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The Department of Agriculture uses modern analytics to take down old fashion fraud

The oldest form of fraud (thinking that no one is watching you) is being defeated by modern technology (data analytics) employed by the Department of Agriculture as it oversees the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program.

In 2018,  the Food and Nutrition Service of the Department used data analytics to examine delivery route retailers to help confirm which ones were more likely to be skirting SNAP regulations. The G men focused on the authorization and reauthorization processes for the delivery route sellers most at risk of fraud.

In a statement, FNS points out that not all delivery route vendors, which are an important part of the delivery plan for SNAP benefits, violate the program regulations. FNS notes that  legitimate delivery route retailers serve many SNAP clients well. Delivery route venders provide a valuable service especially in rural areas.

In its statement, USDA states that it takes program integrity seriously. Brandon Lipps, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, says that when the government’s data analysis showed that some bad actors may have invaded the delivery route network, FNS immediately began acting to ferret them out of the program and secure the reauthorization process.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary Lipps says that FNS will continue its data analysis strategy to ensure that tax dollars supporting the SNAP program are wisely used and remain a central piece of USDA’s daily operations.

This page has commented frequently on FNS’s efforts to attack fraud that may have penetrated nutrition programs, like SNAP.

SNAP is the program formerly known at food stamps.