The Management System for Identifying and Correcting Problems in the Food Stamp Program Can Work Better

Gao ID: RCED-84-94 May 30, 1984

GAO reviewed the corrective action process used by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to encourage states to solve Food Stamp Program problems.

GAO found that FNS has taken some actions to help states develop and implement corrective action plans. However, FNS regions had approved some state plans which did not cover all major problems, or which proposed corrective actions which were inadequate for solving the problems that were identified. In addition, FNS and the states did not always analyze and summarize all available data to ensure that all identified problems were being addressed in the plans. Of five states reviewed, only one had developed corrective actions for solving most major problems. GAO found that, even when corrective action plans included major problems, the planned solutions were not always adequate. Furthermore, because states and FNS regional offices failed to analyze and summarize the results of local program evaluations, they were unaware of some problems which needed to be addressed. In addition, FNS did not ensure that states' plans were carried out in a timely manner or that the states monitored the effectiveness of planned actions. Three of the five states reviewed had inadequate procedures for monitoring corrective actions or improperly used such procedures. GAO also found that regional offices lacked clear-cut criteria for determining when to warn states that federal funds might be withheld due to errors. Finally, GAO found that FNS requirements for state management evaluations of local program operations were burdensome and did not cover all recent program changes.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Brian P. Crowley Team: General Accounting Office: Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division Phone: (202) 512-9450

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