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Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluation Systems Final Rule - Additional Guidance and Q&As

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PDF Icon Q&A 2-11-2016 (97.37 KB)
DATE: February 11, 2016
SUBJECT: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluations – Additional Guidance and Questions and Answers
TO: All Regional Directors
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

This memorandum provides additional implementation guidance and questions and answers regarding the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) final rule titled Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluations (Major Changes Rule) published in the Federal Register on Jan. 19, 2016.

As indicated in FNS’ Jan. 19, 2016, Implementation Memorandum for the Major Changes Rule, this guidance provides instructions on how state agencies must notify FNS of major changes and provides a list of questions and answers. The attached questions and answers serve as formal guidance for use by state agencies as they implement provisions of the Major Changes Rule.

As a reminder, state agencies have until March 21, 2016, to be in compliance with the major changes regulatory provisions at 7 CFR 272.15. Changes to the definitions of project areas that impact the requirements for state Management Evaluations (MEs) are effective Oct. 1, 2016.

When State Agencies Must Report a Major Change

7 CFR 272.15(a)(1) requires state agencies to notify FNS no less than 120-days prior to beginning implementation of a major change, as defined in 272.15(a)(2)(i)-(vi), or entering into contractual obligations to implement any proposed major changes. If the state agency is unable to meet the 120-day deadline, the state agency must notify FNS as soon as they are aware of the major change and explain why they could not meet the deadline.

Please refer to the attached Questions and Answers for additional policy clarifications related to the notification requirements of the Major Changes Rule.

How State Agencies Must Report Major Changes

State agencies must report major changes to the FNS national office by emailing a completed state agency Notification of Major Changes in Program Design form (attached) to State agencies are encouraged to copy their FNS regional office when emailing their completed form to the FNS national office. 

The attached state notification form requests the information and analysis state agencies are required to provide FNS when initially reporting a major change as defined in 7 CFR 272.15(a)(3).

If further questions related to the implementation of the Major Changes Rule arise, please email the FNS national office at

Lizbeth Silbermann
Program Development Division 


Page updated: December 22, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.