Skip to main content

Food Assistance: Briefing on U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Assistance Procurement Process

GAO-13-395R Published: Mar 07, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 07, 2013.
Jump To:
Skip to Highlights


What GAO Found

In summary, while USDA's organization and management structure for its food assistance procurement might suggest overlap, GAO found no duplication of Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) efforts. For example, AMS and FSA follow similar contracting rules and regulations; however, AMS and FSA have different procurement processes and funding authorities and purchase different commodities.

In addition, AMS and FSA have taken steps to streamline their procurement processes through reorganization and the implementation of their Web-Based Supply Chain Management System. Finally, while AMS and FSA have made several changes to reorganize and streamline the food assistance procurement process, the agencies have not evaluated their efforts.

Why GAO Did This Study

This letter formally transmits the briefing that GAO presented to Congressional staff on February 5, 2013. Congress asked GAO to study the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) food assistance procurement process. This report (1) describes USDA's organization and management structure for food assistance procurement, and (2) assesses whether there is overlap and duplication in USDA's organization and management structure for food assistance procurement.

For more information, contact, Thomas Melito, (202) 512-9601 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts

Office of Public Affairs


Contract authorityFederal aid to foreign countriesFood relief programsFood supplyForeign aid programsInternational food programsProcurementProcurement regulationsSupply chain managementGovernment procurement