A Mission Budget Structure for the Department of Agriculture--A Feasibility Study

PAD-80-8: Published: Nov 16, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 1979.

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A participatory approach was used to develop a mission budget structure for the Department of Agriculture (USDA). All programs and activities administered by USDA agencies except the Forest Service were reviewed. In addition, agriculture, food, and nutrition programs and activities of other agencies were reviewed to identify other programs/activities directly related to USDA missions. A mission budget model was developed that displayed more than 200 program/activities by mission need, mission area, and mission, including the level of dollar resources by each category. To avoid duplication and maintain simplicity, each program/activity was classified by the one mission best defining the program/activity end purpose. While USDA officials supported this GAO effort, they expressed concern about the need to develop acceptable definitions for their missions and the additional reporting requirements resulting from this approach to the budget. Because this study was only to determine the feasibility and utility of mission budgeting, the implementation of a final mission budget structure will require further discussions on the process and approach to be used for clarifying agency missions, delineating missions content and program groupings, and reaching agreement on final format and reporting requirements.

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