In School Year 2013-2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) introduced the unified Administrative Review and a 3-year review cycle (7 CFR 210.18). Since then, FNS has received feedback about the difficulties of the shorter review cycle, both for the state agencies conducting the reviews, and for School Food Authorities (SFAs) preparing for and responding to reviews. FNS has made improvements to the process to minimize unnecessary burden and inefficiencies, and many states and SFAs have successfully implemented the 3-year review cycle. However, we recognize that many state agencies and SFAs face significant resource and time constraints, and we are committed to supporting program operators as they strive to run exceptional school meals programs.
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance to state agencies who have determined that the 3-year review cycle hinders effective allocation of the state agency’s resources, and effective and efficient program management. To improve customer service, FNS is allowing state agencies to request waivers of the 3-year review requirement and extend the review cycle.