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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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M-I-06-3: FDA's ORO/DFSR Cooperative Programs Liaison Functions Transferred to CFSAN/DCP

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January 10, 2006

TO: All Regional Food and Drug Directors
Attn: Regional Milk Specialists

FROM: Milk Safety Branch (HFS-626)

SUBJECT: FDA's ORO/DFSR Cooperative Programs Liaison Functions Transferred to CFSAN/DCP

The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Regional Operations (ORO) is reorganizing the Division of Federal-State Relations (DFSR) as a result of staffing and FTE allocations and ceilings. DFSR is currently organized into three staffs, Communications and Public Affairs, Contracts and Grants, and Federal-State Programs. For most of the past fiscal year, the Federal-State Program Staff has operated with only a Staff Manager and a single Federal-State Programs Specialist. As a result of staff retirements and departures, and with no prospect for hiring new staff in the foreseeable future, the decision has been made to discontinue operations of the Federal-State Programs Staff in DFSR.

Effective January 9th, 2006, most of the DFSR functions related to FDA's Cooperative Programs (milk, retail food, and shellfish) have been transferred to CFSAN's Division of Cooperative Programs (DCP), along with the management position. We are pleased to announce that Kevin Smith will be joining DCP, Office of Compliance, as the Special Assistant to the Director. Most cooperative program functions traditionally coordinated through DFSR to our stakeholders will now rest with DCP. These include programmatic communications, national Conference activities (NCIMS, CFP, and ISSC), representation at regional conferences, and others.

DFSR will continue to work with DCP and the ORA Cooperative Program Directors on any evolving issues and programmatic activities as needed. DFSR will also continue to support communication with State and local agencies through our email/fax broadcast system, 50-State calls, and program specific Listservs, attendance and liaison with national and regional state/local associations and meetings, and the other functions that have traditionally been a part of the DFSR.

The Directors of DCP and DFSR will maintain communications and coordination to ensure that our internal and external stakeholders are kept abreast of activities, issues and concerns regarding the cooperative programs.

This reorganization will benefit both organizations (ORA and CFSAN) and the various constituents we serve. It will consolidate the Cooperative Programs responsibility and leadership within DCP/CFSAN and the National Steering Committees. Plans have been put in place for a smooth transition of functions and services. Given the budget constraints under which we all operate, we firmly believe that this is an equitable solution for all parties that can and will be beneficial to the continued success of the Cooperative Programs.

As the Federal-State Cooperative Programs and the Conference process have a successful track record in public health protection, we trust that you will work with us through this transition and for our continued success.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or concerns as we move forward.

Faye Feldstein, Director, Division of Cooperative Programs, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Richard H. Barnes, Director, Division of Federal-State Relations

An electronic version of this memorandum is available for distribution to Regional Milk Specialists, State Milk Regulatory Agencies, State Laboratory Evaluation Officers and State Rating Officers in your region. The electronic version should be widely distributed to representatives of the dairy industry and other interested parties and will also be available on the FDA Web site at http://www.fda.gov/food at a later date.

If you would like an electronic version of this document prior to it being available on the CFSAN Web Site, please e-mail your request to Robert.Hennes@fda.hhs.gov

CAPT Robert F. Hennes, RS, MPH, Chief
Milk Safety Branch