TO: AGENCY PUBLIC AFFAIRS/COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORS
The following document may be released by the time Secretary Espy
begins his talk with USDA employees at 1:30 p.m. EDT today
(Tuesday, Sept. 7).
It's to be released publicly including the news media at 2 p.m.
Please distribute to all your employees via electronic mail, fax
and other means as soon as possible today.
United States Department of Agriculture
Reinventing Government: The National Performance Review
T E A M U S D A S U M M A R Y
On March 3, 1993, President Bill Clinton directed
Vice-President Al Gore to lead the efforts of his administration
to change the way the United States government performs its work.
Vice President Gore pulled together career government employees,
and consulted with the best private sector minds to form
the National Performance Review Team. The goal of "reinventing
government," as outlined by Vice President Gore in his meeting
with USDA employees, is no less than a complete change in the way
we think about the relationship between the federal government
and the American people. The National Performance Review Team
report issued today (September 7) outlines how the Clinton
Administration will go about creating a government which works
better and costs less, while cutting waste and reducing
bureaucracy. The report proposed a reorganization of USDA to
better accomplish its missions, streamline its field service, and
improve service to its customers.
FOCUS ON THE SIX MISSIONS
During his confirmation hearings, then Secretary-designate
Mike Espy promised that USDA would respond to the call for change
with restructuring of the headquarters, followed by a
streamlining of the field structure.
Today, Secretary Espy joined the President in announcing
that USDA would be restructured along six mission lines to create
a streamlined and revitalized department.
At the headquarters level, the number of separate USDA
agencies and offices will be reduced from 43 to 30.
Administrative services will be consolidated to reduce 14 support
staffs into 6 administrative units reporting to corresponding
Under and Assistant Secretaries. Within each subcabinet area,
management support services such as civil rights, procurement and
personnel, will be consolidated to achieve more efficient
operations and savings.
When fully implemented, the restructuring will realize an
anticipated annual savings of $43 million and a decrease in
headquarters staffing by about seven percent.
THE PROCESS OF REINVENTING USDA
While the National Performance Review Team (NPRT)--including
USDA employees--worked on the sweeping federal reviews, two USDA
teams also were at work.
The internal USDA Performance Review Team will make its
final report by the end of September based on input from 8,000
USDA employees as well as personal and group interviews and
The second team, under Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger and
the Assistant and Under Secretaries, met with the key staff of
the 43 offices and agencies. Their goal was to learn firsthand
about each organization--what they do, why they do it, how they
get it done and how much it costs.
From those meetings and the preliminary data gathering of
the internal USDA Performance Review team, Secretary Espy
convened his subcabinet. After two days of discussion, the
headquarters restructuring began to take the shape of the plan
CREATING THE NEW USDA
The Secretary established several key principles that the
proposal to restructure USDA must meet.
First, the new structure of USDA must improve the delivery
of service to its customers. Second, any plan must remain
consistent with the mandated missions of USDA. Third, the new
USDA should make the department a better place for employees.
Fourth, the new structure must save the taxpayers' money.
Both the USDA headquarters and field structure reflect the
Secretary's strong desire to provide improved customer service.
While the headquarters restructuring focuses on combining similar
functions to create efficiency and better service, the field
reorganization focuses on creating one-stop shopping for USDA's
The new field structure will streamline the current ASCS,
FmHA and SCS county offices to create new USDA Service Centers.
Through collocation, common service and computer areas, the
Secretary's plan will reduce the number of USDA field offices
from 3,700 to 2,485.
BETTER SERVICE FOR FARMERS
Under the Under Secretary for Farm and International Trade
Services, USDA will meet Secretary's Espy's goals of improving
farm income, simplifying and improving service to farmers and
ranchers. A new single agency, the Farm Service Agency, will
provide commodity price and income support, farm loans and crop
Merged into the new Farm Service Agency will be the current
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, the farmer
programs currently located in Farmers Home Administration and the
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The conservation cost-share
programs from ASCS will be transferred to a new conservation
The integration of domestic and international farm programs
will continue to be managed by the Under Secretary. The new
International Trade Service will combine the current Foreign
Agricultural Service with the Office of International Cooperation
The third new organization reporting to the Under Secretary
for Farm and International Trade Services will be the National
Appeals Division. This division will combine the appeals
divisions of the current FmHA farmer programs and ASCS.
MAKING RURAL DEVELOPMENT A PRIORITY
To promote the President's rural agenda, Secretary Espy will
focus rural development work in three new organizations reporting
to the Under Secretary for Rural Economic and Community
The Rural Utilities Service will combine the telephone and
electric programs of the current Rural Electrification
Administration with the water and sewer programs of the Rural
The Rural Community Development Service will include FmHA
rural housing programs as well as RDA and REA rural community
The Rural Business and Cooperative Development Service will
include the RDA and REA business development programs, the
current Agricultural Cooperative Service and the Alternative
Agricultural Research and Commercialization Center.
ELEVATING FOOD, NUTRITION AND CONSUMER SERVICES
To reflect the importance of USDA's food and nutrition
programs and related federal outlays, the Assistant Secretary for
Food and Consumer Services will be elevated to the Under
Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.
A newly created Food and Consumer Service would combine the
current Food and Nutrition Service with the Office of the
The renamed Nutrition Research and Education Service (from
the current Human Nutrition Information Service) will focus on
the Secretary's goal of merging nutritional education with USDA
food delivery programs.
NEW EMPHASIS ON CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
A comprehensive program of conservation will be the primary
responsibility of the new Natural Resources Conservation Service,
formed from the current Soil Conservation Service combined with
ASCS conservation cost-share programs.
The Forest Service, although remaining a separate agency, is
now undergoing significant internal review.
The Assistant Secretary for Natural Resources and
Environment will also administer the Office of Agricultural
Environmental Quality which will provide guidance on pesticides,
water quality and other environmental issues.
ENSURING FOOD QUALITY AND SAFETY
While the structure of three agencies under the Assistant
Secretary for Marketing and Inspection Services--the Agricultural
Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
and the Food Safety and Inspection Service--will remain
unchanged, emphasis will be placed on aggressive regulatory
actions to maintain and heighten the safety and quality of the
food supply. One of the Secretary's primary goals is reforming
meat and poultry inspection.
The Federal Grain Inspection Service will be combined with
the Packers and Stockyards Administration to produce savings and
keep the focus of each organization on its current mission.
RESEARCH AND ECONOMICS COMBINED
USDA's traditional commitment to strong research and
education programs will be enhanced through the combination of
the Agricultural Research Service, the Cooperative State Research
Service, the Extension Service and the National Agricultural
Library into the new Agricultural Research and Education Service.
The new Agricultural Economics Service will combine the
current Economics Research Service and the Office of Energy.
Also reporting to the new Assistant Secretary for Research
and Economics will be the National Agricultural Statistics
Service and the Economics Management Staff.
STRONGER EXECUTIVE SUPPORT
A newly configured support team for the Secretary will
include a Chief Economist, the Office of Budget and Program
Analysis and the Office of the Executive Secretariat. Under the
Chief Economist will be the Economic Analysis Staff and the World
TIGHTER FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT
The Chief Financial Officer will direct and oversee the
financial management of the Department. The Office of Finance
and Management will report directly to the CFO.
To reflect the importance of one of the Department's
historical missions, information dissemination, the Secretary
proposes to raise the Director of Public Affairs to the new
Assistant Secretary for Communications.
The new Office of Communications will play a stronger
departmental role in delivering timely and accurate information
to USDA customers.
BROADEN GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
To broaden the role of Congressional Relations to include
all levels of government, the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
will be transferred from the Office of Public Affairs to the new
Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.
The Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs will have
responsibility for creating strong relationships with Congress,
state and local governments as well as with Native Americans and
Alaska Native tribes.
COMMITMENT TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN ADMINISTRATION
While the functions under the Assistant Secretary for
Administration remain unchanged, the office dealing with Equal
Opportunity and Advocacy is being strengthened and reorganized to
reflect the Secretary's commitment to equal opportunity and fair
treatment. As part of that reorganization, a new Office of
Employee Disputes Resolution has been created to provide a more
effective process for settling employee grievances.
In addition, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business
Utilization will report directly to the Assistant Secretary for
THE ONE-STOP SERVICE CENTER
Sharing of resources among the agencies of USDA is the
primary thrust of the Secretary's new field plan. Consolidating
field offices to provide better service is the goal of the new
USDA Service Centers.
Providing customer access to all USDA programs in one
"Service Center" will generate both cost savings and a more
efficient delivery of services. Each new center will serve
customers from areas ranging from to one to six counties.
Under the Espy plan, each state will be assigned an optimum
number of USDA Service Centers to handle the field duties of the
old ASCS, FmHA and SCS. Other USDA field offices are expected to
be consolidated within the new USDA Service Centers.
Creating the new 2,485 Service Centers will result in the
closing of 282 ASCS and 423 SCS offices, with the remaining 510
ASCS, SCS and FmHA offices moving to the new USDA Service
Bringing the field operations under one roof will help
achieve the Secretary's goal of creating a "Team USDA" spirit
among all employees. Sharing space, services and equipment will
lower overhead costs while creating one-stop shopping for farmers
MEETING THE CHALLENGES
The new USDA will provide a better level of services at a
lower cost through a more efficient use of resources. The
Secretary hopes to realize $1.3 billion in savings and a total
staff reduction of 7,500 employees over the next five years, by
implementing the new headquarters and field structures, with
improved program service and delivery.
The Secretary has joined the President in an all out war
against unnecessary spending. Some of the areas already
identified include paring down USDA's current $26 million
publications budget, eliminating unnecessary office space,
changing how USDA manages its motor vehicle fleet and applying
new technology aggressively.
As a first step, the Secretary has pledged to achieve the
necessary staff reductions over the next five years through
attrition and retirements. He remains firmly committed to a
diverse workforce. The Secretary supports the retirement options
being pursued by the President, including government-wide
HOW TO GET THERE FROM HERE
Some of the reforms outlined can be achieved using the
Secretary's administrative powers; but others will require
Congressional action or Executive Order. The Secretary has
directed the General Counsel's office to formulate a legislative
package to enact the new USDA structure.
Simultaneously, the Deputy Secretary is moving toward the
implementation of all reorganization steps within the Secretary's
authority at both headquarters and in the field.
Later in the month, the Secretary will report on the work of
the internal USDA National Performance Review Team and release
the complete plan for the USDA Service Centers.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (PROPOSED HEADQUARTERS
September 7, 1993
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Office of Finance & Management
Office of Budget & Program Analysis
Office of Executive Secretariat
UNDER SECRETARY FOR FARM & INTERNATIONAL TRADE SERVICES
Farm Service Agency
International Trade Service
National Appeals Division
UNDER SECRETARY FOR RURAL ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Rural Business & Cooperative Development Service
Rural Community Development Service
Rural Utilities Service
UNDER SECRETARY FOR FOOD, NUTRITION & CONSUMER SERVICES
Food & Consumer Service
Nutrition Research & Education Service
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT
Natural Resources Conservation Service
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR MARKETING & INSPECTION SERVICES
Agricultural Marketing Service
Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
Food Safety & Inspection Service
Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR RESEARCH & ECONOMICS
Agricultural Economics Service
Agricultural Research & Education Service
National Agricultural Statistics Service
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR COMMUNICATIONS
Office of Communications
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS
Office of Congressional & Intergovernmental Relations
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION
Advocacy & Enterprise
Information Resources Management
Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Administrative Law Judges/Judicial Officer
Board of Contract Appeals
QUESTIONS? Call 1-800-292-7294 or write to the USDA Office of
Ag Box 1311, Washington, DC 20250-1311.