1.25.06

EO Survey Is Shown the Door
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs wants to break off its long relationship with the Employment Opportunity Survey, implemented in 2000. Comments concerning the “breakup” must be received on or before March 21, 2006.

Ever the lady, the OFCCP has been tactful about the reasons. It says it wants to more-effectively enforce resources and eliminate a regulatory requirement that fails to provide value to either the OFCCP or contractors. The truth, not surprisingly, is messier. The Agency had high hopes, thinking its beloved EO Survey would (1) allow the government to focus its efforts on non-compliant contractors; (2) make the Agency more efficient by building on the tiered review process; and (3) increase contractor compliance through self-awareness and self-evaluations.

But the Survey broke the Agency’s heart. After issuing approximately 83,000 surveys to contractors between December 2000 and December 2004, OFCCP brought in a consultant to assess the Survey’s effectiveness. The consultant concluded that pure chance was as good a “screening device” as the Survey. Ouch.

So, the OFCCP is moving on, and there are plenty of fish in the sea. The Federal Contractor Selection System is based on 10 years of OFCCP compliance evaluation data and will be used to correlate data on EEO-1 Reports with actual discrimination. Also vying for OFCCP’s attention is the Active Case Management procedure, which is used in connection with desk audits. The OFCCP opens a larger number of reviews. Then ACM’s automated statistical methods can predict which establishments are likely to have discrimination issues and prioritize them for full, in-depth reviews. Cases are closed at the desk audit stage if there are no statistical indications of discrimination.

In Other News . . . Proposed Regs for Jobs for Veterans Act
In 2002, the Jobs for Veterans Act amended the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, and the changes applied to government contracts entered after December 1, 2003. The OFCCP has recently proposed new regulations to implement the affirmative action amendments made by the JVA. (The current regulations covering VEVRAA will continue to apply to contracts entered before December 1, 2003.) The regulations will implement these and other changes made to VEVRAA by the JVA:
  1. JVA increased the coverage threshold from a contract of $25,000 or more to a contract of $100,000 or more;
  2. JVA changed the categories of covered veterans. The “Vietnam era” category was eliminated and replaced with a new category of “veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded.” Vietnam era veterans may continue to be covered in other categories. Further, JVA expanded the coverage of “veterans with disabilities” to include all veterans with service-connected disabilities. Finally, the coverage of recently separated veterans was expanded to three years after discharge or release from active duty.
  3. JVA modified the mandatory job listing requirement. Listing positions solely with America’s Job Bank is no longer sufficient. Rather, all positions must be listed with the “appropriate employment service delivery system.” As a practical matter, this means that contractors should continue to list their open positions with America’s Job Bank but also with the State Employment Service. The job listing requirement applies to all vacancies for positions other than executive/senior management that will last more than three days.

If you have any questions relating to the OFCCP’s proposed regulations, please contact any member of the Affirmative Action Practice Group, or the Constangy attorney of your choice.

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