Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress

This report responds to a requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to conduct direct certification of children for free school meals. Under direct certification, children are determined eligible for free meals without the need for household applications by using data from other means-tested programs. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish, by School Year 2008-2009, a system of direct certification of children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program) benefits. The mandate is phased in over three years; the largest LEAs were required to establish direct certification systems for School Year 2006-2007. As of School Year 2007-2008, 67 percent of LEAs operated a direct certification system. Across all States, the 2007-2008 median direct certification rate of SNAP-participant children was 69 percent. This number is expected to increase sharply in School Year 2008-2009 as all LEAs become subject to the statutory mandate.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Accuracy of LEA Processing of School Lunch Applications-Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) 2007

This is the third in a series of annual reports assessing administrative error associated with the local educational agency’s (LEA) approval of applications for free and reduced-price school meals. In school year 2006/07 about 96 percent of students who were approved for meal benefits on the basis of an application received the correct level of meal benefits, based on the information in the application files. The percent of all students with administrative errors in the processing of their applications for meal benefits has remained relatively stable over the 3-year period, with administrative errors ranging between 3 and 4 percent.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Assessment of Sponsor Tiering Determinations 2006

The Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-300) requires all Federal agencies to calculate the amount of erroneous payments in Federal programs and to periodically conduct detailed assessments of vulnerable program components. This is the second wave (2006) of a program assessment of the Family Day Care Home (FDCH) component of USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The assessment provides a national estimate of the share of CACFP-participating family day care homes that are approved for an incorrect level of per meal reimbursement, or reimbursement "tier," for their circumstances. Tiering errors result in improper payments because misclassified FDCHs do not receive the appropriate level of reimbursement for the meals and snacks provided to the children. The study also estimates the dollar amount of improper payments attributable to FDCH tiering errors.