With the release of Directive 2019-01, OFCCP rescinded the previously used Active Case Enforcement directive (DIR 2011-01) or ACE. The directive directs both staff and the contractor community to utilize the Federal Contractor Compliance Manual (updated Oct. 2014), as well as those directives released in 2018 (i.e. DIR 2018-01: PDNs; DIR 2018-04: Focused reviews; DIR 2018-05: Comp; DIR 2018-07: AAP Verification; DIR 2018-08: Transparency).
OFCCP’s ACE approach, which replaced the previously adopted Active Case Management approach (ACM), required a full and holistic evaluation during a compliance review. To provide context for the rescission, OFCCP describes that although ACE was effective in remedying a high rate of affirmative action violations under EO-11246, Section 503 and VEVRAA, it lengthened the overall processing time and subsequently reduced the total number of compliance reviews.
In Dir 2019-01, OFCCP has tried to adopt the most valuable aspects of both ACE and ACM. Contractors can now expect:
1. An increase in compliance reviews that mostly focus on those contractors that haven’t complied with AAP verification program (DIR 2018-07), and
2. Shorter timeframes overall for compliance reviews.
Additionally, contractor establishments that have undergone a compliance review will be exempt from another review for 24 months from the date of closure or from the final progress report acceptance date, unless a different exemption period is agreed upon by OFCCP and the contractor.
This is good news for the contractor community. We are unsure how this new directive would affect currently open compliance reviews, but OFCCP mentions that the new directive is intended to provide more clarity on OFCCP’s methodology and would not alter OFCCP’s approach on litigating pending cases.
By Vinaya Sakpal, Associate Consultant at DCI Consulting Group