OFCCP tells contractors what to expect

OFCCP released a new bulletin for contractors.

Following up on its Town Hall Action Plan, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs released its “What Contractors Can Expect” booklet

The new material is short and concise, and is designed to advise contractors about what they can expect from the OFCCP during compliance evaluations and other interactions. Many of the OFCCP’s points are obvious and meant to alleviate contractors’ prior frustrations with the agency. The areas for which the OFCCP provides clarity include the following:

  • Access to Accurate Compliance Assistance Material
  • Timely Responses to Compliance Assistance Questions
  • Opportunities to Provide Meaningful Feedback and Collaborate
  • Professional Conduct by OFCCP’s Compliance Staff
  • Neutral Scheduling of Compliance Evaluations
  • Reasonable Opportunity to Discuss Compliance Evaluation Concerns
  • Timely and Efficient Progress of Compliance Evaluations

Although it could be considered unfortunate that some of these things even have to be put in writing -- as they should go without saying -- many contractors will find the pledge reassuring for their future interactions with the OFCCP. For example, the OFCCP promises, “Contractors can expect to receive prompt, courteous, and accurate information during compliance evaluations and complaint investigations.” This has been a reasonable request from contractors in the past, and the agency’s confirmation that it intends to meet that expectation is encouraging. Regarding dialogue during compliance evaluations, the OFCCP states,

Contractors can expect to have a reasonable opportunity to discuss issues that may affect the progress or results of their compliance evaluation or complaint investigation. . . .  Although OFCCP and contractors may not reach agreement or arrive at the same outcome, good faith discussions can remove uncertainty and clarify areas of misunderstanding.

Based on Acting Director Craig Leen’s comments at the Industry Liaison Group National Conference in Anaheim, California, last week, the OFCCP will continue this movement toward greater transparency and efficiency. Mr. Leen noted several of the agency’s existing priorities, including moving to a 45-day period for desk audit reviews and updating Directive 307 on compensation enforcement so that contractors will have a better understanding of how the OFCCP analyzes compensation and will be able replicate the process in advance on their own. Mr. Leen also mentioned that the OFCCP is exploring the possibility of issuing opinion letters to provide guidance on technical questions, similar to what the Wage and Hour Division does. 

We look forward to additional developments from the OFCCP and will continue to keep you informed.  And don’t forget to make plans to attend next year’s ILG National Conference in Milwaukee! 

Our Affirmative Action Alert blog focuses on the latest news and topics affecting federal contractors and subcontractors and their compliance with affirmative action and other employment-related laws and regulations.  With breaking news, quick updates, and headlines on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and affirmative action issues, this blog is a great resource for in-house counsel, HR managers, and other compliance professionals.  Our blog is a companion to Constangy’s Affirmative Action newsletters, which address significant legislative, regulatory, and administrative proposals and changes.  Subscribe to both to stay current on these important topics!

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