Organizational, Personnel, and Office Location Changes Made by the Food and Nutrition Service

RCED-83-138: Published: Jun 30, 1983. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on certain organizational and personnel changes made since January 1981 at the Food and Nutrition Service and on the move of the Service's headquarters from Washington, D.C., to the Virginia suburbs. GAO examined: employee qualifications and positions, White House involvement in Service personnel actions, fundamental changes in some Service organizations, and the impact of the relocation of Service headquarters.

GAO noted that almost half of the top level personnel were replaced as a result of organizational changes, although most of the replacements had been involved with the Service for nearly 15 years. Three management positions are currently vacant and another was eliminated in 1981. GAO found that the White House has not had a direct influence in Service hirings, although the Service's top three officials are White House appointees and six other officials must receive White House approval before being hired. In an effort to streamline and improve operations, the Service transferred from its headquarters to the regional offices daily financial management operations and reorganized its headquarters financial management organization. GAO noted that the Service was making improper salary payments for the services of two non-Service employees. Finally, GAO noted that the new Service headquarters in the local suburbs has made it less accessible to the Department of Agriculture's downtown headquarters, and employee access to eating facilities remains a problem.

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