Food Stamp Program: Discretionary Quality Control Provisions of Title IV of Public Law 107-171
On May 13, 2002, the President signed the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. Title IV of that law, the Food Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2002, contains provisions substantively revising the Quality Control system. This rule proposes to amend the Food Stamp Program regulations to implement certain discretionary provisions concerning the Quality Control system in Sections 4118 and 4119 of the Food Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2002. This rule would establish new timeframes for completing individual Quality Control reviews and establish procedures for resolving liabilities following appeal decisions. This rule proposes to revise the negative case review procedures and provides procedures for households that break up while subject to the penalty for refusal to cooperate with a Quality Control review. This rule also proposes several additional policy changes and technical corrections, including deletion of material pertaining to enhanced administrative funding for low error rates, which was ended beginning in Fiscal Year 2003 by the statute. An interim rule published October 16, 2003, addressed certain non-discretionary provisions concerning the Quality Control system in Sections 4118 and 4119 of the Food Stamp Reauthorization Act. The high performance bonuses that replace the administrative enhanced funding are addressed in a separate rule published February 7, 2005. This rule would affect State agencies' quality control review operations, and it would alter the impact on State agencies of assessment and resolution of potential liabilities for excessive payment error rates and awarding of bonuses for superior performance. Households sampled for quality control review of their cases would be minimally affected by this rule.