[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 109 (Tuesday, June 7, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 36480-36481]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-13489]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 109 / Tuesday, June 7, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 36480]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food and Nutrition Service

7 CFR Parts 210, 215, 220, 225, 226, and 235

[FNS-2016-0040]
RIN 0584-AE08


Child Nutrition Program Integrity; Extension of Comment Period

AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

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SUMMARY: This rule proposes to codify several provisions of the 
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 affecting the integrity of the 
Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Lunch Program 
(NSLP), the Special Milk Program for Children, the School Breakfast 
Program, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), the Child and Adult 
Care Food Program (CACFP) and State Administrative Expense Funds. The 
Department is proposing to establish criteria for assessments against 
State agencies and program operators who jeopardize the integrity of 
any Child Nutrition Program; establish procedures for termination and 
disqualification of entities in the SFSP; modify State agency site 
review requirements in the CACFP; establish State liability for 
reimbursements incurred as a result of a State's failure to conduct 
timely hearings in the CACFP; establish criteria for increased State 
audit funding for CACFP; establish procedures to prohibit the 
participation of entities or individuals terminated from any of the 
Child Nutrition Programs; establish serious deficiency and termination 
procedures for unaffiliated sponsored centers in the CACFP; eliminate 
cost-reimbursement food service management company contracts in the 
NSLP; and establish procurement training requirements for State agency 
and school food authority staff in the NSLP. In addition, this 
rulemaking would make several operational changes to improve oversight 
of an institution's financial management and would also include several 
technical corrections to the regulations. The proposed rule is intended 
to improve the integrity of all Child Nutrition Programs. The comment 
period is being extended until July 7, 2016, to provide additional time 
for interested parties to review and submit comments on this proposed 
rule.

DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule that was published on 
March 29, 2016 (81 FR 17564) has been extended from May 31, 2016 to 
July 7, 2016. To be assured of consideration, written comments must be 
postmarked on or before July 7, 2016.

ADDRESSES: The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, invites interested 
persons to submit written comments on this proposed rule. In order to 
ensure proper receipt, written comments must be submitted through one 
of the following methods only:
     Preferred method: Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Comments should be addressed to Andrea Farmer, 
Chief, Community Meals Branch, Policy and Program Development Division, 
Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of 
Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302-1594.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to the Food and 
Nutrition Service, Child Nutrition Programs, 3101 Park Center Drive, 
Alexandria, Virginia 22302-1594, during normal business hours of 8:30 
a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    Comments sent by other methods not listed above will not be able to 
be accepted and subsequently, not posted. All comments submitted in 
response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and will 
be made available to the public. Duplicate comments are not considered. 
Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity 
of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject 
to public disclosure. The Department will make the comments publicly 
available on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Smith, Community Meal Programs 
Branch, Policy and Program Development Division, Child Nutrition 
Programs, Food and Nutrition Service at (703) 305-2590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Comment Procedures
II. Executive Summary

I. Public Comment Procedures

    Your written comments on the proposed rule should be specific, 
should be confined to issues pertinent to the proposed rule, and should 
explain the reason(s) for any change you recommend or proposal(s) you 
oppose. Where possible, you should reference the specific section or 
paragraph of the proposal you are addressing. We invite specific 
comments on various aspects of the rule as described later in this 
preamble. We also invite comments from State agencies, sponsors, and 
providers on the administrative cost of compliance with any of the 
provisions in the rule. Additionally, we invite comments on the 
potential impact of the changes in the proposed rule on Program access, 
particularly in areas through the country where there are a limited 
number of providers available to operate the Programs. Comments 
received after the close of the comment period (refer to DATES) will 
not be considered or included in the Administrative Record for the 
final rule.
    We also invite your comments on how to make these proposed 
regulations easier to understand, including answers to questions such 
as the following:
    (1) Are the requirements in the proposed regulations clearly 
stated?
    (2) Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that 
interferes with its clarity?
    (3) Does the format of the rule (e.g., grouping and order of 
sections, use of headings, and paragraphing) make it clearer or less 
clear?
    (4) Would the rule be easier to understand if it was divided into 
more (but shorter) sections?
    (5) Is the description of the rule in the preamble section entitled 
``Background and Discussion of the Proposed Rule'' helpful in 
understanding the rule? How could this description be more helpful in 
making the rule easier to understand?

II. Executive Summary

Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    This proposed rule would codify several provisions of the Healthy,

[[Page 36481]]

Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), Public Law 111-296, that affect 
the integrity of the Child Nutrition Programs, including the National 
School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Special Milk Program for Children 
(SMP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the Summer Food Service 
Program (SFSP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and 
State Administrative Expense Funds (SAE). In addition, this rule would 
incorporate policy changes resulting from several findings from 
recently conducted targeted management evaluations of the CACFP by the 
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), and USDA Office of Inspector General 
audit findings, as well as other miscellaneous revisions to the 
regulations. The rule is intended to improve the integrity of all Child 
Nutrition Programs.
    USDA anticipates that the provisions under this proposed rule would 
be implemented 90 days following publication of the final rule, with 
the exception of those related to CACFP audit funds and those related 
to assessments against State agencies and program operators. The 
provision granting eligible State agencies additional CACFP audit funds 
will be implemented upon publication of the final rule. Because States 
and school districts have been working diligently to implement the 
provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, USDA anticipates that 
the provision establishing criteria for assessments against State 
agencies and program operators would be implemented one school year 
following publication of the final rule to provide entities the time 
they need to complete successful implementation.

Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action

    The major provisions addressed in this rule are:
    Section 303 of the HHFKA: Fines for Violating Program 
Requirements--Section 303 of the HHFKA requires the Secretary to 
establish criteria for the imposition of fines in the Child Nutrition 
Programs, referred to as assessments in this proposed rule. An 
assessment refers to a required payment of funds from non-Federal 
sources. Under section 303, the Secretary or a State agency may 
establish an assessment against any school food authority or school 
administering the Child Nutrition Programs if the Secretary or the 
State agency determines that the school or school food authority failed 
to correct severe mismanagement of any program, failed to correct 
repeated violations of program requirements, or disregarded a 
requirement of which they have been informed. Section 303 also provides 
the Secretary the authority to establish an assessment against any 
State agency if the Secretary determines the State agency has failed to 
correct severe mismanagement of any program, failed to correct repeated 
violations of program requirements, or disregarded a requirement of 
which they have been informed.
    Section 322 of the HHFKA: SFSP Disqualification--Section 322 
requires the Secretary to establish procedures for the termination and 
disqualification of entities participating in the SFSP, to maintain a 
list of entities that have been terminated or disqualified from SFSP, 
and to make this list available to States for use in approving or 
renewing service institutions' applications for SFSP participation.
    Section 331(b) of the HHFKA: State Agency/Sponsor Review 
Requirements in the CACFP--Section 331(b) requires the Secretary to 
develop for State agencies additional criteria or priorities for use in 
choosing institutions for review, including institutions at risk of 
having serious management problems and institutions conducting 
activities other than the CACFP.
    Section 332 of the HHFKA: State Liability for Payments to Aggrieved 
Child Care Institutions--Section 332 requires State agencies to pay all 
valid claims for reimbursement, from non-Federal sources, if the 
required timeframes for a fair hearing are not met.
    Section 335 of the HHFKA: CACFP Audit Funding--Section 335 allows 
the Department to increase the amount of audit funds made available to 
a CACFP State agency if the State agency demonstrates it can 
effectively use the funds to improve Program management in accordance 
with criteria established by the Department.
    Section 362 of the HHFKA: Disqualified Schools, Institutions, and 
Individuals--Section 362 makes any school, institution, service 
institution, facility, or individual that has been terminated from any 
Child Nutrition Program and who is on the CACFP or SFSP National 
Disqualified List ineligible for participation in or administration of 
any Child Nutrition Program.
Costs and Benefits
    While all entities--school food authorities, schools, institutions, 
sponsors sites, sponsoring organizations, day care centers and State 
agencies--administering Child Nutrition Programs will be affected by 
this rulemaking, the economic effect is not expected to be significant 
as explained below.
    The comment period for this proposed rule is extended until July 7, 
2016 to provide additional time for interested parties to review and 
submit comments on this proposed rule.

    Dated: June 2, 2016.
Yvette S. Jackson,
Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-13489 Filed 6-6-16; 8:45 am]
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