7 CFR 245.11 - Action by State agencies and FNSROs.

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§ 245.11 Second review of applications.

(a) General. On an annual basis not later than the end of each school year, State agencies must identify local educational agencies demonstrating a high level of, or risk for, administrative error associated with certification processes and notify the affected local educational agencies that they must conduct a second review of applications beginning in the following school year. The second review of applications must be completed prior to notifying the household of the eligibility or ineligibility of the household for free or reduced price meals.

(b) State agency requirements -

(1) Selection criteria. Local educational agencies subject to a second review must include:

(i) Administrative review certification errors. All local educational agencies with 10 percent or more of the certification/benefit issuances in error, as determined by the State agency during an administrative review; and

(ii) State agency discretion. Local educational agencies not selected under paragraph (b)(1)(i) that are at risk for certification error, as determined by the State agency.

(2) Reporting requirement. Beginning March 15, 2015, and every March 15 thereafter, each State agency must submit a report, as specified by FNS, describing the results of the second reviews conducted by each local educational agency in their State. The report must provide information about applications reviewed in each local educational agency and include:

(i) The number of free and reduced price applications subject to a second review;

(ii) The number of reviewed applications for which the eligibility determination was changed;

(iii) The percentage of reviewed applications for which the eligibility determination was changed; and

(iv) A summary of the types of changes that were made.

(3) State agencies must provide technical assistance to ameliorate certification related problems at local educational agencies determined to be at risk for certification.

(c) Local educational agency requirements. Beginning July 1, 2014, and each July 1 thereafter, local educational agencies selected by the State agency to conduct a second review of applications must ensure that the initial eligibility determination for each application is reviewed for accuracy prior to notifying the household of the eligibility or ineligibility of the household for free and reduced price meals. The second review must be conducted by an individual or entity who did not make the initial determination. This individual or entity is not required to be an employee of the local educational agency but must be trained on how to make application determinations. All individuals or entities who conduct a second review of applications are subject to the disclosure requirements set forth in § 245.6(f) through (k).

(1) Timeframes. The second review of initial determinations must be completed by the local educational agency in a timely manner and must not result in a delay in notifying the household, as set forth in § 245.6(c)(6)(i).

(2) Duration of requirement to conduct a second review of applications. Selected local educational agencies must conduct a second review of applications annually until the State agency determines that local educational agency-provided documentation provided in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section or data obtained by the State agency during an administrative review, demonstrates that no more than 5 percent of reviewed applications required a change in eligibility determination.

(3) Reporting requirement. Each local educational agency required to conduct a second review of applications must annually submit to the State agency, on a date established by the State agency, the following information as of October 31st:

(i) The number of free and reduced price applications subject to a second review;

(ii) The number of reviewed applications for which the eligibility determination was changed;

(iii) The percentage of reviewed applications for which the eligibility determination was changed; and

(iv) A summary of the types of changes that were made.

[79 FR 7054, Feb. 6, 2014]

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