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Fraud in Food Stamp Program - Hearing Before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nutrition, September 22, 1981

NCJ Number
Date Published
152 pages
The committee heard testimony from Department of Agriculture (DOA), Department of Justice (DOJ), and State officials regarding their efforts to combat food stamp abuse and postage theft of authorizations to participate (ATP), with particular attention to New York City's problems.
Individual committee members first criticized the administration of the food stamp program and suggested various solutions to the fraud problem. A representative from the DOA's Food and Consumer Services reviewed the ways food stamps are issued and redeemed, the ATP system and its vulnerabilities, and both past and proposed legislative and regulatory initiatives to prevent program abuse. The commissioner of New York City's Department of Investigation traced its efforts to cooperate with the Human Resources Administration (HRA) in investigating food stamp fraud and emphasized the need for a photo identification system and controls over issuing duplicate ATP's. The HRA director then described changes made in the food stamp program to reduce vulnerability to fraud, including a rapid access reconciliation system, improved data processing security, and efforts to recoup fraudulent food stamp payments. He strongly protested a television program on food stamp abuse in New York City as being inaccurate and biased. Representatives from the DOJ summarized its responsibilities and current activities in reducing food stamp fraud. Theft of ATP's from the mails was discussed by officials from the U.S. Postal Service. The final witness outlined activities to curtail error, fraud, and abuse in Iowa's assistance programs and proposed an electronic transfer system using a photo identification card similar to credit card systems. Prepared statements and committee correspondence are appended.


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