OFCCP released two new directives today, bringing the total number of directives issued since August 10, 2018 to seven. OFCCP had only issued 14 directives total, prior to this year.
The first new directive (Directive 2018-08) outlines efforts to increase transparency in all stages of OFCCP compliance activities, as well as expectations for access, including timely submission of audit support data and access to records and establishments under review.
As part of the commitment to transparency, OFCCP will:
- Allow contractors a 45-day window between sending CSALs and scheduling audits, providing time for contractors to prepare for the evaluation.
- Publish scheduling methodology on the internet.
- Allow a 30-day extension for supporting data, with the stipulation that the actual AAPs are submitted within the initial 30-day window. Extensions will generally not be granted for submission of the AAP itself.
- Ideally complete a typical desk audit within 45 days of receiving complete AAPs.
- Issue a Notice to Show Cause in audits where a contractor does not submit information timely. The Procedural Notice to Show Cause must be documented in the closure letter.
- Include a high-level summary of indicators of discrimination in the onsite review confirmation letter, if applicable.
- Maintain regular contact with the contractor representative, ideally once every 30 days, during the course of a compliance evaluation.
- Close reviews quickly when there are no indicators of discrimination or evidence of violations.
- Take a collaborative approach to working with contractors during conciliation efforts.
- Attempt to consistently apply these principles nationwide.
The directive also includes an attachment with a sample Onsite Scheduling Letter.
The second directive (Directive 2018-09) announces OFCCP’s new Ombud Service, with the stated purpose of facilitating communication with external stakeholders with regard to specific concerns. This comes as a result of feedback gathered during OFCCP’s Compliance Town Halls in September 2017.
The Ombud will be a career staff position reporting to the Deputy Director, and will be responsible for the design and implementation of the Ombud Service to:
- Listen to stakeholder concerns.
- Facilitate resolution of OFCCP matters and improvements.
- Work with OFCCP district and regional offices to resolve certain issues.
- Refer to OFCCP Help Desk for routine requests.
- Have the discretion to reject a referral as appropriate.
The directive is clear that the Ombud will not advocate for either side, give legal advice, or conduct compliance reviews
By Joanna Colosimo, Director of EEO Compliance, and Dave Sharrer, Senior Consultant, at DCI Consulting Group