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Open Recommendations

Imported Agriculture: Updated Planning and Communication Could Enhance Agency Coordination of Inspections

GAO-21-471
Jun 01, 2021
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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Customs and Border Protection The Commissioner of CBP, in collaboration with the Director of APHIS, should report on the CBP-APHIS Joint Agency Task Force's progress in meeting its objectives for the 2014–2019 strategic plan, and develop periodic progress reports for future strategic plans. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service The Director of APHIS, in collaboration with the Commissioner of CBP, should report on the CBP-APHIS Joint Agency Task Force's progress in meeting its objectives for the 2014–2019 strategic plan, and develop periodic progress reports for future strategic plans. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Customs and Border Protection The Commissioner of CBP, in collaboration with the Director of APHIS, should update the CBP-APHIS Joint Agency Task Force Strategic Plan. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service The Director of APHIS, in collaboration with the Commissioner of CBP, should update the CBP-APHIS Joint Agency Task Force Strategic Plan. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Customs and Border Protection The Commissioner of CBP, with input from the Director of FWS, should review CBP's existing guidance on communication with FWS at U.S. ports of entry and update the guidance where necessary. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Farm Programs: USDA Should Take Additional Steps to Ensure Compliance with Wetland Conservation Provisions

GAO-21-241
May 04, 2021
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6 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service should oversee state offices to ensure that they conduct quality control reviews of wetland determinations as directed in the agency's manual. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service should update the template for appeal decision letters accompanying final wetland determinations to stipulate that the letters must include specific facts providing the basis for the determinations, as called for in the agency's appeals manual. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service should clarify agency guidance on how wetland specialists are to apply the agency's procedures for wetland determinations, particularly related to the best-drained condition standard. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Natural Resources Conservation Service The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service should clarify guidance on the annual compliance check (in its National Food Security Act Manual) to ensure that a risk-based approach is used in selecting a sample, which could include using crop acreage reports and other sources of information to identify anomalies associated with higher-risk tracts. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service instructs state and field offices to consistently report any potential violations they observe. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Farm Service Agency The FSA Administrator should strengthen agency guidance to specify what constitutes adequate justification and documentation for decisions to grant good-faith waivers. (Recommendation 6)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Imported Seafood Safety: FDA Should Improve Monitoring of Its Warning Letter Process and Better Assess Its Effectiveness

GAO-21-231
Mar 19, 2021
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Food and Drug Administration The Commissioner of FDA should establish a process to monitor whether the agency is consistently following key procedures and meeting key goals for its imported seafood warning letters, and take corrective action when necessary. This could be done through regularly analyzing data that FDA collects, such as those in CMS and FACTS. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Food and Drug Administration The Commissioner of FDA should develop performance goals and measures to assess the effectiveness of its warning letters in ensuring the safety of imported seafood. Such measures could include, but need not be limited to, the percentage of warning letters cases that have been resolved, either through a closeout letter or import alert placement, within 1 year of being issued. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Farmworkers: Additional Information Needed to Better Protect Workers from Pesticide Exposure

GAO-21-63
Jan 15, 2021
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance The Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance should coordinate with states to collect information on the use of the designated representative, either through its annual cooperative agreement work plans with states or another mechanism. The collection of information on use could include consistently compiling the information obtained through inspections across states—specifically, whether farmworkers are using designated representatives and whether farmers are providing the information to the designated representatives within the time frames required by the WPS. (Recommendation 1)
Open
As of April 2021, we are following up on this recommendation and will update it when we receive information from EPA.
Office of Pesticide Programs The Director for EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs should, in the agency's guidance, on its website, or through another mechanism, explain EPA's expectations about the appropriate use of the pesticide information obtained by a designated representative, including describing potential misuse of such information. (Recommendation 2)
Open
As of April 2021, we are following up on this recommendation and will update it when we receive information from EPA.
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