Department of Agriculture: Hispanic and Other Minority Farmers Would Benefit from Improvements in the Operations of the Civil Rights Program

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "For years, some minority and women farmers have alleged that the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) discriminates against them, treating them differently from other farmers during the loan approval or foreclosure process. During fiscal years 2000 and 2001, FSA took, on average, four days longer to process loan applications from Hispanic farmers than it did for non-Hispanic farmers: 20 days versus 16 days. The FSA's direct loan approval rate was somewhat lower for Hispanic farmers than for non-Hispanic farmers nationwide: 83 and 90 percent, respectively. ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 25, 2002.

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "For years, some minority and women farmers have alleged that the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) discriminates against them, treating them differently from other farmers during the loan approval or foreclosure process. During fiscal years 2000 and 2001, FSA took, on average, four days longer to process loan applications from Hispanic farmers than it did for non-Hispanic farmers: 20 days versus 16 days. The FSA's direct loan approval rate was somewhat lower for Hispanic farmers than for non-Hispanic farmers nationwide: 83 and 90 percent, respectively. USDA's policies for staying foreclosures when discrimination has been alleged depend on the method used to lodge complaints. When an individual's discrimination complaint is accepted by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), FSA's policy is to automatically issue a stay of adverse action, such as foreclosure, until the complaint has been resolved. OCR has made modest progress in the length of time it takes to process discrimination complaints. USDA requires OCR to complete the investigative phase of processing a complaint within 180 days of accepting it. In fiscal year 2000, OCR took an average of 365 days to complete just the investigative phase. Although OCR slightly improved this average to 315 days in fiscal year 2001, this continues to exceed the department's internal 180-day requirement."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 25, 2002

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Department of Agriculture: Hispanic and Other Minority Farmers Would Benefit from Improvements in the Operations of the Civil Rights Program, text, September 25, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289389/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.