[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 1 (Monday, January 3, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 93-32047]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: January 3, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Food and Nutrition Service

 

Food Distribution Program; Level of Assistance From October 1, 
1993 to September 30, 1994

AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the initial level of per-meal assistance 
for the Nutrition Program for the Elderly (NPE) for Fiscal Year 1994. 
The initial level of assistance is set at $.6146 for each eligible meal 
in accordance with section 311(a)(4) of the Older Americans Act of 
1965, as amended by section 310 of the Older Americans Act Amendments 
of 1992.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 1993.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Philip K. Cohen, Program 
Administration Branch, Food Distribution Division, Food and Nutrition 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, 
Alexandria, Virginia 22302-1594 or telephone (703) 305-2660.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Classification

    This program is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under Nos. 10.550 and 10.570 and is subject to the 
provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental 
consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, 
subpart V, and final rule related notice published at 48 FR 29114, June 
24, 1983.)
    This notice imposes no new reporting or recordkeeping provisions 
that are subject to Office of Management and Budget review in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3507). 
This action is not a rule as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act 
(5 U.S.C. 601-612) and thus is exempt from the provisions of that Act.

Legislative Background

    On September 30, 1992, the President signed Public Law 102-375, the 
Older Americans Act Amendments of 1992. Section 310 of this law amended 
section 311(a)(4) of the Older Americans Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. 
3030a(a)(4), to require the Secretary of Agriculture to maintain an 
annually programmed level of assistance equal to the greater of: (1) 
The current appropriation divided by the number of meals served in the 
preceding fiscal year; or (2) 61 cents per meal adjusted annually 
beginning with Fiscal Year 1993 to reflect changes in the Consumer 
Price Index (CPI). Section 311(c)(2) of the Older Americans Act was 
amended to provide that the final reimbursement claims shall be 
adjusted to use the full amount appropriated for the fiscal year.
    Notwithstanding the initial rates established by the Older 
Americans Act, the Department must comply with the spending clause of 
the U.S. Constitution and 31 U.S.C. 1341(a)(1)(A) (known as the 
Antideficiency Act), which prohibit the obligation or expenditure of 
funds in excess of the available appropriation. Thus the Department is 
required to establish (and, if necessary, adjust) rates in such a 
manner as to not exceed the program appropriation.
    In Fiscal Year 1994, a situation exists similar to that at the 
beginning of Fiscal Year 1993, i.e., the Fiscal Year 1994 appropriation 
will not sustain reimbursement at the mandated annually adjusted rate. 
However, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-111), 
which appropriated NPE funding for Fiscal Year 1994, imposed additional 
rate management requirements for this year. Title IV, Domestic Food 
Programs, of the Act provides that `` * * * a maximum rate of 
reimbursement to States will be established by the Secretary, subject 
to reduction if obligations would exceed the amount of available funds, 
with any unobligated funds to remain available for obligation in the 
fiscal year beginning October 1, 1994.'' Thus the Department cannot 
increase the initially announced Fiscal Year 1994 rate, and can 
decrease this rate only if it cannot be sustained throughout the year.

Fiscal Year 1994 Rate and Procedures

    Senate Report No. 102, 103rd Cong., 1st Sess., at 125 (July 20, 
1993) clarifies the congressional intent of Public Law 103-111 with 
regard to the 1994 level of NPE funding by identifying the FY 1994 rate 
as `` * * * the maximum reimbursement per meal permitted by law as 
estimated by the Secretary at the beginning of the fiscal year within 
the level of available funds.'' Thus the Department is required to 
establish the highest initial per-meal reimbursement rate which it 
believes can be sustained throughout the fiscal year.
    Accordingly, the Department hereby announces an initial rate of 
$.6146 per meal, which will not be increased, and which can be 
decreased only if necessary to keep expenditures within the limit of 
the $150 million NPE appropriation established by Public Law 103-111. 
This consistent and stable rate will enable State agencies to better 
plan and budget their operations, and local project operators can, in 
turn, depend on a steady, uniform flow of meal service support during 
the fiscal year. Any funds not paid out for Fiscal Year 1994 
reimbursement will, in accordance with legislative mandate, be carried 
over into Fiscal Year 1995 and expended in per-meal reimbursement for 
that year. In the unlikely event that the rate needs to be decreased, 
the adjustment will be announced in the Federal Register.

    Dated: December 10, 1993.
George A. Braley,
Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
[FR Doc. 93-32047 Filed 12-30-93; 8:45 am]
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