Commodity Programs:

Freedom-to-Farm Approach Will Reduce USDA's Personnel Costs

RCED-96-116: Published: May 22, 1996. Publicly Released: May 22, 1996.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the personnel reductions that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) could have achieved if Congress had implemented the freedom-to-farm provisions of H.R. 2195 and the proposed Balanced Budget Act.

GAO noted that: (1) under H.R. 2195, the freedom-to-farm provisions would have reduced the Farm Service Agency's (FSA) personnel by 1,823 staff years and saved approximately $332 million; (2) most of the personnel savings under H.R. 2195 would have occurred at the county level and would affect such program activities as commodity payment, record keeping, compliance, and reimbursable farm-measurement; (3) the proposed Balanced Budget Act would have achieved greater personnel savings than H.R. 2195 because it included changes not addressed by H.R. 2195; (4) personnel reductions under the proposed Balanced Budget Act would have decreased FSA staff by 13 percent, a net reduction of 2,719 staff years; (5) the Balanced Budget Act would have had the net effect of reducing FSA workload by 896 staff years; (6) as a result of the personnel reductions, USDA would have incurred separation costs of $28 million for a workload of 126 staff years; (7) these costs would have lowered USDA net savings to $304 million; and (8) the Balanced Budget Act would also afford USDA additional organizational changes, more savings, and an opportunity to focus on how it delivers its services.

Mar 18, 2015

Mar 11, 2015

Feb 27, 2015

Jan 12, 2015

Dec 18, 2014

Nov 6, 2014

Oct 29, 2014

Oct 20, 2014

Sep 8, 2014

Aug 7, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here