(a) Review procedures. State agencies shall review the program requirements specified for review in § 275.8 of this part using procedures that are adequate to identify problems and the causes of those problems. As each project area's operational structure will differ, State agencies shall review each program requirement applicable to the project area in a manner which will best measure the project area's compliance with each program requirement.
(b) ME review plan.
(1) State agencies shall develop a review plan prior to each ME review. This review plan shall specify whether each project area is large, medium, or small and shall contain:
(i) Identification of the project area to be reviewed, program areas to be reviewed, the dates the review will be conducted, and the period of time that the review will cover;
(ii) Information secured from the project area regarding its caseload and organization;
(iii) Identification of the sub-units selected for review and the techniques used to select them;
(iv) At State agency option it may also indicate whether the State agency is using the ME review process to perform non-discrimination reviews; and
(v) A description of the review method(s) the State agency plans to use for each program area being reviewed.
(2) ME review plans shall be maintained in an orderly fashion and be made available to FNS upon request.
(c) Review methods.
(1) State agenices shall determine the method of reviewing the program requirements associated with each program area. For some areas of program operation it may be necessary to use more than one method of review to determine if the project area is in compliance with program requirements. The procedures used shall be adequate to identify any problems and the causes of those problems.
(2) State agencies shall ensure that the method used to review a program requirement does not bias the review findings. Bias can be introduced through leading questions, incomplete reviews, incorrect sampling techniques, etc.
(d) Review worksheet.
(1) State agencies shall use a review worksheet to record all review findings. For each sub-unit reviewed the State agency shall, on the worksheet, identify:
(i) The sub-unit being reviewed;
(ii) Each program requirement reviewed in the sub-unit;
(iii) The method used to review each program requirement;
(iv) A description of any deficiency detected;
(v) The cause(s) of any deficiency detected, if known;
(vi) The number of casefiles and/or program records selected and examined within the sub-unit, identification of those selected (record case number, household name, etc.), the proportion which were not subject to review, as well as the method used to select the sample;
(vii) Where applicable, the numerical extent of any deficiency detected through examination of program records; and
(viii) Any pertinent comments concerning the sub-unit's operation.
(2) State agencies shall promptly forward review findings to the appropriate State office for analysis, evaluation, and corrective action planning. Review worksheets shall be retained in an orderly fashion and made available to FNS upon request.