USDA Considers Consolidation

Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman is considering an "administrative convergence" of the Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the divisions that handle rural development aid, congressional sources and farm lobbyists told CongressDaily.

The plan is Glickman's answer to simultaneous budgetary pressures from Congress and the Office of Management and Budget to close FSA offices and from Congress not to close local offices.

Under the plan, a local office could be staffed by an FSA, NRCS or rural development employee who would be expected to handle basic questions from the public on programs administered by all three agencies. More technical questions would be referred to higher-level personnel of each agency.

The plan follows a summit Glickman held June 9 with OMB and congressional agricultural leaders to discuss the future of the FSA and farm programs. A Glickman spokesman Monday called the meeting "an informal beginning to a long process," and said nothing would occur without "lengthy involvement of Congress and personnel in the field."

The meeting, held in Glickman's office, was proposed by Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., although Kerrey did not attend. Those participating were Senate Agriculture Chairman Lugar and ranking member Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; House Agriculture Forestry, Resource Conservation and Research Subcommittee Chairman Larry Combest, R-Texas; House Agriculture ranking member Charles Stenholm, D-Texas; and House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Joe Skeen, R-N.M. Aides to those members also participated, as did OMB officials.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.