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System Testing

Last Published: 08/12/2016

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Final Rule Strengthens Testing Requirements for State MIS


On 1/2/2014, a Final Rule was published in the Federal Register entitled “Automated Data Processing and Information Retrieval System Requirements: System Testing”.  This rule amends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations to implement provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill).  The primary purpose of the rule was to strengthen the requirements for adequate testing and pilot before rolling out a new management information system or major system changes.  The rule also made changes to the SNAP regulations to provide clarifications and revisions since the last update which occurred in 1996. 

  • See All the Regulations

Copies of all regulations applicable to the Advance Planning Document (APD) process may be found here: APD Statutes and Regulations.  A copy of the Final Rule can be found within this link.  It may also be helpful to review the Proposed Rule, which provides additional background information, is available within this link as well.  A copy of the Requirement for a Live Pilot letter can be found within this link.

  • Quick Summary Sheet

A summary of the major changes made by the Final Rule may be found here: Synopsis Sheet.

  • More Help in FNS Handbook 901 – Advance Planning Documents

This handbook provides guidance to ensure successful approval of State agency information system projects.  Revisions have been made to reflect the changes made in the Final Rule, especially in the following chapters:  Chapter 2 (APD Process); Chapter 3 (SNAP), Chapter 4 (WIC); and, Chapter 5 (Project Management).  An electronic copy of the handbook may be found here: FNS Handbook 901 - Advance Planning Documents.

  • Q&A’s on the New Rule

To provide additional explanation on this rule, some questions and answers have been developed regarding both the testing and non-testing provisions of the rule.  Frequently Asked Questions on the testing provisions may be found at: Testing FAQs.  Frequently Asked Questions on the non-testing provisions may be found at: Non-Testing FAQs.  

  • Updated Training Presentations Available Now

A new training unit relating to system testing and updated training presentations are now available. They may be found at: FNS Handbook 901 Training and Presentations.