FNS Documents & Resources
Introduction To Biometric Identification Technology: Capabilities and Applications To The Food Stamp Program
This report presents an overview of biometric identification technology with particular attention to its potential use to improve the integrity of the FSP. It briefly describes some of the major technologies, summarizes their capabilities, gives examples of applications, and discusses issues that should be considered in evaluating biometric identification technology. It pays particular attention to applications of the technology to the FSP, or to other welfare programs. Although it describes several specific biometric identification technologies, it focuses on finger imaging, which has been the primary technology used in social service programs. A companion report describes the efforts of nine States that have incorporated or plan to incorporate biometric technology in their social service programs, and discusses the cost and effectiveness of these programs, as well as the reactions to them by the client population.
This report provides an overview of the experience of nine States with biometric identification technologies as of September 1999 and discusses some of the major policy and operational issues encountered during implementation and testing. The report also synthesizes available information on the effectiveness of the technology in reducing duplicate participation and provides a discussion of measurement complexities and issues on the horizon as use of the technology continues to expand. A companion report contains an overview of biometric identification technology, examining the functional capabilities, performance, and applications of the various technologies with a particular focus on finger imaging, the most commonly used and well known.
Less than one-half of working households and less than two-fifths of elderly households that are thought to be eligible for food stamps actually received them in 1994. One way of increasing our understanding of the reasons for these low rates of participation in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) would be to conduct a national survey of nonparticipants who are eligible for the program. Because such a survey would have to overcome conceptual and operational challenges, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to design and test a survey of the reasons for nonparticipation among low-income working and elderly households. This report discusses our experiences conducting a pretest of this survey and our recommendations for the design and fielding of a larger national survey about the reasons for nonparticipation in the FSP.