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Question by OIG Over Relocation of NIFA and ERS

08/07/2019

The proposed relocation of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture from their present location in Washington, DC to Kansas City has raised questions from the Office of the Inspector General. This watchdog agency opined “while Federal laws give USDA budgetary authority there are established limitations on authority to realign or relocate offices”.

USDA did however notify Congress of the plan to engage private sector assistance to the value of $170,000 to search for a new location but delayed the required notice to the Appropriations Committees of both the House and Senate by 139 days instead of the required 30 days notice.

This apparently is a technical issue and given the determination of the White House and the Secretary of Agriculture to move most of the personnel in the two Agencies, the intended relocation appears to be a fait accompli.