Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saving Money at USDA

From Obama's cabinet meeting comes the savings at USDA, the first item of which shouldn't really count for anything, since it was underway before the meeting (and, I strongly suspect, before Obama was sworn in, because the GAO audit probably triggered the change in procedure and that was last year.) (From a Post article of yesterday, see the preceding post.)

Improper Payments – USDA has worked with the Treasury Department to identify potential fraud and improper payments in farm programs. Beginning with the 2009 crop year and in successive years, all farm program payment recipients will be required to sign a form which grants the Treasury Department the authority to provide income information to USDA for verification purposes. The reform proposal would render those out of compliance ineligible for USDA payments. Savings under this proposal could reach $16 million a year.

Office Leases – USDA is working to combine 1,500 USDA employees from seven leased locations into a single facility in early 2011, saving $62 million over a 15-year lease term.

Training – The Rural Development office has been utilizing Internet training in place of in-person training with projected annual savings of $1.3 million.

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