By proposing to consolidate 131 offices nationwide, FSA is striving to balance budget reductions, staff reductions, and increasing workloads while focusing the efforts of our staff on continuing to provide high quality service from the remaining 2,113 office locations.

The agency's goal is to strengthen service, notwithstanding reduced budgets and fewer workers. And the Blueprint for Stronger Service helps to achieve FSA's goal.

The Blueprint is based on a Department-wide review of operations, in which USDA took a hard look at all USDA operations, from headquarters to field offices.

The end result is a plan that creates optimal use of USDA's employees, better results for USDA customers, and greater efficiencies for American taxpayers.

When fully implemented, these office consolidation actions, along with other recommended changes, will provide efficiencies valued at about $150 million annually and ensure that USDA continues to provide optimal service to the American people within available funding levels.

In addition, USDA is implementing a series of other changes that will save taxpayers' money while eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies.

The Blueprint for Stronger Service details 133 recommendations that affirm processes already in place, as well as 27 initial improvements, and other, longer-term improvements.

The initial improvements include the following:

• Consolidate more than 700 cell phone plans into about 10;

• Standardize training and purchases of cyber security products; and

• Ensure more efficient and effective service to our employees by moving toward more centralized civil rights, human resource, procurement, and property management functions, creating millions of dollars in efficiencies without sacrificing the quality of work.

Detailed fact sheets on the Blueprint for Stronger Service can be found here, by USDA Mission Area: Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS); Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS); Food Safety; Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP); Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE); Research, Education and Economics (REE); and Rural Development.

For more, please visit www.usda.gov/strongerservice