On February 1, 2022, registration for the Contractor Portal for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) opened. The Contractor Portal will be used for covered supply and service federal contractors and subcontractors to certify that they have developed affirmative action plans for each of their establishments or functional units.
As part of opening the Contractor Portal, OFCCP conducted a webinar on February 1. During the webinar, the agency provided a demonstration of the registration process for the portal. The agency also gave some general information on the registration and certification processes.
The Contractor Portal
An OFCCP representative referenced a Government Accountability Office report that said 85% of organizations undergoing compliance evaluations failed to submit their affirmative action plans within the required 30-day timeframe. This suggested to the agency that federal contractors and subcontractors are not completing their affirmative action plans in a timely way. The requirement to certify through the Contractor Portal is meant to help ensure that organizations are completing their affirmative action plans. Information from the Contractor Portal will become part of the process used to schedule organizations for compliance evaluations.
OFCCP Director Jenny Yang cited the following important dates regarding the Contractor Portal:
- February 1, 2022 – The Contractor Portal formally opens so that federal contractors and subcontractors can register their organizations.
- March 31, 2022 – Organizations that have completed the registration process can begin to use the Contractor Portal to certify compliance.
- June 30, 2022 – Certification must be completed for all covered federal contractors and subcontractors.
Registering in the Contractor Portal
Organizations that are prepared to register in the Contractor Portal must create an account on the portal. The first step in this process is to create an account with Login.gov, a service used to provide access to various federal websites and programs. After an account with Login.gov is created, a user can create an account on the Contractor Portal itself. The first user to create an account for an organization on the Contractor Portal will have administrator privileges for that organization.
When creating an account, the initial user must provide basic information on their organization including the organization’s federal employer identification number (FEIN). The Contractor Portal will populate information for an organization based on that organization’s 2018 EEO-1 filings, if the initial user chooses to do so. If the initial user chooses not to use the 2018 EEO-1 filing data, no information will be pre-populated. Multi-site organizations will be required to provide information on their headquarters and on each of their establishments. OFCCP indicated that organizations that have had mergers, acquisitions, or other major changes such as closing establishments may need to contact the agency to assist with the establishment list.
The initial user for an organization will have the ability to add additional users. These additional users may be given administrator privileges, or they may be given access to only certain establishments. User rights can be changed or revoked by an organization’s administrator. During the webinar, agency representatives emphasized that the initial user from an organization will have the authority to act as an administrator for the entire organization.
Certification Using the Contractor Portal
While federal contractors and subcontractors may begin registering for the Contractor Portal as of February 1, these organizations will not be able to start the certification process until March 31, 2022. At that time, organizations will be asked to choose one of the following three selections:
- The organization has developed and maintained affirmative action programs at each establishment, as applicable, or for each functional or business unit.
- The organization has been party to a qualifying federal contract or subcontract for 120 days or more and has not developed and maintained affirmative action programs at each establishment, as applicable.
- The organization became a covered federal contractor or subcontractor within the past 120 days and therefore has not yet developed applicable affirmative action programs.
The certification process will cover supply and service organizations that create traditional establishment-based affirmative action plans as well as supply and service organizations that create functional affirmative action plans. However, the certification process will NOT cover construction contractors or subcontractors.
OFCCP will send an email about the Contractor Portal to organizations that self-identified as federal contractors and subcontractors on the 2018 EEO-1 report. This email will be sent to the company contact identified on the 2018 EEO-1 report. All federal contractors and subcontractors that meet certain jurisdictional thresholds must complete the certification process even if they do not receive an email from OFCCP.
OFCCP has a series of frequently asked questions about the Contractor Portal that are available on its website. There is also a user’s guide regarding registration for the Contractor Portal. There remain many questions about the registration and certification processes that were not answered during OFCCP’s webinar.
DCI will be providing more information on the Contractor Portal in the coming months, especially as the certification process opens.
Author: Bill Osterndorf
Join DCI for a free webinar on February 16 discussing these Contractor Portal updates. Register today!