(a) General Program management. Each State agency shall provide an adequate number of consultative, technical and managerial personnel to administer programs and monitor performance in complying with all Program requirements.
(1) Compliance with nutrition standards.(i) Beginning with School Year 1996-1997, State agencies shall evaluate compliance, over the school week, with the nutrition standards for lunches and, as applicable, for breakfasts. Review activity may be confined to lunches served under the Program unless a menu planning approach is used exclusively in the School Breakfast Program or unless the school food authority only offers breakfasts under the School Breakfast Program. For lunches, compliance with the requirements in §§ 210.10(b) and 210.10(c), (d), or (i)(1) or the procedures developed under § 210.10(l), as applicable, is assessed. For breakfasts, see § 220.13(f)(3) of this chapter.
(A) These evaluations may be conducted at the same time a school food authority is scheduled for an administrative review in accordance with § 210.18. State agencies may also conduct these evaluations in conjunction with technical assistance visits, other reviews, or separately.
(B) The type of evaluation conducted by the State agency shall be determined by the menu planning approach chosen by the school food authority. At a minimum, the State agency shall review at least one school for each type of menu planning approach used in the school food authority.
(C) In addition, State agencies are encouraged to review breakfasts offered under the School Breakfast Program as well if the school food authority requires technical assistance from the State agency to meet the nutrition standards or if corrective action is needed. Such review shall determine compliance with the appropriate requirements in § 220.13(f)(3) of this chapter and may be done at the time of the initial review or as part of a follow-up to assess compliance with the nutrition standards.
(ii) At a minimum, State agencies shall conduct evaluations of compliance with the nutrition standards in §§ 210.10 and 220.8 of this Chapter at least once during each 5-year review cycle provided that each school food authority is evaluated at least once every 6 years, except that the first cycle shall begin July 1, 1996, and shall end on June 30, 2003. The compliance evaluation for the nutrition standards shall be conducted on the menu for any week of the current school year in which such evaluation is conducted. The week selected must continue to represent the current menu planning approach(es).
(iii) For school food authorities choosing the nutrient standard or assisted nutrient standard menu planning approaches provided in § 210.10(i), § 210.10(j), § 220.8(e) or § 220.8(f) of this chapter, or developed under the procedures in § 210.10(l) or § 220.8(h) of this chapter, the State agency shall assess the nutrient analysis to determine if the school food authority is properly applying the methodology in these paragraphs, as applicable. Part of this assessment shall be an independent review of menus and production records to determine if they correspond to the analysis conducted by the school food authority and if the menu, as offered, over a school week, corresponds to the nutrition standards set forth in § 210.10(b) and the appropriate calorie and nutrient levels in § 210.10(c) or § 210.10(i)(1), whichever is applicable.
(iv) For school food authorities choosing the food-based menu planning approaches provided in § 210.10(k) or § 220.8(g) of this chapter or developed under the procedures in § 210.10(l) or § 220.8(h) of this chapter, the State agency must determine if the nutrition standards in §§ 210.10 and 220.8 of this chapter are met. The State agency shall conduct a nutrient analysis in accordance with the procedures in § 210.10(i) or § 220.8(e) of this chapter, as appropriate, except that the State agency may:
(A) Use the nutrient analysis of any school or school food authority that offers lunches or breakfasts using the food-based menu planning approaches provided in §§ 210.10(k) and 220.8(g) of this chapter and that conducts its own nutrient analysis under the criteria for such analysis established in §§ 210.10 and 220.8 of this chapter for the nutrient standard and assisted nutrient standard menu planning approaches; or
(B) Develop its own method for compliance reviews, subject to USDA approval.
(v) If the menu for the school week fails to comply with the nutrition standards specified in § 210.10(b) and/or § 220.8(a) and the appropriate nutrient levels in either § 210.10(c), § 210.10(d), or § 210.10(i)(1) whichever is applicable, and/or § 220.8(b), § 220.8(c) or § 220.8(e)(1) of this chapter, whichever is applicable, the school food authority shall develop, with the assistance and concurrence of the State agency, a corrective action plan designed to rectify those deficiencies. The State agency shall monitor the school food authority's execution of the plan to ensure that the terms of the corrective action plan are met.
(vi) For school food authorities following an alternate approach as provided under § 210.10(l) or § 220.8(h) of this chapter that does not allow for use of the monitoring procedures in paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) or (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the State agency shall monitor compliance following the procedures developed in accordance with § 210.10(l) or § 220.8(h) of this chapter, whichever is appropriate.
(vii) If a school food authority fails to meet the terms of the corrective action plan, the State agency shall determine if the school food authority is working in good faith towards compliance and, if so, may renegotiate the corrective action plan, if warranted. However, if the school food authority has not been acting in good faith to meet the terms of the corrective action plan and refuses to renegotiate the plan, the State agency shall determine if a disallowance of reimbursement funds as authorized under paragraph (c) of this section is warranted.
(2) Assurance of compliance for finances. Each State agency shall ensure that school food authorities comply with the requirements to account for all revenues and expenditures of their nonprofit school food service. School food authorities shall meet the requirements for the allowability of nonprofit school food service expenditures in accordance with this part and, 7 CFR part 3015 and 7 CFR part 3016, or 7 CFR part 3019, as applicable. All costs resulting from contracts that do not meet the requirements of this part are unallowable nonprofit school food service account expenses. When the school food authority fails to incorporate State agency required changes to solicitation or contract documents, all costs resulting from the subsequent contract award are unallowable charges to the nonprofit school food service account. The State agency shall ensure compliance with the requirements to limit net cash resources and shall provide for approval of net cash resources in excess of three months' average expenditures. Each State agency shall monitor, through review or audit or by other means, the net cash resources of the nonprofit school food service in each school food authority participating in the Program. In the event that net cash resources exceed 3 months' average expenditures for the school food authority's nonprofit school food service or such other amount as may be approved in accordance with this paragraph, the State agency may require the school food authority to reduce the price children are charged for lunches, improve food quality or take other action designed to improve the nonprofit school food service. In the absence of any such action, the State agency shall make adjustments in the rate of reimbursement under the Program. Each State agency shall ensure that school food authorities comply with the requirements for pricing paid lunches and nonprogram foods as required in § 210.14(e) and § 210.14(f).
(3) Improved management practices. The State agency shall work with the school food authority toward improving the school food authority's management practices where the State agency has found poor food service management practices leading to decreasing or low child participation and/or poor child acceptance of the Program or of foods served. If a substantial number of children who routinely and over a period of time do not favorably accept a particular item that is offered; return foods; or choose less than all food items/components or foods and menu items, as authorized under § 210.10, poor acceptance of certain menus may be indicated.
(4) Program compliance. Each State agency shall require that school food authorities comply with the applicable provisions of this part. The State agency shall ensure compliance through audits, administrative reviews, technical assistance, training guidance materials or by other means.
(5) Investigations. Each State agency shall promptly investigate complaints received or irregularities noted in connection with the operation of the Program, and shall take appropriate action to correct any irregularities. State agencies shall maintain on file, evidence of such investigations and actions. FNS and OIG may make reviews or investigations at the request of the State agency or where FNS or OIG determines reviews or investigations are appropriate.
(6) Food service management companies. Each State agency shall annually review each contract (including all supporting documentation) between any school food authority and food service management company to ensure compliance with all the provisions and standards set forth in this part before execution of the contract by either party. When the State agency develops a prototype contract for use by the school food authority that meets the provisions and standards set forth in this part, this annual review may be limited to changes made to that contract. Each State agency shall review each contract amendment between a school food authority and food service management company to ensure compliance with all the provisions and standards set forth in this part before execution of the amended contract by either party. The State agency may establish due dates for submission of the contract or contract amendment documents. Each State agency shall perform an on-site review of each school food authority contracting with a food service management company, at least once during each 5-year period. The State agency is encouraged to conduct such a review when performing reviews in accordance with § 210.18. Such reviews shall include an assessment of the school food authority's compliance with § 210.16 of this part. The State agency may require that all food service management companies that wish to contract for food service with any school food authority in the State register with the State agency. State agencies shall provide assistance upon request of a school food authority to assure compliance with Program requirements.
(b) Donated food distribution information. Information on schools eligible to receive donated foods available under section 6 of the National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1755) shall be prepared each year by the State agency with accompanying information on the average daily number of lunches to be served in such schools. This information shall be prepared as early as practicable each school year and forwarded no later than September 1 to the Distributing agency. The State agency shall be responsible for promptly revising the information to reflect additions or deletions of eligible schools, and for providing such adjustments in participation as are determined necessary by the State agency. Schools shall be consulted by the Distributing agency with respect to the needs of such schools relating to the manner of selection and distribution of commodity assistance.
(c) Fiscal action. State agencies are responsible for ensuring Program integrity at the school food authority level. State agencies shall take fiscal action against school food authorities for Claims for Reimbursement that are not properly payable under this part including, if warranted, the disallowance of funds for failure to take corrective action in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section. In taking fiscal action, State agencies shall use their own procedures within the constraints of this part and shall maintain all records pertaining to action taken under this section. The State agency may refer to FNS for assistance in making a claims determination under this part.
(1) Definition. Fiscal action includes, but is not limited to, the recovery of overpayment through direct assessment or offset of future claims, disallowance of overclaims as reflected in unpaid Claims for Reimbursement, submission of a revised Claim for Reimbursement, and correction of records to ensure that unfiled Claims for Reimbursement are corrected when filed. Fiscal action also includes disallowance of funds for failure to take corrective action in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(2) General principles. When taking fiscal action, State agencies shall consider the following:
(i) The State agency shall identify the school food authority's correct entitlement and take fiscal action when any school food authority claims or receives more Federal funds than earned under § 210.7 of this part. In order to take fiscal action, the State agency shall identify accurate counts of reimbursable lunches through available data, if possible. In the absence of reliable data, the State agency shall reconstruct the lunch accounts in accordance with procedures established by FNS. Such procedures will be based on the best available information including, participation factors for the review period, data from similar schools in the school food authority, etc.
(ii) Unless otherwise specified under § 210.18(m) of this part, fiscal action shall be extended back to the beginning of the school year or that point in time during the current school year when the infraction first occurred, as applicable. Based on the severity and longevity of the problem, the State agency may extend fiscal action back to previous school years, as applicable. The State agency shall ensure that any Claim for Reimbursement, filed subsequent to the reviews conducted under § 210.18 and prior to the implementation of corrective action, is limited to lunches eligible for reimbursement under this part.
(iii) In taking fiscal action, State agencies shall assume that children determined by the reviewer to be incorrectly approved for free and reduced price lunches participated at the same rate as correctly approved children in the corresponding lunch category.
(3) Failure to collect. If a State agency fails to disallow a claim or recover an overpayment from a school food authority, as described in this section, FNS will notify the State agency that a claim may be assessed against the State agency. In all such cases, the State agency shall have full opportunity to submit evidence concerning overpayment. If after considering all available information, FNS determines that a claim is warranted, FNS will assess a claim in the amount of such overpayment against the State agency. If the State agency fails to pay any such demand for funds promptly, FNS will reduce the State agency's Letter of Credit by the sum due in accordance with FNS' existing offset procedures for Letter of Credit. In such event, the State agency shall provide the funds necessary to maintain Program operations at the level of earnings from a source other than the Program.
(4) Interest charge. If an agreement cannot be reached with the State agency for payment of its debts or for offset of debts on its current Letter of Credit, interest will be charged against the State agency from the date the demand leter was sent, at the rate established by the Secretary of Treasury.
(5) Use of recovered payment. The amounts recovered by the State agency from school food authorities may be utilized during the fiscal year for which the funds were initially available, first, to make payments to school food authorities for the purposes of the Program; and second, to repay any State funds expended in the reimbursement of claims under the Program and not otherwise repaid. Any amounts recovered which are not so utilized shall be returned to FNS in accordance with the requirements of this part.
(6) Exceptions. The State agency need not disallow payment or collect an overpayment arising out of the situations described in paragraphs (c)(6)(i) through (c)(6)(iii) of this section; provided that the school food authority corrects the problem(s) to the satisfaction of the State agency:
(i) When any review or audit reveals that a school food authority is failing to meet the quantities for each meal element (food item/component, menu item or other items, as applicable) as required under § 210.10.
(ii) When any review or audit reveals that a school food authority is approving applications which indicate that the households' incomes are within the Income Eligibility Guidelines issued by the Department or the applications contain SNAP or TANF case numbers or FDPIR case numbers or other FDPIR identifiers but the applications are missing the information specified in paragraph (1)(ii) of the definition of Documentation in § 245.2 of this chapter; or
(iii) when any review or audit reveals that a school food authority's failure to meet the nutrition standards of § 210.10 is unintentional and the school food authority is meeting the requirements of a corrective plan developed and agreed to under paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section.
(7) Claims adjustment. FNS will have the authority to determine the amount of, to settle, and to adjust any claim arising under the Program, and to compromise or deny such claim or any part thereof. FNS will also have the authority to waive such claims if FNS determines that to do so would serve the purposes of the Program. This provision shall not diminish the authority of the Attorney General of the United States under section 516 of title 28, U.S. Code, to conduct litigation on behalf of the United States.
(d) Management evaluations. Each State agency shall provide FNS with full opportunity to conduct management evaluations of all State agency Program operations and shall provide OIG with full opportunity to conduct audits of all State agency Program operations. Each State agency shall make available its records, including records of the receipt and disbursement of funds under the Program and records of any claim compromised in accordance with this paragraph, upon a reasonable request by FNS, OIG, or the Comptroller General of the United States. FNS and OIG retain the right to visit schools and OIG also has the right to make audits of the records and operations of any school. In conducting management evaluations, reviews, or audits in a fiscal year, the State agency, FNS, or OIG may disregard an overpayment if the overpayment does not exceed $600. A State agency may establish, through State law, regulation or procedure, an alternate disregard threshold that does not exceed $600. This disregard may be made once per each management evaluation, review, or audit per Program within a fiscal year. However, no overpayment is to be disregarded where there is substantial evidence of violations of criminal law or civil fraud statutes.
(e) Additional requirements. Nothing contained in this part shall prevent a State agency from imposing additional requirements for participation in the Program which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this part.
(f) Cooperation with the Child and Adult Care Food Program. On an annual basis, the State agency shall provide the State agency which administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program with a list of all elementary schools in the State participating in the National School Lunch Program in which 50 percent or more of enrolled children have been determined eligible for free or reduced price meals as of the last operating day of the previous October, or other month specified by the State agency. The first list shall be provided by March 15, 1997; subsequent lists shall be provided by February 1 of each year or, if data is based on a month other than October, within 90 calendar days following the end of the month designated by the State agency. The State agency may provide updated free and reduced price enrollment data on individual schools to the State agency which administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program only when unusual circumstances render the initial data obsolete. In addition, the State agency shall provide the current list, upon request, to sponsoring organizations of day care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
[53 FR 29147, Aug. 2, 1988]
Editorial Note:For Federal Register citations affecting § 210.19, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.
Title 7 published on 2012-01-01
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 7.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.