SourceAmerica

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SourceAmerica
Founded June 26, 1974; 42 years ago (1974-06-26)
Type Central Nonprofit
Legal status 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Headquarters Vienna, Virginia
Location
Employees
400+
Mission Create employment opportunities and choices for people with significant disabilities.
Website www.sourceamerica.org


SourceAmerica (formerly NISH) is United States non-profit agency that supports other agencies which provide employment opportunities for people who are severely disabled.

Background[edit]

Established in 1974, SourceAmerica is one of two U.S. nonprofits designated in the Javits–Wagner–O'Day Act to support nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program. That program provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities by providing them opportunities to produce goods and services under federal contracts.

SourceAmerica was founded by the federal government[1] to assist organizations like Goodwill Industries International, National Easter Seals Society, the American Congress of Community Supports and Employment Services, the Arc of the United States, United Cerebral Palsy and International Association of Jewish Vocational Services receive government grants.

SourceAmerica's mission statement is: "Create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities."

Prior to July 1, 2013, SourceAmerica was known as NISH.[2]

Services[edit]

SourceAmerica consists of a network of more than 1,300 non-profit organizations which provide the legislative and regulatory assistance, communications and public relations materials, information technology support, engineering and technical assistance, and extensive professional training needed for successful contract management.[3] Through its local Community Rehabilitation Programs, currently provides employment opportunities to over 50,000 severely disabled individuals. Most of them are employed under contracts to produce items or provide services to the United States government.

Governance[edit]

SourceAmerica is governed by a 21-member board of directors. Each of the six founding organizations has a permanent seat on the board. The current CEO is Steven Soroka.[4]

Federal Investigations[edit]

On July 31, 2015, CNN reported that SourceAmerica was being investigated by authorities for illegal operations, financial fraud, mismanagement, operating in violation of the law, steering of contracts, and possibly obstruction of justice.[5]

On September 4, 2015, federal agents raided the corporate offices of Goodwill Industries in Memphis, Tennessee in an apparent escalation of the investigation.[6] Goodwill Industries has received more than $22 Million in AbilityOne contracts since 2010,[6] and SourceAmerica has 2 Goodwill executives on their board of directors.[7] One former top officer stated repeatedly in recorded conversations that the entire program is run like organized crime.[6]

On November 16, 2015, WikiLeaks released over 30 Hours of those same recordings of that former attorney, Jean Robinson.[8] "That's the way they play the game. We are dealing with the Mafia here, the old SourceAmerica Mafia," she states.[8]

SourceAmerica has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing,[9] even as Federal Investigators opened a Grand Jury in January 2016.[10]

On May 18, 2016, Senator John McCain introduced language into the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 to discontinue Department of Defense contracting with the AbilityOne program and SourceAmerica until they can be reformed.[11] The bill states in part: "The Secretary of Defense shall not contract with the AbilityOne nonprofit agency ... until such time that the Inspector General for the Department of Defense certifies to Congress ... the internal controls and financial management systems of the AbilityOne non-profit agency ... are sufficient to protect the Department of Defense against waste, fraud, and abuse."[12]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AbilityOne/NISH". Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ "NISH Relauches as SourceAmerica". SourceAmerica. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "NISH". Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "SourceAmerica Names Steven Soroka as President and CEO". Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Investigations, Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin, CNN. "Sources: Disabled work program mired in fraud". CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  6. ^ a b c Investigations, Scott Bronstein and Curt Devine, CNN. "Agents raid Goodwill in investigation into AbilityOne". CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  7. ^ "Leadership". SourceAmerica. 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  8. ^ a b "WikiLeaks - The SourceAmerica Tapes". wikileaks.org. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  9. ^ "Setting the Record Straight". SourceAmerica. 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  10. ^ Investigations, Scott Bronstein, Drew Griffin, and Curt Devine CNN. "Feds open investigation after CNN reports". CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  11. ^ CNN, Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin. "Federal agency accused of fraud could lose majority of contracts". CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  12. ^ McCain, John (2016-05-26). "Text - S.2943 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017". Retrieved 2016-05-29.