Economic Development:

Soil Conservation Service Reorganization

RCED-92-254R: Published: Aug 7, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the effects of the consolidation of field offices within the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) to determine: (1) how the benefits of the SCS technical assistance and other services should be evaluated; and (2) what work-load indicators should be considered in developing plans to consolidate SCS field offices. GAO found that: (1) if the Department of Agriculture (USDA) used appropriate criteria to determine which field offices should be combined or closed, farmers and other beneficiaries of farm service agencies' services should see no diminution in the level or quality of the assistance or services available to them; (2) reliable work-load indicators, including measures of program requirements and demands for service, are relevant to consolidation decisions; and (3) to meet its current responsibilities and assist its clients effectively, USDA needs to review its mission and goals and then design an organizational structure to achieve them.

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