WIC sees results with vendor education
The OIG’s Women Infant and Children (WIC) Vendor Monitoring Unit (VMU) has seen a significant reduction in certain violations, due in part to their prevention efforts. The unit reports fewer Least Expensive Brand violations throughout Traditional Women Infant and Children (TWIC) vendors, who have less than 50 percent of their annual food sales revenue from WIC products. Grocers must label their least expensive brand “WIC Approved.” The decrease in this violation type has allowed WIC VMU to reduce the number of visits to ensure compliance from five or more per store to as few as two.
The reduction corresponds with WIC VMU’s efforts using educational letters and compliance buys to ensure vendors follow WIC regulations. During this quarter, the team sent 279 education letters to WIC vendors. The letters provide valuable and necessary information for WIC vendors regarding how each vendor interprets the WIC regulations.
Through the application of vendor inventory reviews and using technology, WIC VMU has also experienced a reduction in the number of cases where significant claims and redemption errors have been identified. Technology use in the inventory review efforts reduced the amount of time to receive the data and has increased the ability to identify violations.