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Updated 12-23-2022

Are you prepared for a compliance evaluation from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)? If you’re a government contractor or subcontractor, you likely need to be. The OFCCP is under the umbrella of the Department of Labor and their goal is to “protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law.” OFCCP administers the following laws, all of which are specific to government contractors:

OFCCP’s job is to hold those organizations doing business with the government responsible for complying with the legal responsibilities of the laws listed above. To put it in a nutshell, these laws require that government contractors take affirmative action and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. More recently added to this list is a rule that you cannot discharge or discriminate against an employee for discussing, disclosing, or inquiring about their compensation, or the compensation of fellow employees (with some restrictions).

Why Would my Company be Evaluated for OFCCP Compliance?

There are several scenarios which may initiate an audit or evaluation of a supply and service contractor:

  • Randomly Chosen: OFCCP utilizes a Federal Contractor Selection System (FCSS) which is a neutral selection system pulling data from various sources to determine establishments to be reviewed;
  • Pre-Award Compliance Evaluation: If pending award of a federal supply and service contract of $10 million or more, the contracting officer is shall request an evaluation of OFCCP (unless the contractor has been reviewed and found to be in compliance within the past 24 months; in which case, they will be listed in the National Pre-Award Registry). OFCCP has 15 days to respond and notify of their intent to perform an evaluation. If no response is received within 15 days, the contracting officer may presume that clearance is granted. If OFCCP informs the awarding agency of an intent to conduct a pre-award compliance evaluation, they have an additional 20 days to inform the awarding agency of OFCCP’s conclusions. If conclusions are not provided within that period, clearance may be presumed, and the awarding agency may proceed with the award;
  • Directed Review: These compliance reviews are conducted when there is credible information of an alleged violation of law or regulation which is enforced by OFCCP (Note: Allegations of violations may come from employees and/or class or individual complaints made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other agencies);
  • Conciliation Agreement and Consent Decree Follow-Up Evaluation: These evaluations are scheduled during the monitoring period of an executed agreement between a company and OFCCP for OFCCP to monitor progress and ensure compliance with the terms of the agreement in place.

What’s the Process?

OFCCP issues a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL), to notify contractors that they’ve been “randomly” selected for a compliance evaluation. This list specifies the type of evaluation to be performed (i.e., Establishment Review, CMCE, Functional AAP).

Each type of review is initiated with a Scheduling Letter requesting submission of the contractor’s Affirmative Action Plan (s) and supporting data. Contractors have 30 days to submit the requested information. From here, the process generally includes an offsite review of records, a desk audit, and/or an onsite review. The goal is to determine if a contractor is in compliance with the nondiscriminatory and affirmative action obligations.

OFCCP uses the information reviewed to determine if employment discrimination has occurred and if so, works with the contractor to remedy the situation. This can take various forms, including making the victims “whole” (i.e., back pay, seniority, benefits, etc.), stopping the violation, and preventing reoccurrence of the violation. It’s also worth noting that OFCCP will share their findings with other federal enforcement agencies within the Department of Labor as well as other civil rights enforcement agencies.

What’s the Likelihood of Being Evaluated and what are the Potential Outcomes?

Great questions. Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers. Here’s some information provided by OFCCP which may persuade you to ensure you’re prepared sooner, rather than later:

  • As a result of OFCCP’s efforts, over $218 million was provided in monetary relief to employees and job seekers who were discriminated against between 2012-2022
  • The National Pre-Award Registry provides a listing of contractors who have been found to be “in compliance” over the past two years with Equal Employment Opportunity regulations enforced by OFCCP.
  • Federal contractors can be debarred or declared ineligible for federal contracts because they violated regulations enforced by the OFCCP.

How do we Prepare for an OFCCP Evaluation?

The first step is to ensure an understanding of your responsibilities under the laws listed above. A simplistic overview these responsibilities includes:

  • Don’t discriminate!
  • Keep Good Records (and lots of them);
  • Train your managers on their obligations and “goals” per your AAP
  • Know and comply with the various requirements of EO 11246, Section 503 and VEVRAA
  • Ensure Affirmative Action Plans are maintained annually
  • Maintain annual OFCCP Portal certification, if applicable
  • on their obligations and “goals” per your AAP.

If unsure, seek the advice and assistance of someone who has the knowledge and resources to assist.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Services Brochure DOWNLOAD NOW

Written by Sheri Buchanan

Sheri Buchanan Sheri joined Redstone Government Consulting, Inc. in December 2012 as a Human Resources Consultant. She provides HR consulting services to our customers on a wide range of issues, from specific projects to an ongoing outsourced solution of the human resources function. Sheri has two decades of experience in providing a comprehensive assessment of all areas of HR, including establishing and implementing policies and practices, contract transition efforts/onboarding, and investigations. Sheri’s experience covers a broad spectrum of compensation planning and analysis for total compensation projects, reasonableness assessments including executive compensation, compensation philosophy development, total reward strategies, benefits analysis, market pay and pay equity evaluations. She regularly supports clients with the analysis and mapping of labor categories and the preparation and analysis of wage calculations and supports clients in pricing disputes with DCAA. Sheri has a wealth of experience in navigating the many compliance challenges associated with Service Contract Act and Davis Bacon Act. She has been a valuable resource to our clients in all these areas. She stays abreast of the various requirements of the Department of Labor and, of great importance to government contractors, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, as well as other federal and state regulations impacting human resources. Professional Experience Prior to joining Redstone Government Consulting, Inc., Sheri served in various roles in the Human Resources arena. While employed by a mid-size government contractor she assisted with database development, recruiting, affirmative action planning and contract proposals. Sheri later became an Employment Specialist with one of the largest employers in Huntsville, where she assisted and led managers in the interpretation and documentation of the progressive disciplinary process, conducted employee investigations and allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and employee disputes, conducted unemployment hearings and conducted new employee orientation. Sheri developed and presented management training, administered facility compensation plan, monitored staffing budgets and wrote job descriptions and handbook revisions.

About Redstone GCI

Redstone GCI is a consulting firm focused on fulfilling the needs of government contractors in all areas of compliance. With a singular mission to help contractors through the multiple layers of “red tape,” we allow contractors to focus on what they do best – support their mission with the U.S. Government. We are home to a group of consultants made up of GovCon industry professionals, CPAs, attorneys, and retired government audit and acquisition professionals.

Our focus and knowledge of audit and compliance functions administered by DCAA and DCMA will always be at the heart of what we do. However, for the past decade, we’ve strategically grown to support other areas of the government contractor back-office with that same level of focus and expertise. We’ve added expertise in contracts management, subcontract administration, proposal pricing, various software systems, HR and employment law, property administration, manufacturing, data analytics/reporting, Grant specialists, M&A, and many other areas. When we see a trend in the needs of contractors, we act to ensure we can provide the best expertise in the market to fulfill those needs.

One thing our clients can be certain of is that with the Redstone GCI Team in your corner, there is no problem too big and no issue too technical for our team to tackle.

Topics: Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, Government Compliance Training, Human Resources, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs