Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Labor Department Scheduling Hundreds of Compliance Audits for Nondiscrimination

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is part of the Labor Department and is responsible for ensuring that employers doing business with the Federal Government comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination.

Late last month, the OFCCP announced two directives focused on providing more transparency in its activities as tools for promoting compliance.

  1. Transparency in compliance activities. Over the last several months, OFCCP has taken several steps to improve transparency, cooperation, and communication with federal contractors. A new directive further extends OFCCP's transparency initiative to every stage of a compliance evaluation to facilitate consistency, improve efficiency and collaborative resolution, and also supports contractors' ability to conduct meaningful self-audits to proactively identify and address issues with their employment practices. You can read the full directive here.
  2. Ombuds Service. The GAO (Government Accountability Office) found in a 2016 report that contractors were not using OFCCP compliance assistance because doing so would call attention to them and possibly make them a target for future OFCCP enforcement actions (do  you think?). OFCCP believes this perception can erode confidence and trust in OFCCP to effectively carry out its mission. A new initiative establishes a mechanism through which contractors can share their concerns about a particular open matter or provide general feedback or recommendations to improve the administration of the agency. You can read the full directive here.

Also, as part of OFCCP's initiative toward more transparency was the release of the names of contractors it intends to audit in the upcoming year. Actually there are two lists, one group of contractors selected last January and the other group selected last September. These lists are purportedly posted on OFCCP's official website but we were unable to locate them. The lists are available elsewhere on the Internet and easily found by searching. There are hundreds of names on these lists - contractors appearing on these lists have already been notified by OFCCP of the impending compliance audit..

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