8.31.05

Constangy was a proud sponsor of the 23rd annual Industry Liaison Group National Conference, held this month in Dallas, Texas. Charles James, director of OFCCP, and other high-level agency officials gave us the latest on what is happening at the agency.

(Industry Liaison Groups were formed to bring federal contractors and OFCCP together in a non-confrontational atmosphere to foster the exchange of information and compliance assistance.)

Here’s the scoop from the agency:

“Study hard, Junior . . .” Does your affirmative action compliance make the grade? Soon your company may be getting a “report card” from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Charles James announced OFCCP’s new initiative, which is intended to “connect the dots,” corporate-wide, about a company’s affirmative action compliance. The agency will use data from sources such as EEO-1 reports and individual compliance reviews to determine whether a company makes the “dean’s list” or flunks out. Employers with poor records will be targeted for compliance reviews. James expects the system to be rolled out within the next 18 to 24 months.

The “corporate report card” initiative is in keeping with James’s stated purposes of deterring discrimination and non-compliance, and focusing agency efforts on “problem” employers. James predicts that the new corporate profile system will have an impact “when report cards get to the senior executive suite.”

Inter-Agency Sharing. James also announced that the agency will determine whether an employer is a federal contractor or subcontractor by reviewing information that other government agencies have on that employer. Previously OFCCP used the self-identification information provided by employers on their EEO-1 reports, but James felt there were too many “clerical errors.” James said that the inter-agency information might also be used in determining an employer’s “grade” on its compliance “report card.”

James is here to stay. Ending much speculation, James announced that he would stay on as director through the end of the Bush administration. James hopes to “affect a culture change” by building the technology and infrastructure that will help the agency distinguish between contractors that are compliant and those that are not, so that it can focus its resources on the latter.

“Hurry up and wait.” Patsy Blackshear, OFCCP’s Director of Program Operations and Acting Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, said that the agency has received the evaluation of the EO Survey performed by consultant ABT and that a final determination regarding the usefulness of the EO Survey as a selection device is pending completion . . . The proposed guidelines on the Definition of an Internet Applicant (see March 23, 2004 Affirmative Action Alert) have been finalized and are awaiting final review and conclusion by the Office of Management and Budget . . . Final guidelines on compensation analysis (see November 17, 2004 Affirmative Action Alert) are awaiting decision by the agency. Blackshear did not provide deadlines for any of these initiatives.

For more information about these or other topics discussed at the Conference, please contact Cara Crotty (Columbia, SC) 1-800-529-7058; Kristie Smith (Macon, GA) 1-877-529-6536; or Sylvia Smith (Atlanta, GA) 1-800-529-7054

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