7 CFR 254.4 - Application by an ITO.
(a) Application to FNS Regional Office. An ITO which desires to participate in the Food Distribution Program shall file an application with the FNS Regional Office. The application shall also provide other information requested by FNS, including but not limited to, the tribe's qualification as a reservation as described in § 254.2, paragraph (f). Properly addressed applications shall be acknowledged by the FNS Regional Office in writing within five working days of receipt. FNS shall promptly advise ITOs of the need for additional information if an incomplete application is received.
(b) Tribal capability.
(1) In determining whether the ITO is potentially capable of effectively and efficiently administering a Food Distribution Program in an FNS Service area, allowing for fulfillment of that potential through training and technical assistance, FNS shall consult with other sources such as the BIA, and shall consider the ITO experience, if any, in operating other government programs, as well as its management and fiscal capabilities. Other factors for evaluation include, but are not limited to, the ITO's ability to:
(i) Order and properly store commodities,
(ii) Certify eligible households,
(iii) Arrange for physical issuance of commodities,
(iv) Keep appropriate records and submit required reports,
(v) Budget and account for administrative funds,
(vi) Determine the food preferences of households, and
(vii) Conduct on-site reviews of certification and distribution procedures and practices.
(2) FNS shall make a determination of potential ITO capability within 60 days of receipt of a completed application for the Food Distribution Program. FNS may, however, extend the period for determination of ITO capability if FNS finds that a given ITO's eligibility under § 254.3 is difficult to establish.
(3) FNS shall, if requested by an ITO which has been determined by FNS to be potentially capable of administering a Food Distribution Program, provide the ITO's designees with appropriate training and technical assistance to prepare the ITO to take over program administration. In determining what training and technical assistance are necessary, FNS shall consult with the ITO and other sources, such as the BIA.
(c) Most capable tribe. In cases where two or more applicant tribe(s) have overlapping boundaries, FNS shall select the tribe most capable of administering a FDP within that service area.