Program evaluation (11 - 20 of 52 items)
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Improved Management Controls Can Enhance Effectiveness of Key Conservation Programs
GAO-09-528T: Published: Mar 25, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 2009.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP, formerly the Conservation Security Program) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), to help farmers reduce soil erosion, enhance water supply and quality, and increase wildlife habitat, among other things. This testimony is based on GAO reports on CSP and...
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 Stamp Program: Options for Delivering Financial Incentives to Participants for Purchasing Targeted Foods
GAO-08-415: Published: Jul 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2008.
In fiscal year 2007, the Food Stamp Program provided about $30.4 billion in nutrition assistance benefits to 26.5 million individuals. Benefits are issued through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, similar to debit cards, to purchase eligible foods at authorized retail stores. The diets of many low-income individuals, like the U.S. population overall, do not meet federal dietary guidelines....
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,...
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Management of Civil Rights Efforts Continues to Be Deficient Despite Years of Attention
GAO-08-755T: Published: May 14, 2008. Publicly Released: May 14, 2008.
For decades, there have been allegations of discrimination in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and workforce. Reports and congressional testimony by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a former Secretary of Agriculture, USDA's Office of Inspector General, GAO, and others have described weaknesses in USDA's programs--in particular...
Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Program: Management Problems May Increase Vulnerability of U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and Diseases
GAO-08-96T: Published: Oct 3, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2007.
U.S. agriculture generates over $1 trillion in economic activity annually, but concerns exist about its vulnerability to foreign pests and diseases. Under the agricultural quarantine inspection (AQI) program, passengers and cargo are inspected at U.S. ports of entry to intercept prohibited material and pests. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred responsibility for inspections from the U.S...
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...
National Animal Identification System: USDA Needs to Resolve Several Key Implementation Issues to Achieve Rapid and Effective Disease Traceback
GAO-07-592: Published: Jul 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 2007.
Livestock production contributed nearly $123 billion to the U.S. economy in 2006. In response to concerns about animal disease outbreaks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in December 2003 that it would implement a nationwide program--later named the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)--to help producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to anim...
Food Stamp Program: Use of Alternative Methods to Apply for and Maintain Benefits Could Be Enhanced by Additional Evaluation and Information on Promising Practices
GAO-07-573: Published: May 3, 2007. Publicly Released: May 3, 2007.
One in 12 Americans participates in the federal Food Stamp Program, administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). States have begun offering individuals alternatives to visiting the local assistance office to apply for and maintain benefits, such as mail-in procedures, call centers, and on-line services. GAO was asked to examine: (1) what alternative methods states are using to increase pr...