SNAP APD Requirements

Last Modified: 11/10/2014

Background
Under the Food Security Act of 1985, all States were required to automate their food stamp program operations and computerize their systems for obtaining, utilizing and transmitting information concerning the food stamp program. Each state is responsible for developing and implementing an Automated Data Processing/Computerization of Information Systems (ADP/CIS) Plan to ensure a sufficient level of automation to administer the SNAP.

As of October 1, 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name of the Food Stamp Program.  The new name reflects the changes made to meet the needs of our clients and put healthy food within reach, focusing upon nutrition, increases in benefit amounts, and changes to make the Program more accessible.

General APD Requirements
State agencies are required to develop sufficient automation and to adhere to other receive Federal funding for automation projects.  Sufficient automation levels are those that result in effective programs or in cost-effective reductions in errors and improvements in management efficiency.  Prior approval and documentation requirements for automated systems are intended to provide the Federal government with information to ensure that automation projects support sound FSP administration and comply with establish requirements.

The Cost Allocation Methodology (CAM) Toolkit must be followed for properly allocation costs for projects funded by multiple programs. 

Prior Approval Requirements
Automation projects require prior approval if the total acquisition exceeds $6 million in State and Federal costs for both competitive and noncompetitive acquisitions.
Noncompetitive acquisitions from a non-governmental source that have total State and Federal acquisition costs of more than $1 million need prior approval of the justification for sole-source purchase.

Specific prior approval thresholds apply for APD documents including Planning and Implementation APDs, Request for Proposals, Contracts. See FNS Handbook 901 for detailed guidance.

System Integrity Reviews
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program APD approval process described at 7 CFR 277.18 states that FNS may conduct reviews of the system either prior to pilot once it is fully operational statewide or both..  The review combines the ADP/CIS Model Plan Requirements, system controls and performance requirements, and system security, among other topics, as its foundation.

FNS urges states to conduct this review both prior to User Acceptance Testing and after statewide implementation as part of the project management process.

A SNAP System Integrity Review Tool is used by State or Regional Office Staff to conduct the review by obtaining information prior to and during the on-site review.