GAO Orders Changes in how OFCCP Selects Contractors for Audits

In a report released on 9/22/16, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) offered a rather stinging criticism of how the OFCCP selects contractors for audit and recommended (or should we say ordered) changes in the process.  The GAO describes the current process as follows: The OFCCP uses (1) federal acquisition and procurement databases, (2) U.S. Census data and (3) annual reports to the EEOC to select potential audit locations and then uses various “neutrally applied factors” (e.g., number of employees or contract value) to select the final establishments.  According to the GAO, the OFCCP annually selects roughly 2% of the 200,000 or so contractor establishments for a compliance review.  According to the GAO, among reviews conducted since 2010, 78% resulted in no violations and only 2% or so had findings of discrimination.  The GAO wants the OFCCP to use methods that would results in the greatest risk of EEO noncompliance.  Interestingly enough, the investigation itself was requested by Republican lawmakers.

The GAO’s recommendations are much simpler than what the OFCCP currently uses, focusing mainly on monitoring of affirmative action plans (AAPs) by requiring contractors to annually submit and certify their AAPS.  The GAO also wants training of OFCCP staff to ensure consistent application of audits nationwide.  Based upon the letter submitted by Director Shiu, the OFCCP agrees with these recommendations and Republican lawmakers.

By Art Gutman, Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

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