Sunday, April 03, 2016

Bureaucratuc Conflict in Acreage Reporting

Just read a report of research on the effectiveness of resolving civil wars by joining the opposing armies into a unified command.  (I forget where--Crooked Timber perhaps.)  The bottomline was that incorporating two armies into one didn't work to create peace.  If the underlying conditions were right, there might not be failure of peace to hold, but it wasn't a magic bullet.

So too in bureaucracy, maybe.  Different bureaucracies have different cultures and norms, and different interests.  The idea of helping farmers to file one acreage report to serve both crop insurance and farm programs is nice, but it doesn't resolve the underlying tensions.  Take this from a recent NASCOE post:
NASCOE provided DAFP leaders several of the documents that some of the Approved Insurance Providers have mailed producers soliciting them to not report to FSA but to them instead. This has been troubling to county office field level personnel and NASCOE membership. ACRSI was designed to be able to transfer common data between RMA and FSA. The two pilots have reinforced that FSA is good at taking comprehensive acreage reports. Regardless of what some of these AIP documents are saying, producers should have every confidence that FSA stands prepared to continue to accept the producer supplied aerial photos and complete the producer’s comprehensive acreage report.
Presumably crop insurance agents get paid for taking acreage reports just as FSA positions depend on taking acreage reports.  So each bureaucracy has a rational motive to try to monopolize acreage reports. In addition, the bureaucracy which deals with the farmer face-to-face will reap some benefits; whether in supplemental information or simply loyalty, the benefits are real.

These are interesting times.

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