The Senate Ag Committee held a hearing on the January 2006 report of an audit USDA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted on the management and administration of the Packers and Stockyards act by USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). OIG concluded "GIPSA had not established an adequate control structure and environment that allowed the agency to oversee and manage its investigative activities for P&SP."

GIPSA Administrator James Link vowed to implement the recommendations of the OIG. Members of the committee asked the agency to report back to the committee within 90 days on the agency's progress in implementing the recommendations.

In addition, the committee wanted a status report on GIPSA's review of the Packers and Stockyards Act. GIPSA had told the committee in 2003 the agency was reviewing the act to determine if new authority was needed. The OIG report was at the request of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent