Colocating Agriculture Field Offices--More Can Be Done

CED-79-74: Published: Apr 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1979.

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Since 1962 the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has had a colocation program providing that its agencies' field offices in the same community be located together in the same building.

Although progress has been made, there is substantial potential for additional colocation of USDA field offices. USDA could improve service delivery to program recipients and increase efficiencies from resource sharing by giving more consideration to local conditions when making decisions to colocate or relocate field offices. USDA could better achieve its colocation and program objectives if it resolved its conflicts with the General Services Administration (GSA) over the location of field offices.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: In deciding on legislation proposed by USDA designed to increase USDA leasing authority, Congress should review the actions taken or proposed by the Secretary to: (1) delineate rural areas that need development; (2) ensure that field offices will be located in the delineated areas to achieve rural development objectives and program missions; and (3) give first consideration to using federally controlled space that is available and suitable.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should: (1) direct the National Administrative Committee to evaluate all pertinent local conditions to help in deciding whether a change in field office location would benefit the program recipients and help achieve program objectives; (2) require that the Property Management Information System be expanded to include additional information; (3) report to Congress on the progress made in colocating field offices and in interchanging personnel and other resources; and (4) take actions to reduce conflicts with GSA. The Administrator of General Services should: (1) approve USDA proposals to locate field offices in the outskirts of cities and towns when those proposals are supportable; and (2) enter into long-term leases for the colocation of field offices when USDA adequately demonstrates that a long-term lease is warranted.

    Agency Affected:

 

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