By David Morgan, DCI Consulting Group
OFCCP began its first of three webinars on Wednesday, September 16, geared toward presenting information on the equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action (AA) provisions of Federal contracts concerning American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding of Federally assisted projects. The first webinar was a basic overview of AA obligations specifically for new Federal supply and service contractors under ARRA, and the steps those contractors must take to be in compliance with Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. Senior OFCCP Compliance Officers reviewed the components of AA programs found at 41CFR 60-2, what to expect from compliance evaluations, and how to receive technical assistance. As a requirement of ARRA, the Compliance Officers further explained that all covered ARRA contractors will be scheduled for full compliance evaluations, given the “heightened scrutiny of ARRA spending”.
Just one week prior to the first webinar in the series, OFCCP held a National ARRA Forum, where similar information on EEO and AA provisions of Federal contracts concerning ARRA funds was presented. Additionally, the agency covered specifics of ARRA in terms of OFCCP scheduling procedures and exceptions. OFCCP explained that part of its ARRA plan includes conducting 360 reviews of ARRA-funded construction contractors, and 90 reviews of ARRA-funded supply and service contractors. Specific scheduling exceptions for supply and service contactors under ARRA, include: recently reviewed contractors are excepted from ARRA review for 6 months, pre-award clearance is not required for contractor establishments reviewed within the past 2 years, and the 2-year window returns after the close of an ARRA review. In addition, OFCCP’s “25-establishment maximum” review policy for traditional reviews will not be the same for ARRA reviews; however, OFCCP mentioned that based on the information they understood regarding ARRA projects, it did not seem likely that more than 25 establishment reviews would occur within the same scheduling year (or at least would occur very rarely). ARRA-funded supply and service contractors can expect to receive an ARRA Notification Letter, in addition to the standard scheduling letter.
This post was edited in September, 2017.