The Functional Affirmative Action Plan (FAAP) program has received renewed focus under the current administration. A revised Directive was released in July and just this week OFCCP sent a notification to their subscription list aimed at “busting myths” of FAAPs. Although this option to develop AAPs by function or business unit is codified in OFCCP’s regulations, FAAPs tend not to be utilized by contractors as frequently as establishment-based plans. A focus on the FAAP program has been anticipated in recent years, starting with GAO recommendations in 2017 and proposed revisions released in 2018, to comments made by Director Leen at several national and local meetings over the last year including the recent NILG conference. As a reminder, 72 FAAPs were also included in the CSAL posted earlier this year. The active FAAP directive, Directive 2013-01, was revised as of June 20, 2019, with well-received updates.
Overall, updates to the Directive were focused on streamlining the process for contractors, and hopefully, encouraging additional employers to apply for the FAAP program. While attending the 2019 NILG conference, Nakisha Pugh, Chief of OFCCP’s FAAP program, encouraged contractors to consider this program and hopes that the recent updates to the FAAP program will help to lift the perceived “cons” to employers. Although FAAPs require approval from OFCCP, whereas establishment-based plans do not, OFCCP hopes to assuage any concerns that the “application” required automatically invites extra burden or scrutiny. Contractors should select the option that is best for them. The application is only necessary so that OFCCP is aware of your FAAP structure, and can effectively develop scheduling lists per their obligations, but this is no different than establishment-based contractors annually submitting their EEO-1 reports, which effectively provide the same information to OFCCP.
Additionally, Director Leen and Ms. Pugh have shared at NILG, and other events, two additional key updates: (1) OFCCP is exploring future award programs for FAAP participants and (2) industry-specific FAQs are expected soon. Two industries highlighted, that they feel would benefit from the program are higher-education institutions and healthcare. OFCCP has encouraged contractors to reach out if they have any questions by utilizing the following email address: OFCCP_FAAP-UNIT@dol.gov. Below are the key updates to the Directive, as summarized by OFCCP:
- OFCCP will no longer consider compliance history when reviewing a request for a new FAAP agreement or termination.
- The agreement term is extended to five years, up from three years.
- There will be a minimum of 36 months between compliance evaluations for a single functional unit. This is 12 months longer than an establishment review.
- Complete FAAP applications will be determined within 60 days. Historically, there was no deadline.
- OFCCP no longer requires that FAAP contractors undergo at least one compliance evaluation during the term of their FAAP agreement.
By Amanda Bowman, Associate Principal Consultant at DCI Consulting Group