USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on November 14 plans to streamline and improve several  USDA programs and processes, including the risk assessment and rulemaking process.

APHIS reviewed its risk assessment and rulemaking processes in response to requests from trading partners to ship new plants, animals, and products to the United States. APHIS said that by streamlining the drafting of risk assessments; improving project management and tracking; and assigning deadlines to specific steps in the process, the agency can expect to see dramatic improvements, including time-savings of more than 70 percent.

“Risk assessment and rulemaking are at the heart of APHIS’ efforts as a regulatory agency,” said Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Ed Avalos.  “Our ambitious review, however, found ways to capture significant time-savings while protecting agriculture and supporting trade. This change is part of our commitment to improving the customer experience by streamlining processes, accelerating delivery, and using innovative technologies.”

More details can be found here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2011/11/risk_assessment_process.shtml.