[Review of Food and Nutrition Service Child Nutrition Programs Accounting Procedures]
B-221204-O.M.: Jan 31, 1986
- Full Report:
Inquiries were made regarding the propriety of the accounting procedures that the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) used in the operation of federal child nutrition programs. Under current FNS procedures, states' claims for meals provided under the programs in September of each fiscal year (FY) are paid with funds available for the subsequent FY. GAO noted that, although none of the FNS appropriation acts since FY 1982 contained a provision for the reimbursement of September claims in the following FY, FNS has continued this procedure. GAO found that FNS: (1) did not have specific statutory authority in each FY to operate the child nutrition programs on a cash basis, rather than on an accrual basis; (2) violated the bona fide need rule because meals served in September of one FY can be a bona fide need of that FY only and may not be charged to the subsequent year's appropriation; and (3) had specific statutory authority in FY 1981 and FY 1982 to overcome these rules, but the appropriation acts for FY 1983 through FY 1986 do not include this authority.