By: Scott P. Pavelle, Esq.
355 Fifth Avenue
Suite 1200
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Direct: (412) 325-2535
Office: (412) 391-2515
Fax: (412) 291-3365
E-mail #1:
E-mail #2:
Web Page:


None of the following articles have been reviewed since mid-2003.
They are intended to provide background information for a lay reader and
to illustrate our familiarity with the general field being addressed.
OF ACTION. The information provided amounts to generalities that may or
may not apply to your specific case, has not been updated, and may therefore be
100% wrong at a later date. Consult an attorney before deciding on any specific
action, and keep in mind two old saws that couldn't be more relevant:

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,"


"The lawyer who handles his own case has a fool for a client."

Business Law Articles

Litigation/Administrative Law Articles

Articles Concerning the
Javits-Wagner-O'Day ("JWOD") Act, 46 U.S.C. 46-48c
a/k/a the "NIB/NISH" Program

This year somewhere in the range of $150 to $200 Million worth of federal contracts will vanish forever from public bid, assigned on a monopoly basis to the so-called "NIB/NISH" or "JWOD" program. Barring extraordinary circumstances, those items will never again be available for public bid, and next year between $175 and $230 Million more will most likely follow. [FN 1]

The beneficiaries of the program are two brokerages called National Industries for the Blind ("NIB") and NISH (f/k/a "National Industries for the Severely Handicapped") (the "Central Nonprofit Agencies" or "CNAs"). The CNAs allocate the contracts among so-called "workshops" for the blind or severely disabled in exchange for a 4% on all future sales. Qualified workshops range from small, local hospitals to huge, $100 Million enterprises.

This state of affairs exists by virtue of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day ("JWOD") Act, 41 U.S.C. 46-48c, a federal statute enacted in 1938 and never substantively amended with the exception of a 1971 expansion that added the "severely disabled" category. The core of the JWOD Act is the premise that items will be set aside and supplied on a monopoly basis at a "fair market price" set by an independent federal agency called the Committee For Purchase From People Who Are Blind Or Severely Disabled (the "Committee").

This office has represented and counseled innumerable people through the intricacies of the JWOD program, including contractors about to lose business, contractors interested in regaining business they've already lost, other law firms, labor unions, trade associations, etc. The articles that follow discuss various aspects of that experience.

Article on Structure of the JWOD Program
Article on Opposing Proposed Additions to the JWOD Procurement List
Article Suggesting Improvements to the JWOD Program
Article Defending the Underlying Premise of the JWOD Program

[FN 1] Figures based on the JWOD Program Annual Report for 2000, which showed total sales of slightly more than $1.1 Billion and an annual growth rate of 16%.

Scott P. Pavelle, Esq.
355 Fifth Avenue
Suite 1200
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Direct: (412) 325-2535
Front Office: (412) 391-2515
Fax: (412) 291-3365
E-mail #1:
E-mail #2:
Web Page: www.PavelleLaw.coml

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