U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Restructuring Will Impact Farm Service Agencies' Automation Plans and Programs

T-IMTEC-92-23: Published: Jun 23, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1992.

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GAO discussed the implications that the proposed restructuring of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) will have for the information technology plans of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS), Farmers Home Administration, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), and Soil Conservation Service. GAO noted that: (1) USDA efforts to upgrade field office automation technology have not always improved USDA operations; (2) USDA could save time and money if field office staff were able to electronically share conservation program data; (3) ASCS and FCIC made improper payments in 1989 because of inconsistent information sharing; (4) USDA is taking steps to improve its information technology and improve efficiency; and (5) Congress is considering actions to streamline the USDA field structure, including establishing single service centers for farm service agencies and consolidating field offices.

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