7 CFR 272.2 - Plan of operation.
(a) General purpose and content -
(1) Purpose. State agencies shall periodically plan and budget program operations and establish objectives. When planning and budgeting for program operations for the next year, State agencies shall consider major corrective action objectives, existing program strengths and deficiencies, and other factors anticipated to impact on the operation of the State's Food Stamp Program and on projected expenditures.
(2) Content. The basic components of the State Plan of Operation are the Federal/State Agreement, the Budget Projection Statement, and the Program Activity Statement. In addition, certain attachments to the Plan are specified in this section and in § 272.3. The requirements for the basic components and attachments are specified in § 272.2(c) and § 272.2(d) respectively. The Federal/State Agreement is the legal agreement between the State and the Department of Agriculture. This Agreement is the means by which the State elects to operate the Food Stamp Program and to administer the program in accordance with the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, regulations issued pursuant to the Act and the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation. The Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement provide information on the number of actions and amounts budgeted for various functional areas such as certification and issuance. The Plan's attachments include the Quality Control Sample Plan, the Disaster Plan (currently reserved), the Employment and Training Plan, the optional Nutrition Education Plan, the optional plan for Program informational activities directed to low-income households, the optional plan for intercepting Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits for collecting claims for intentional Program violations, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Plan, and the plan for the State Income and Eligibility Verification System. The State agency shall either include the Workfare Plan in its State Plan of Operation or append the Workfare Plan to the State Plan of Operation, as appropriate, in accordance with § 273.22(b)(3) of this chapter. The Workfare Plan shall be submitted separately, in accordance with § 273.22(b)(1) of this chapter. The ADP/CIS Plan is considered part of the State Plan of Operation but is submitted separately as prescribed under § 272.2(e)(8). State agencies and/or political subdivisions selected to operate a Simplified Application/Standardized Benefit Project shall include that Project's Work Plan in the State Plan of Operation. The Plan's attachments shall also include the Mail Issuance Loss Reporting Level Plan.
(b) Federal/State Agreement.
(1) The wording of the pre-printed Federal/State Agreement is as follows:
The State of ___ and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereby agree to act in accordance with the provisions of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, implementing regulations and the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation. The State and FNS (USDA) further agree to fully comply with any changes in Federal law and regulations. This agreement may be modified with the mutual written consent of both parties.
The State agrees to: 1. Administer the program in accordance with the provisions contained in the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, and in the manner prescribed by regulations issued pursuant to the Act; and to implement the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation.
2. Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub. L. 88-352), section 11(c) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Pub. L. 94-135) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, sec. 504) and all requirements imposed by the regulations issued pursuant to these Acts by the Department of Agriculture to the effect that, no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of sex, race, color, age, political belief, religion, handicap, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subject to discrimination under the Food Stamp Program.
3. (For States with Indian Reservations only). Implement the Program in a manner that is responsive to the special needs of American Indians on reservations and consult in good faith with tribal organizations about that portion of the State's Plan of Operation pertaining to the implementation of the Program for members of the tribe on reservations.
FNS agrees to: 1. Pay administrative costs in accordance with the Food Stamp Act, implementing regulations, and an approved Cost Allocation Plan.
2. Carry-out any other responsibilities delegated by the Secretary in the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended.
(2) The State agency may propose alternative language to any or all the provisions listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The alternative language is subject to approval by both parties before signature.
(c) Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement.
(1) The State agency shall submit to FNS for approval a Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement in accordance with the submittal dates in § 272.2(e).
(i) The Budget Projection Statement solicits projections of the total costs for major areas of program operations. The Budget Projection Statement shall be submitted annually and updated as necessary through the year. The Budget Projection Statement shall contain projections for each quarter of the next Federal fiscal year. The State agency shall submit with the Budget Projection Statement a narrative justification documenting and explaining the assumptions used to arrive at the projections. The narrative shall cover such subjects as: The number and salary level of employees; other factors affecting personnel costs including anticipated increases in pay rates or benefits, and reallocations of staff among units or functions, insofar as these might result in cost increases or decreases; costs for purchasing, leasing, and maintaining equipment and space, especially as concerns any upcoming, one-time-only purchases of new capital assets such as ADP equipment, renegotiation of leases, changes in depreciation rates or procedures, relocation of offices, maintenance and renovation work, and inflation; issuance system costs, including renegotiation of issuing agent fees and plans to change issuance systems; changes in caseload and factors contributing to increases or decreases in the number of participants; recertifications, including the anticipated impact of economic conditions (and in particular unemployment) and seasonality; cost implications of corrective action plans; anticipated changes in program regulations and operating guidelines and instructions; training needs; travel costs; and adjustments in insurance premiums. The narrative should cover as many of the items listed above, and any other items deemed relevant by the State agency, that will have a significant impact on costs. The State agency is not required to discuss every item in the list in every submission of a Budget Projection Statement. The narrative should concentrate on items that account for increases or decreases in costs from the preceding submissions.
(ii) The Program Activity Statement, to be submitted annually, solicits a summary of program activity for the State agency's operations during the preceding fiscal year.
(2) The organizational outline submitted in 1982 as an attachment to the Program Activity Statement shall be considered the basic outline. Henceforth, changes to this outline shall be provided to FNS as they occur. The outline contains the following information:
(i) The position of the head of the State agency responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program in relation to the overall State organizational structure, i.e., the Program Director in relation to the Commissioner of Welfare;
(ii) A description of the organizational structure through which the State agency will administer and operate the Food Stamp Program, including whether the Program is State, county, locally, or regionally-administered; whether the workers have single Food Stamp Program or multi-program functions; and the title and position of the individual or panel designated as the hearing authority and whether officials conduct both fair and fraud hearings.
(iii) A description of the funding arrangement by which State, county, and local jurisdictions will contribute to the State agency portion of administrative costs;
(iv) The position within the State organizational structure of the Performance Reporting System (PRS) coordinator, including whether the PRS coordinator is full or part-time, and is responsible for direct supervision over Quality Control or Management Evaluation or if these functions are handled separately, and whether quality control reviewers have single Food Stamp Program or multi-program review responsibilities;
(v) The position of the training coordinator and whether this is a full or part-time position; and
(vi) The organizational entity responsible for corrective action.
(3) Additional attachments. Attached for informational purposes (not subject to approval as part of the plan submission procedures) to the Program Activity Statement and submitted as required in paragraph (e)(3) of this section shall be the agreements between the State agency and the United States Postal Service for coupon issuance, and between the State agency and the Social Security Administration for supplemental income/food stamp joint application processing and for routine user status.
(d) Planning documents.
(1) The following planning documents shall be submitted:
(i) Quality Control Sampling Plan as required by § 275.11(a)(4);
(ii) Disaster Plan as required by § 280.6 (currently reserved), or certification that a previously submitted Disaster Plan has been reviewed and remains current;
(iii) Nutrition Education Plan if the State agency elects to request Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) grant funds to conduct nutrition education and obesity prevention services as discussed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
(iv) A plan for the State Income and Eligibility Verification System required by § 272.8.
(v) Employment and Training Plan as required in § 273.7 (c)(6).
(vi) ADP/CIS Plan as required by § 272.10.
(vii) A plan for the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program as required by § 272.11(e).
(viii) Mail Issuance Loss Reporting Level Plan required by § 276.2(b)(4), for the State agency using mail issuance, shall contain the unit level of reporting mail issuance losses for the upcoming fiscal year as elected by the State agency. If a State agency does not revise its Plan by August 15 in any given year, FNS shall continue to require reporting and to assess liabilities for the next fiscal year at the level last indicated by the State agency. If the agency has selected the unit provided for in § 276.2(b)(4)(ii), a listing of the issuance sites or counties comprising each administrative unit within the State agency shall also be included in the Plan.
(ix) A plan for Program informational activities as specified in § 272.5(c).
(x) Claims Management Plan as required by § 273.18(a)(3) to be submitted for informational purposes only; not subject to approval as part of the plan submission procedures under paragraph (e) of this section.
(xiii) If the State agency chooses to implement the optional provisions specified in (273.11(k), (l), (o), (p), and (q) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment the options it selected, the guidelines it will use, and any good cause criteria under paragraph (o). For § 273.11(k) of this chapter, the State agency must identify which sanctions in the other programs this provision applies to. The State agency must also include in the plan a description of the safeguards it will use to restrict the use of information it collects in implementing the optional provision contained in § 273.11(p) of this chapter.
(xiv) The State agency's disqualification plan, in accordance with § 273.7(f)(3) of this chapter.
(xv) If the State agency chooses to implement the provisions for a work supplementation or support program, the work supplementation or support program plan, in accordance with § 273.7(l)(1) of this chapter.
(xvi) If the State agency chooses to implement the optional provisions specified in:
(B) Section 273.8(e)(19) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the resources being excluded under the provision;
(C) Section 273.9(c)(3) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of educational assistance being excluded under the provision;
(D) Section 273.9(c)(18) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of payments being excluded under the provision;
(E) Section 273.9(c)(19) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of income being excluded under the provision;
(F) Section 273.12(a)(5) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of households to whom the option applies;
(G) Section 273.12(c) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the deductions affected; and
(H) Section 273.26 of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and specify the categories of households eligible for transitional benefits and the maximum number of months for which such benefits will be provided.
(xvii) A plan indicating the definition of fleeing felon the State agency has adopted, as provided for in § 273.11(n).
(2) Nutrition Education Plan. If submitted, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Plan shall:
(i) Conform to standards established in this regulation, SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance, and other FNS policy. A State agency may propose to implement an annual or multiyear Plan of up to three years;
(ii) Identify the methods the State will use to notify applicants, participants, and eligible individuals to the maximum extent possible of the availability of SNAP-Ed activities in local communities;
(iii) Describe the nutrition education and obesity prevention services that the State will provide in SNAP-Ed and how the State will deliver those services, either directly or through agreements with other State or local agencies or community organizations;
(iv) Ensure interventions are appropriate for the low-income population defined as SNAP participants and low-income individuals eligible to receive SNAP benefits or other means-tested Federal assistance programs. The interventions must recognize the population's constrained resources and potential eligibility for Federal food assistance;
(v) Describe methods the State agency will use to identify its target audience. FNS will consider for approval targeting strategies and supporting data sources included in SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance and alternate targeting strategies and supporting data sources proposed by State agencies;
(vi) Use of Funds.
(A) A State agency must use the SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention grant to fund the administrative costs of planning, implementing, and operating its SNAP-Ed program in accordance with its approved SNAP-Ed Plan;
(B) Definitions. SNAP nutrition education and obesity prevention services are defined as any combination of educational strategies, accompanied by environmental supports, designed to facilitate voluntary adoption of food and physical activity choices and other nutrition-related behaviors conducive to the health and well-being of SNAP participants and low-income individuals eligible to participate in SNAP and other means-tested Federal assistance programs. Nutrition education and obesity prevention services are delivered through multiple venues and involve activities at the individual, community, and appropriate policy levels. Acceptable policy level interventions are activities that encourage healthier choices based on the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans; SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention activities must be evidence-based. An evidence-based approach for nutrition education and obesity prevention is defined as the integration of the best research evidence with best available practice-based evidence. The best research evidence refers to relevant rigorous nutrition and public health nutrition research including systematically reviewed scientific evidence. Practice-based evidence refers to case studies, pilot studies, and evidence from the field on nutrition education interventions that demonstrate obesity prevention potential. Evidence may be related to obesity prevention target areas, intervention strategies, and/or specific interventions. The target areas are identified in the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Intervention strategies are broad approaches to intervening on specific target areas. Interventions are a specific set of evidence-based, behaviorally-focused activities and/or actions to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles. Evidence-based allowable uses of funds for SNAP-Ed include conducting and evaluating intervention programs, and implementing and measuring policy, systems, and environmental changes in accordance with SNAP-Ed Guidance;
(C) SNAP-Ed activities must promote healthy food and physical activity choices based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
(D) SNAP-Ed activities must include evidence-based activities using one or more of these approaches: individual or group-based nutrition education, health promotion, and intervention strategies; comprehensive, multi-level interventions at multiple complementary organizational and institutional levels; community and public health approaches to improve nutrition;
(vii) Include a description of the State's efforts to coordinate activities with national, State, and local nutrition education and health promotion initiatives and interventions, whether public or privately funded. The relationship between the State agency and other organizations it plans to coordinate with for the provision of services, including statewide organizations must be described. Copies of contracts and Memoranda of Agreement must be available for inspection upon request;
(viii) Include an operating budget for the Federal fiscal year with an estimate of the cost of operation for one or more years, according to the State's approved SNAP-Ed Plan;
(ix) Federal financial participation and allocation of grants.
(A) Each State agency that submitted an approved fiscal year 2009 SNAP-Ed Plan will receive a 100 percent Federal grant each fiscal year to operate SNAP-Ed based on the State's share of national SNAP-Ed expenditures for fiscal year 2009 as reported in February 2010. The grant requires no State contribution or match. The grant period of performance is two years and these funds are the only source of Federal funds available under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, for SNAP nutrition education and obesity prevention services to States. Funds in excess of the grants are not eligible for SNAP Federal reimbursement;
(B) A State agency's receipt of its 100 percent Federal SNAP-Ed grant is contingent on FNS' approval of the State agency's SNAP-Ed Plan. If an adequate Plan is not submitted, FNS may reallocate a State agency's grant among other State agencies with approved Plans;
(C) States shall identify the uses of funding for local projects and show that the funding received shall remain under the administrative control of the State agency;
(D) Annually, FNS will determine each State's share of the funding provided for each fiscal year. The amount of funding provided in fiscal year 2011 was $375,000,000, and the amount of funding provided in each subsequent year is determined by adjusting the previous fiscal year's amount to reflect any increases for the 12-month period ending the preceding June 30th in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor;
(E) FNS will allocate the funding available each fiscal year for SNAP-Ed grants using the formula proscribed by law that factors in State shares of the base 2009 Federal expenditures, building progressively to a 50/50 weighting of expenditures to participation from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2018 and beyond. The allocations to a State for SNAP-Ed grants will be:
(1) For fiscal year 2013, in direct proportion to State expenditures for FFY 2009, as reported in February 2010;
(2) For fiscal year 2014, 90 percent based on expenditures, plus 10 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013;
(3) For fiscal year 2015, 80 percent based on expenditures, plus 20 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014;
(4) For fiscal year 2016, 70 percent based on expenditures, plus 30 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015;
(5) For fiscal year 2017, 60 percent based on expenditures, plus 40 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016; and,
(6) For fiscal year 2018 and thereafter, 50 percent based on expenditures, plus 50 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the previous 12-month period ending January 31;
(F) If a participating State agency notifies FNS that it will not obligate or expend all of the funds allocated to it for a fiscal year under this section, FNS may reallocate the unobligated, unexpended funds to other participating State agencies that have approved SNAP-Ed Plans during the period for which the funding is available for new obligations at the Federal level. Reallocated funds received by a State will be considered part of its base 2009 allocation for the next fiscal year for the purpose of determining allocation; funds surrendered by a State shall not be considered part of it base 2009 allocation for the next fiscal year for the purpose of determining allocation.
(x) Fiscal recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Each participating State agency must meet FNS fiscal recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Total SNAP-Ed expenditures are reported on the Financial Status Report (SF-425). States are expected to continue to collect and report State and private contributions to their SNAP-Ed activities through the Education Administration and Reporting System FNS-759;
(xi) Additional information may be required of the State agency, on an as needed basis, regarding the type of nutrition education and obesity prevention activities offered and the characteristics of the target population served, depending on the contents of the State's SNAP-Ed Plan, to determine whether nutrition education goals are being met;
(xii) The State agency must submit a SNAP-Ed Annual Report to FNS by November 30th of each year. The report shall describe SNAP-Ed Plan project activities and budget for the prior year.
(e) Submittal requirements. States shall submit to the appropriate FNS Regional Office for approval each of the components of the Plan of Operation for approval within the timeframes established by this paragraph. Approval or denial of the document may be withheld pending review by FNS. However, if FNS fails to either approve, deny, or request additional information within 30 days, the document is approved. If additional information is requested, the State agency shall provide this as soon as possible, and FNS shall approve or deny the Plan within 30 days after receiving the information.
(1) The Federal/State agreement shall be signed by the Governor of the State or authorized designee and shall be submitted to FNS within 120 days after publication of these regulations in final form and shall remain in effect until terminated.
(2) The Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement shall be signed by the head of the State agency or its chief financial officer and submitted as follows:
(i) The Budget Projection Statement shall be submitted annually, no later than August 15 of each year.
(ii) The Program Activity Statement shall be submitted annually, not later than 45 days after the end of the State agency's fiscal year. The first report is due 45 days after the end of the State's 1981 fiscal year. The first report is not required to contain information that is not currently captured by the State agency's information system. State agencies shall amend their data gathering systems so that all items can be completed on the second report, due for the 1982 fiscal year.
(3) Changes to the organizational outline required by § 272.2(c)(2) and the agreements with other agencies outlined in § 272.2(c)(3)(ii) shall be provided to FNS as changes occur. The attachments outlined in § 272.2(c)(3)(i) shall be submitted annually with the Program Activity Statement.
(4) The Quality Control Sampling Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted to FNS prior to implementation as follows:
(i) According to the timeframes specified in paragraph (e)(4)(ii) of this section, prior to each annual review period each State agency shall submit any changes in their sampling plan for FNS approval or submit a statement that there are no such changes. These submittals shall include the statement required by § 275.11(a)(2), if appropriate. The Quality Control Sampling Plan in effect for each State agency as of the beginning of Fiscal Year 1984 shall be considered submitted and approved for purposes of this section, provided that the State agency has obtained prior FNS approval of its sampling plan.
(ii) Initial submissions of and major changes to sampling plans and changes in sampling plans resulting from general changes in procedure shall be submitted to FNS for approval at least 60 days prior to implementation. Minor changes to approved sampling plans shall be submitted at least 30 days prior to implementation.
(5) Disaster Plan. [Reserved]
(6) The Nutrition Education Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted prior to funding of nutrition education activities when the State agency elects to request Federal administrative matching funds to conduct Nutrition Education Programs. The plan shall then be submitted annually no later than August 15. The initial submission may be for a period of less than or more than a year in order to meet the August 15 deadline.
(7) Where applicable, State agencies shall consult (on an ongoing basis) with the tribal organization of an Indian reservation about those portions of the State Plan of Operation pertaining to the special needs of the members of the tribe.
(8) ADP/CIS Plan. The ADP/CIS Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted to FNS by October 1, 1987. State agencies which require additional time to complete their ADP/CIS plan may submit their plan in two phases as described in § 272.10(a)(2), with the first part of the plan being submitted October 1, 1987. State agencies requiring additional time shall submit the second part of their plans by January 1, 1988. If FNS requests additional information to be provided in the State agency ADP/CIS Plan or if FNS requests that changes be made in the State agency ADP/CIS Plan, State agencies must comply with FNS comments and submit an approvable ADP/CIS Plan within 60 days of their receipt of the FNS comments but in no event later than March 1, 1988. Requirements for the ADP/CIS plan are specified in § 272.10.
(9) The Employment and Training Plan shall be submitted as specified under § 273.7(c)(8).
(f) Revisions. Revisions to any of the planning documents or the Program and Budget Summary Statement shall be prepared and submitted for approval to the appropriate FNS Regional Office in the same manner as the original document. However, revisions to the budget portion of the Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement shall be submitted as follows:
(1) Program funds.
(i) For program funds, State agencies shall request prior approvals promptly from FNS for budget revisions whenever:
(A) The revision indicates the need for additional Federal funding;
(B) The program budget exceeds $100,000, and the cumulative amount of transfers among program functions exceeds or is expected to exceed five percent of the program budget. The same criteria apply to the cumulative amount of transfers among functions and activities when budgeted separately for program funds provided to a subagency, except that FNS shall permit no transfer which would cause any Federal appropriation, or part thereof, to be used for purposes other than those intended;
(C) The revisions involve the transfer of amounts budgeted for indirect costs to absorb increases in direct costs; or
(D) The revisions pertain to the addition of items requiring prior approval by FNS in accordance with the provisions of the applicable cost principles specified in OMB Circular A-87 (available on OMB's Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_default/).
(ii) No other changes to the Program fund budget require approval from FNS. Examples of changes which do not require Federal approval are: The use of State agency funds to accomplish program objectives over and above the State agency minimum share included in the approved Program budget; and the transfer of amounts budgeted for direct costs to absorb authorized increases in indirect costs.
(iii) The requirements of paragraph (f)(1)(i)(B) of this section may be waived by FNS provided that:
(A) No different limitation or approval requirement may be imposed; and,
(B) FNS shall not permit a transfer which would cause any Federal appropriation, or part, thereof, to be used for purpose other than those intended.
(2) Authorized funds exceeding State agency needs. When it becomes apparent that the funds authorized by the Letter of Credit will exceed the needs of the State agency, FNS will make appropriate adjustments in the Letter of Credit in accordance with part 277.
(3) Method of requesting approvals. When requesting approval for budget revisions, State agencies shall use the same format as the Budget Projection Statement used in the previous submission. However, State agencies may request by letter the approvals required by paragraph (f)(1)(i)(D) of this section.
(4) Notification of approval or disapproval. Within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request for budget revisions, FNS shall review the request and notify the State agency whether or not the budget revisions have been approved. If the revision is still under consideration at the end of 30 days, FNS shall inform the State agency in writing as to when the decision will be made.
2. At 78 FR 20421, Apr. 5, 2013, paragraph (d)(6) was revised, however, paragraph (d)(6) does not exist, and therefore this amendment could not be incorporated. For the convenience of the user, the revised text is set forth as follows:
(d) * * *
(6) The SNAP-Ed Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted prior to funding of nutrition education and obesity prevention activities when the State agency elects to request Federal grant funds to conduct these SNAP-Ed activities. The Plan shall be submitted for approval no later than August 15th. Approved plans become effective the following FFY October 1st to September 30th.
Title 7 published on 2015-01-01
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 7 CFR Part 272 after this date.