United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 03, 2023
The purpose of this section is to improve compliance with, and the integrity of, the Federal crop insurance program.
The Corporation shall work actively with approved insurance providers to address program compliance and integrity issues as such issues develop.
The Corporation shall notify in writing an approved insurance provider of any error, omission, or failure to follow Corporation regulations or procedures for which the approved insurance provider may be responsible and which may result in a debt owed the Corporation.
Notice under paragraph (1) shall be given within 3 years after the end of the insurance period during which the error, omission, or failure is alleged to have occurred, except that this time limitation shall not apply with respect to an error, omission, or procedural violation that is willful or intentional.
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the failure to timely provide the notice required under this subsection shall relieve the approved insurance provider from the debt owed the Corporation.
The Secretary shall develop and implement a coordinated plan for the Corporation and the Farm Service Agency to reconcile all relevant information received by the Corporation or the Farm Service Agency from a producer who obtains crop insurance coverage under this subchapter.
Beginning with the 2001 crop year, the Secretary shall require that the Corporation and the Farm Service Agency reconcile such producer-derived information on at least an annual basis in order to identify and address any discrepancies.
Any corrections made within a reasonable amount of time, in accordance with established procedures, pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to any late filing sanctions authorized in the reinsurance agreement with the Corporation.
In the case of a producer that has inadvertently failed to pay a debt due as specified by regulations of the Corporation and has been determined to be ineligible for crop insurance pursuant to the terms of the policy as a result of that failure, the Corporation may determine to allow the producer to pay the debt and purchase the crop insurance after the sales closing date, in accordance with procedures and limitations established by the Corporation.
If, within five calendar days after receiving a report submitted under paragraph (1)(B), the Corporation does not provide a written response that describes the intended actions of the Corporation, the Farm Service Agency may conduct its own inquiry into the alleged program fraud, waste, or abuse on approval from the State director of the Farm Service Agency of the State in which the alleged fraud, waste, or abuse occurred. If as a result of the inquiry, the Farm Service Agency concludes further investigation is warranted, but the Corporation declines to proceed with the investigation, the Farm Service Agency may refer the matter to the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture.
The plan required by paragraph (1) shall provide for the use of the field infrastructure of the Farm Service Agency. The Secretary shall ensure that relevant Farm Service Agency personnel are appropriately trained for any responsibilities assigned to the personnel under the plan. At a minimum, the personnel shall receive the same level of training and pass the same basic competency tests as required of loss adjusters of approved insurance providers.
The activities of the Farm Service Agency under this subsection do not affect the responsibility of approved insurance providers to conduct any audits of claims or other program reviews required by the Corporation.
The Corporation shall notify the appropriate approved insurance provider of a report from the Farm Service Agency regarding alleged program fraud, waste, or abuse, unless the provider is suspected to be included in, or a party to, the alleged fraud, waste, or abuse.
An approved insurance provider that receives a notice under subparagraph (B) shall submit a report to the Corporation, within an appropriate time period determined by the Secretary, describing the actions taken by the provider to investigate the allegations of program fraud, waste, or abuse contained in the notice.
If an approved insurance provider reports to the Corporation that the approved insurance provider suspects intentional misrepresentation, fraud, waste, or abuse, the Corporation shall make a determination and provide, within 90 calendar days after receiving the report, a written response that describes the intended actions of the Corporation.
The approved insurance provider and the Corporation shall take coordinated action in any case where misrepresentation, fraud, waste, or abuse is alleged.
If the Corporation fails to respond as required by subparagraph (A), an approved insurance provider may request the Farm Service Agency to assist the provider in an inquiry into the alleged program fraud, waste, or abuse.
The Secretary shall establish procedures under which the Corporation shall consult with the State committee of the Farm Service Agency for a State with respect to policies, plans of insurance, and material related to such policies or plans of insurance (including applicable sales closing dates, assigned yields, and transitional yields) offered in that State under this subchapter.
The Corporation shall conduct a review of any agent identified under paragraph (1)(A), and any person identified under paragraph (1)(B), to determine whether the higher loss claims associated with the agent or the higher number of accepted or denied claims (as applicable) associated with the person are the result of fraud, waste, or abuse.
The Corporation shall take appropriate remedial action with respect to any occurrence of fraud, waste, or abuse identified in a review conducted under this paragraph.
The Corporation shall develop procedures to require an annual review by an approved insurance provider of the performance of each agent and loss adjuster used by the approved insurance provider. The Corporation shall oversee the conduct of annual reviews and may consult with an approved insurance provider regarding any remedial action that is determined to be necessary as a result of the annual review of an agent or loss adjuster.
The information required to be submitted under subparagraphs (A) through (C) of paragraph (1) with respect to a policy or plan of insurance shall be submitted so as to ensure receipt by the Corporation not later than the Saturday of the week containing the calendar day that is 30 days after the applicable sales closing date for the crop to be insured.
The information required to be submitted under paragraph (1)(D) with respect to an applicable policy or plan of insurance for a covered commodity (as defined in section 9011 of this title) shall be submitted so as to ensure receipt by the Corporation not later than the Saturday of the week containing the calendar day that is 30 days after the applicable production reporting date for the crop to be insured.
Nothing in clause (i) limits the ability of an approved insurance provider to correct any error in the information submitted under paragraph (1)(D) after receipt of the information by the Corporation in accordance with clause (i).
A producer, agent, loss adjuster, approved insurance provider, or other person that willfully and intentionally provides any false or inaccurate information to the Corporation or to an approved insurance provider with respect to a policy or plan of insurance under this subchapter may, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing on the record, be subject to one or more of the sanctions described in paragraph (3).
A person may, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing on the record, be subject to one or more of the sanctions described in paragraph (3) if the person is a producer, agent, loss adjuster, approved insurance provider, or other person that willfully and intentionally fails to comply with a requirement of the Corporation.
In the case of a violation committed by an agent, loss adjuster, approved insurance provider, or other person (other than a producer), the violator may be disqualified for a period of up to 5 years from participating in any program, or receiving any benefit, under this subchapter.
Any funds collected under this subsection shall be deposited into the insurance fund established under section 1516(c) of this title.
The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report describing the operation of this section during the preceding year and efforts undertaken by the Secretary and the Corporation to carry out this section.
The report shall identify specific occurrences of waste, fraud, or abuse and contain an outline of actions that have been or are being taken to eliminate the identified waste, fraud, or abuse.
The Secretary shall maintain and upgrade the information management systems of the Corporation used in the administration and enforcement of this subchapter.
In maintaining and upgrading the systems, the Secretary shall ensure that new hardware and software are compatible with the hardware and software used by other agencies of the Department to maximize data sharing and promote the purposes of this section.
As soon as practicable, the Secretary shall develop and implement an acreage report streamlining initiative project to allow producers to report acreage and other information directly to the Department.
The Secretary shall use the information technologies known as data mining and data warehousing and other available information technologies to administer and enforce this subchapter.
The Secretary may enter into contracts to use private sector expertise and technological resources in implementing this subsection, which shall be subject to competition on a periodic basis, as determined by the Secretary.
The Corporation shall establish requirements for continuing education for loss adjusters and agents of approved insurance providers.
The Secretary shall notify the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate of the substantial completion of the Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI) project not later than
To carry out subsection (j)(2), the Corporation may use, from amounts made available from the insurance fund established under section 1516(c) of this title, not more than $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2009 and each subsequent fiscal year.