This final rule, published December 29, 2000, amends the regulations governing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. It strengthens vendor management in retail food delivery systems by establishing mandatory selection criteria, training requirements, criteria to be used to identify high-risk vendors, and monitoring requirements, including compliance investigations. In addition, the rule strengthens food instrument accountability and sanctions for participants who violate program requirements. It also streamlines the vendor appeals process. The rule will increase program accountability and efficiency in food delivery and related areas and decrease vendor violations of program requirements and loss of program funds.