by Fred Satterwhite, Principal Consultant, DCI Consulting Group
*** UPDATE: The ANPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2011. Public comments are due by October 11, 2011.
On August 3, 2011, the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) completed its review of OFCCP's advanced notice regarding a new compensation data collection tool that purports to identify contractors that are likely to violate Executive Order 11246.
The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), titled "Non Discrimination in Compensation: Compensation Data Collection Tool," was received by the OIRA on February 18, 2011. The ANPRM will be published in the Federal Register sometime in the next few weeks, with a public comment period to follow.
According to the Spring 2011 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan, this ANPRM "will seek input from stakeholders on issues relating to the scope, content, and format of the tool to ensure that it is an effective and efficient data collection instrument." In addition to helping the agency identify contractors who may be violating the Executive Order with regard to compensation practices, OFCCP states that "the data collection tool may be used to conduct establishment-specific, contractor-wide, and industry-wide analyses" of compensation data.
The Spring 2011 agenda showed a target publication date of June, 2011 for the ANPRM, with publication of the subsequent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) expected in June, 2012.
Details about the compensation data collection tool have been eagerly awaited by the contractor community since last year. OFCCP gave a possible preview of the content of the ANPRM in the agency's FY 2012 Congressional Budget Justification:
OFCCP plans to develop and implement a web-based compensation data collection tool that would enable the agency to identify indicators of pay disparity among federal contractors. As stated above, the agency is issuing an ANPRM to solicit information on how to collect and use such data. The tool would collect compensation data from 70,000 to 110,000 contractors (depending on threshold set for completing the survey). These data would be likely arrayed by job group. The scope of the data has yet to be fully determined. Current possibilities include salary, gender, race and ethnicity data for each employee or average compensation and variances for each group by gender, race and ethnic category. Also not yet determined is the type of personnel activity data that will be required (terminations, promotions, etc. by group and demographic category) and whether data on veteran status and disability will be included in the application.