirements relating to the public availability of information about state agency regulations. State agencies must file information concerning regulations with the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations and the Virginia Administrative Code.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Title 2.2, Chapter 37) establishes requirements concerning the disclosure of records held by the Department that are requested by the public. This Act also establishes requirements concerning the conduct of board meetings. Based on the requirements of this Act, the Department has adopted certain policies relating to the conduct of board meetings and the disclosure of records that affect the agency’s handling of requests from the public for access to records.
The FOIA also establishes requirements concerning public notification of meetings. State agencies, boards, etc., are required to provide notice of public meetings. Normally this notice is provided by publication of the meeting information in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Currently there are twenty boards associated with the Department that hold at least one meeting a year for which such notice must be provided.
Section 58.1-3239 of the Code of Virginia, which relates to special tax assessment of land for preservation purposes, establishes the State Land Evaluation Advisory Council, which includes the Commissioner and certain other state officials.
Section 58.1-3240 establishes the duties of the Commissioner for providing uniform standards to localities for determining whether real estate qualifies as being devoted to agricultural use for the purposes of tax assessment. The current standards make the Commissioner responsible for interpreting these standards at the request of local commissioners of revenue.
Several state laws that create different boards, foundations and councils make the Commissioner a member of trustee with certain duties and responsibilities. Some of these include the following: Sheep Industry Board (Title 3.2, Chapter 21), Virginia Agricultural Council (Title 3.2, Chapter 29), Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation (Title 10.1, Chapter 2), Virginia Horse Industry Board (Title 3.2, Chapter 17), Radiation Advisory Board (Title 32.1, Chapter 6), State Certified Seed Board (Title 3.2, Chapter 40), and Plant Pollination Advisory Board (Title 3.2, Chapter 28).
The Agricultural Stewardship Act (Title 3.2, Chapter 4) establishes requirements concerning the Commissioner’s handling of complaints received about water pollution involving agricultural activities, the investigation of these complaints, the approval of plans to correct any pollution problems, assurance that such plans are implemented in accordance with a timetable established by the Act, and the publication of an annual report on the handling of complaints.
The Virginia Personnel Act and related federal and state regulations and policies affecting personnel matters establish requirements that the Department must fulfill in the management of human resources.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is mandated by federal and state laws regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or physical ability. The federal and state laws and executive orders listed below guarantee these rights. This list is not all-inclusive, but rather documentation of key mandates which govern personnel matters.
-Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
-The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
-Equal Pay Act of 1963
-Higher Education Act of 1972, as amended.
-Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended.
-Executive Order 11246 as amended by Executive Order 11375
-Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
-Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
-Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
-Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
-Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures of 1978
-Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Amendments Contract Work Hours and Safety
-Family and Medical Leave Act
State laws, policies and procedures affecting printing and the publication of materials impact the Department. The special mandate relating to VDACS publications is § 3.2-4725 that requires VDACS to publish notices of certain license revocations.
There are no specific mandates which relate to this service area. However the same mandates which relate to the service area that involve programs which are administered by each Division, would also apply to the Division Director’s Office, as well as mandates which fall under the Commissioner’s Office that relate to the programs conducted in each of the three program divisions.
Activities conducted in this service area are mandated under Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia which relates to the administration of state agencies. Other mandates are contained in Chapter 935 of the 1999 Virginia Acts of Assembly and policies established by the central agencies of state government.
Chapter 723 (Item 68 and Item 767, F1 and F2) approved May 3, 1991 authorized the Department of General Services to assess a rental charge to occupants of buildings it controls, operates and maintains.