Food Stamp Program:

National Academy of Sciences' Recommendations on the Sanctions Backlog

RCED-88-36BR: Published: Oct 21, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the effect of certain National Academy of Sciences recommendations for handling the backlog of outstanding food stamp sanctions the Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has levied against states.

GAO found that: (1) states have paid only 5 of the 188 sanctions FNS has levied against them since fiscal year 1981; and (2) the Academy's proposal for handling the sanction backlog uses the same criteria as FNS to calculate the sanction amount, but different criteria to determine whether to sanction a state. GAO also found that the Academy recommendations would decrease the: (1) total sanctions assessed from 138 to 43; (2) total sanction liabilities from about $508 million to $300 million; and (3) number of states sanctioned from 49 to 25.

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