|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Communications to Congress
February 23, 2000
The Honorable Thad Cochran
Chairman, Committee on Appropriations,
Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural
Development and Related Agencies
United States Senate
136 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Enclosed is the report of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) which provides an update on budget execution, staffing levels and staffing needs for the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2000. This report was requested by the conferees in the Conference Report accompanying the FY 2000 Agriculture Appropriations Act, P.L. 106-78.
First quarter obligations for FY 2000 through December 31, 1999 are estimated at $141.9 million, which is 21.9 percent of the FSIS net annual appropriation of $649.1 million. This represents less than 25 percent of the net annual appropriation because obligations for certain program costs, such as contracted services and equipment purchases, were delayed until after the annual Appropriations Act was signed on October 22, 1999. In addition, significant increases in pay and benefits did not take effect until the second quarter, and as planned, hiring of inplant food inspectors will not accelerate significantly until the second and third quarters of FY 2000.
To provide sufficient inplant inspection staffing, FSIS is increasing its recruitment and hiring of food inspectors and plans to reach 7,610 in inplant permanent full-time employment by June 30, 2000. As the line graph indicates in the enclosed report, the rise in employment from 7,440 in the first quarter to 7,610 by the end of the third quarter will yield an increase in inplant employment of 170. This increase is projected to occur in the second and third quarters, but the rise in inplant employment has already begun in the first quarter with an actual increase of 27.
The inplant slaughter staffing profile included in the report reflects coverage of positions at approximately 600 slaughter and combination slaughter and processing establishments. The difference between the number of positions and permanent full-time staffing is the number of other types of staffing used to provide full coverage of all slaughter positions. Other types of staffing are defined in the report and their numerical distribution represents the predominant pattern of slaughter inspection coverage. This report also reflects the change in positions and inspectors from the beginning of the quarter to the end.
Other-than-permanent (OTP) staff years are a significant source of inplant slaughter inspection coverage. FSIS expects to use 588 OTP inspection staff years in FY 2000, an increase of 50 over FY 1999 actual staff year usage. For the first quarter, FSIS used 126 OTP inspection staff years.
We have provided you with copies for all Republican Members of the Subcommittee. Under separate cover, we have provided Senator Kohl with copies for the Democratic Subcommittee Members. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call the FSIS Office of Management at (202) 720-4425.
THOMAS J. BILLY
For Further Information Contact:
FSIS Congressional and Public Affairs Staff
Phone: (202) 720-3897
Fax: (202) 720-5704
Communications to Congress Page | FSIS Home Page | USDA Home Page