Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Policy, e-Government, and Fair Information Practices (PE&F)

Ensuring USDA Policies and Directives Remain Current

Link to OCIO's CUI page in Connections Link to USDA's eGovernement  FAQs  page Link to OCIO's Privacy Office page Link to Departmental Management's FOIA page Link to OCIO  Directives page

Policy, e-Government, and Fair Information Practices (PE&F) provides a portfolio of services that help USDA maintain current policies, ensure transparency, and protect privacy.


What We Do

PE&F improves USDA’s posture by fostering the development and maintenance of policies and strategic plans that are current and relevant in an ever changing environment, ensuring transparency through FOIA and e-Government, and maintaining the privacy of personally identifiable information with:

IT Policy Development & Departmental Directives Management—PE&F develops and manages the departmental Directives System, serving as the central control point to ensure: compliance with regulatory agencies’ policies; reduction of overlapping and duplicating efforts; and promotion of compatibility to eliminate gaps and conflicting policies between USDA agencies.  This office maintains automated systems that provide nationwide access to all departmental directives and provides training, consultation, and assistance to agencies to develop and obtain required clearances, and to publish department directives. In addition, the PE&F is responsible for OCIO strategic planning and accountability. Leads, facilitates and is accountable for strategic and tactical planning activities.  The office is also responsible for strategy integration, coordination, and deployment activities in support of the OCIO strategic plan.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)—The Department of Agriculture’s Chief Information Officer is responsible for ensuring department-wide compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Departmental FOIA Service Center (within PE&F), headed by the Departmental FOIA Officer, responds to FOIA requests seeking access to records maintained by offices within the Office of the Secretary, including those of Mission Area Under Secretaries and  Assistant Secretaries.  The Departmental FOIA Service Center also responds to FOIA requests that seek records maintained by multiple component agencies. The Departmental FOIA Officer provides FOIA policy guidance to the component agency FOIA programs, monitors the performance of component agency FOIA programs, compiles the USDA annual FOIA Report and annual Chief FOIA Officer’s Report for the Department of Justice, hosts monthly meetings of the USDA FOIA Officers’ Council, and develops training and outreach programs for the component agencies that seek to improve their ability to comply with the FOIA. Departmental FOIA Service Center staff support the USDA FOIA program by responding to FOIA requests and assisting the Departmental FOIA Officer with USDA FOIA initiatives.

Privacy—USDA’s Departmental Privacy Office within PE&F brings a heightened understanding of the importance of protecting the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that USDA collects and use as part of its mission as is mandated by Federal law. The PE&F Privacy Office reviews and comments on Privacy Threshold Analysis (PTA), Privacy Impact Statements (PIA) and System of Records Notices (SORN), and computer matching agreements.  The PE&F Privacy Office also establishes Departmental privacy policy, responds to PII breach incidents, performs quarterly and annual FISMA Privacy reporting on behalf of the Department, and provides subject matter expertise advice and guidance to USDA agencies and offices. It established re-occurring Privacy Council meetings, briefings, and outreach sessions to increase Privacy awareness through internal and external Privacy experts.

eGovernment & Open Government—The PE&F eGovernment Office serves as USDA’s focal point for eGovernment Presidential Initiatives and Lines of Business, as well as the USDA liaison to the Office of Management and Budget regarding e-Government. The office provides oversight and guidance to the development and implementation of USDA-wide policies, standards, and procedures for e-Government implementations. The office manages USDA’s eGovernment relationships with other Federal agencies. It identifies and promotes common enterprise solutions to enable improvements in USDA’s business, information, and technology infrastructures to reduce overall funding requirements.  It also provides leadership in addressing and resolving IT department-wide issues and obstacles to achieving eGovernment objectives.

Provides leadership to develop and implement a USDA strategy for transforming USDA delivery of information, programs, and services using Open Government tenets of transparency, participation and collaboration.  The office identifies opportunities to transform USDA service delivery from solely “siloed” and fragmented processes to open and widely available USDA service delivery channels that are citizen/customer-centric, data-driven, and align with USDA’s overall business goals and objectives.

The PE&F eGovernment office develops and manages USDA’s Digital Strategy governance process in conjunction with an established working relationship with the Office of Communication that reflects a cooperative and strategic approach to using information technology to improve the delivery of USDA information, products, and services.  PE&F consults with appropriate agency staff to keep them informed and ensure their views are considered.

IT Strategic Planning & AccountabilityThe purpose of the USDA IT Strategic Plan is to communicate the Department's short and mid-term priorities, and guide a process to achieve intended outcomes.The plan is linked to and supports all of the USDA Strategic Goals.

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)—Policy, E-Government, and Fair Information Practices (PE&F) has established a CUI Division per the Executive Order (EO) 13556.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Policy, E-Gov, and Fair Information Practices (PE&F) Associate Chief Information Officer (ACIO).  The designated CUI Senior Agency Official (SAO) for CUI is Ms. Ravoyne Payton, Associate Chief Information Officer, Policy, E-Gov, and Fair Information Practices (PE&F) by the Assistant Secretary of Administration (ASA) will be responsible for oversight of the agency’s CUI Program implementation, compliance, and management of E.O. 13556, 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 2002, and the CUI Registry. 

The responsibilities and building blocks associated with managing this division will be Mr. Angelo Rhodes who will oversee the Department’s CUI Program as the designated CUI Program Manager to ensure; the agency has CUI implementing policies and plans, as needed; implement an education and training program pursuant to the (CFR) Part 2002.   The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as Executive Agent (EA) to implement the Order and oversee agency actions to ensure compliance.  The CUI (EA), will provide an update of CUI implementation efforts for subsequent reporting; Develop and implement the agency’s self-inspection program; Establish a process to accept and manage challenges to CUI status (including improper or absence of marking), consistent with existing processes based in laws, regulations, and Government-wide policies; and Establish processes and criteria for reporting and investigation misuse of CUI.


Contact Information

Contact us at OCIO-P&D@ocio.usda.gov, if you have any questions.