(a) The Congress finds that:
(1) Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) is a safe, reliable, and economical way to provide benefit payments to individuals who do not have an account at a financial institution.
(2) The designation of financial institutions as financial agents of the Federal Government for EBT is an appropriate and reasonable use of the Secretary's authority to designate financial agents.
(3) A joint federal-state 1 EBT system offers convenience and economies of scale for those states 1 (and their citizens) that wish to deliver 1 state-administered benefits on a single card by entering into a partnership with the federal 1 government.1
(4) The Secretary's designation of a financial agent to deliver EBT is a specialized service not available through ordinary business channels and may be offered to the states 1 pursuant to section 6501 et seq. of this title.
(b) The Secretary shall continue to carry out the existing EBT pilot to disburse benefit payments electronically to recipients who do not have an account at a financial institution, which shall include the designation of one or more financial institution 2 as a financial agent of the Government, and the offering to the participating states 1 of the opportunity to contract with the financial agent selected by the Secretary, as described in the Invitation for Expressions of Interest to Acquire EBT Services for the Southern Alliance of States dated March 9, 1995, as amended as of June 30, 1995, July 7, 1995, and August 1, 1995.
(c) The selection and designation of financial agents, the design of the pilot program, and any other matter associated with or related to the EBT pilot described in subsection (b) shall not be subject to judicial review.
(Added Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, §101(f) [title VI, §664], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–314, 3009–385.)
1 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.
2 So in original. Probably should be “institutions”.