As part of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s strategic goal of ensuring that our programs are delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced an enhanced focus on program integrity, that will include renewed attention on transparency, payment accuracy, fraud and waste prevention, and improved quality control.
“Where protection of taxpayer dollars is concerned – the job is never done,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Brandon Lipps. “Today we are renewing our commitment to ensuring that our nutrition programs are run as effectively and efficiently as possible; increasing program integrity while maintaining the nutrition safety net for those truly in need.”
To kick-off this renewed commitment, Acting Deputy Under Secretary Lipps announced his intention to create a new position of Chief Integrity Officer to manage oversight, improvements, and overall integrity strategy. This position will be located in the Office of the Administrator at FNS and will be tasked with overseeing integrity initiatives in all 15 federal feeding programs administered by FNS.
In addition, FNS has initiated an independent, third-party review of its integrity efforts across the agency’s nutrition programs. This comprehensive review will support the identification of improvements to the process currently in place, as well as explore the implementation of promising practices across government and the private sector.
“Integrity is essential to meeting the mission of all FNS nutrition programs, now and into the future. we will continue to improve operations and outcomes in close collaboration with its state and local partners to combat waste, fraud, and abuse and best serve our participants and American taxpayers,” said Lipps.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net.