Food and Drug Administration

Insufficient Planning for Field Laboratory Consolidation Decisions Gao ID: HRD-88-21 December 4, 1987

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) plans to close or consolidate its field laboratories, particularly the: (1) criteria it used to determine which of its laboratories to close or merge; (2) cost-effectiveness of the closings; and (3) impact of the closings on FDA ability to carry out its functions.

GAO found that FDA: (1) plans to close five of its field laboratories in order to reduce excess capacity; (2) did not consider any cost-effective alternatives to closure or the impact of closure on its future needs; (3) overstated some of the costs and savings it would realize from the proposed closure, and understated or omitted others; and (4) did not take into consideration possible increases in future shipping costs, sample transportation times, and laboratory processing times in making its decision.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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