The Appellant Dionte Congress, who is an in-home childcare provider requests review of a proposed decision by the Appellee, Community Action of Eastern Iowa, who sponsors and administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), proposing termination of the agreement to participate in the CACFP program and disqualification from future CACFP participation, effective October 3, 2012.
CACFP is a program created by the Agricultural Risk Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. ? 1766. That Act and its regulations dictate the minimum terms of the participation agreement between the sponsor and the home provider.
The regulations at 7 C.F.R. ? 226.16 enumerate reasons why a daycare home may be terminated from CACFP. Being cited as "seriously deficient" and not correcting the deficiency is one cause for termination. A serious deficiency includes the provider's submission of false claims for reimbursement. 7 C.F.R. ? 226.16(l)(2)(ii).
This Agency has noted in previous CACFP decisions that the regulations governing that program are quite strict. While a termination from CACFP may seem harsh, the rationale for the strictness of the regulations is simple. CACFP is funded by public monies; therefore, a provider is required to be accountable to the public for how s/he operates. When such accountability is lacking, the public trust is gone, and the sponsor is required to take appropriate action.
The evidence as a whole supports a finding that the submission of false claims is systemic and was not a one-time human error. Community Action has shown that Ms. Congress has not permanently and completely corrected the seriously deficient practice of submission of false claims. Ms. Congress will remain on the National disqualified list until such time as the Bureau of Food and Nutrition determines that the serious deficiencies that led to the placement on the list have been corrected, or until seven years have elapsed since the agreement was terminated for cause. 7 C.F.R. ? 226.6(c)(7)(v-vi).
The termination of Ms. Congress from the Child and Adult Care Food Program is hereby ordered