Food and Drug Administration:

Resources for Division of Scientific Investigations Have Been Reduced

HRD-86-136FS: Published: Aug 28, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO obtained information on the activities of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Division of Scientific Investigations (DSI), specifically whether: (1) there have been major reductions in the DSI work force since 1981; (2) FDA filled vacant positions in DSI; (3) travel funds have been reduced; and (4) the location of the DSI office away from FDA headquarters has affected its program activities.

GAO found that: (1) since 1981, FDA has reduced the DSI staff by 19 percent, from 37 to 30 employees, although DSI responsibilities increased; (2) FDA has a vacant medical officer position in DSI that it will advertise in eight major medical journals in the near future; (3) FDA reduced travel expenditures by 28 percent between 1983 and 1986; (4) the number of inspections involving headquarters participation declined by 25 percent in 1986; and (5) the location of the DSI office away from the FDA office has resulted in decreased efficiency due to a lack of accessibility to the headquarters.

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