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Monday, November 06, 2006

Forest Service centralizes business functions at N.M. site

The Forest Service is centralizing its human resources, financial management and information technology functions in Albuquerque, N.M., to improve service and reduce costs.

“We’re no different than other non-Defense government agencies. Our budgets are flat, our fixed costs are increasing, and we’ve got to get to the most efficient, leanest organization possible,” said Hank Kashdan, deputy chief of business operations at the Forest Service.

Consolidating the three functions began in fiscal 2005 and should be completed by next September. Once complete, the centralization will save the Agriculture Department bureau $100 million a year — roughly a third of the budget spent on those services today, Kashdan said.

Consolidating the functions also will improve efficiency, help the agency meet accounting standards and increase the number of employees served by a single personnel specialist, he said.

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