Allegations on the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals

HRD-78-47: Published: Feb 1, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1978.

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Certain aspects of the financial arrangements for the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals were investigated to determine the degree to which the conference deviated from normal procedures used in arranging and conducting Federal or Department of Health, Education, and Welfare conferences and to ascertain whether certain parties had a financial or other advantage. The investigation indicated that the Conference staff acted within the authorizing legislation and Federal regulations in organizing and administering the Conference. The staff contracted with Moshman Associated, Inc., a private firm, for logistical arrangements for the Conference, a common practice for White House Conferences. The language in the authorizing legislation directing that handicapped individuals be hired when feasible did not limit the authority to contract for services when appropriate. The contractor was selected by appropriate procurement procedures, and the work done by Moshman was completed within the time established and was below the Government estimate of costs for logistics. The Sheraton Park Hotel was selected as the site of the Conference because of the hotel's willingness to make alterations to meet accessibility requirements. There was no evidence to substantiate charges that undue advantages were provided to or gained by any parties involved in the planning and conduct of the Conference. The procedures for producing a final report were generally patterned after the approach used during the White House Conference on Aging in 1971.

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