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Mr. SAWYER. Yes, sir.

Senator PRYOR. And you've been with GAO how long?
Mr. SAWYER. Ten years.

Senator PRYOR. And Mr. Spruill, what about you?

Mr. SPRUILL. I've been with GAO about nine years. I have an undergraduate degree in computer science and economics. I have an MBA in management from Golden Gate University.

Senator PRYOR. All right. Now my first question-and I think if you will search the record that you will find the biggest supporter of GAO in the whole United States Senate is the junior Senator from Arkansas, me. I'm a big fan of GAO. So I want to put my credentials out there before I say this.

Now how are you qualified to assess morale in a chicken plant? Mr. USILANER. Well, a key ingredient of any productivity and quality improvement effort is the human resources of that organization or that plant or that firm. Part of my doctorate was in organizational psychology. If you go to any company that has been successful in productivity and quality management, they will tell you that the key to their success is how they treat their employees. Employee attitudes are the best predictor of employee behavior which results in the performance-whether it be good or poor quality or good or poor productivity. We constantly build into our work this assessment of morale, motivation and attitudes that are positively or negatively impacting productivity or quality.

Senator PRYOR. Do you think you could go over to the Russell Building in my office and spend a couple of hours and see how the morale of Senator Pryor's staff or Senator Bumper's staff or Senator Roth's staff might be?

Senator COHEN. Outside the presence of Senator Bumpers.

Senator PRYOR. Do you think you could assess that? [Laughter.] Well, how many plants did you visit?

Mr. SAWYER. We've been to four plants.

Senator PRYOR. Four poultry plants. Now the next question is this. How many inspectors did you interview?

Mr. SAWYER. We haven't specifically sat down to interview inspectors. Our visits were primarily to get a feel for the operations and to understand the operations. We talked to a few of the inspectors or the veterinary medical officers there just to get their opinions on the overall operations of the plant.

Senator PRYOR. You know, this is a very interesting concept to me because I have never in my years in the Congress seen the GAO come forward in public with a preliminary report that was not finished and not even half finished. Isn't this unique?

Mr. USILANER. We emphasized in our statement that these are preliminary observations and I also mentioned what we plan to document in the remaining part of our work. I emphasized that several times in my statement.

Senator PRYOR. How broad is your mandate? Do you get to look further than FSIS? Are you going to look at the Food and Drug Administration?

Mr. USILANER. The whole focus of this job was that the concern is for quality and productivity management in all inspection functions throughout the Federal Government. You have a situation now where you've having cut-backs that are affecting all types of

inspections. It's not just poultry. The key issue is how do you balance productivity improvements with quality or quality of service that is so important? And this is just the first area in our work. As I mentioned, we picked Agriculture because they have the largest number of inspectors, and within Agriculture FŠIS had the largest number.

Senator PRYOR. Well, why did you go after poultry in this particular report? Why didn't you look at red meat, for example? Why was poultry the one that you first targeted?

Mr. SAWYER. The way we got started, and as Mr. Usilaner mentioned, we are out of our Norfolk office, and the way GAO is organized, the Norfolk office is responsible for the States of North Carolina and Virginia. And as we started our work in that area, those two States fall within the Southeastern Region of USDA/FSIS, and that Southeastern Region is responsible for approximately 60 to 65 percent of the nation's poultry, and that's how we ended up in poultry.

Senator PRYOR. Well, they've got the biggest hog farm in the world in North Carolina, and that's in your district, isn't it?

er.

Mr. SAWYER. They were told that the swine industry was a sleep

Senator PRYOR. Was a what?

Mr. SAWYER. A sleeper.

Senator PRYOR. What does that mean?

Mr. SAWYER. They said that it meant that they have several larger plants, that if those plants were to close it would have a great impact on the economy.

Senator PRYOR. Well, how long will it take to complete just the report on poultry? How long will that take GAO?

Mr. SPRUILL. Senator, if I may respond. We had anticipated at this time doing a separate report solely on poultry. It so happened that we had visited poultry plants in an area that has a lot of poultry at the time the hearings came about, but we still plan to look at red meats.

Senator PRYOR. Are you going to look at some of these places that have shell fish and lobsters and things like that?

Mr. USILANER. No.

Senator PRYOR. Why?

Mr. USILANER. Because we are looking at the Federal inspection function.

Senator PRYOR. And there is no inspection of those; is that correct?

Mr. USILANER. Well, that's right.

Senator PRYOR. Well, as a member of this Subcommittee, I'm hereby requesting you to look into the Food and Drug Administration and see why these lobsters are not inspected. For example, look here. This mail order catalogue came to my desk just yesterday. It says the "Maine Event," and look at all these lobsters in here. They are not inspected and they're going through the mails. I'm hereby asking GAO to give equal attention to those items of consumer goods we eat that are not inspected, and I'll put that in writing to you.

Mr. USILANER. Yes, sir.

Senator PRYOR. I'm not trying to be smart with you, but I am just trying to say that one thing is very clear. We're going after one segment in a preliminary report. I've seen this done before in a committee, and it's really very upsetting to me to see GAO being used like this. I'm very sorry about it.

Mr. USILANER. Senator, we've just started the work, and the work was focused on inspection functions throughout the Federal Government. We're working with the Subcommittee staff and they wanted us to look at Agriculture first, and FSIS was the largest. As I mentioned about in my testimony, we are in the preliminary stages and we've drawn no conclusions or recommendations. These are observations to date.

At this point we have not been able to document any objective measures of quality of the plants or of the inspectors' performance. That doesn't mean that we're going to stop at poultry. We are going to continue to look at other functions throughout the Federal Government.

Mr. SAWYER. I would like to also add that our preliminary observations on the lack of objective quality measures apply to all inspectors and not just poultry.

Senator PRYOR. Will you say that again, please?

Mr. SAWYER. The preliminary observations that we have in our statement about the lack of quality measures and the lack of being able to assess plant quality applies to all plants and all inspectors and not specifically poultry.

Senator PRYOR. I believe that's all the questions I have.

Senator LEVIN. Senator Bumpers.

Senator BUMPERS. I'm not a member of this Committee. So I want to thank the Chairman very much and I'll be very brief, Mr. Chairman. But I do appreciate your allowing me to participate for just a moment.

Let me start off with this observation. The first year I was elected Governor in 1971 poultry consumption in this country was about 17 pounds per capita, and at that time red meat consumption was close to 110 to 115 pounds per capita. This year, 1987, it's anticipated that consumption of those two products will be equal.

Now I have cattle farmers in my State, and we're not a big cattle State, but I have an in interest in their welfare also.

No. 1, I personally believe that the biggest bargain for the consumer on food in this country is poultry, not the least of which reasons are that the techniques and the technology used in producing poultry and in poultry processing have improved just exponentially.

But let me ask you gentlemen this. No. 1, when you consider the economics of this issue, who do you think has the greatest interest in producing a quality product for Mr. and Mrs. America when it comes to poultry?

Mr. USILANER. The poultry manufacturer.

Senator BUMPERS. Absolutely. So, first of all, I think the suggestion here that somehow or other the poultry people in this country really don't care about what kind of a product they put out is most fallacious and illogical. Do you agree with that?

Mr. USILANER. I agree. In fact, I just visited a plant last Friday and I was extremely impressed with the cooperative nature be

tween plant management and the FSIS inspection staff. Both have the same goal, and that goal is to produce a quality product. They work closely together in achieving that end and in fact the inspector-in-charge said the key to the success of that plant is the cooperative nature and concern that both have for a quality product. I was extremely impressed with that.

Senator BUMPERS. And when 60 Minutes or GAO or anybody else hones in on a particular industry which employs one out of every 12 people in my State, I wonder why that is when all the statistics I've seen, for example, for the Center for Disease Control show that the presence of salmonella-that is outbreaks of salmonella, people who actually get sick from it-the numbers are much greater for dairy products or red meat and especially for seafood. Poultry is way down the list.

So could you tell me why the focus is on poultry?

Mr. USILANER. The focus is not on poultry.

Senator BUMPERS. Well, you just got through answering Senator Pryor a moment ago that you're not going to check seafood. Is that correct?

Mr. USILANER. Our

Senator PRYOR. It is now. [Laughter.]

Mr. USILANER. Our mandate from the Subcommittee was to review the productivity and quality of Federal inspection functions. Now since there is no Federal inspection function now going on, that wasn't within the scope of the request.

Senator BUMPERS. Let me make one other observation. I mean Dr. Houston has been very forthright and very open about this, and Senator Pryor and I are not here to defend a product that isn't quality or a product that's contaminated. We're here to make certain as a matter of fact that it is a quality product, but we don't want to be discriminated against either because it is our biggest industry and the only bright light in our whole economy in Arkansas right now.

Mr. USILANER. I understand your point of view.

Senator BUMPERS. But if you look at CDC's figures you will also find that in the incidents of outbreaks of salmonellosis it is almost invariable from a public facility, a school cafeteria, a restaurant or some other place where the quality of the product when it came out of the processing plant obviously had nothing to do with the outbreak.

Are you going to check public facilities that serve poultry?

Mr. USILANER. No. As I said, we were just focusing on productivity and quality management of Federal inspection operations. Checking on public facilities is not within the scope of our review. As I said, there were 76,000 employees Federal employees doing inspection functions in many agencies. We feel that if we can document productivity and quality improvements in a handful they will be transferable to other Federal inspection functions. We have a very limited scope, sir, and I want to make that point clear, but I still appreciate what you have said.

Mr. SPRUILL. I would like to just add one point to that. I believe that the key to handling the problems with outbreaks in public facilities rests on better, well coordinated consumer education relative to food handling and preparation.

Senator BUMPERS. I want to say I agree with that, and I'm sure the point has already been made, that if you don't want to get salmonella from poultry or anything else, cook it. I don't know many people who eat raw chicken. And, you know, 140 degrees kills any salmonella. Dr. Houston, I heard him on 60 Minutes saying 35 percent of the product has some possibility of salmonella.

Mr. SPRUILL. Part of the problem there though may be that the food may be cooked well, but in handling it and preparing it it may have come in contact with other surfaces and other foods, including vegetables. So you can spread salmonella that way. You can have well cooked food, but have it in your salad.

Senator BUMPERS. Well, I want to say this is not to denigrate the great State of Maine or their distinguished Senator, but my personal testimonial is I've seen sick a few times in my life with food poisoning and all but one has been after I ate seafood. So you can understand why Senator Pryor and I may just be suffering from a shade of paranoia about this whole thing.

Mr. USILANER. I want to continue to underscore that the poultry industry was not the focus of our work.

Senator BUMPERS. Mr. Chairman, you've been very kind and indulgent and I appreciate it. I won't take any further time now or later.

Senator LEVIN. We're happy to have you, Senator Bumpers.

Let me just make one reiteration as to what we are about here this morning. We are looking into the management of the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture. We are not looking into any one industry. There are many industries covered by that, as a matter fact, both the processing and the slaughtering and number of other things.

We are not focusing on any particular industry.

Mr. USILANER. And we are not assessing the job that a particular industry does or doesn't do.

Senator LEVIN. And I want to just state that as positively as I can. We are just looking at the overall management of the FSIS. That's the purpose of this hearing, and I want to assure everybody we are not focusing on any one particular part of our food industry at all. We are looking at the overall management of the FSIS. Now Senator Cohen.

Senator COHEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was just going to bring that point back into focus. It has been at least implied that somehow there is a need on the part of the Maine lobster to try and take some competition away from Arkansas poultry, and I don't think there is that competition.

Senator BUMPERS. You can't do it. Don't try. [Laughter.]

Senator COHEN. I don't think there is any competition, but I'm delighted to have Senator Pryor or Senator Bumpers offer an advertisement for Maine lobster. That's not the purpose of the hearing. It was to oversee, to conduct our oversight responsibilities in terms of whether we're having an adequate management of the Food, Safety and Inspection System, period.

And, secondly, with respect to the GAO testifying on a preliminary basis, I believe this Subcommittee has been well versed in the entire issue of computer matching and GAO consistently during

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