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Rural Development, Department of Agriculture, Executive (21 - 30 of 257 items)
Telecommunications: Broadband Deployment Plan Should Include Performance Goals and Measures to Guide Federal Investment
GAO-09-494: Published: May 12, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2009.
The United States ranks 15th among the 30 democratic nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on one measure of broadband (i.e., high-speed Internet) subscribership. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has regulatory authority over broadband, and several federal programs fund broadband deployment. This congressionally requested report discusses (1) the f...
Meal Counting and Claiming by Food Service Management Companies in the School Meal Programs
GAO-09-156R: Published: Jan 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 2009.
The federal government spends about $10 billion each year to provide meals to over 30 million students through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. However, a 2007 study estimated that of this amount, $860 million (8.6 percent) in school year 2005-2006 was paid improperly because of errors in the number of meals counted and claimed for reimbursement. These programs are administered by...
Food Safety: Selected Countries' Systems Can Offer Insights into Ensuring Import Safety and Responding to Foodborne Illness
GAO-08-794: Published: Jun 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2008.
Like other nations, the United States faces growing food safety challenges resulting from at least three major trends. First, imported food makes up a growing share of the food supply. Second, consumers are increasingly eating foods that are raw or have had minimal processing and that are often associated with foodborne illness. Third, changing demographic patterns mean that more of the U.S. popul...
Information Technology: Agriculture Needs to Strengthen Management Practices for Stabilizing and Modernizing Its Farm Program Delivery Systems
GAO-08-657: Published: May 16, 2008. Publicly Released: May 16, 2008.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has experienced significant problems with its information technology systems that support the delivery of benefits programs to farmers. In October 2006, these systems began experiencing considerable delays while attempting to process a large number of transactions, and by January 2007, the systems became inoperable for 1 month. In response to these issues,...
Plum Island Animal Disease Center: DHS Has Made Significant Progress Implementing Security Recommendations, but Several Recommendations Remain Open
GAO-08-306R: Published: Dec 17, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2007.
For many years, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) owned and operated the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, located on an island in the Long Island Sound off the coast of New York. Scientists at Plum Island, often with the assistance of scientists from other countries, diagnose the pathogens that cause foreign animal diseases and then conduct research to, among other things, develop vaccines to...
Small Business Administration: Preliminary Views on Increasing Collaboration with Department of Agriculture Rural Development Offices
GAO-08-278T: Published: Nov 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2007.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development offices share a mission of attending to underserved markets, promoting economic development, and improving the quality of life in America through the promotion of entrepreneurship and community development. In the past, these agencies have had cooperative working relationships to help manage their respec...
Foreign Assistance: Multiple Challenges Hinder the Efficiency and Effectiveness of U.S. Food Aid
GAO-08-83T: Published: Oct 2, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 2007.
The United States is the largest global food aid donor, accounting for over half of all food aid supplies to alleviate hunger and support development. Since 2002, Congress has appropriated an average of $2 billion per year for U.S. food aid programs, which delivered an average of 4 million metric tons of food commodities per year. Despite growing demand for food aid, rising business and transporta...
Federal Oversight of Food Safety: High-Risk Designation Can Bring Needed Attention to Fragmented System
GAO-07-449T: Published: Feb 8, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 8, 2007.
Each year, about 76 million people contract a foodborne illness in the United States; about 325,000 require hospitalization; and about 5,000 die. While the recent E. coli outbreaks highlighted the risks posed by accidental contamination, the attacks of September 11, 2001, heightened awareness that the food supply could also be vulnerable to deliberate contamination. This testimony focuses on the (...
WIC Program: More Detailed Price and Quantity Data Could Enhance Agriculture's Assessment of WIC Program Expenditures
GAO-06-664: Published: Jul 28, 2006. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 2006.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), authorizes retail grocers, called regular WIC vendors, to provide the food benefit. Recently, some states have seen an increase in vendors called WIC-only vendors, who stock only WIC food and accept only WIC vouchers. Both vendor types accept WIC vouchers in exchange for a cash payment, or redemption, from WIC state...
Homeland Security: Management and Coordination Problems Increase the Vulnerability of U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and Disease
GAO-06-644: Published: May 19, 2006. Publicly Released: May 19, 2006.
U.S. agriculture generates over $1 trillion in annual economic activity, but concerns exist about the sector's vulnerability to a natural or deliberate introduction of foreign livestock, poultry, and crop pests and disease. Under the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) program, international passengers and cargo are inspected at U.S. ports of entry to seize prohibited material and intercept f...