Scheme Nickname: 
State SNAP Appeals Board review

The Food Stamp Act establishes a federally funded, state-administered program for nutritional assistance to eligible households. (The food stamp program is now referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).) USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) makes payments to state agencies for administering SNAP in their respective states, and for providing technical assistance. Proceedings under this scheme afford state agencies the opportunity to challenge FNS decisions billing them for coupon losses, imposing monetary sanctions for negligence or fraud, or disallowing payment of federal funds for failing to comply with the Act or program requirements.

Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 
USDA/FNS regulations describe the hearing as "an informal proceeding." See 7 CFR ยง 276.7(h)(1); see also Covington & Burling v FNS, 744 F. Supp. 314, 317 (D.D.C. 1990). Hearing procedures contained in a single regulatory sub-section, no administrative appeals. But form of pre-sanction ADR required by the Food Stamp Act and implementing regulations. (Note:The State SNAP Appeal Board was formerly referred to, and is still referred to in USDA regulations, as the "State Food Stamp Review Board.")
Types of Adjudication: 
Type B
Distinctive Features: 
Hearing officials/ Board members are appointed directly by the Secretary in accordance with Departmental Regulations at 1044-1. There have been four members of the Board consisting of a Chair, two primaries and an alternate. The Chief of the Administrative Review Branch, FNS serves as the Executive Secretary to the Board. Although there are no specific guidelines for qualifications, Board members are generally career or Schedule C professional USDA employees whose regular duties have no association with the actions subject to review by the Board. FNS employees may not serve on the Board.
Other Comments: 
On judicial review, FNS findings of fact against a state agency are reviewed de novo, while review of sanctions imposed by FNS are governed by the arbitrary and capricious standard. See, e.g., Wong v. United States, 859 F.2d 129, 132 (9th Cir. 1988)
Verified by Agency: