The government's General Accounting Office has completed a study of how USDA's Farm Service Agency administered crop disaster programs for losses from 2001 through 2007. The results of that study formed three recommendations to better manage new crop disaster programs. GAO reviewed statutes, regulations, and guidance; analyzed USDA data; and interviewed USDA officials.
The first recommendation calls for FSA county officials to be notified at the time crop insurance claims for disaster-related losses are issued so those officials have an opportunity to verify that crop disaster payment applicants experienced losses because of an eligible cause.
The second recommendation calls for maintaining data system documentation, including written business rules that are used to calculate and issue crop disaster payments.
The third recommendation calls for the linkage of Web-based payments to the application data in the spreadsheets maintained in the FSA county offices that would result in an integrated interim payment system.