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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 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. 

January 2021 Briefing & 2020 Year End Review

Kicking of 2021, the Inspector General presented on the theme of "why?" at the January 14, 2021 Commission meeting. The presentation featured a discussion of the year-in-review of the major accomplishments of the OIG. And that dramatic change is needed for the successful future of the program. 

Management Alert: Persistent Deficiencies and Mismanagement of Agency Programs Hamper AbilityOne’s Future

The Office of Inspector General issued this management alert to the Commission to help ensure a stronger future for the AbilityOne program. We synthesized the content of reports on the AbilityOne Commission and Programs using over 100 data points. The reports we analyzed provide specific recommendations that would enhance efficiency and confidence in the Agency, reduce identified deficiencies, and foster program growth. The reports show a consistent failure by Commission senior staff to resolve persistent problems in the management and administration of the Program.

Management Alert: Lack of Management Action on ERM and Internal Controls

The Office of Inspector General is issuing this management alert to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission (Commission) as notice that the Agency’s ability to mitigate risk in its programs and operations remains inadequate. Senior Agency staff has failed to address internal controls, and noncompliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) revised Circular A-123, Management’s Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control, persists.

The future: tell your own story. Semiannual Report to Congress for April 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

The future: tell your own story. Semiannual Report to Congress for April 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020.

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