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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.”

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

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. 

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.


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