On March 28, 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a review of USDA’s oversight of Research and Promotion Programs. The purpose of the review was to help the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) identify areas of oversight that could be improved.

The Cotton Board Chairman John Clark, an importer from Los Angeles, Calif., praised the oversight activities of the Agricultural Marketing Service, citing his experience working with the Agency as well as the OIG review. “Over the years I have come to appreciate the dedication and thoroughness of AMS officials who work directly with The Cotton Board. AMS officials attend our meetings, routinely review contacts, financial statements and other operational documents, and cooperatively engage the Board Members as we carry out our work. AMS oversight helps The Cotton Board implement the Cotton Research and Promotion Program in accordance with law and ensures we safeguard and effectively utilize stakeholder funds. This high level of AMS oversight should be reassuring to stakeholders in the program,” said Clark.

Clark noted that the OIG review made only two concrete recommendations regarding AMS oversight. “The relative lack of recommendations on the part of OIG is a clear signal that AMS is carrying out its oversight role extremely well,” he stated.

(For complete USDA release, see here.)