(1) State agencies shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining secure control over coupons and cash for which the regulations designate them accountable. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, any shortages or losses of coupons and cash shall strictly be a State agency liability and the State agency shall pay to FNS, upon demand, the amount of the lost or stolen coupons or cash, regardless of the circumstances.
(2) State agencies shall be responsible for preventing losses or shortages of Federal funds in the issuance of benefits to households participating in the Program. FNS shall strictly hold State agencies liable for all losses, thefts and unaccounted shortages that occur during issuance, unless otherwise specified. Issuance functions begin with the State agency's creation of a record-for-issuance to generate each month's issuances from the master issuance file. Shortages or losses which result from any functions that occur prior to the creation of the record-for-issuance are subject to either paragraph (a)(3) of this section or subpart C - Quality Control (QC) Reviews, of part 275 - Performance Reporting System.
(3) State agencies shall be responsible for preventing losses of Federal funds in the certification of households for participation in the Program. If FNS makes a determination that there has been negligence or fraud on the part of a State agency in the certification of households for participation in the Program, FNS is authorized to bill the State agency for an amount equal to the amount of coupons issued as a result of the negligence or fraud.
(4) State agencies shall be responsible for efficiently and effectively administering the Program by complying with the provisions of the Act, the regulations issued pursuant to the Act, and the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation. A determination by FNS that a State agency has failed to comply with any of these provisions may result in FNS seeking injunctive relief to compel compliance and/or a suspension or disallowance of the Federal share of the State agency's administrative funds. FNS has the discretion to determine in each instance of noncompliance, whether to seek injunctive relief or to suspend or disallow administrative funds. FNS may seek injunctive relief and suspend or disallow funds simultaneously or in sequence.
(b)Rights. State agencies may appeal all claims brought against them by FNS and shall be afforded an administrative review by a designee of the Secretary as provided in § 276.7. State agencies may seek judicial review of any final administrative determination made by the Secretary's designee, as provided in § 276.7(j).