Skip Navigation

Executive Correspondence Management Team

Welcome to the Executive Correspondence Management Team (ECMT) Web page. We're here to provide you with guidance and assistance with correspondence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Striving to Set a New Cultural Paradigm and Business Plan Managing Correspondence

New ECMT imageOn May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation establishing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than 2 years later, in his final message to Congress, Lincoln called USDA the "People's Department," praising the Department for rapidly moving in "the great and vital interest it was created to advance." In that spirit, we are proud to help citizens connect with the People’s Department. We know that for most Americans correspondence is the closest they get to and the most efficient way to interact with their Government.   That is why all USDA strives to make sure responses are provided to correspondence clearly, accurately, and quickly.

 

ECMT Mission Statement
The Executive Correspondence Management Team (ECMT) strives to be an example of public service professionalism, customer service, and efficiency and contribute to USDA/NRCS conservation programs and expertise to help make government more transparent, accountable, and collaborative—one letter and one person at a time.  By serving the public and our customers in this way we are putting into action Secretary Perdue’s credo of “feeding people and doing the right thing.”

ECMT Vision Statement
ECMT strives to be a correspondence role model in the Federal Government and be recognized as a knowledgeable, accountable, competent team of highly skilled individuals who consistently provide quality customer service through correspondence management integral to USDA, Farm Production and Conservation, the Office of the Chief, and the Public Affairs Division in serving the citizens’ needs.

Our Goals
• To stand as a reliable and trusted link between citizens and USDA/NRCS.
• Create Openness in Government: more transparency and accountability, one letter at a time.
• Help the public discover how NRCS and USDA work for and provide high quality customer service for the American public.

How to Submit a Letter to USDA and NRCS
Frequently Asked Questions

Executive Correspondence Management Team (ECMT)

Contact Information:
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Executive Correspondence Management Team
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Room 6110-A South Building
Washington, D.C. 20250
Telephone: (202) 720-6589
Fax: (202) 260-8101

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Controlled Correspondence?
Controlled Correspondence is any document for the signature of NRCS Associate Chiefs and above. These documents are assigned a unique number for tracking purposes.  All Controlled Correspondence must come through NRCS' Executive Correspondence Management Team (ECMT).  ECMT is part of the Public Affairs Division under the Office of the Chief.

Why is it necessary to control correspondence?
Documents are controlled so they can easily be tracked.  Correspondence must be responded to as quickly as possible, and ECMT is responsible for ensuring deadlines are met.  Controlling correspondence assures accountability so that inquiries are responded to in an accurate, efficient, and timely manner.

What is the best way to submit an inquiry to NRCS?
The public may write to NRCS at any time with questions regarding specific programs or to obtain general information. In addition, the public may wish to contact their NRCS State office or local Service Center to obtain help or inquire about specific programs.  Please see How to Submit a Letter.

How long does it take to process an inquiry?
This depends on the complexity of the inquiry. Basic inquiries can be answered very quickly, and complex inquiries take more time to research and gather information. ECMT strives to provide responses to all inquiries within 8 working days.

How is correspondence processed in NRCS?
When a letter is submitted to the Secretary requesting information specific to an NRCS-related issue, the USDA Office of Executive Secretariat (OES) sends the request for information to ECMT using the Enterprise Content Management Module (ECM) an electronic document management system.  ECMT creates a workflow for clearance according to the topic of the inquiry.  Workflows consist of subject matter experts and leadership who are accountable and experts in the topic of the inquiry.  The same clearance system is applied to inquiries sent directly to the NRCS Chief and Associate Chiefs.  When responses are drafted and cleared by the correct NRCS experts and accountable leadership, they are forwarded through ECM to Farm Production and Conservation leadership for review. If Congressional, to the Office of Congressional Relations clears the response.  Other USDA offices may be required to clear a document depending on the topic of the inquiry such as the Office of Inspector General, Office of General Counsel, and the Office of Budget and Policy Analysis.  Inquiries submitted to the NRCS Chief are directed to the agency's subject matter experts who ensure that responses provide accurate and up-to-date information and are reviewed and cleared by appropriate NRCS and FPAC leadership.  ECMT distributes copies of final signed responses and maintains a record of the correspondence for future reference.

Who sets the timeframe to respond to inquiries?
Secretary Perdue has requested all correspondence be written, cleared, signed, and sent within 30 days of being received by USDA.  NRCS follows the Secretary’s guidelines and strives to complete the agency’s part of the process within seven working days. 

What happens if we cannot meet the deadline?
If an acceptable response cannot be provided within 10 working days due to more complicated inquiries, an interim response must be prepared for the Chief’s signature and mailed indicating the estimated time required to provide the final response.

How to Submit a Letter to NRCS

Anyone may write the USDA Secretary or NRCS Chief by sending their correspondence to the following addresses:

The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Secretary
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

Mr. Leonard Jordan
Acting Chief
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Executive Correspondence Management Team
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Room 6110-A South Building
Washington, D.C. 20250
Telephone: (202) 720-6589
Fax: (202) 260-8101

You may also contact your NRCS State office or USDA Service Center directly.  See contact listed below.
NRCS State Offices and Technical Centers - Contact the NRCS office near you.
• Visit the NRCS FOIA page to obtain NRCS records through the Freedom of Information Act.