Thursday, October 22, 2009

USDA Reorganization

Government Executive has a piece on the reorganization of USDA administrative agencies. For some reason the USDA web site doesn't seem to have been updated to reflect the changes (which not to amount to much, except putting the staff offices and agencies under one person,  Pearlie Reed, formerly of NRCS, rather than reporting to the Secretary. Given that Vilsack apparently announced his intentions during the summer and implemented them effective for the new fiscal year, it reflects badly on the USDA website people.

[Updated--ran across this in a Farm Policy post: "

In a separate DTN article from yesterday, Jerry Hagstrom reported (link requires subscription) that, “Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan plans to continue managing the USDA budget even though a reorganization has placed the USDA’s budget office under an assistant agriculture secretary.
“‘I will be running the budget process at USDA,’ Merrigan said in an interview.
“Under the reorganization, the budget office is under the purview of Assistant Secretary for Administration Pearlie Reed. Since the change went into effect Oct. 1, farm lobbyists have expressed alarm that if an official below the level of deputy secretary made the presentations USDA would be in a disadvantaged position compared with other departments. One former USDA official said White House Office of Management and Budget officials always ask how they can cut farm subsidies, particularly cotton subsidies, and that only a deputy secretary or the secretary himself would be able to defend them against budget officials looking for programs to cut.”]

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