Being the transformational initiative that it is, AbilityOne is today’s biggest source of employment for people who are blind and physically disabled. The Commission procures products & services made by them for the Federal government. The AbilityOne Program (previously known as The Javits-Wagner-O’Day or JWOD Program) is mandated to award contracts (federal) so that the disabled receive job and training opportunities through the manufacturing of JWOD office supplies, clothing, vehicular equipment, medical supplies, etc. In 2015, these contracts amounted to $2.8 billion.
Recently in early May 2016, the U.S. AbilityOne Commission joined hands with the Central Non-profit Agencies (CNAs) to enter a cooperative agreement. This is a transformational initiative that formalizes business relationships between the CNAs and the Commission. It established a Cooperative Agreement foundation for public purpose and with significant government involvement. The main objectives of this scheme is to use principles of agreements and contracts to:
- Incentivize outstanding performance
- Drive more accountability
- Optimize the outcome of the AbilityOne Program
The Mutual Benefits Received from the Agreement
The benefits of the cooperative agreement approach will be reaped by the AbilityOne Commission, Central Non-profit Agencies and other Non-profit Agencies (NPAs). It will help in the following ways –
- Meeting Congressional Mandate
- Enhancing the JWOD or AbilityOne Program
- Building stronger public cases for accountability
- Improving transparency and the line of sight of the stakeholders
- Defining value added services given for the fee
- Strengthening relationships with Administration, NPAs, Congress and the community for disability
- Strengthening of bond with the Board and local communities for the NPAs
- Driving better results for the people served
Major Elements of the Cooperative Agreement
- Performance-based Work Statement
The objective is to build the governing relationship between the CNA and the Commission by expressing its demands in the form of a minimum quality standard that must be met. Its Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan identifies the ways and methods the Commission would use to ensure that the CNAs meet the minimum performance standards set by the PWS.
Key Performance Indicators include:
- Employment Growth
- Program Administration, Integrity and Oversight
- NPA Support, Assistance, and Development
- Strategic Communications and Training
Rewards will be given for performing above the bare minimum standards via the Award Fee process. CNAs will be asked to provide fee proposals post the contract being signed. They will collect the fees from NPAs to establish an exclusive account for Award Fee portion. This will result in higher accountability and better performance.
AbilityOne has always and will continue to work for the benefit of the specially challenged and blind. If you wish to promote the initiative and buy JWOD office supplies.