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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

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.

Wisconsin-Based Nonprofit To Pay $1.9 Million To Settle Allegations Of False Claims And Kickbacks On Federal Contracts For Blind Workers

Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired Inc. (IBI) has agreed to pay the United States $1,938,684.09 to resolve
allegations that IBI violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act in connection with certain federal contracts
set aside to employ blind workers, the Justice Department announced on September 30, 2020.

Investigative Summary of Spoofing Attack, Payroll Fraud, and Related Policy Violations

The Office of Inspector General issued this Investigative Summary concerning policy violations that contributed to the success of a spoofing attack on AbilityOne.

DOJ Press Release: Memphis Goodwill Industries, Inc. will pay $150,000 to the United States for claims that were in violation of the Federal False Claims Act

Memphis Goodwill Industries, Inc. will pay $150,000 to the United States for claims that were in violation of the Federal False Claims Act.

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