One interesting and unanswered question, related to the new 503 and VEVRAA regulations, concerns what information would be required for submission to OFCCP as part of the desk audit. Because OFCCP’s scheduling letter defines what is required as part of the initial submission, it is unclear how the new regulations will change such submissions. For example, the current scheduling letter requests the following:
For the desk audit, please submit the following information (1) a copy of your Executive Order Affirmative Action Program (AAP) prepared in accordance with the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.40 and 60-2.1 through 2.17*; (2) a copy of your Section 503/38 U.S.C. 4212 AAP(s) prepared in according to the requirements of 41 CFR Parts 60-741 and 60-250 and/or 60-300, respectively; and (3) the support data specified in the enclosed Itemized Listing.
Currently, contractors submit just the written narrative in response to # 2 from above. After March 24, 2014 (or the next AAP compliance date), are contractors required to submit the new 503 and VEVRAA analytics (e.g., disability utilization goals, hiring benchmark and 44k data analytics)? Note: Those items are not listed in the itemized listing referenced in #3 above.
As per their FAQs on the new 503 and VEVRAA regulations, OFCCP has noted that they have no intentions to revise the current scheduling letter:
1. Must OFCCP amend the Scheduling Letter in order to obtain from contractors the data and information required in the Final Rule?
No, OFCCP does not anticipate needing to amend the Scheduling Letter to obtain this new data. The current Scheduling Letter is clear that, when selected for a compliance evaluation, the contractor must provide OFCCP with their VEVRAA Affirmative Action Program (AAP) "prepared according to the requirements of ...41 CFR Part 60-300." The VEVRAA AAP requirements are contained in the Final Rule in Subpart C of 41 CFR Part 60-300. Accordingly, any new data and information required by Subpart C of the Final Rule must be included in the documents provided to OFCCP in response to the Scheduling Letter.
Interested in how the federal contractor community would interpret this FAQ concerning desk audit submissions related to 503 and VEVRAA, the OFCCP Institute recently administered a survey to a subset of the contractor community. The survey asked questions regarding what federal contractors were and were not planning to include in initial desk audit submissions. One hundred and twenty-two federal contractors participated. The following results were particularly interesting:
- 72% would not submit the disability utilization nor the VEVRAA hiring benchmark analyses;
- 67% would not submit the data analytics report (e.g., applicants, job openings, jobs filled, hired) for protected veterans or individuals with disabilities;
- 75% would submit the Section 503 and VEVRAA narratives
In addition, sixty-seven percent of contractors estimated that it would take more than 12 hours to compile and submit the materials noted above.
As your organization prepares to come into compliance with the new regulations, have you discussed what would be submitted in the event of an audit? If not, this is a great topic to add to your “must discuss list” before the regulations become live next week.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, OFCCP expects you to submit during the desk audit. Stay tuned because it is going to be an interesting year ahead for both OFCCP and the contractor community.
by Yevonessa Hall, M.P.S., Associate Consultant, Eric Dunleavy, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, and David Cohen, President, DCI Consulting Group