The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) is focusing on the requirement that federal contractors adopt and annually update affirmative action plans. On August 2, 2018, the OFCCP’s Acting Director, Craig Leen, participated in a public discussion during which he reviewed the current compliance process for contractors. Currently, contractors simply “check the box” to certify compliance with affirmative action obligations in the General Services Administration’s (“GSA’s”) System for Award Management (“SAM”) registration system. Mr. Leen expressed concern that many contractors checking the box do not actually possess a valid affirmative action plan.
Mr. Leen’s comments were followed-up by a new OFCCP directive on August 24, 2018: Directive 2018-07. The subject of that directive is the commencement of an “Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative.” OFCCP “is concerned that many federal contractors are not fulfilling their legal duty to develop and maintain AAPs [Affirmative Action Plans] and update them on an annual basis.” Therefore, Directive 2018-07 requires OFCCP to develop a comprehensive program to verify that federal contractors are complying with affirmative action obligations on a yearly basis. That program will include:
• Development of a process whereby contractors would certify on a yearly basis
compliance with AAP requirements.
• Inclusion of a criterion in the neutral scheduling methodology increasing the
likelihood of compliance reviews for contractors that have not certified compliance
with the AAP requirements.
• Compliance checks to verify contractor compliance with AAP requirements.
• Requesting proffer of the AAP by contractors when requesting extensions of time
to provide support data in response to a scheduling letter.
• Development of information technology to collect and facilitate review of AAPs
provided by federal contractors
Directive 2018-07 does not provide a timeline for implementation. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that compliance audits are coming. Therefore, federal contractors should carefully review their affirmative action plans for compliance, and make sure that those plan are updated annually.