Department of Agriculture (21 - 30 of 2,036 items)
Information Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems
GAO-16-468: Published: May 25, 2016. Publicly Released: May 25, 2016.
The federal government spent about 75 percent of the total amount budgeted for information technology (IT) for fiscal year 2015 on operations and maintenance (O&M) investments. Such spending has increased over the past 7 fiscal years, which has resulted in a $7.3 billion decline from fiscal years 2010 to 2017 in development, modernization, and enhancement activities.Total Federal IT Spending by Ty...
Food Safety: FDA Coordinating with Stakeholders on New Rules but Challenges Remain and Greater Tribal Consultation Needed
GAO-16-425: Published: May 19, 2016. Publicly Released: May 19, 2016.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took numerous steps to ensure meaningful and timely input from nonfederal officials during development of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)-mandated rules on produce, human food, and animal food but did not fully meet its tribal consultation responsibilities. Among other things, FDA—an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HH...
Rural Housing Service: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of the Single Family Mortgage Guarantee Program
GAO-16-193: Published: Mar 31, 2016. Publicly Released: May 2, 2016.
The estimated credit subsidy costs (expected net lifetime costs) of single-family mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS) substantially increased in recent years, partly due to high losses from the 2007 through 2011 housing crisis. For example, the fiscal year 2013 and 2014 reestimates (which federal agencies must do annually) indicated higher exp...
Tribal Internet Access: Increased Federal Coordination and Performance Measurement Needed
GAO-16-504T: Published: Apr 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 2016.
In January 2016, GAO found that, although all 21 tribes GAO interviewed have some access to high-speed Internet, barriers to increasing access remain. Tribal officials and Internet providers said that high poverty rates among tribes and the high costs of connecting remote tribal villages to core Internet networks limit high-speed Internet availability and access. About half of the tribes GAO inter...
Tongass National Forest: Forest Service's Actions Related to Its Planned Timber Program Transition
GAO-16-456: Published: Apr 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2016.
The Forest Service has initiated some steps to assess whether its planned transition to young-growth harvest on the Tongass National Forest will support a viable timber industry in southeast Alaska—a goal the Department of Agriculture (USDA) established as part of the transition. For example, the Forest Service reported refining the data it uses to estimate the amount of young-growth timber to b...
Genetically Engineered Crops: USDA Needs to Enhance Oversight and Better Understand Impacts of Unintended Mixing with Other Crops
GAO-16-241: Published: Mar 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have taken steps to regulate genetically-engineered (GE) crops (i.e., crops whose genetic makeup has been modified), but USDA has not updated its regulations to oversee GE crops derived from alternative technologies in which the GE crop developed contains no plant pest DNA. EPA...
USDA Administrative Services: Streamlining Efforts Ongoing, but Actions Needed to Monitor Progress, Identify Benefits, and Share Lessons Learned
GAO-16-168: Published: Mar 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2016.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to streamline and improve administrative services began in mid-2011 and have evolved since then. Initially, USDA launched a department-wide initiative to improve administrative services and selected 27 recommendations for implementation. USDA officials said 25 of the 27 had been implemented, and 2 were in progress, as of October 2015. For example...
Bee Health: USDA and EPA Should Take Additional Actions to Address Threats to Bee Populations
GAO-16-220: Published: Feb 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 2016.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts monitoring, research and outreach, and conservation that help protect bees, but limitations in those efforts hamper the department's ability to protect bee health. For example, USDA has increased monitoring of honey bee colonies managed by beekeepers to better estimate losses nationwide but does not have a mechanism in place to coordinate the moni...
Federal Vehicles: Composition and Management of Agency Fleets
GAO-16-455T: Published: Feb 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2016.
The federal vehicle fleet consists of dozens of agencies' fleets that range in size from just a few vehicles to more than 200,000. The vehicles agencies use to carry out these missions also vary and include passenger cars and trucks and special purpose vehicles (e.g., ambulances and buses.) In fiscal year 2014, the most recently available data, seven agencies owned or leased approximately 78 perce...
Hardrock Mining: BLM and Forest Service Have Taken Some Actions to Expedite the Mine Plan Review Process but Could Do More
GAO-16-165: Published: Jan 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2016.
From fiscal years 2010 through 2014, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service approved 68 mine plans of operation. The length of time it took the agencies to approve the mine plans ranged from about 1 month to over 11 years, and averaged approximately 2 years. Of the 68 approved mine plans, 13 had not begun operations as of...