- Tapes reportedly provide evidence that a programme intended to encourage the hiring of disabled people was mired in corruptio
The tapes are intended to provide evidence that billions of dollars meant for disabled people went instead to defence contractors and other major corporations without large proportions of disabled employees.
The accusations centre on a government programme called AbilityOne, which awards about $3 billion annually in government contracts. Most of that money is distributed by SourceAmerica, a non-profit.
It is intended for companies in which at least 75 per cent of work is performed by blind or otherwise disabled people, as a tool to get more such people into the workforce.
AbilityOne is the largest employment programme for disabled people in the US.
Allegations of fraud and corruption against AbilityOne and SourceAmerica emerged earlier this year.
Reports emerged in July that more than half of the companies awarded contracts did not have enough disabled employees to qualify.
Wikileaks has now released 30 hours of audiotapes that they say buttress those accusations.
They claim more than half of the labour placed by SourceAmerica went to the Department of Defence and contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
“The result is billions in tax payer funded labour subsidies and increased profits for the placement organisations,” the group said in a press release.
Nancyellen Gentile, a spokesperson for SourceAmerica, said the allegations are “false”, and part of a “smear campaign”.
“All of the allegations from these recordings that we knew of before today are simply untrue, and we have no reason to believe anything on these new tapes will be any different,” she said.