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Connecticut Employment Contractor, CW Resources, Pays $600K to Resolve Federal False Claims Act Allegations

“This settlement represents the government’s commitment to hold any AbilityOne contractor accountable for noncompliance and ensure that federal dollars intended to employ workers who are blind or have significant disabilities are indeed used for that purpose” said Acting Inspector General Stefania Porter of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission. “Working with the United States Attorney’s Office and our investigative and law enforcement partners, the AbilityOne Office of Inspector General protects the integrity and public trust in the largest employment program in the nation of blind and significantly disabled workers.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Memorial near the National Mall in Washington DC, picturing FDR sitting next to his beloved Scottish Terrier, Fala. In 1938, FDR signed the Wagner-O’Day Act into law, creating what would later become the U.S. AbilityOne Commission and its Program.

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

Semiannual Report to Congress for October 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022. Office of Inspector General, U.S. AbilityOne Commission

We are pleased to provide the Semiannual Report to Congress. The theme of this report is “Looking forward” and builds on our last semiannual report “Resilience and Continuity.”

A copy of the report may be found here.

898 Panel Issues Fourth and Final Annual Report to Congress

The U.S. AbilityOne Commission Inspector General is a statutory member of the Panel on Department of Defense and AbilityOne Contracting Oversight, Accountability, and Integrity, established under Section 898 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY17.  The primary mission of the Panel is to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities in DoD contracting within the AbilityOne Program and, at a minimum, recommend improvements in the oversight, accountability, and integrity of the Program.

Evaluation of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission’s Compliance with FISMA for Fiscal Year 2021

The Office of the Inspector General is required by the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA) to conduct an annual independent evaluation that determines the effectiveness of the information security program (ISP) and practices of its respective agency. To that end, the Office of Inspector General engaged the independent public accounting firm McConnell & Jones LLP (M&J) to conduct the annual evaluation and complete the FY 2021 IG FISMA Reporting Metrics.

Resilience and Continuity. Semiannual Report to Congress for April 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021

We are pleased to provide the Semiannual Report to Congress. The theme of this report is, “Resilience and Continuity” and builds on our last semiannual report “Pivotal Stage.”

A copy of the report may be found here.

Audit of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission’s Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2021

The OIG contracted with the independent certified public accounting firm, Allmond & Company, LLC (Allmond), to audit the Commission’s financial statements and related footnotes. Allmond found the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Commission as of September 30, 2021 and 2020, and its net costs, changes in net position, and budgetary resources for the fiscal year then ended in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Top Management and Performance Challenges Report

OIG is pleased to provide the Top Management Challenges Report.  In accordance with the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, the Office of Inspector General reports on the most serious management and performance challenges facing the U.S. AbilityOne Commission.  In this year’s Top Management and Performance Challenges Report, we include the most pressing challenges and added two watch list items.

Quarterly Audit Recommendation Status Report (4th Quarter, FY2021)

We are pleased to provide the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Quarterly Audit Recommendation Status Report. As of September 30th, 2021, there are 58 open recommendations, 6 of which were reported as “implemented” by management; and 3 of the remaining 52 categorized as “Overdue.” Since the date of the OIG’s last recommendation status report, dated July 30th, 2021, no new recommendations were added, and 11 recommendations were closed.

Connecticut Employment Contractor, CW Resources, Pays $600K to Resolve Federal False Claims Act Allegations

 On October 13, 2021, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with New Britain-based CW Resources Inc. to resolve allegations that CW Resources submitted claims that falsely certified compliance with program requirements and failed to maintain adequate medical documentation of significantly disabled employees pursuant to the AbilityOne Program.  

Quarterly Audit Recommendation Status Report

We are pleased to provide the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Quarterly Audit Recommendation Status Report. As of July 30th, 2021, there are 81 open recommendations, 36 of which are considered “Overdue,” and another 26 reported by management as “Implemented.” Since the date of the OIG’s last semiannual report to Congress, dated March 31st, 2021, 13 new recommendations were added, and no recommendations were closed.

Audit of the Procurement List Addition Process, Procedures, and Practices

OIG is pleased to provide our Audit of the Procurement List Addition Process, Procedures, and Practices. The objective of the performance audit was to determine whether the Procurement List (PL) addition process was transparent and performed efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

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