This action provides interim and final rulemaking for a proposed rule. It revises Food Stamp Program rules affecting the standards for approval and operation of Food Stamp Electronic Benefit Transfer systems. The changes will increase state agency flexibility in administering the Program and maximize the advantages afforded by the technology.
The revisions will also streamline Program administration and improve customer service. Based on the comments received, a significant change to the store-and-forward provision of the proposed rule has been incorporated. The Department has decided to publish this provision only, as an interim rule, so that retailers may immediately be allowed to recoup partial payment for store-and-forward transactions denied solely for insufficient funds, and at the same time, it can solicit comments on the impact of the change.
All comments received will be analyzed, and any appropriate changes to the store-and-forward provision of the rule will be incorporated into the subsequent publication of a store-and-forward final rule. The Department is publishing all of the remaining provisions from the proposed rule as a final rule.