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GAO Report Draws Questions of Johann's Efficiency

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Econ101

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Page 4 GAO Report to Congressional Requesters Decemer 2005

"Livestock Market Reporting USDA Has Taken Some Steps to Ensure Quality, but Additional Efforts Are Needed"


"Coordination between GIPSA and AMS has been limited, primarily due to the legal authority within which each operates. AMS Implemented and enforced the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act while GIPSA implements and enforces the Packers and Stockyards Act. The Livestock Manditory Roeporting Act did not provide authority for AMS to share confidential packer transaction data within USDA unless the Secretary of Agriculture or the Attorney General directed AMS to disclose the information for enforcement purposes. GIPSA monitors cattle and hog markets by analyzing publicly available AMS livestock reports. his approach to livestock monitoring has limitations because it does not include company specific transaction data that would be useful for detecting anti-competitive behavior. AMS provided packers' transaction data to GIPSA for two investigations after formal requests for those data........."

page 4-5 of the report.

If the Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for enforcing the PSA and is over GIPSA and the AMS, why doesn't he tell AMS to give GIPSA all transaction data? Why is he playing the middle? To what end? If the Secretary of Agriculture is playing interference, he should be questioned about why this inefficiency had to be brought out in a GAO report.

Full Report: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/useftp.cgi?IPaddress=162.140.64.21&filename=d06202.pdf&directory=/diskb/wais/data/gao
 

fedup2

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This report was released on monday. Just sharing info!

The Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting program needs improvements, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today. Particularly at issue are the accuracy and timeliness of reporting, and transparency in the program.
U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the report, which they say confirms the need for legislative reforms that would require USDA to improve the operation of the program.
"I requested this report because producers are concerned USDA is not doing enough to make sure price reports are accurate and timely,  Harkin said. "GAO found that many times these price reports are inaccurate and that USDA is not letting the public know when it finds late or incorrect information."

"The Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act needs modifications to improve the accuracy and transparency of price reporting for the benefit of livestock producers," Harkin said. "It's critical Congress acts to incorporate these needed changes without delay."
The two will now work with the House to implement the suggestions made in the report and address other livestock producer concerns.
"The Government Accountability Office report shows that we had some serious flaws in the Mandatory Price Reporting law that needed to be changed," Grassley said. "I hope now we can take these suggestions and make improvements to the law that will ensure family farmers get a fair price."
Following are some of the findings in the report:


GAO observed lag times by USDA in correcting problems when packers failed to report or provided incorrect information. Of the 844 audits GAO evaluated, they found packers incorrectly reported or failed to report required information 64% of the time. USDA, on average, took roughly 85 days to ensure a packer made needed corrections to the information.
Coordination between the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Grain Inspection, and Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has been limited, hindering GIPSA's ability to monitor and correct trends of anti-competitive behavior that could negatively affect price reports. This is in part due to the lack of legal authority for GIPSA to review company specific information.
USDA has been adjusting or excluding packer data but not making this practice known to livestock producers and the public.
Since the enactment of the reporting program in 1999, USDA has yet to collect any penalties from packers for violations of program requirements even in cases of longstanding violations.
Packers are not consistently and reliably reporting data to USDA within deadlines specified by the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act.
When USDA audits reveal violations of the LMPR Act, USDA has not been providing this information to the public.


The Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act requires packers, processors, and importers to provide critical price, contracting, supply and demand information to USDA, which uses the information to create price reports for livestock producers.
The Senate unanimously passed legislation extending the Livestock Price Reporting Act for one year to allow producers and other interested parties to review the GAO report before extending the law for a longer period. The House of Representatives did not take up the one-year extension bill for consideration, passing a five-year extension of the program.
Without agreement between the two houses of Congress, the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting program expired on September 30 and has been operating as a voluntary program since that time.
 
A

Anonymous

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Looks like the Packers have obtained the best USDA money can buy--

USDA incorporated.....
 

fedup2

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I don't consider myself a 'blamer' but this part of the report amazed me!

"Of the 844 audits GAO evaluated, they found packers incorrectly reported or failed to report required information 64% of the time. USDA, on average, took roughly 85 days to ensure a packer made needed corrections to the information."
 

Econ101

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fedup2 said:
I don't consider myself a 'blamer' but this part of the report amazed me!

"Of the 844 audits GAO evaluated, they found packers incorrectly reported or failed to report required information 64% of the time. USDA, on average, took roughly 85 days to ensure a packer made needed corrections to the information."

The USDA is more interested in making sure the food buyers don't pay fines than ensuring the transparency in the markets. In essence, they are sponsoring market fraud by not acting.
 

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