Investigations Target Federal Disability Program
A program that distributes billions in federal dollars each year to secure work for people with disabilities is accused of failing at its very mission amid allegations of corruption and fraud.
The U.S. Department of Justice and at least four inspectors general are investigating the federal government’s AbilityOne program and SourceAmerica, a nonprofit that manages the employment efforts, according to a CNN investigation.
AbilityOne allocates over $2 billion annually in federal funds toward contracts with various companies. To participate, at least 75 percent of a business’s work must be done by employees who are blind or who have severe disabilities.
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However, up to half of the companies with such contracts may not be living up to that expectation, employing too few people with disabilities to legally qualify, according to CNN, which cites numerous named and unnamed sources.
Moreover, SourceAmerica is accused in the report of funneling AbilityOne contracts to a relatively small number of companies with ties to top executives at the nonprofit.
SourceAmerica denied the allegations, telling CNN in a statement that “no one involved in making award recommendations to the commission is employed by an organization seeking those contracts.”