FARM SERVICE AGENCY Statement of Juan Garcia, Administrator (ret’d) Before the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations U.S. House of Representatives

[…We believe that through the implementation of the Model Service Center concept, we will have the opportunity to achieve cost savings through the consolidation of County Offices which will enhance customer service. During preparation of the FY2015 budget, we conducted a “point-in-time” review of current county offices and staffing levels, and found the potential to consolidate 250 field offices. The FY 2015 Budget request assumes $5 million in savings from this consolidation. We also believe there are steps that need to be taken to reshape and restructure our county offices and workforce before we can begin preparing any office consolidation plan. The agency has not yet identified specific offices for closure and there is no list of offices that have been considered. Any savings from potential consolidations would be reinvested to ensure that all of the agency’s employees have the equipment, training, and resources necessary to provide the highest levels of customer service.
Implementation of these internal operations and changes will carry over into FY 2015 as FSA concludes many efforts and begins to benefit from the realignments. FSA is proposing to reduce non-federal staff by 815 FTEs, saving $61.6 million, and realigning approximately 300 federal headquarters and state office oversight staff to the county offices, saving $6.8 million, in an effort to ensure support for the anticipated higher farm loan program activity. The salary savings are slightly offset by the proposed increase for the pay adjustment of $10.0 million.]…

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