Department of Social Services
Food Stamp Program,
Administrative Costs The food stamp program in New York State is
overseen by the Department of Social Services and is directly administered by 58 local social
services districts. Food stamp benefits are federally funded, while the administrative costs
relating to the benefits are shared by federal, State and local governments. We examined the
Department's controls over these administrative costs, which exceed $200 million annually.
Each month the local districts submit claims to the Department for reimbursement of their
food stamp administrative costs. We examined the claims submitted by five large districts
during one month and found that the districts were overpaid by a total of $48,000 (this rate of
overpayment equates to about $580,000 a year for these five districts). To prevent such
overpayments, we recommend that the Department clarify its reimbursement guidelines and
improve its review of reimbursement claims.
We also analyzed the administrative costs in the local districts and identified significant cost
variances among similar districts. We estimate that, if administrative costs were reduced in
the districts with unusually high costs, the savings statewide would total $17 million. We
recommend that the Department identify the reasons for the cost variances and establish
benchmarks for monitoring the reasonableness of local district administrative costs.
For a complete copy of Report 95-S-133 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.