7 CFR 281.3 - Determination of failure.
(a)Request for determination of State government agency failure. FNS shall examine State agency adminstration of SNAP on all or part of a reservation when requested by the ITO, the State agency or at FNS' discretion. When FNS determines that a deficiency in a State agency operation of SNAP on all or part of an Indian reservation may be serious enough to warrant a review, FNS shall advise the State agency and the ITO in writing of the alleged deficiencies and of its plans to conduct the review and document deficiencies, if any are found. Subsequent to October 1, 1979 FNS shall complete these reviews within 90 days from receipt of an ITO's or State agency's request except under unusual circumstances such as the receipt of a large number of simultaneous requests.
(1)Content of the review for State agency performance. The review shall be designed to determine whether or not the State agency is properly administering SNAP on a specific reservation. When an agency of State government is administering the Program on a reservation, FNS shall as a part of the review consult with the ITO about the operation of the Program on the reservation. The review should, depending on the nature of the complaint, include but not be limited to, an analysis of some or all of the following data:
(i) The records of State agency consultation with the ITO required under § 281.2(a);
(ii) The estimated percentage of all eligible Indians on the reservation who are participating the Program;
(iii) The nature and extent of violations, if any, of the 30-day and other processing standards for Indians;
(iv) The percentage of errors made in determining eligibility and/or the amount of benefits overissued or underissued;
(v) Compliance with standards for location and hours of certification and issuance offices as required in § 272.5;
(vi) Compliance with bilingual requirements of this regulation, where appropriate;
(vii) Compliance with nondiscrimination requirements of this regulation;
(viii) Compliance with other significant program requirements;
(ix) Comparison with services provided in all other areas of the State; and
(x) Any other relevant information that becomes available during the course of reviews including information received through contacts with the Indian tribe.
(2)Finding of no or of minor deficiencies. If after the review FNS determines either that deficiencies do not exist or that only minor deficiencies exist, FNS shall issue a report documenting its findings to both the State agency and the ITO and shall work closely with the State agency to achieve corrective action.
(c)Formal warning. After the review is completed, if FNS determines that major deficiencies exist, a formal warning shall be issued to the State, with a copy to the ITO. At a minimum, such warning shall indicate the State agency deficiencies and shall detail the basis upon which deficiencies were determined. The State shall have 30 days to respond with evidence that it is in compliance or to submit a corrective action proposal under part 276. If satisfactory compliance is achieved by the State agency on deficiencies cited in a formal warning, FNS shall notify the State, with a copy to the ITO, that the warning for those deficiences is satisfied.
(d)Determination of failure and sanctions. If at any time after the formal warning period, or during or after the corrective action period, FNS determines that major deficiencies still exist which the State agency has not satisfactorily addressed or is not satisfactorily addressing, FNS shall determine State failure and may impose appropriate Federal sanctions on the State agency as specified in part 276.
(e)ITO operations. If FNS has determined State failure and FNS has also determined that the ITO is capable of administering a SNAP in accordance with the terms and requirements for participating State agencies as established in the Act and regulations, then the ITO shall assume adminstration of SNAP on the reservation. The State agency shall continue to administer SNAP on the reservation until an effective termination and transition arrangement has been completed in accordance with § 281.8.