7 CFR 285.3 - Plan of operation.
(a) To receive payments for any fiscal year the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall have a plan of operation for that fiscal year approved by FNS. Each plan of operation shall be sumitted for FNS approval by the July 1 preceding the fiscal year for which the plan of operation is to be effective.
(b) The plan of operation shall include the following information:
(1) Designation of the agency or agencies directly responsible for administration, or supervision of the administration, of the nutrition assistance program.
(2) A description of the needy persons residing in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and an assessment of the food and nutrition needs of these persons. The description and assessment shall demonstrate that the nutrition assistance program is directed toward the most needy persons in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(3) A description of the program for nutrition assistance including:
(i) A general description of the nutrition assistance to be provided the needy persons who will receive assistance, and any agencies designated to provide such assistance; and
(ii) To the extent grant funds are not used for direct nutrition assistance payments to needy persons, the plan of operation must demonstrate that the grants funds will provide nutrition assistance benefiting needy persons in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(4) A budget and an estimate of the monthly amounts of expenditures necessary for the provision of the nutrition assistance and related administrative expenses up to the monthly amounts provided for payment in § 285.2.
(5) Other reasonably related information which FNS may request.
(6) An agreement signed by the governor or other appropriate official to conduct the nutrition assistance program in accordance with the FNS-approved plan of operation and in compliance with all pertinent Federal rules and regulations. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall also agree to comply with any changes in Federal law and regulations.
(c) Any amendments to those provisions of the plan of operation specified in paragraph (b) of this section, must be submitted to FNS for approval.
(d) FNS shall approve or disapprove any plan of operation no later than August 1 of the year of its submission. FNS approval of the plan of operation shall be based on an assessment that the nutrition assistance program, as defined in the plan of operation, is:
(1) Sufficient to permit analysis and review;
(2) Reasonably targeted to the most needy persons as defined in the plan of operation;
(3) Supported by an assessment of the food and nutrition needs of needy persons;
(4) Reasonable in terms of the funds requested;
(5) Structured to include safeguards to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in the use of grant funds; and
(6) Consistent with all applicable Federal laws.
(e) FNS shall approve or disapprove any amendments to those provisions of the plan of operation specified in paragraph (b) of this section. If FNS fails either to approve or deny the amendment, or to request additional information within 30 days, the amendment to the plan of operation is approved. If additional information is requested, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall provide this as soon as possible, and FNS shall approve or deny the amendment to the plan of operation. Payment schedules and other program operations may not be altered until an amendment to the plan of operation is approved. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall, for informational purposes, submit to FNS any amendments to those provisions of the plan of operation not specified in paragraph (b) of this section. Such submittal shall be made at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the amendment. If circumstances warrant a waiver of the 30-day requirement, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall submit a waiver request to FNS for consideration. Should FNS determine that such an amendment relates to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, FNS approval as established above will be necessary for the amendment to be implemented.
(f) FNS may approve part of any plan of operation or amendment submitted by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico contingent on appropriate action by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with respect to the problem areas in the plan of operation.
(g) If all or part of the plan of operation is disapproved, FNS shall notify the appropriate agency in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico of the problem area(s) in the plan of operation and the actions necessary to secure approval.
(h) In accordance with the provisions of § 285.5, funds may be withheld or denied when all or part of a plan of operation is disapproved.