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On September 30, 2020, DOJ announced NPA Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired Inc., of Wisconsin, had agreed to settle for $1.9 million allegations of false claims and kickbacks

We are committed to preserving the integrity of the AbilityOne program.  False claims on the program exclude blind and significantly disabled workers from opportunities and hinders law-abiding AbilityOne contractors,” said Thomas K. Lehrich, Inspector General of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission. “Working with DOJ and our partners, the Office of Inspector General protects the confidence and public trust in the largest employment program in the nation of blind and significantly disabled workers.”

U.S. AbilityOne Commission

The AbilityOne Program is the largest source of employment in the United States for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Through the AbilityOne Program, over 45,000 Americans who are blind and have significant disabilities are employed in the service, manufacturing, and delivery of over $3.6 billion in federal contracts for products and services to the Federal Government.

The Commission is composed of 15 members appointed by the President.  The Commission has designated National Industries for the Blind (NIB), SourceAmerica, and American Foundation for the Blind as central nonprofit agencies (CNAs) to represent and assist the over 500 community-based qualified nonprofit agencies (NPAs) located in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, that provide employment to blind and significantly disabled Americans.

The Office of Inspector General

On December 18, 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-113) amended the Inspector General Act of 1978 (IG Act) and created the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at AbilityOne as a designated federal entity IG.  The OIG is responsible for conducting audits and investigations, recommending policies and procedures that promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of agency resources and programs, and detecting and preventing fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The IG Act requires the IG to keep the Commission and Congress fully and currently informed about problems and deficiencies in the Commission’s operations and the need for any corrective action.

AbilityOne News

OIG Presents at July 2021 Commission Briefing on the Theme "Mastering the Craft" and “Oversight for the Future”

On July 8th, 2021, OIG updated stakeholders on the results of the OIG collective products and achievements over the past four years and recent months. Since the creation of OIG, we have built the future of oversight for the Program and mastered our craft. OIG has conducted a sweep of the main core areas of the Commission programs and operations: AbilityOne Program Fee, Cooperative Agreements, Allocation of Assignment of Product and Service and Operation of the Procurement List.  OIG recently issued comprehensive two-year audit plan, tailored for the future.

Biennial Audit Plan for Fiscal Years 2022–2023

OIG is pleased to announce our risk-based Biennial Audit Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2022–2023. The OIG Biennial Audit Plan includes eight statutorily mandated audits and eight discretionary audits of the AbilityOne Program. Throughout the 2022–2023 audit cycle, OIG will continue to focus on high-risk areas in the program and operations, as well as aspects of the Program related to the pandemic.

Pivotal Stage – the future: Semiannual Report to Congress for October 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021.

We are pleased to provide the Semiannual Report to Congress. The theme of this report is, “Pivotal Stage” and builds on our last semiannual report “the Future: tell your own story.”

OIG Presents at SourceAmerica Annual Conference

At SourceAmerica’s May 2021 Annual Conference, the Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General discussed current initiatives and hosted a session devoted to answering discussion questions asked during pandemic speeches made to SourceAmerica.  A copy of the PowerPoint is available here.

OIG Presents at April 2021 Commission Briefing & Town Hall on the Theme "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

During the April 2021 Commission Briefing and Town Hall, the OIG introduced a theme inspired by Henry David Thoreau, the 19th century transcendentalist author, stating that "it's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." OIG has reached a point of specialization in what we are observing.  It is no longer about what to look at but what we see. The IG also addressed the need to change the status quo and provided an overview of major OIG work products and impact.

Commission Report to President and Congress Features IG Section Telling the Story of How Oversight is Building a Stronger Commission and Program

As required by the JWOD Act, the Commission released its annual report to the President and to Congress.  The Report features an IG Section that tells the story of how oversight is building a stronger Commission and Program. The report covers four major areas:

OIG Issues Report on the Audit of the Central Nonprofit Agency Selection of Nonprofit Agencies for Project Assignment and Allocation of Orders

On March 12, 2021, OIG issued a report on the Audit of the CNAs’ Selection of NPAs for Project Assignment and Allocation of Orders. The performance audit assessed the extent to which the implementation of the project assignment and allocation process by the CNAs is effective and follows applicable laws and regulations as well as established policies and procedures. 

OIG Presents at March 2021 NCSE Forum

At the March 2021 NCSE CEO Leadership Forum, the Inspector General presented on the theme of "specialization." The presentation provided an overview of major products OIG is currently undertaking as well as a discussion of top challenges across government and within the AbilityOne Program. 

898 Panel Issues Third Annual Report to Congress

The 898 Panel on Department of Defense and AbilityOne Contracting Oversight, Accountability, and Integrity issued its Third Annual Report to Congress. The Report discusses progress on the implementation of recommendations from the First and Second Reports to Congress.

Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing Multiple Federal Agencies

The FY 2021 edition of CIGIE’s report on top management and performance challenges facing multiple Federal agencies has been published. It is the premier resource for the community, the Administration and other stakeholders that identify and analyze cross cutting challenges in government. CIGIE referenced the analysis of only a few OIGs in identifying the cross cutting challenges for government and the work of AbilityOne OIG was included. 

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