Food Assistance:

Information on USDA's Research Activities

RCED-98-56R: Published: Jan 29, 1998. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 1998.

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Robert A. Robinson
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO identified food assistance-related research projects conducted by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) during the past 3 fiscal years.

GAO noted that: (1) it obtained information on each research project that was ongoing during any portion of each of the past 3 fiscal years; (2) for each of these projects, GAO obtained: (a) a brief description of the project's objectives and scope; (b) the name of the vendor or government entity that performed the search for FNS; (c) the project's contract cost; (d) when the project started; and (e) the project's actual or expected date of completion; (3) in addition to the contract cost, FNS reported that it expended approximately 40, 38, and 37 staff years in fiscal years 1995, 1996, and 1997, respectively, on various activities associated with conducting research and analysis; (4) with respect to ERS, GAO obtained information on each research project for which the results had been published during the past 4 fiscal years; (5) for each of the projects, GAO obtained: (a) a description of the objectives and scope; (b) the names of ERS staff who conducted research; and (c) the publication in which the research results were presented; and (6) ERS could not provide information on the cost of each project but did report that approximately 4 staff years were spent conducting food assistance and nutrition research during each fiscal year from 1995 through 1997.

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