The 24th Annual Industry Liaison Group National Conference was held in Phoenix, Arizona last week, and as usual, Constangy had representatives in attendance to learn the latest from officials at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Charles James, OFCCP Director, was a keynote speaker and offered guidance to federal contractors.
Citing the recent changes on Internet applicants and compensation analyses, James noted that the OFCCP is in a time of “dynamic change.” Although the OFCCP is sailing into “uncharted waters” and “sometimes has more questions than answers,” the Agency is forging ahead because “it is the right thing to do,” said James. The OFCCP has introduced more change in the past few months than in the history of the Agency.
The OFCCP is considering other administrative changes, such as requiring contractors to submit information electronically (to cut down on the warehouse space for all the three-ring binders and tabs it receives). In addition, the Agency is reviewing administrative tasks that may be put up for competitive bid to reduce costs. (We wonder who will audit that federal contractor?)
Cari Dominguez, Chair of the EEOC, also announced that her appointment has expired and that she will be stepping down at the end of this month. No announcement of her replacement has yet been made.
James stated that the OFCCP will “continue to aggressively monitor what [federal contractors] do.” Although he did not state how many compliance reviews will be initiated in 2007, more than 2,500 were conducted in 2005.
The OFCCP is continuing its efforts to identify contractors for review through the new “Contracts First” initiative. The Agency is attempting to ascertain covered employers by determining who is doing business with the federal government instead of relying on contractors to self-identify on EEO-1 Reports.
The Internet application regulation has “had all kinds of effects that [the OFCCP] did not anticipate.” James encourages contractors, when considering which processes to use, to put themselves in the applicant’s shoes – in other words, deciding whether a reasonable individual would expect to be considered an applicant in given circumstances. Although the OFCCP does not take the side of either the contractor or the applicant, according to James, it will lean toward the side of the applicant if it is “the right thing to do” because the employer has all the power. James would not specify exactly when the OFCCP would begin enforcing the new Internet applicant regulations, but he advised contractors to “get ready.”
Regarding the new compensation guidelines endorsing the complex multiple regression analysis, James stated that “not everyone can do it, but everyone accepts it.” He advises contractors to do three things: (1) analyze compensation data as many ways as possible; (2) be confident of the results; and (3) be able to demonstrate that they are conducting an internal analysis.
Still Wondering About the EO Survey?
The OFCCP has submitted its recommendation regarding the EO Survey to the Office of Management and Budget for approval. Although James would not state what the recommendation was, based on the Agency’s early proposal to eliminate the EO Survey, we can certainly speculate that federal contractors will be pleased with the outcome!
If you are interested in joining a local Industry Liaison Group chapter in your area and need more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Local ILGs can be a great resource for federal contractors!