Job Overview

Summary

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a public health regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our mission is to protect consumers by ensuring that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe, correctly labeled, and packaged. We offer opportunities for future merit-based promotion, career enhancement and professional development; flexible work schedules; and transit subsidies in some locations. For more information about the agency, visit FSIS.

This position is located in the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education(OPACE). This office assumes the lead role in developing and managing processes in order to ensure that appropriate, timely, and consistent action is taken with respect to key policy and regulatory issues, executive level correspondence and inquiries, public disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts and employee communication. As of July 19, 2009 this position (non-bargaining unit) is covered by the Public Health Human Resource System (PHHRS) Demonstration Project. The AP-04 Pay Band is equivalent to the GS-12/13 grade levels. Why PHHRS? How does it benefit employees? This position may be eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.

Duties

In general, this position requires oral and written communication on a variety of complex topics in regards to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act. Specific Duties related to the AP-0306-4 Pay Band are: 

FOIA Duties:

Review requests for records and responsive records to determine sufficiency of search. Apply redactions and submit justification. Submit redacted records to Quality Control for independent analysis and review to determine accuracy of statutory exemptions. Prepare justification for initial whole or partial denial of release of records and justify determination. Review appeals; request additional records search and review any records located; prepare letter of appellate determination; notify appellants of mediation rights under the Open Government Act of 2007 and right to judicial review in U.S. District Court. Serve as the FOIA Liaison with OGC and FSIS’s sister agencies on legal interpretation and adequacy of justification public, and between the Requesters’, including media, and Submitters’ legal counsel. Provide training sessions and updates to other Specialists on legal issues concerning FOIA developments and negotiations with Requesters’ and Submitters’ legal counsel. Safeguard and balance the public’s (Requester’s) right of access to public records with commercial entity’s (Submitter’s) right to maintain trade secrecy, proprietary, confidential or financial information, and the private individuals’ or enforcement personnel’s personal information in the records. Negotiate the redaction (or disclosure) of commercial information with Submitters’ legal counsel, and provide legal justification for disclosure of records or reasons for nondisclosure to Requester.

PA Duties:

Review requests under the PA and responsive records located and process as above. Develop, implement, update and maintain privacy policies and procedures under PA and FIPP. Review and advise on boundaries on the use and release of personal data. Preserve and enhance privacy protections, yet promote transparency of FSIS’s operations by requiring compliance with privacy laws and by providing policy and oversight for the protection of personal information contained in records and system; provide guidance on Federal privacy policy and processes related to implementing the functions of FSIS. Represent FSIS issues related to the PA and FIPP and other Federal privacy statutes and regulations. Work with USDA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to assess privacy risks associated with

programs, operations, and technology. Ensure compliance with FSIS’s privacy program requirements, information management research tools, systems, and/or processes.

Performs other duties as assigned. The work is mostly sedentary; however, some walking, bending, lifting is required to perform some tasks.