[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 28 (Friday, February 10, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Page 7124]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3186]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0010]


Information Sharing With Agency Stakeholders; Public Meeting

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Request for information and notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: We are informing the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) is soliciting feedback from our stakeholders 
in several areas having to do with our partnerships with businesses, 
academia, and other levels of government. We are also announcing that 
APHIS is hosting a public meeting to share information about the 
Agency's budget, process improvement efforts, and modernization 
initiatives and to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share 
their thoughts on partnerships and the Agency's critical services.

DATES: The meeting will be held on February 27, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 3 
p.m. We will accept stakeholder feedback on the specific topics raised 
in this notice until March 23, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the Jefferson Auditorium at the 
USDA South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Hallie Zimmers, Stakeholder 
Liaison, Legislative and Public Affairs, APHIS, Room 1153, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; phone (202) 720-0378.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is 
currently undertaking a variety of efforts to transform itself into a 
customer-focused, high-performing organization. In this context, USDA's 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is focusing on ways 
to share timely information with its stakeholders and communicate the 
value APHIS places on our many and diverse stakeholder relationships.
    As part of a larger effort to enhance stakeholder communication, 
APHIS is hosting an open meeting with all interested stakeholders to 
talk about the Agency's budget, process improvement efforts, and 
modernization initiatives and to provide stakeholders with an 
opportunity to share their thoughts on partnerships and the Agency's 
critical services. While we welcome comments and feedback on all 
aspects of APHIS-stakeholder partnerships and the Agency's critical 
services, we are particularly interested in our stakeholders' thoughts 
on the topics discussed below.
    In this era of shrinking budgets, Federal Agencies are facing hard 
choices about the delivery of important services, and APHIS is no 
exception. Some decisions have already been made with respect to our 
programs, and we anticipate more difficult choices will be required in 
the future. This means that it will be more important than ever for 
APHIS to understand its stakeholders' concerns and priorities.
    1. As we take stock of our current programs and services and 
consider where, if necessary, there should be strategic cuts or across-
the-board reductions, we are interested in hearing from stakeholders 
about those APHIS activities you most value and where and how you think 
the Agency might make responsible changes.
     In your opinion, what are the three to five most essential 
services APHIS provides and why?
     Please share any feedback regarding how you feel we can 
best structure or provide these services.
     When you or your members seek APHIS' assistance, do you 
primarily rely on our local field offices, State offices, regional 
offices, research centers and field stations, or headquarters for 
support? Why?
     As we continue to look at ways to improve our processes 
and enhance customer service, what recommendations do you have for 
specific efforts we could undertake in 2012?
    2. Given limited resources, APHIS is seeking new ways to enhance 
existing partnerships and build new ones.
     How might we strengthen current partnerships or 
collaborate in new ways to accomplish critical mission activities?
     Do you see opportunities for APHIS, State governments, 
tribes, industry and academia to redefine traditional roles to find 
efficiencies or improvements in the way we collectively safeguard 
American agriculture? As best you can, please be specific or provide 
examples.
    3. Please provide any additional comments or feedback you would 
like to share with APHIS' leadership, especially as it relates to how 
you like to see APHIS management communicate with you at the local, 
regional, and national level. Please be specific.
    You may submit your thoughts on these questions by sending them to 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or by using the 
Web form provided on the APHIS stakeholder information Web site at 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/. Responses may also be 
submitted via email to Partnerships@aphis.usda.gov.
    On-site registration will begin at noon on the day of the meeting. 
All participants must register. If you require special accommodations, 
such as a sign language interpreter, or if you have any questions 
regarding the meeting, please call or write the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, it will be 
streamed on the Internet as a live Webcast. To view the Webcast, go to 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/ and follow the instructions to 
access the streaming video and audio in ``listen only'' mode. We 
recommend you connect at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the 
meeting. A recording of the Webcast will be posted to the APHIS 
stakeholder information page the following day, and a written 
transcript will be posted to the page as soon as it is available.
    Persons attending the February 27, 2012, meeting in Washington, DC, 
will be required to sign in at the entrance to the USDA South Building 
located at 14th Street and Independence Avenue, entering through Wing 
7. Photo identification is required to gain access to the building. The 
nearest Metro station is the Smithsonian station on the Blue/Orange 
Lines, which is within easy walking distance.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of February 2012.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-3186 Filed 2-9-12; 8:45 am]
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