Department of Agriculture (71 - 80 of 2,037 items)
Crop Insurance: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies
GAO-14-700: Published: Aug 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014.
The cost of the federal crop insurance program and farm sector income and wealth grew significantly from 2003 through 2012. The cost of crop insurance averaged $3.4 billion a year from fiscal years 2003 through 2007, but it increased to $8.4 billion a year for fiscal years 2008 through 2012. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), the agency that admi...
School Meal Programs: Implications of Adjusting Income Eligibility Thresholds and Reimbursement Rates by Geographic Differences
GAO-14-557: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 2014.
There are a number of measures by which income thresholds for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) school meal programs could be adjusted to account for geographic differences in the cost of living; doing so would likely lead to shifts in eligibility and program costs. For example, the Supplemental Poverty Measure or Regional Price Parities could be used to adjust for geographic price differe...
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...
Telecommunications: USDA Should Evaluate the Performance of the Rural Broadband Loan Program
GAO-14-471: Published: May 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has approved 100 loans to geographically and demographically diverse areas through its Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (“loan program”), though over 40 percent of these loans are no longer active. The geographic distribution of RUS loans is widespread, with broadband providers in 43 states having rec...
Recovery Act: USDA Should Include Broadband Program's Impact in Annual Performance Reports
GAO-14-511: Published: Jun 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2014.
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) expects most Recovery Act-funded Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) projects will be completed by the June 2015 deadline and as approved, but RUS faces challenges given the large scope of the program. As of March 2014, approximately 14 percent (42 of 297) of BIP infrastructure projects were terminated for a variety of reasons according to RUS officials, such as f...
School-Meals Programs: USDA Has Enhanced Controls, but Additional Verification Could Help Ensure Legitimate Program Access
GAO-14-262: Published: May 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken several steps to implement or enhance controls to identify and prevent ineligible beneficiaries from receiving school-meals benefits. For example:USDA worked with Congress to develop legislation to automatically enroll students who receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits for free school meals; this program has a more-detailed...
Export Promotion: Trade Agencies Should Enhance Collaboration with State and Local Partners
GAO-14-393: Published: May 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2014.
Federal and state governments share a common interest in promoting exports as a tool for economic growth and creating jobs. Both provide similar and overlapping export promotion services to similar clients, but their staffing, budgetary resources, and ways of measuring performance vary. Located across the country, Department of Commerce (Commerce), Small Business Administration (SBA), and state tr...
Alternative Jet Fuels: Federal Activities Support Development and Usage, but Long-term Commercial Viability Hinges on Market Factors
GAO-14-407: Published: May 7, 2014. Publicly Released: May 7, 2014.
The federal government supports the development and use of alternative jet fuels through both broad and targeted initiatives. Broad national strategies promote the development of a variety of alternative fuels—including alternative jet fuel—to help achieve national goals, such as securing energy independence, fostering economic development, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, t...
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...
National Environmental Policy Act: Little Information Exists on NEPA Analyses
GAO-14-370: Published: Apr 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2014.
Governmentwide data on the number and type of most National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses are not readily available, as data collection efforts vary by agency. NEPA generally requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental effects of actions they propose to carry out, fund, or approve (e.g., by permit) by preparing analyses of different comprehensiveness depending on t...