Electronic Benefits Transfer Task Force

RCED-96-97R: Published: Mar 27, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Task Force, focusing on: (1) the source of its funding; and (2) how it uses its funding. GAO noted that: (1) between 1994 and 1995, the Food and Consumer Service, Financial Management Service, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Social Security Administration (SSA) provided a total of $8.1 million to the Task Force; (2) the Task Force is supported by direct payments, in-kind contributions, and funding for salaries and benefits; (3) of the four agencies, the Food and Consumer Service was the single largest contributor of funds; (4) for 1996, the Food and Consumer Service and Financial Management Service intend to provide the Task Force $2 million and $250,000, respectively; (5) HHS and SSA are unable to commit any funds to the Task Force because they have not received their 1996 appropriations; (6) the Task Force used its funds to pay employee salaries and benefits, administrative expenses, and for contract support; (7) most of the Task Force's 1995 expenditures were for contract support because it relies heavily on contractors to provide technical assistance in carrying out its objectives; (8) the Task Force's contractural efforts have helped it develop an initial strategy to establish a nationwide EBT system and the requirements for a prototype EBT system; and (9) although each agency continues to support the Task Force's objectives, they also continue to promote their own EBT systems.

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