WIC Vendor Monitoring Unit exceeds annual goal

The WIC Vendor Monitoring Unit exceeded its goal of monitoring 25% of vendors during the previous fiscal year, reviewing 880 of the 2,200 enrolled retailers. Unit members have been working to strengthen relationships with retailers enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program, providing education on proper identification/labeling and sale of qualifying products.

Through daily reports, a new case tracking system and process improvements, investigators have found more time for on-site visits, resulting in a 35% increase in completed on-site inspections and a 9% increase in cases closed compared to FY 2022. This increased store presence has also influenced retailers to be more proactive in compliance responsibilities.

The Vendor Monitoring Unit uses multiple tools to verify that vendors meet program rules, including compliance buys and invoice audits. During a compliance buy, investigators visit the store covertly presenting WIC EBT food benefits to test if the store follows all guidelines, including proper marking of WIC products and if the store is meeting pricing requirements. Invoice audits compare store inventories for up to 12 months against submitted reimbursements to verify if the store had sufficient products to meet the claimed sales for each item.