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USDA/FNS RIN: 0584-AD31 Publication ID: Fall 2009 
Title: Quality Control Provisions 
Abstract: This rule finalizes the interim rule "Non-Discretionary Quality Control Provisions of Title IV of Public Law 107-171" (published October 16, 2003 at 68 FR 59519) and the proposed rule "Discretionary Quality Control Provisions of Title IV of Public Law 107-171" (published September 23, 2005 at 70 FR 55776). The following quality control (QC) provisions required by sections 4118 and 4119 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (title IV of Pub. L. 107-171) and contained in the interim rule are implemented by this final rule: 1) Timeframes for completing quality control reviews; 2) Timeframes for completing the arbitration process; 3) Timeframes for determining final error rates; 4) The threshold for potential sanctions and time period for sanctions; 5) The calculation of State error rates; 6) The formula for determining States' liability amounts; 7) Sanction notification and method of payment; and 8) Corrective action plans. The following provisions required by sections 4118 and 4119 and additional policy and technical changes, and contained in the proposed rule, are implemented by this final rule. Legislative changes based on or required by sections 4118 and 4119: 1) Eliminate enhanced funding; 2) Establish timeframes for completing individual quality control reviews; and 3) Establish procedures for adjusting liability determinations following appeal decisions. Policy and technical changes: 1) Require State agency QC reviewers to attempt to complete review when a household refuses to cooperate; 2) Mandate FNS validation of negative sample for purposes of high performance bonuses; 3) Revise procedures for conducting negative case reviews; 4) Revise timeframes for household penalties for refusal to cooperate with State and Federal QC reviews; 5) Revise procedures for QC reviews of demonstration and SSA processed cases; 6) Eliminate requirement to report differences resulting from Federal information exchange systems (FIX) errors; 7) Eliminate references to integrated QC; and 8) Update definitions section to remove out-dated definitions. (02-014) 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 273; 7 CFR 275 
Legal Authority: 7 USC 2011 to 2032; PL 107-171 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The rule is needed to implement the food stamp quality control provisions of Public Law 107-171, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The legal basis for this rule is Public Law 107-171, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.

Alternatives: This rule deals with changes required by Public Law 107-171, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The Department has no discretion in implementing the time frames for completing quality control reviews, the arbitration process, and determining the final error rates; the threshold for potential sanctions and the time period for the sanctions; the calculation for State error rates; the formula for determining liability amounts; the sanction notification; method of payment for liabilities; corrective action planning, and the elimination of enhanced funding. These provisions were effective for the fiscal year 2003 quality control review period and must have been implemented by FNS and State agencies during fiscal year 2003. This rule also deals in part with discretionary changes to the quality control system resulting from Public Law 107-171. The provision addressing results of appeals is required to be regulated by Public Law 107-171. The remaining changes amend existing regulations and are required to make technical changes resulting from these changes or to update policy consistent with current requirements.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The provisions of this rule are not anticipated to have any impact on benefit levels or administrative costs.

Risks: The FSP provides nutrition assistance to millions of Americans nationwide. The quality control system measures the accuracy of States providing food stamp benefits to the program recipients. This rule is intended to implement the quality control provisions of Public Law 107-701, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. It will significantly revise the system for determining State agency liabilities and sanctions for high payment error rates.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  10/16/2003  68 FR 59519 
Interim Final Rule Effective  12/15/2003   
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  01/14/2004   
NPRM  09/23/2005  70 FR 55776 
NPRM Comment Period End  12/22/2005   
Final Action  03/00/2010   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Merged with 0584-AD37 
Agency Contact:
James F Herbert
Regulatory Review Specialist
Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
3101 Park Center Drive,
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone:703 305-2572
Email: james.herbert@fns.usda.gov

 
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