Food Stamp Receipts:

Who's Watching the Money?

CED-77-76: Published: Jun 15, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1977.

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Misuses and mishandling of over $34 million in food stamp receipts went undetected for extended periods because neither the Food and Nutrition Service nor the States were effectively monitoring the agents who sold food stamps.

Known major weaknesses in the monitoring system at both the Federal and State levels were allowed to continue for years without adequate efforts to correct them. Reported deposits were not verified; agents' depositing patterns were not monitored; and there was no follow up when agents failed to submit required reports. The Service's computer-produced management reports, designed to identify problem agents, were not usable because they listed too many agents without problems, as well as agents with problems. Although some improvements have been made, much more needs to be done.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: Several changes should be made in the present accountability system in order to reduce the number of invalid exceptions on cash reconciliation and other reports and to improve the reports' reliability and usefulness for monitoring agent accountability. Regardless of the changes made in the accountability system, the Secretary of Agriculture should require the Service to: provide the States and its regional offices with their respective sections of any management reports and other accountability-related reports prepared by the Service or others; disseminate regulations on the respective responsibilities of the States and the Service; and provide special help to States having the most serious problems in monitoring agent accountability.

    Agency Affected:

 

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