U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 14, 2024

§ 249.20 - Claims and penalties.

(a) Claims against State agencies. (1) If FNS determines through a review of the State agency's reports, program or financial analysis, monitoring, audit, or otherwise, that any SFMNP funds provided to a State agency for food or administrative purposes were, through State agency negligence or fraud, misused or otherwise diverted from SFMNP purposes, a formal claim will be assessed by FNS against the State agency. The State agency must pay promptly to FNS a sum equal to the amount of the administrative funds or the value of coupons and/or eligible foods so misused or diverted.

(2) If FNS determines that any part of the SFMNP funds received, coupons printed, and/or eligible foods otherwise lost by a State agency were lost as a result of theft, embezzlement, or unexplained causes, the State agency must, on demand by FNS, pay to FNS a sum equal to the amount of the money or the value of the SFMNP funds or coupons/eligible foods so lost.

(3) The State agency will have full opportunity to submit evidence, explanation or information concerning alleged instances of noncompliance or diversion before a final determination is made in such cases.

(4) FNS is authorized to establish claims against a State agency for unreconciled SFMNP coupons, and/or for failure to comply with the terms of duly executed CSA program contracts or agreements. When a State agency can demonstrate that all reasonable management efforts have been devoted to reconciliation and 99 percent or more of the SFMNP coupons issued, or of the eligible foods contracted for delivery by the CSA program, have been accounted for by the reconciliation process, FNS may determine that the reconciliation process has been completed to satisfaction.

(b) Interest charge on claims against State agencies. If an agreement cannot be reached with the State agency for payment of its debts or for offset of debts on its current Letter of Credit within 30 days from the date of the first demand letter from FNS, FNS will assess an interest (late) charge against the State agency. Interest accrual shall begin on the 31st day after the date of the first demand letter, bill or claim, and shall be computed monthly on any unpaid balance as long as the debt exists. From a source other than the SFMNP, the State agency shall provide the funds necessary to maintain SFMNP operations at the grant level authorized by FNS.