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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 6, 1994

Statement by the President

Today Secretary Espy announced that the Department of Agriculture is closing over 1200 field offices across the country. I commend Secretary Espy for his leadership and outstanding efforts to make government function better and more productively.

By creating one-stop shopping field centers that consolidate a multitude of services under one roof, we are showing a true commitment to streamline government and to make it work better and cost less.

When fully implemented, the changes will save about 2.5 million hours annually of farmers' time by slashing the paperwork burden and reducing other bureaucratic requirements. This streamlining, coupled with the overall reorganization of the Department, will save taxpayers $3.6 billion dollars over five years and serve rural Americans with the common sense they deserve. The effort to restructure the USDA has been implemented with bi-partisan support and is an example of how Democrats and Republicans can work together.

I am proud of the USDA reorganization because it shows that with a lot of hard work government can be changed to do a much better job with fewer dollars. We are making a USDA that makes sense for the customer and the taxpayer. Secretary Espy should be commended for implementing these changes in a sensible and business-like way.