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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 195. Virginia WIC Program
6/17/2024

12VAC5-195-580. Performance and administrative monitoring.

A. All applicants must successfully pass an unannounced stocking visit prior to being authorized. Applicants shall receive a written letter from the state agency advising them that their retailer has been selected for further authorization consideration, which will include an unannounced stocking visit. The applicant shall receive a copy of the minimum stocking requirement and the letter shall identify the consequences of failing to meet this program standard.

B. The state agency shall monitor authorized retailers' performance throughout the contract period in order to ensure the best qualified retailers are authorized. The type and level of monitoring conducted by the state agency shall depend upon the retailer's authorization status. Trained local agency staff, state agency staff, and other specially trained contractors may conduct onsite visits to ensure compliance with minimum stocking requirements and administrative program requirements. Retailers designated as high-risk retailers and probationary retailers are more likely to be selected for unannounced monitoring visits by the WIC Program.

C. Authorized retailers that fail to consistently comply with any of the general requirements and conditions for authorization may be terminated. The state agency shall monitor:

1. Prices charged for WIC-approved foods and formula;

2. Level of compliance with program requirements;

3. Use of approved wholesalers and suppliers for purchasing WIC-approved foods and formulas; and

4. Compliance with retaining purchasing records for WIC-approved foods and formulas.

D. The state agency shall establish and communicate the minimum stocking requirement to all authorized retailers and applicants.

E. Each federal fiscal year, a sample of authorized retailers shall be selected for one or more unannounced onsite monitoring visits.

F. Agency representatives may conduct an unannounced monitoring visit to ensure that authorized retailers or applicants meet all program requirements. Authorized retailers and applicants shall have the minimum stocking requirement available onsite at all times. The required specific foods, contract formulas, and administrative procedures are outlined in the minimum stocking requirement in the retailer manual.

G. Agency representatives shall conduct unannounced monitoring visits during hours the retailer is open to the public. Authorized retailers must submit any changes to their normal hours of operation to the state agency in writing.

H. The state agency may conduct other types of unannounced onsite monitoring visits to a retailer's location including random, price verification, formula audits, purchased formula records review, and high-risk.

I. During an unannounced onsite monitoring visit, the state agency representative may:

1. Observe and document the level of compliance with general program requirements;

2. Validate if the minimum stocking requirement has been met;

3. Validate if administrative requirements have been met;

4. Collect and confirm prices submitted by retailers;

5. Confirm prices are posted on or in close proximity to WIC-approved foods;

6. Review purchase or invoice records;

7. Conduct formula inventory analysis;

8. Educate the retailer about program changes;

9. Provide educational materials and supplies;

10. Provide technical consultation;

11. Confirm WIC-approved shelf labels are being used correctly to identify WIC-designated brands; and

12. Confirm the number of reported cash registers.

J. During the unannounced onsite monitoring visits, retailer management may receive:

1. Answers to technical or procedural questions;

2. Updated program information;

3. Additional training materials and supplies;

4. Opportunity to correct documented deficiencies, if needed;

5. Opportunity to provide shelf prices of WIC-approved items, if applicable; and

6. Opportunity to confirm results documented by the state agency representative during the monitoring visit.

K. The results from these onsite visits are documented and kept on file at the state agency office in Richmond, Virginia.

L. Each federal fiscal year, a sample of authorized retailers shall be selected for one or more announced onsite formula monitoring visits. The state agency shall ensure that authorized retailers sell formulas that have been purchased from a WIC-approved supplier, distributor, wholesaler, or authorized resource. A listing of WIC-approved suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and authorized resources is located on the state agency's website. State agency personnel shall review formula purchasing records and invoices, compare formula redemption data from WIC sales, and complete a prephysical and post-physical inventory of formula available at the retailer location during a specific analysis period. Retailers whose purchase records do not support the quantity of WIC sales volume for a selective formula item based upon redeemed food instruments may be issued sanctions, fined, or disqualified from the WIC Program. The results from a formula monitoring visit shall be documented and a written assessment shall be sent to the retailer once the state agency has completed its analysis.

M. Authorized retailers that do not remain price competitive, fail to maintain the minimum stocking requirement, or fail to adhere to the retailer agreement may be fined or have their authorization terminated unless the state agency determines that inadequate participant access would exist if the authorization were terminated. Depending upon the service delivery impact, the state agency may temporarily waive terminating a retailer that fails to comply with any of these requirements until an alternative retailer located in the same area can be authorized. The state agency shall document the reasons for making any authorization exception decisions.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-12 of the Code of Virginia; 7 CFR Part 246.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 19, eff. May 26, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 6, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 10, eff. January 18, 2010; Volume 29, Issue 12, eff. March 13, 2013; Volume 35, Issue 22, eff. July 24, 2019.

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