246-790-077 - Vendor selection criteria

246-790-077. Vendor selection criteria

At the time of application, applicants must meet the following criteria; all authorized vendors must continue to meet the following criteria throughout the period of authorization:

(1) Purchase WIC approved infant formula directly from an infant formula manufacturer or supplier named on the "WIC approved infant formula suppliers" document.

(2) Maintain in store at all times the minimum quantities and varieties of WIC approved foods, including infant formula, as required by the "WIC minimum inventory requirements" document. Expired or spoiled foods do not count as inventory.

(3) Maintain an active electronic mailing address to be used for department communications.

(4) Be primarily engaged in the retail sale of food products and general merchandise as a full line grocery store. A full line grocery store carries the designated products in the following categories on a continuous basis. These requirements are separate from the "minimum inventory requirements."

(a) Canned foods: At least twenty total varieties of canned foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, meat, poultry, chili, soup, stew, broth or sauce (excluding canned infant formula, fish, juice or other beverages).

(b) Frozen foods: At least ten total varieties of frozen foods such as dinners, pizza, fruit, or vegetables (excluding frozen juice, meat, seafood, poultry, desserts, snacks or novelties).

(c) Dairy products: At least ten total varieties of refrigerated dairy products such as butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, cream cheese, whipped cream, sour cream or ice cream (excluding milk, WIC-approved cheeses, infant formula, or individual serving size packages of dairy products).

(d) Frozen and unfrozen meat, seafood, and poultry: At least six total varieties (all unbreaded) of frozen meat, unfrozen meat, frozen seafood, unfrozen seafood, frozen poultry, or unfrozen poultry, including at least two varieties of meat and at least two varieties of poultry (excluding precooked and deli-style products).

(e) Fruit and vegetables: At least twenty total varieties of fresh or frozen fruits or fresh or frozen vegetables including at least five varieties of fruits and at least five varieties of vegetables. The store must have a minimum of five linear feet of refrigerated display space for its produce.

(f) Bread and tortillas: At least ten total varieties of bread products such as bread, rolls, bagels, and tortillas. Breads and tortillas exclude muffins, pastries, cookies, cakes, crackers, or other snack foods.

(g) Grains, pasta, and dried beans: At least ten total varieties of grains, pasta, or beans such as oatmeal, rice, bulgur, pasta, beans, peas, or lentils (excluding bread, canned products or other breakfast cereals).

(h) Baby products: At least ten total varieties of baby products such as diapers, baby bottles, baby wipes, baby shampoo, or baby lotion (excluding infant formula).

(i) Household cleaners and laundry products: At least ten total varieties of household cleaning or laundry products used for cleaning kitchens, dishes, bathrooms, windows, floors, furniture, clothes, or fabrics.

(j) Health care products: At least twenty total varieties of health care products such as pain relievers, cold/cough/ allergy products, digestive aids, dental care products, feminine hygiene products, or toilet paper.

(5) Maintain prices for WIC-approved foods that are at or below the limits established by the WIC nutrition program's current price management system.

(6) Be currently authorized and participating as a vendor in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).

(7) Receive or expect to receive less than fifty percent in annual food sales revenue from WIC transactions.

(8) Be open for business at least eight hours per day, six days per week.

(9) Submit to the department, upon request, sales information including gross sales and tax exempt food sales.

(10) Be current with state, federal and local taxes.

(11) Have electronic cash registers capable of producing receipts that include:

(a) The store name;

(b) Food product name and description;

(c) Quantity sold and price of each item;

(d) Total actual purchase price; and

(e) The date of sale.

(12) Post food prices for all foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, on each item, or on the shelf next to the item.

(13) Maintain a business model that promotes business integrity. The department may investigate the business integrity of a WIC vendor or applicant at any time. In its determination of business integrity, the department's considerations will include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Providing complete and truthful information in the application, correspondence, and other documents requested by the department.

(b) Cooperating with department requests to complete WIC authorization or compliance activities, including granting access to WIC food instruments.

(c) Providing business and financial documentation to the department upon request.

(d) Ensuring all current owners, officers, managers, or representatives have had no criminal convictions or civil judgments entered against them in the last six years for fraud, antitrust violations, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, receiving stolen property, making false claims, or obstruction of justice.

(e) Having no uncorrected violation(s) from a previous contracting period, current disqualification, or outstanding claims owed to the department.

(f) Not being currently disqualified from the SNAP or having a civil money penalty levied instead of SNAP disqualification.

(g) Disclosure of any third party, agent or broker involved in any part of the application process.

(h) Where a store has an outstanding WIC or SNAP sanction or claim, not attempting to avoid sanction or claim by reapplying after:

(i) Conveying any legal interest in a store to a relative or other person with whom the owner or owners have a financial relationship.

(ii) Accepting any legal interest in a store from a relative by blood or marriage or other person with whom the owner or owners have a financial relationship.

(iii) Reorganizing the business to another form, such as, but not limited to, corporation, general partnership, limited partnership, sole proprietorship, or limited liability company.

(iv) Failing to cooperate with WIC authorization of compliance activities.

(14) The department may verify the identity of an applicant at any time.

(15) When evaluating business integrity, the department may take into account whether a store subject to a sanction or claim has been sold for less than fair market value.

(16) Not own or be a substantial interest holder, have previously owned or been a substantial interest holder, or have a legal interest in a business that has a WIC sanction currently in effect. This includes any business for which a vendor may be applying.

(17) Use a recordkeeping system that complies with the Washington state department of revenue requirements in WAC 458-20-254, maintains inventory records for Federal tax reporting, preserves original documents and records organized in a logical way that conforms to acceptable accounting methods and procedures.

(18) Comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination laws, regulations, and policies. This includes, but is not limited to, 7 C.F.R. Parts 15, 15a, and 15b and RCW 49.60.030.

(19) Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Public Law 101-336.

(20) Comply with all other federal, state, county, and city required licenses, permits and certifications.

(21) Exemptions.

(a) Oregon and Idaho vendors located on the Washington border and that serve Washington residents are exempt from Washington state business license, permit, and certification requirements. They shall meet all applicable business license, permit and certification requirements for their respective state.

(b) An "infant formula-only provider" is exempt from the full line grocery store requirement. Infant formula-only provider means an authorized vendor or pharmacy for whom WIC authorization is limited to the redemption of WIC checks issued for infant formula.

(Amended by WSR 14-21-110, Filed 10/16/2014, effective 11/16/2014 Amended by WSR 18-23-080, Filed 11/19/2018, effective 12/20/2018)

Statutory Authority: RCW 43.70.120. 11-23-125, ยง 246-790-077, filed 11/21/11, effective 12/22/11.

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