The OFCCP continues its efforts to become more transparent.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs recently took two more steps to improve transparency at the agency.

First, the Department of Labor announced that it appointed Marcus Stergio to be the OFCCP’s first Ombudsman. Mr. Stergio has a background in dispute resolution and has administered dispute resolution processes for various multi-national organizations, companies, and institutions.

As Ombudsman, he will be responsible for working with OFCCP stakeholders, including contractors and their representatives and employees, to facilitate communication with OFCCP regional and district offices.

The Ombudsman will “also provide assurance to contractors and other stakeholders that OFCCP is treating them fairly, in a manner consistent with the Agency’s legal authorities, policies, and procedures.” Additionally, the Ombudsman will “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal OFCCP operations.”

As we previously reported, the OFCCP decided to appoint an Ombudsman in response to criticism from the Government Accountability Office that the agency lacked an independent mechanism for reporting concerns about particular matters or feedback about how to improve the administration of the agency.

The OFCCP also launched a new webpage to “improve compliance assistance and increase transparency for contractors and stakeholders.” The Contractor Assistance Portal allows contractors to ask the OFCCP questions “without attribution” and to access various reference materials, including a library of frequently asked questions. The OFCCP also plans to use the portal to host live group chats and discussions. Contractors will be able to post questions even when the OFCCP is offline.