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Automated Data Processing and Information Retrieval System Requirements: System Testing

Last Modified: 01/13/2014
Thursday, January 2, 2014

Final Rule.

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is adopting as a final rule, without substantive changes, the proposed rule that amends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations to implement Section 4121 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill), which requires adequate system testing before and after implementation of a new State automated data processing (ADP) and information retrieval system, including the evaluation of data from pilot projects in limited areas for major systems changes, before the Secretary approves the system to be implemented more broadly. The rule also provides that systems be operated in accordance with an adequate plan for continuous updating to reflect changed policy and circumstances, and for testing the effects of the system on access by eligible households and on payment accuracy. This final rule specifies the requirements for submission of a test plan, and changes the due date of an Advance Planning Document Update (APDU) from 90 days after to 60 days prior to the expiration of the Federal financial participation (FFP) approval, and revises language regarding the federal share of costs in consolidated information technology (IT) operations to specify that the threshold for service agreements applies to federally aided public assistance programs, rather than to SNAP alone. In addition, this rule amends SNAP regulations relating to the establishment of an ADP and information retrieval system and to provide clarifications and updates, which have occurred since this section was last updated in 1996.