U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Status of the Food and Agriculture Councils Needs to Be Elevated

RCED-90-29: Published: Nov 20, 1989. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 1989.

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John W. Harman
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GAO described the Food and Agriculture Councils (FAC) and reviewed ways to revitalize FAC as a strategic management tool for the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

GAO found that: (1) USDA established FAC in 1982 to facilitate the flow of USDA-wide initiatives to the state and local levels and to provide feedback on issues affecting farm communities; (2) because USDA transferred FAC out of the Office of the Secretary, the FAC Director had little or no power to foster interagency coordination; (3) reduced interest in FAC activities affected FAC abilities to provide feedback to the Secretary; (4) although some FAC-proposed projects had potential nationwide applications, headquarters was slow to follow up on the proposals; and (5) without a strong national director at headquarters, there was little incentive for state and local FAC to focus on FAC missions and objectives.

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