7 CFR § 274.4 - Reconciliation and reporting.

§ 274.4 Reconciliation and reporting.

(a) Reconciliation. State agencies shall account for all issuance through a reconciliation process. The EBT system shall provide reports and documentation pertaining to the following:

(1) Reconciliation. Reconciliation shall be conducted and records kept as follows:

(i) Reconciliation of benefits posted to household accounts on the central computer against benefits on the Issuance Authorization File;

(ii) Reconciliation of individual household account balances against account activities on a daily basis;

(iii) Reconciliation of each individual retail store's SNAP transactions per POS terminal and in total to deposits on a daily basis;

(iv) Verification of retailer's credits against deposit information entered into the automated clearinghouse (ACH) network;

(v) Reconciliation of total funds entered into, exiting from, and remaining in the system each day;

(vi) Maintenance of audit trails that document the full cycle of issuance from benefit allotment posting to the State issuance authorization file through posting to POS transactions at retailers through settlement of retailer credits.

(b) Management reports. The State agency shall require the EBT system to provide reports that enable the State agency to manage the system. The reports shall be available to the State agency or FNS as requested on a timely basis and consist of:

(1) Information on how the system operates relative to its performance standards, the incidence, type and cause of system problems, and utilization patterns.

(2) Retailer transaction data submitted to FNS on a monthly basis. This data must be submitted in the specified format in accordance with the required schedule.

(3) Data detailing by specified category the amount of Program benefits issued or returned through the EBT system shall be provided in a format and mechanism specified by FNS to the FNS Account Management Agent as the benefits become available to recipients. This data will be used to increase or decrease the SNAP EBT benefit funding authorization for the State's Automated Standard Application for Payment (ASAP) account.

(c) Required reports. The State agency shall review and submit the following reports to FNS on a monthly basis:

(1) Form FNS-46, Issuance Reconciliation Report, shall be submitted by each State agency operating an issuance system. The report shall be prepared at the level of the State agency where the actual reconciliation of posted benefits and the master issuance file occurs.

(i) The State agency shall identify and report the number and value of all issuances which do not reconcile with the master issuance file. All unreconciled issuances shall be identified as specified on this reporting document.

(ii) The report shall be received by FNS no later than 90 days following the end of the report month.

(2) Form FNS-388, State Issuance and Participation Estimates.

(i) State agencies shall telephone or transmit by computer the Form FNS-388 data and mail the reports to the FNS regional office no later than the 19th day of each month. When the 19th falls on a weekend or holiday, the Form FNS-388 data shall be reported by telephone or transmitted by computer and mailed on the first work day after the 19th. The Form FNS-388 report shall be signed by the person responsible for completing the report or a designated State agency official.

(ii) The Form FNS-388 report shall provide Statewide estimated or actual totals of issuance and participation for the current and previous month, and actual or final participation totals for the second preceding month. In addition to the participation totals for the second preceding months of January and July, provided on the March and September reports, non-assistance (NA) and public assistance (PA) household and person participation breakdowns shall be provided. As an attachment to the March and September Form FNS-388 reports, State agencies shall provide project area breakdowns of benefit issuance and NA/PA household and person participation data for the second preceding months of January and July.

(iii) State agencies shall submit any proposed changes in their estimation procedures to be used in determining the Form FNS-388 data to the FNS regional office for review and comment. FNS shall monitor the accuracy of the Statewide estimated dollar value of benefits issued and the number of households and persons participating as reported on the Form FNS-388 report against the Statewide actual total participation as reported on succeeding Form FNS-388 reports and against the semiannual project area participation totals attached to the March and September Form FNS-388 reports. The FNS accuracy standards for the issuance and participation estimates are that estimates for the current month be within ( + ) or (−) four (4) percent of actual levels, and the estimates for the previous month be within ( + ) or (−) two (2) percent of actual levels. State agencies shall explain any unusual circumstances that cause benefit issuance and/or participation data to not meet these accuracy standards. If a State agency fails to meet these accuracy standards, FNS shall notify the State agency and assist the State agency in revising its estimating procedures to improve its reporting.

(iv) A participating household is one that is certified and has been, or will be, issued benefits (whether or not the benefits are used), and households that have met the eligibility requirements, but will receive zero benefits.

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