Oversight of the School Breakfast Program
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a final report in September 2009 entitled “SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS: IMPROVED REVIEWS, FEDERAL GUIDANCE, AND DATA COLLECTION NEEDED TO ADDRESS COUNTING AND CLAIMING ERRORS.” One of GAO’s recommendations related to additional oversight of the School Breakfast Program (SBP). This memorandum is to remind state agencies of their general obligation to oversee the SBP to assure that Federal funds are properly allocated and spent.
State agencies can accomplish oversight of the SBP in a number of ways---during technical assistance visits, during the initial administrative review of a school food authority, under the Coordinated Review Effort (CRE), separate on-site reviews or reviews of records provided to the state. Also, states must review certification, counting and meal service procedures for the SBP when conducting a follow-up CRE review. State agencies may wish to consult with their Regional office to determine the most efficient procedures to meet their oversight obligations.
We are also asking state agencies to emphasize to school food authorities the need to provide oversight of their schools that participate in the SBP, and to consider including a training module in their summer workshops on methods to assure accountability in the SBP. We recognize that state agencies and school food authorities have limited resources to conduct oversight, but we concur with GAO that it is important that the SBP be efficiently and effectively administered.
Child Nutrition Division