The state agencies that administer the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are responsible for all aspects of vendor management, including identifying, investigating, and sanctioning vendors that violate regulations. As the state agencies transition from delivering benefits to participants via paper vouchers to electronic benefit transfer (EBT), the ways vendors might violate the rules and the ways they can be detected have also changed. For example, vendors might overcharge for WIC foods, substitute other items for WIC foods, or charge for WIC foods the participant does not receive.
This study aimed to identify empirical measures that could indicate which authorized retail vendors are most likely to commit program violations, and provide resources state agencies might use to identify such vendors through application of their own EBT data.
As part of this project, Insight—
- Studied six state agencies to compile a list of potential indicators of vendors at high risk of committing violations based on EBT issuance, transaction, and redemption data
- Developed a toolkit, including several Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and accompanying materials to assist the state agencies in using their EBT data themselves to identify high-risk vendors
- Toolkit for WIC agencies, including Excel tools to identify program violators
- Final Report:
Thorn, B., Kline, N., Griffiths, R., Budge, E., & Mantovani, R. (2017). WIC EBT redemption simulation analyses and data files. Alexandria, VA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.