Almost six years after its introduction, the controversial Equal Opportunity Survey (EO Survey) is officially dead.
In the September 8, 2006 Federal Register, OFCCP will publish a final rule rescinding the EO Survey requirement in order to "more effectively focus enforcement resources and eliminate a regulatory requirement that fails to provide value to either OFCCP enforcement or contractor compliance" and allow the agency "to better direct its resources for the benefit of victims of discrimination, the government, contractors, and taxpayers."
According to the supplementary information in the final rule, OFCCP received a total of 2,736 comments on their proposal to eliminate the survey, which was published on January 20, 2006. A majority (62%) of those comments supported the proposal to discontinue the EO Survey. Most of the comments focused on one or more of the following:
1. The Abt Report
2. The alleged intrinsic value of the survey
3. The implications of rescinding the survey
OFCCP concluded that the EO Survey "has failed to provide the utility anticipated when the regulation was promulgated in 2000... and is no longer of value to accomplish the objectives it was designed to address." The agency states that they have "developed, and will continue to develop, other more useful and cost effective methods to accomplish these objectives."
"Elimination of this requirement allows OFCCP to focus more effectively its enforcement resources to further the overall goal of the OFCCP program to promote and ensure equal opportunity for those employed or seeking employment with Government contractors," the agency says in the final rule.
OFCCP estimates that eliminating the EO Survey will reduce contractors' costs by almost $5.5 million per year, in addition to saving the agency $356,000 per year in processing costs.