7 CFR 226.14 - Claims against institutions.
(a) State agencies shall disallow any portion of a claim for reimbursement and recover any payment to an institution not properly payable under this part. State agencies may consider claims for reimbursement not properly payable if an institution does not comply with the recordkeeping requirements contained in this part. The State agency may permit institutions to pay overclaims over a period of one or more years. However, the State agency must assess interest beginning with the date stipulated in the State agency's demand letter, or 30 days after the date of the demand letter, whichever date is later. Further, when an institution requests and is granted an administrative review of the State agency's overpayment demand, the State agency is prohibited from taking action to collect or offset the overpayment until the administrative review is concluded. The State agency must maintain searchable records of funds recovery activities. If the State agency determines that a sponsoring organization of centers has spent more than 15 percent of its meal reimbursements for a budget year for administrative costs (or more than any higher limit established pursuant to a waiver granted under § 226.7(g)), the State agency must take appropriate fiscal action. In addition, except with approval from the appropriate FNSRO, State agencies shall consider claims for reimbursement not payable when an institution fails to comply with the recordkeeping requirements that pertain to records directly supporting claims for reimbursement. Records that directly support claims for reimbursement include, but are not limited to, daily meal counts, menu records, and enrollment and attendance records, as required by § 226.15(e). State agencies shall assert overclaims against any sponsoring organization of day care homes which misclassifies a day care home as a tier I day care home unless the misclassification is determined to be inadvertent under guidance issued by FNS. However, the State agency shall notify the institution of the reasons for any disallowance or demand for repayment, and allow the institution full opportunity to submit evidence on appeal as provided for in § 226.6(k). Miminum State agency collection procedures for unearned payments shall include:
(1) Written demand to the institution for the return of improper payments; (2) if, after 30 calendar days, the institution fails to remit full payment or agree to a satisfactory repayment schedule, a second written demand for the return of improper payments sent by certified mail return receipt requested; and (3) if, after 60 calendar days, the institution fails to remit full payment or agree to a satisfactory repayment schedule, the State agency shall refer the claim against the institution to appropriate State or Federal authorities for pursuit of legal remedies.
(b) In the event that the State agency finds that an institution which prepares its own meals is failing to meet the meal requirements of § 226.20, the State agency need not disallow payment or collect an overpayment arising out of such failure if the institution takes such other action as, in the opinion of the State agency, will have a corrective effect. However, the State agency shall not disregard any overpayments or waive collection action arising from the findings of Federal audits.
(c) If FNS does not concur with the State agency's action in paying an institution or in failing to collect an overpayment, FNS shall notify the State agency of its intention to assert a claim against the State agency. In all such cases, the State agency shall have full opportunity to submit evidence concerning the action taken. The State agency shall be liable to FNS for failure to collect an overpayment, unless FNS determines that the State agency has conformed with this part in issuing the payment and has exerted reasonable efforts to recover the improper payment.