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Department of Agriculture, Executive (1 - 10 of 15 items)
USDA Farm Programs: Farmers Have Been Eligible for Multiple Programs and Further Efforts Could Help Prevent Duplicative Payments
GAO-14-428: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
From fiscal years 2008 through 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported spending about $114 billion on 60 programs providing financial assistance to farmers, including about $28 billion in crop insurance subsidies. Those programs existed during the effective period of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 farm bill). Most were administered by the Farm Service Agency...
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Workforce Decisions Could Benefit from Better Linkage to Missions and Use of Leading Practices
GAO-14-288: Published: Mar 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2014.
From fiscal years 2003 to 2012, the size of the workforces declined at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) service center agencies—the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Rural Development (RD). The size of USDA's service center agencies declined by a higher percentage from fiscal years 2011 to 2012 than the average annual percent decline from fi...
Farm Programs: USDA Needs to Do More to Prevent Improper Payments to Deceased Individuals
GAO-13-503: Published: Jun 28, 2013. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2013.
Since 2007, the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers various programs for farmers that help support farm incomes and provide disaster assistance, has established procedures for preventing improper payments to deceased individuals, including, on a quarterly basis, matching payments to program participants with the Social Security Administration's (SSA) dat...
Beginning Farmers: Additional Steps Needed to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of USDA Assistance
GAO-07-1130: Published: Sep 18, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2007.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs have long supported beginning farmers. USDA generally defines a beginning farmer or rancher as one who has operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less--without regard for age--and who materially and substantially participates in its operation. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans for farmers who cannot obtain commercial credit...
Agricultural Conservation: USDA Needs to Better Ensure Protection of Highly Erodible Cropland and Wetlands
GAO-03-418: Published: Apr 21, 2003. Publicly Released: May 21, 2003.
Annually, over a billion tons of soil erodes from the nation's cropland, and thousands of other acres, including wetlands, are converted to new cropland. Soil erosion reduces the land's productivity and impairs water quality; drained wetlands reduce flood control. Under the 1985 Food Security Act, farmers risk losing federal farm payments if they do not apply conservation practices to reduce erosi...
Agricultural Conservation: Survey of USDA State Technical Committee Members
GAO-02-371SP: Published: Mar 1, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 2002.
This report presents the views of members of state technical committees on (1) the effectiveness of USDA's conservation efforts in addressing environmental concerns related to agriculture, (2) any program elements that hinder the achievement of related environmental objectives, and (3) any program characteristics that current or new programs might include to better meet these objectives. GAO summa...
Information Security: Software Change Controls at the Department of Agriculture
AIMD-00-186R: Published: Jun 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed software change controls at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), focusing on: (1) whether key controls as described in agency policies and procedures regarding software change authorization, testing, and approval complied with federal guidance; and (2) the extent to which agencies contracted for year 2000 remediation of mission-critical systems an...
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Administrative Streamlining Is Expected to Continue Through 2002
RCED-99-34: Published: Dec 11, 1998. Publicly Released: Jan 11, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) progress in streamlining its administrative operations, focusing on USDA's efforts to: (1) reduce the number of administrative staff departmentwide; (2) consolidate and streamline administrative support structures for seven field-based agencies, particularly at the state office level; and (3) me...
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Status of Closing and Consolidating County Offices
T-RCED-98-250: Published: Jul 29, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1998.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the status of the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) consolidation and closure of its county offices for three of its field-based organizations--the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development mission area, focusing on: (1) the data reported by USDA to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, a...
Farm Programs: Service to Farmers Will Likely Change as Farm Service Agency Continues to Reduce Staff and Close Offices
RCED-98-136: Published: May 1, 1998. Publicly Released: May 18, 1998.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the impact of actual and proposed staff reductions and office closings by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) on the quality of service to farmers.GAO noted that: (1) FSA's staff reductions and office closures to date do not appear to have affected the quality of service provided to farmers; (2) according to the Department of Agriculture's 1997 customer...