The success of APHIS' efforts to safeguard the health and viability of the Nation's agricultural and natural resources is dependent not only upon the agency's formidable expertise in the scientific arena, but also upon effective communications with Congress, the States, industry and stakeholders, trading partners, and of course the media. APHIS' Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) program is charged with managing these communications.
LPA is divided into six staffs:
LPA's mission is to provide leadership, expertise, and counsel in developing creative, high quality, and timely communications strategies, products, and services that promote APHIS' mission of protecting the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.
LPA engages in several activities in support of its mission:
LPA's Deputy Administrator's Office
LPA's Deputy Administrator's Office, located in Washington, D.C., provides leadership for the communication of APHIS policy developments and program accomplishments.
Within the Deputy Administrator's Office, two legislative affairs specialists and one national stakeholder liaison have the crucial role of managing relations with and outreach to Congress, the States, and other nongovernmental entities seeking information about APHIS programs. More specifically, these specialists ensure that inquiries from legislators at both the Federal and State level are accurately and promptly addressed and that Congressional offices and committees, as well as organizations representing State and local governments, are kept abreast of the latest program news and activities.
LPA's Government Affairs (GA) program is APHIS' connection to Congress, State Legislatures, State Regulatory Agencies, and Non-Governmental Stakeholders. GA is based in APHIS' Washington, D.C. office.
GA ensures quality communications with Federal, State and stakeholder organizations regarding APHIS programs and regulations. In a global marketplace, these communications ensure that timely, accurate and science-based information about Agency issues is available to all who have an interest.
Media Response and Support
Public Affairs works proactively to build partnerships with the media, by responding to requests for information and promoting agency and program initiatives. A staff of highly trained public affairs specialists handles requests from both print and broadcast media outlets to ensure that APHIS' message is consistent and far-reaching.
Executive Communications (EC)
EC is the executive communications arm of the LPA staff, providing writing and informational services to the offices of the Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary, and APHIS Administrator.
Freedom of Information (FOIA)
The FOI staff analyzes all requests for agency records (both electronic and paper files) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C.552) and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). Informational Materials Public Affairs regularly works with program staff to develop a variety of written informational materials, such as brochures, identification cards, posters, postcards, and flyers, along with factsheets.
LPA provides a variety of internal services to APHIS employees in the areas of