What 's the impact of USDA's big shrink?

Tuesday - 1/10/2012, 5:23pm EST

Tom Shoop, editor-in-chief, Government Executive

Download mp3

The big shrink is on at the Agriculture Department. The department announced plans to close 259 offices, labs and other facilities.

Secretary Tom Vilsack said the Blueprint for Stronger Service is part of a bid to save $150 million from the department's $145 billion budget.

However, critics charge it will have a negative impact on food safety.

Tom Shoop, the editor-in-chief of Government Executive magazine, joined In Depthwith Francis Rose to discuss what the closures might mean both for the agency itself as well as an example to others.

The plan seems to have garnered almost as many questions as answers: How many jobs will be lost? And how will USDA make up for the work done at these facilities?

RELATED LINKS:

Click here for a map of proposed USDA office closures.

Closing of 259 USDA offices raises safety concerns