By: Cassie Alfheim
Update as of March 20, 2023:
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced the deadline for federal contractors and subcontractors to certify compliance with affirmative action regulations is June 29, 2023. This year's certification window is set to open on March 31. OFCCP also says in this announcement that contractors and subcontractors must now provide the "start date of their AAP Coverage Period" when certifying and that covered employers that do not certify by the deadline "will be more likely to appear on OFCCP's scheduling list."
A pre-recorded webinar will be posted to the agency's Contractor Portal landing page by March 29.
March 14, 2023:
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will likely begin the 2023 Contractor Portal reporting soon, following last year’s reporting timeline.
In 2022, OFCCP required federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors to certify their compliance with the laws and regulations the agency enforces within its Contractor Portal for the first time. Though the June 30, 2022, deadline came and went, it’s worth noting that the Contractor Portal never actually closed. OFCCP continues to encourage new and delinquent contractors to register and certify within the portal.
The inaugural year for the Contractor Portal wasn’t without its hiccups. Contractors who registered and certified last year may remember experiencing various technical difficulties including issues stemming from prior EEO-1 reporting, functional affirmative action plans (FAAP), mergers/acquisitions or spinoffs, or user accounts tied to the wrong employer accounts. The agency addressed many of these items as the reporting period went on during 2022 and we expect OFCCP has made tweaks and updates to the Contractor Portal since.
At the beginning of 2023, OFCCP intended to select contractors and subcontractors who failed to certify in the Contractor Portal for the agency’s Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL). While the agency’s intention may not have fully come to fruition, the contractor community can assume OFCCP is taking steps to ensure the Contractor Portal is used more effectively for future CSALs.
As we anticipate the beginning of the 2023 Contractor Portal certification period, federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors should begin preparing for registration (if they are not already registered in the Contractor Portal) and certification. Here are some preliminary elements to consider:
- Organizations that have undergone significant changes in the last year should consider the following:
- If your organization has acquired new entities, are there 2021 EEO-1 reports on file for the newly acquired entities? Who will certify in the Contractor Portal on behalf of these entities?
- If your organization is under new ownership, is the new parent company certifying on behalf of your organization?
- Have employee counts shifted dramatically at certain locations due to return-to-work initiatives or going fully remote?
- Organizations that have an April 1 affirmative action plan (AAP) date should prepare to certify compliance on March 31 (if the Contractor Portal is open), to avoid having to hastily get plans in place before the deadline.
- Any recent internal personnel changes that may impact responsibility for registering (if applicable) and certifying in the Contractor Portal. Users with administrative privileges may add additional users or alter access if necessary.
- Within 120 days (about 4 months) of receiving a federal contract, new contractors should develop AAPs pursuant to OFCCP’s regulations. In 2022, the agency gave new contractors 90 days (about 3 months) post Contractor Portal registration to return to the portal and certify AAP compliance.