Enhanced Oversight of the AbilityOne Program Needed

May 30, 2013

What GAO Found

Federal agencies need to exercise strong oversight to promote effectiveness and efficiency and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse--especially in a federal procurement program such as this, which is exempt from full and open competition requirements. However, although the AbilityOne Commission is ultimately responsible for overseeing the program, the Commission cannot control how CNAs (1) spend their funds, (2) set and manage their performance goals, or (3) set and implement governance policies and other internal controls. The Commission's authority to direct CNA budget priorities--including how much they compensate their executives and the level and growth of their reserves--is limited. As independent entities, the CNAs are responsible for determining their spending. Most of their money comes from fees they charge their affiliates as a percent of revenue earned from AbilityOne contracts. Moreover, the Commission does not have sufficient authority to set CNA performance and governance standards, so it depends on the CNAs to set and enforce such standards. Although the CNAs have instituted their own internal controls, the Commission does not have procedures to monitor alleged CNA control violations, nor is there an inspector general to provide independent audit and investigative capabilities for the program, including at the CNAs. 

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