Food Stamp Program:
Error Rate Adjustments and Sanctions
RCED-88-10: Published: Oct 22, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 1987.
In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) procedures for adjusting states' Food Stamp Program error rates to account for uncompleted state quality control reviews.
GAO found that: (1) adjustments for uncompleted case reviews were relatively small for 1984 and 1985; (2) only one state suffered an increased sanction because of an error-rate adjustment; (3) adjustments may vary for states with similar review completion rates; (4) some states with similar completion rates received different adjustments; (5) the variations occurred because FNS considered regressed error rates and error-rate standard deviations in determining adjustments; and (6) FNS followed its usual rulemaking process in setting the adjustment procedure.
- Review Pending
- Closed - implemented
- Closed - not implemented
Recommendation for Executive Action
Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Administrator, FNS, to devise a sanction process that separates financial penalties for uncompleted reviews from financial penalties for exceeding the target error rate. An alternative for doing so could entail a graduated sanction based on the extent to which states do not complete the prescribed number of reviews.
Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture
Status: Closed - Not Implemented
Comments: According to USDA, the Hunger Prevention Act eliminated the step function used in the sanction computation, thereby, eliminating the reason for this recommendation.