Structure and Organization
The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is structured to provide services and programs that help ensure a fair and competitive marketing system for all involved in the marketing of livestock, meat, and poultry, and grain and related products.
GIPSA's Packers and Stockyards Program has a headquarters office in Washington, D.C.; regional field offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Des Moines, Iowa; and a cadre of resident agents located throughout the country.
The agency's Federal Grain Inspection Service has headquarters units in Washington, DC, and Kansas City, Missouri, and field offices located in export and domestic markets in the United States and eastern Canada. GIPSA also oversees the official inspection and weighing system, a network of Federal, State, and private entities that provide inspection and weighing services to customers nationwide.
The Management and Budget Services (MBS) conducts Agency-wide budget processes and provides administrative and support functions. The budget staff spearheads budget formulation, implementation, and reporting; and serves as coordinator and agency liaison in budgetary matters with the Office of the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and USDA Budget Officials. The management services staff coordinates and evaluates GIPSA’s administrative and support functions including training, outsourcing, human capital management, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, administrative support, safety and health, and issuance and regulatory management.
The Civil Rights Staff (CRS) provides advice and assistance to GIPSA employees on issues relating to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Civil Rights (CR). It provides affirmative employment planning, oversight of special emphasis programs, CR compliance reviews, and training and education. The Staff works to address and resolve any concerns, problems, or barriers facing employees in GIPSA.
The Information Technology Staff (ITS) formulates and carries out GIPSA's automated data processing and information resources services. ITS is responsible for supervision of the design, acquisition, maintenance, use, and disposal of Agency-wide information technology programs and related activities in close coordination with the Department.
The Quality Assurance and Compliance Division (QACD) is responsible for protecting the integrity of the national grain inspection and weighing system. The division conducts reviews and evaluations, and, as necessary, initiates enforcement actions to ensure procedural conformance and operational efficiency nationwide. It also delegates and designates State and privately owned grain inspection agencies to provide official inspection and weighing services, and conducts operational reviews of these agencies and GIPSA field offices to evaluate customer satisfaction, management effectiveness, and procedural compliance. It also evaluates reports of alleged violations of the U.S. Grain Standards Act and Agricultural Marketing Act, conducts investigations, helps the USDA Office of Inspector General conduct more complex investigations, and initiates appropriate enforcement actions. The Division also registers all persons engaged in buying grain for sale in foreign commerce. Finally, the Division ensures compliance with clearance, documentation, reporting, legal, and other requirements relating to implementation of GIPSA issuances; and ensures that FGIS' policies and programs are effectively articulated through regulations as required by law.
The Field Management Division (FMD) is responsible for the overall planning, development, administration, and management of all grain inspection and weighing and related support programs and activities assigned to the Agency under the U.S. Grain Standards Act and the Agricultural Marketing Act. This includes developing and executing inspection and weighing programs, policies, and procedures; as well as marketing standards for assigned grains, oilseeds, pulses, and rice. The Division directs and oversees the operation of all Federal Grain Inspection (FGIS) field offices, Federal/State offices, and delegated and designated agencies, including licensing inspection personnel.
FGIS Field Offices and Suboffices are at the front-line of the official inspection and weighing system, a network of Federal, State, and private employees located across the Nation to ensure the availability of official inspection and weighing services anywhere in the United States and eastern Canada. In export markets, field personnel provide daily onsite inspection and weighing services to grain elevators. In domestic markets, they oversee the operations of State and private agencies authorized to provide official grain inspection and weighing service on GIPSA's behalf. Field offices serve our customers 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Office of Departmental Initiatives and International Affairs (DIIA) administers all GIPSA international programs. DIIA, working with other USDA and U.S. Government agencies, addresses disruptions in grain trade related to the quality, sanitary, or phytosanitary attributes of export shipments as they relate to the importer's contractual specifications, or the laws and regulations of the importing country; investigates discrepancies reported by importing countries on the quality or weight of U.S. grains, oilseeds, and related products certified by GIPSA at the time of export; and conducts collaborative studies, sample exchanges, and monitoring activities with importers to address persistent or recurring discrepancies. The staff also serves as GIPSA's liaison with the Foreign Agricultural Service, other pertinent USDA agencies, the U.S. Government, USDA Cooperator organizations, and others to coordinate issues involving international grain trade. DIIA represents GIPSA on committees and task forces concerned with international grain trade policies, and national policy issues relating to the trade agreements, agricultural biotechnology, and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues.
DIIA coordinates and conducts domestic sample surveys to collect market information about the quality of U.S. grain exports; develops and conducts educational programs for public- and private-sector audiences in importing countries to explain the U.S. grain marketing system and our role in international grain commerce, as well as official U.S. quality standards and grain/oilseed/commodity inspection procedures. As the agency's international outreach arm, DIIA meets with Governmental and trade groups visiting the United States from other countries to explain our role and responsibilities and to obtain available information on their importing requirements, specifications, standards, and inspection methods; and coordinates regular, bilateral discussions with Canada relating to our mutual systems of grain quality measurement technology, standards and inspection procedures, and cross-border grain trade issues.
The Technology and Science Division (TSD), located in Kansas City, Missouri, is GIPSA's central laboratory for technical leadership and support for the official inspection system and U.S. grain industry. TSD develops, maintains, improves, and supports all official test methods for grain, rice, beans, peas, and lentils. The Division provides reference method analysis, inspection methods development, instrument calibration, biotechnology laboratory accreditation, rapid test performance verification, technical training, quality control and standardization processes, and final inspection appeals.
TSD develops and maintains internationally accepted reference methods for protein, oil, moisture, starch, and mycotoxins, and develops and maintains references for visual inspection. The Division develops, adapts, and evaluates quality assessment methods for applicability and suitability for the official inspection systems. TSD develops and maintains the official visual inspection methods, such as damage, class, appearance and all other visually determined quality attributes. The Division provides centralized quality processes for visual inspection and official tests such as protein, oil, and mycotoxins. TSD maintains GIPSA's official equipment standards and provides the focal point of the check testing of official inspection equipment such as moisture meters, test weight devices, dockage machines, and sieves. It also operates a nationwide program to accredit private testing labs conducting DNA-based testing for biotechnology derived grains and verify the performance of rapid tests for biotechnology derived grains. TSD performs the technical investigation of discrepancies reported by importing countries on the quality of U.S. exports and conducts collaborative studies and sample exchange activities with importers. TSD plays a major role in surveys to collect market information about the quality of U.S. grain exports. Finally, TSD provides technical training and educational materials for the official inspection system and, upon request, to interested parties in the U.S. grain industry. The Division conducts educational programs on GIPSA's role in international grain commerce and U.S. quality standards and testing procedures for international trade teams that visit the United States.
The Litigation and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) is located in Washington, DC. LEAD supports enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act in at least five ways. It reviews investigation reports and prepares sanction analyses. It works with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to negotiate settlements. LEAD assists OGC with preparation for hearing and witness testimony. It leads rulemaking initiatives under the Packers and Stockyards Act. It reviews industry data and summarizes it for inclusion in various reports. It maintains the automated case management system and standard operating procedures for the Packers and Stockyards Program. LEAD supplies the industry and the public with notice of posted stockyards and news releases regarding enforcement actions taken. It publishes information brochures, bonding information and lists of suspended registrants. LEAD also carries out the Clear Title provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture.
The Regional Offices of the P&SP are located in Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Des Moines, Iowa. The regional offices are located near concentrations of livestock and poultry production and slaughter. These offices are supported by a network of P&SP agents located throughout the United States. Each office manages P&SP's regulatory compliance; investigation; and enforcement activities within the assigned region. Each office also collects and analyzes information collection forms completed and filed by persons subject to the P&S Act; answers inquiries about how to comply with the requirements or preserve rights under the P&S Act and regulations; serves subpoenas duces tecum; conducts regulatory compliance activities and investigations of persons subject to the P&S Act and regulations; collects evidence and develops reports to document reparation complaints and other alleged violations of the P&S Act; provides witnesses to testify on behalf of GIPSA in legal proceedings under the P&S Act; and engages in industry outreach.