GAO: USDA should review CFAP payments with a fine-toothed comb
The U.S. Government Accountability Office, also known as GAO, recently found problems in the process that the Farm Service Agency used to review producers’ claims submitted for payments during the pandemic. They reviewed the claims of 90 producers and found that more than half did not receive support for their payments.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program gave producers $31 billion for various commodities. Breaking it down, USDA gave producers almost $14 billion for field crops; almost $10 billion for livestock; $3 billion for dairy, and almost $4.5 billion for other commodities, like fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
33 producers provided support, such as sales receipts, for a lesser amount than they claimed, and nine others did not show ownership of claimed commodities.
GAO is recommending the FSA Administrator should conduct more spot checks of CFAP payments; issue guidance directing the agency to identify factors; direct agency officials doing the spot checks to use support generated by third parties; and direct state offices to monitor the quality of the spot checks.
Story via U.S. Government Accountability Office