The comment period is now closed. (11/30/06)
This interim rule amends the regulations governing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to strengthen vendor cost containment. The rule incorporates into program regulations new legislative requirements that affect the selection, authorization, and reimbursement of retail vendors. These requirements are contained in the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, enacted on June 30, 2004. The rule reflects the statutory provisions that require State agencies to implement a vendor peer group system, competitive price criteria, and allowable reimbursement levels in a manner that ensures that the WIC Program pays authorized vendors competitive prices for supplemental foods. It also requires State agencies to ensure that vendors that derive more than 50 percent of their annual food sales revenue from WIC food instruments do not result in higher food costs to the program than do other vendors. The intent of these provisions is to maximize the number of eligible women, infants, and children served with available Federal funding.
This rule is effective December 29, 2005.
Implementation date: State agencies must implement the provisions of this rule no later than December 30, 2005.
FNS invites interested persons to submit comments on this interim rule. To be assured of consideration, comments on this interim rule must be received by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) on or before November 29, 2006. The comment period is now closed.
All comments submitted in response to this interim rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identities of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. All written submissions will be available for public inspection at the address above during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Monday through Friday.