Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taking a Bad Problem and Making It Worse

Disappointing. That's the only way to describe FNS' proposed rules for "streamlining" the WIC EBT planning process. It has been 19 months since the eGovernment Payments Council met with senior FNS officials regarding the unnecessarily lengthy planning process states must endure in order to obtain federal funding for WIC EBT projects. 

Instead of streamlining the process, FNS has unveiled a new process that will make planning even more convoluted that it is now. It does nothing to solve the current problems, but will only add to them.

Also dismaying is the fact that a federal agency has developed this plan without the private sector or states agencies at the table. Electronic benefits transfer has become a model for how states, the private sector and the federal government can work together to make government more effective and efficient for its citizens. FNS has ignored its own long-standing legacy of inclusion in this regard. Unfortunately, among FNS' WIC bureau there remains a distrust of the private sector, which threatens the continued success of EBT.