Approval Criteria by c5h56J

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									                 Selection Criteria for Vendor Authorization
All applicants must meet the following criteria at the time of application and sustain the criteria throughout the entire
agreement period. The Georgia WIC Program may deny the application or terminate the Vendor Agreement if it is
determined that the applicant provided false information in conjunction with the application.
       Applications will not be accepted between July 1 – September 30 of each year.
           Applications are accepted the first five business days of each month.
Changes mandated by USDA may occur to the selection criteria after an application has been submitted. When
this happens, applicants will be notified regarding the changes, and must comply with the changes in order to
become authorized. If this application is denied for any of the criteria below, the application will be denied
for a six (6)-month period. A store must not accept WIC vouchers until it is authorized by Georgia’s WIC. If it is
determined that a store is in violation of this regulation, the application will be denied for a one (1)-year period. In
addition, the vendor will be subject to criminal prosecution and reimbursement.
    1. Additional Required Information. All requested information must be provided, upon request, in order to
       process the application. This includes, but is not limited to, the Bill of Sale; Articles of Incorporation,
       Driver’s License or State issued ID card, Social Security card, food sales, etc. Failure to submit any
       requested documentation within ten (10) days of request will result in denial of the application.
    2. Minimum Inventory of WIC-Approved Foods. (See chart below.) Stores are required to stock and
       maintain daily the minimum inventory of approved WIC foods as well as a substantial amount of non-WIC
       foods.
           A. The inventory must be in the store or the store’s stockroom.
           B. Expired foods do not count towards minimum inventory. (Note: All WIC-approved foods currently in
               stock, including the minimum amounts, must be within the expiration dates at the time of
               application).
           C. Pharmacies are exempt from minimum inventory requirements.
           D. Commissaries are exempt from the minimum requirement under the 1983 Memorandum of
               Understanding between the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
               and the United States Department of Defense.
                                                     Georgia WIC Program
                                               Minimum Inventory Requirements
                                                   Effective October 1 , 2009
       Food Item                       Types/Brands                       Size           Minimum Inventory         
                                          Whole Milk                    Gallon           8 Gallons                 
          MILK                    Fat free/Skim, Low-fat (1%),          Gallons          12 Gallons
                                                                                                                   
Least Expensive Brand               Reduced Fat (2%) Milk                                (Can be Combined)
of type selected/allowed             Dry powdered milk or            Makes 3 quarts      3 Boxes                   
                                       Evaporated Milk                 12 oz can         12 cans                   
        CHEESE
Least Expensive Brand                One pound package–              16 oz. (1 pound)    8 – 1 lb packages         
of type selected/allowed
         EGGS
                                        Grade A Large                1 Dozen carton      8 – 1 Dozen               
Least Expensive Brand
                                 Any brand Creamy, Crunchy,
   PEANUT BUTTER                 or Extra Crunchy (Regular or           16-18 oz         6 - 16-18 oz Containers   
                                           Low-salt)
                                                                                         5 Packages - 2 types
       BEANS /                    Dried Beans / Peas / Lentils     1 pound packages                                
    PEAS / LENTILS                                                                                                 
                                 Canned Beans / Peas / Lentils      14 to 16 oz cans     18 Cans - 2 types
                                   Ready to Serve Container            46-48 oz          12 Containers - 2 types   
         JUICE
                                   Ready to Serve Container             64 oz            12 Containers - 2 types   
    WHOLE GRAIN-
                                      Whole Grain Bread                 16 oz loaf       6 Loaves                  
      BREAD
                                 WIC Approved Cereal Brands
      CEREAL –                           and Types                                       24 Boxes - 4 types, 2
                                                                        11-36 oz                                   
      Whole Grain                 (see WIC Approved Foods                                must be whole grain
                                            List)
         FISH                                Tuna                       5 oz Can
Least Expensive of type                                                                  18 Cans Combined          
       selected                          Pink Salmon                7.5 oz or 14.75 oz
                                         Milk Based –
                                 Gerber Good Start Gentle PLUS                               Milk Based - 30       
                                         Soy Based –                13 oz Concentrate
                                  Gerber Good Start Soy Plus                                 Soy Based - 20        
  INFANT FORMULA
                                         Milk Based –
                                                                      12 oz Powder           Milk Based -50        
                                 Gerber Good Start Gentle PLUS
                                         Soy Based –
                                                                     12.9 oz Powder         Soy Based - 20         
                                  Gerber Good Start Soy Plus
                                                                                         12 Boxes - 2 types, 1
   INFANT CEREAL                         Dry cereal in                  8 oz box                                   
                                                                                         must be rice
   INFANT FRUIT &
                                    Fruit and /or Vegetable             4 oz Jars        96 Jars Combined          
     VEGETABLES
    INFANT MEATS                       Meats in Gravy                  2.5 oz Jars       31 Meat                   
                                             Fruits               10 Pounds Combined     4 types fresh             
FRUITS &VEGETABLES
                                          Vegetables              10 Pounds Combined     4 types fresh             



                                                  Non-WIC Inventory Requirement
                           Food Item                                      Type              Minimum in each category
         Meats, Poultry and/or Seafood (refrigerated)                    NON-WIC                      100
                Breads and Cereal Products                               NON-WIC                      100
            Dairy (e.g... milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)                    NON-WIC                      100
   Shelf Staples (e.g. flour, sugar, pasta, pudding mix, etc.)           NON-WIC                      100
  Cans, Jars, Bottled Goods (e.g. mayo, ketchup, relish, etc.)           NON-WIC                      100
     Beverages (e.g. soda, water, powdered drinks, etc.)                 NON-WIC                      100
        Snack Foods (e.g. crackers, granola bars, etc.)                  NON-WIC                      100


   Form 3746 (Revised 08/2010)
Selection Criteria                                                                                              Page 3

              YOU MUST PROVIDE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
                     OR YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE DENIED

     3. All WIC vendor applicants will receive an on-site pre-approval visit from State WIC representatives to verify
        the information listed on the application and items A & B above. PRE-APPROVAL VISITS WILL NOT BE
        CONDUCTED UNTIL A VENDOR HAS ATTENDED TRAINING AND PASSED THE EVALUATION WITH
        A SCORE OF 80 OR ABOVE. Georgia’s WIC Program will conduct the visit based on the date you stated
        you will have the required minimum inventory of WIC approved foods in stock (question 8C on the
        application). If you see that you will not have the inventory by the date stated on your application, please
        contact our office IMMEDIATELY to prevent denial of your application by calling 1-866-814-5468 or (404)
        657-2900. You will only be allowed to change this date one time.

          Expiration of the Vendor Application
          WIC vendor applications postponed pending the receipt of additional information will expire ten (10) days
          after the request of information.

          Changes to Opening Dates and Availability Date of WIC Minimum Inventory
          Applicants are urged to contact Georgia WIC if the expected date they intend to have their minimum
          inventory of WIC-approved foods in stock has changed.

              Applicants are allowed to change the date they expect to have their minimum inventory in stock one (1)
               time in a 30 (thirty)-day period from the date of the application.
              Applications from vendors who were unable to acquire the necessary inventory for authorization
               consideration will expire 30 (thirty) days from date the applicant declared they will have the minimum
               inventory, and such applications will be denied.

     4. Provide Adequate Access for Participants. The store must be open for business at least eight (8) hours
        per day, six (6) days per week. (Exceptions may be granted at the State agency’s discretion.)

     5. Provide Suitable Store Location. There must be a store sign to identify the store with the name of the
        business clearly marked. The store must not be located inside of another facility that is not food retail in
        nature. This includes, but is not limited to a suite on the upper floors of an office building, inside a
        community center, daycare, floral shop, etc.

     6. Compliance with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Each store must have a valid Retail Food
        Sales Establishment License in the current owner’s name. Pharmacies and military commissaries are
        exempt from this requirement. Stores in bordering states must have a comparable license.

     7. Compatible Prices with Similar Stores. The prices listed on the application will be compared with the
        State agency’s pre-established baseline prices. An applicant whose prices exceed the established price for
        selected food packages and/or voucher codes will not be authorized.

     8. Compliance with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Regulations. Effective
        December 1, 2009, all vendors must be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture Food
        Nutrition Service as a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP retail provider (formerly the
        Food Stamp Program). Unless necessary to ensure adequate participant access, the Georgia WIC
        Program will not authorize an applicant that is currently disqualified from SNAP or that has been assessed
        a civil money penalty (CMP) from SNAP for hardship and the disqualification period has not expired.

     9. Compliance with Georgia WIC Program Policies and Procedures. Sanctions - any sanction(s) that are
        in the vendor’s record at the time of re-authorization will remain on the vendor’s record. Any prior years
        sanctions may result in denial of application and/or additional sanctions up to and including disqualification,
        in accordance with the most recent Georgia WIC Program Vendor Handbook and all addendums.
               A. Violations - Pending and/or potential violations that exists at the time of re-authorization will accrue
                  and will result in sanctions up to and including disqualification in accordance with the most recent
                  Georgia’s WIC Vendor Handbook and all addendums.

Selection Criteria                                                                                              Page 4
Form 3746 (Revised 08/2010)
               B. Georgia’s WIC determines that an applicant is attempting to circumvent a period of disqualification
                  from Georgia’s WIC Program, the application will be denied until the disqualification period has
                  expired.

     10. Business Integrity. All new applicant vendors will be subject to criminal background checks as a part of
     the pre-screening process. Any vendors that have a history of fraud, embezzlement, or trafficking, or have
     engaged in any activity that Georgia’s WIC deems to be a volatile action preventing authorization will be denied.
     Unless necessary to ensure adequate participant access, the Georgia WIC Program will not authorize an
     applicant that does not meet the business integrity criteria based on facts already known and information
     provided on the application. This includes but is not limited to the following:

               A. Criminal conviction or civil judgments during the past six (6) years among the applicant’s owner’s,
                  officer(s) or manager(s) for any activity indicating a lack of business integrity such as fraud, antitrust
                  violations embezzlement, theft, forgery bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false
                  statements, receiving stolen property, making false claims and obstruction of justice.

               B. Official records of removal from other federal, state or local programs.

               C. The applicant vendor shall not acquire a store location or entity that was sold or assigned as a
                  result of transferring the ownership of a disqualified vendor’s partners, members, owners, officers,
                  directors, employees, relatives by blood or marriage, heirs or assigns. If it is later determined that
                  failure to abide by this provision is evident, the vendor will be subject to civil liability, fines, and
                  penalties.

     11. 50% Criterion. A new for profit vendor will not be authorized if that vendor is expected to derive more than
     fifty percent (50%) of its annual food sales revenue from WIC food instruments, unless that vendor is necessary
     to assure participant access to program benefits. Participant access is assured by the presence of an
     authorized WIC vendor within ten (10) miles of the vendor applicant. This includes a new store location for any
     ownership entity that currently has a WIC authorized store, as well as an entirely new vendor applicant. YOU
     MUST CARRY OTHER FOODS OUTSIDE OF THE WIC MINIMUM INVENTORY AND WIC APPROVED
     FOODS. This provision also applies to the reauthorization of a current store location operated by a currently
     authorized vendor. All vendors are required to submit food sales data upon request in order to monitor
     compliance with the above-50-percent criterion. If it is subsequently determined that a vendor does not meet
     the above-50-percent criterion, they will be re-classified into Peer Group 8 – Above 50% Vendors. All vendors
     must carry at least one hundred (100) items of non-WIC food items in ALL of the following categories in order to
     be considered for, and maintain, authorization:


                                          Meats, Poultry and/or Seafood (refrigerated)
                                                 Breads and Cereal Products
                                             Dairy (e.g... milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
                                    Shelf Staples (e.g. flour, sugar, pasta, pudding mix, etc.)
                                   Cans, Jars, Bottled Goods (e.g. mayo, ketchup, relish, etc.)
                                      Beverages (e.g. soda, water, powdered drinks, etc.)
                                         Snack Foods (e.g. crackers, granola bars, etc.)


          There will be an onsite inventory audit for initial applicants of all the above items and any information
          obtained will be assessed prior to determination of potential above-50-percent criterion.

     12. Infant Formula Suppliers. All vendor applicants are required to purchase infant formula, which will be
     redeemed for WIC vouchers, solely from a list of suppliers selected and approved by the Georgia WIC Program.
     The list can be obtained via the Internet at www.health.state.ga.us/programs/WIC/vendorinfo.asp, (click on
     “Approved Infant Formula Suppliers”). Acrobat Reader must be installed on the computer to view the list. If a
     supplier is not listed, a vendor is required to call 866-814-5468 to inquire about adding the supplier to the list.
     After the vendor has requested the addition, the vendor must ensure that Georgia’s WIC has authorized the
     supplier, prior to purchasing any infant formula from that supplier. Records of the infant formula purchase
     must be maintained for four (4) years or until investigations are adjudicated when applicable.


Selection Criteria                                                                                                Page 5

Form 3746 (Revised 08/2010)
     13. WIC Acronym and Logo. The WIC authorized vendor is not permitted to use the WIC acronym, or the WIC
         logo, including close facsimiles thereof, in any form of marketing or advertisement of the store that gives an
         impression that the business is owned, operated, approved, favored or endorsed by the Georgia WIC
         Program, including wording such as “WIC Only”. The state agency will make a determination and notify the
         vendor if misuse is determined. If a vendor fails to discontinue the use of the WIC acronym or the WIC logo,
         including close facsimiles thereof, in total or in part, after misuse is determined, the application will be denied.

     14. Purchase Invoice Receipts. Applicant vendors must submit purchase invoice receipts, bills of lading or
         recent invoices which depict the purchase of items for intent to sell in their stores upon request. Failure to
         submit the requested documentation within 10 (ten) days of the request will result in denial of the vendor
         application.

     15. Automatic Clearinghouse Application. Applicants vendors who are authorized for participation in the
         Georgia WIC Program will have 3 (three) business days from the date of authorization to apply to the
         Automatic Clearing House for voucher payment. Failure to apply within the allotted timeframe will result in a
         one (1) year termination for cause for non-submission of requested documentation.

     16. Additional Information. Vendors are subject to a thorough investigation as a part of the application process.
         Vendors who redeem vouchers prior to becoming an authorized vendor or without being an authorized vendor
         are subject to criminal prosecution. Fraudulent redemptions equaling $100 (one hundred) dollars or more will
         be subject to fines not to exceed $25,000 (twenty-five thousand) dollars or imprisonment for not more than
         five (5) years, or both. Fraudulent redemptions less than $100 (one hundred) dollars will be subject to fines of
         not more than $1000 (one thousand) dollars or imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both.

          Denial of Vendor Authorization
          During the authorization process, vendors will be denied for any of the following reasons:
          Application Submitted Outside Timeframe
          The applicant submitted the initial application between the dates of July 1 and September 30. During this
          time period, new applications are not accepted or processed.
          Requested Information not provided
          The applicant did not provide the necessary application documentation within ten (10) days of request.
          Insufficient WIC Inventory
          The applicant did not have the minimum variety and/or quantity of WIC approved supplemental foods
          required during the on-site pre-approval visit.
          Inadequate Access
          The store is not open eight (8) hours per day, six (6) days per week.
          Prices Exceed Maximum Allowable Reimbursement Level (MARL) Allowed
          Shelf prices exceeded the Average Redemption currently allowed on Georgia WIC Program vouchers
          during the on-site pre-approval visit.
          SNAP Disqualification or Civil Money Penalty Assessment
          Applicant has been disqualified from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or has been assessed
          a civil money penalty for hardship and the disqualification period that would otherwise have been imposed
          has not expired.
          History of Georgia WIC Sanctions
          Applicant has been disqualified and all administrative appeals have been exhausted.
          Business Integrity
          Applicant or applicant’s current owners, officers, or managers has a conviction or civil judgment during the
          last six (6) years for any activity indicating a lack of business integrity (e.g. fraud, antitrust, embezzlement,
          theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, receiving stolen
          property, making false claims, and obstruction of justice.
          Applicant provided false statements, false representations, or used false writing or documentation
          Applicant is expected to derive more than fifty percent (50%) of its annual food revenue from WIC foods.
          Ownership has been linked to a current fifty percent (50%) vendor
          Owner related by blood, marriage, partners, members, owners, officers, directors, employees, heirs or
          assigns purchased store to circumvent a sanction or disqualification of another vendor.
          Use of the Acronym or Logo
          Applicant used the WIC acronym or logo or close facsimiles thereof in total or in part as a part of their
          name or advertisements.

Selection Criteria                                                                                               Page 6
Form 3746 (Revised 08/2010)
           Application Expired
           Vendor has exhausted opportunities to change the date that minimum inventory will be in stock (vendor can
           request a change in the date that minimum inventory will be in stock one (1) time).
           Georgia WIC has been unable to reach applicant to complete application process.
           Additional documentation was not received within 10 (ten) days of request.
           Applicant did not complete training within 30 (thirty) days of application submission.

Requests for an Administrative Review
      The validity or appropriateness of the Georgia WIC Program’s selection criteria is not subject to administrative
      review. An applicant may request an administrative review if the application is denied for the following reasons:

      1)    Denial of authorization based on the vendor selection criteria for competitive price or for minimum variety
            and quantity of authorized supplemental foods or the determination that the vendor is attempting to
            circumvent a sanction.
      2)    Disqualification.
      3)    Imposition of a civil money penalty in lieu of disqualification.
      4)    Denial of authorization based on the vendor selection criteria for business integrity or for a current SNAP
            Program disqualification or civil money penalty for hardship.
      5)    Denial of authorization because a vendor submitted its application outside the established timeframes.
      6)    Disqualification based on a trafficking conviction.
      7)    Disqualification based on the imposition of a SNAP civil money penalty for hardship in lieu of
            disqualification.
      8)    Denial of authorization based on the determination that an applicant is expected to meet the above-50-
            percent criterion.
      9)    Denial of authorization based on applicant purchasing infant formula from an unapproved infant formula
            supplier, which was not listed on the Approved Infant Formula list.

           A request for review must be submitted in writing within ten (10) days of the date of the denial notice.
           Submit the request to:
                                                     Vendor Management Unit
                                                  Administrative Review Request
                                                       Georgia WIC Program
                                               2 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 10-476
                                                   Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3142

The administrative review process includes the following:
1)  Written notification of the adverse action.
2)  The opportunity to appeal the action.
3)  Adequate advance notice of the time and place of the administrative review.
4)  The opportunity to present a case and at least one (1) opportunity to reschedule.
5)  The opportunity to cross-examine adverse witnesses (When necessary to protect the identity of WIC Program
    investigators, such examinations may be conducted behind a protective screen or other device).
6) The opportunity to be represented by legal counsel.
7) The opportunity to examine, prior to the review, the evidence upon which the action is based.
8) An impartial decision-maker, whose determination is based solely on whether the Georgia WIC Program has
    correctly applied Federal and State statutes, regulations, policies and procedures governing the Program,
    based on the evidence presented.
9) Written notification of the decision, including the basis for the decision, within ninety (90) calendar days from
    the date of the receipt of a vendor’s request for an administrative review.
10) If reimbursement is required, neither the vendor nor its affiliates shall be eligible to participate in the Georgia
    WIC Program until such time as full reimbursement is made. The vendor may not circumvent reimbursement
    by selling or otherwise making any changes or amendments to the corporate structures, since the time of the
    initial approval by the Georgia WIC Program.

All WIC vendor adverse actions subject to administrative review shall be effective twenty (20) calendar days after
receipt of adverse action.




Form 3746 (Revised 08/2010)

								
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