BRS Programs and Functions
Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) employs four program divisions: Policy Coordination Programs, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Regulatory Operations Programs, and Resource Management Programs. For further information on the responsibilities of these programs and the various branches within them, read the descriptions below.
Office of the Deputy Administrator
The Office of the Deputy Administrator provides leadership and direction for biotechnology regulatory activities in APHIS, overseeing each program within BRS.
Office of Science
The Office of Science develops mechanisms to ensure that BRS scientists are able to maintain state-of-the-art expertise and credibility with scientific advances. This office facilitates access to external scientific experts and expertise to support regulatory decision-making.
Policy Coordination Programs
The Policy Coordination Programs include the Regulatory and Environmental Analysis Branch, the Communications Branch, and the Governmental Relations Branch. These groups help to coordinate BRS activities in developing regulations and policies, communicating with diverse stakeholders, and interacting with domestic and foreign governments and institutions.
Environmental Risk Analysis Programs
The Environmental Risk Analysis Programs (ERAP) include the Plants Branch, the Plant Pests and Protectants Branch, and the Office of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Together, these branches address potential plant pest risk and environmental impacts of genetically engineered organisms on the human environment by conducting risk assessments of these products. ERAP has experts in scientific fields (e.g., plant pathology, botany, animal science, entomology, virology, ecology, environmental science, molecular biology, and biochemistry) who review permit applications, petitions for deregulation, potential permit infractions, and proposed regulatory changes.
Regulatory Operations Programs
The Regulatory Operations Programs include five branches, the Compliance Assistance Branch, the Eastern Region Compliance Assurance Branch, the Western Region Compliance Assurance Branch, the Compliance Evaluation and Enforcement Branch, and the Permits and Program Services Branch. Collectively, these branches manage the administrative portion of notification acknowledgement and permit issuance for introductions of genetically engineered organisms; direct compliance inspections; respond to noncompliance incidents; and maintain records of notifications and permits, which can include field reports and compliance inspections.
Resource Management Programs
Resource Management Programs is responsible for working directly with the Deputy Administrator’s office to provide leadership on all administrative functions in planning and implementing Agency objectives as they pertain to human capital, financial, and information resource management. RMP includes the Technical Services Branch and the Resource Support Services Branch, which collectively manage the development, implementation execution of administrative management systems covering strategic planning, budget, fiscal planning and execution, information technology, training and employee development, personnel, administrative services, and reporting.