Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
NSLP/SBP Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study – Erroneous Payments in the NSLP and SBP

Program errors and the risk of erroneous payments in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) continue to be a concern. Slightly more than one in five students were certified inaccurately or erroneously denied benefits in school year (SY) 2005-06. New data estimates the gross cost of school meals erroneous payments due to certification error at about $935 million while other operational errors represent about $860 million. Most of the payment errors resulted from (1) household misreporting of income, (2) administrative errors by school districts in processing applications, and (3) errors by cashiers in counting reimbursable meals. The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use this new information to continue the extensive work underway, and step up its commitment to work with Congress and program partners to address these erroneous payments. Actions to reduce these errors must improve accuracy without compromising access for low-income families, must not unduly increase burden on schools, and must be cost-effective.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Accuracy of SFA Processing of School Lunch Applications – Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) 2006

This is the second in a series of annual reports assessing administrative errors associated with School Food Authorities’ (SFAs) approval of applications for free and reduced-price school meals. In school year 2005/06, more than 96 percent of students who were approved for meal benefits on the basis of an application were receiving the correct level of meal benefits, based on the information in the application
files. Three percent of all students who submitted an application for meal benefits had an administrative error in the processing of their applications, down slightly from 3.5 percent in the previous school year, although not statistically significant.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
2005 WIC Vendor Management Study

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) serves low- income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. In almost all States, the Program provides eligible recipients with vouchers that can be used at authorized stores—referred to as vendors. The 46,000 authorized vendors are mostly grocery stores and pharmacies which have signed agreements to follow program rules. In 1991 and 1998, FNS conducted national studies of WIC vendors to determine the extent of vendor violation of program rules. After the 1998 study, FNS issued regulations to correct vendor practices. The 2005 study replicates the 1998 study to determine whether the regulations were effective, and to measure the frequency of vendor violations and the degree to which vendors charge accurate prices for WIC transactions. It also provides data on payment error as required by the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-300).