The Department of Labor’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) budget proposal was released today, May 23, 2017. The budget outlines the initiatives and priorities of the new administration, and as predicted by DCI, recommends merging the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by the end of FY2018.
The proposed budget indicates that the consolidation will provide efficiencies and oversight. Additionally, the proposed budget allots $88 million for OFCCP, a decrease of $17.3 million from Fiscal Year 2017. The main cut to the budget appears to be headcount, with a proposed 440 full-time equivalent (FTE) headcount, a reduction from 571 FTEs. Some other interesting items that have emerged from the budget review include the following:
- The top three priorities for OFCCP include the EEOC merger, pay discrimination, and large construction contracts;
- OFCCP anticipates 35% of discrimination conciliation agreements to be systemic pay cases (key semantic change from previous targets reported the focus and emphasis is on systemic cases);
- The travel budget is down, but not entirely removed (from $1.4 million to $.9 million);
- OFCCP plans to have more resources devoted to compliance assistance and training for the contractor community;
- The skilled Regional Centers in San Francisco and New York still appear to be relevant.
Work priorities as related to the merger with EEOC include:
- Drafting and reviewing legislative proposals amending VEVRAA and Section 503;
- Drafting and reviewing a new Executive Order and amending EO 11246; and
- Undertaking and assisting with implementing the transfer or authority under Section 503, VEVRAA, and EO 11246 to EEOC.
After reviewing the FY2018 budget highlights for EEOC, the 2018 budget request is flat from FY 2017 (no major increase or decrease), even with the additional proposal of adding OFCCP functions to the EEOC.
It is important to note that the budget is a proposal in nature; the final allocations are to be determined, and the merger of OFCCP and EEOC may not be supported by civil rights groups or the business community, which could impact future alterations to the proposal.
By Fred Satterwhite, Director of Software, and Joanna Colosimo, Director of EEO Compliance, at DCI Consulting Group