If your company’s facility will be the target of a compliance review by the OFCCP, advanced preparation is critical. But, how do you prepare for the audit? Begin by reviewing the question of whether the OFCCP has jurisdiction over your company. The answer to this question is found by reviewing the coverage of Executive Order 11246 and the OFCCP’s other regulatory authority. The beginning of an audit provides the company with an opportunity to revisit this question regarding jurisdiction. If jurisdiction is not contested, the company should prepare for the audit.
The desk audit is the first stage of the compliance review process. In advance of a desk audit, the OFCCP will issue a scheduling letter notifying the company of the desk audit and requesting the contractor’s AAP and supporting documentation for the facility. The scheduling letter should be studied carefully. The contractor should limit the scope of its responses to the scope of the information requested in the scheduling letter. The scheduling letter’s time limits for submitting the required documents within 30 days of receipt should be followed. Timely compliance is essential and the failure to comply will result in a notice of violation by the OFCCP.
Once the contractor’s AAP is submitted for desk audit purposes, the OFCCP compliance officer reviews the information to assess compliance with Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and VEVRAA. The compliance officer summarizes any deficiencies and, to the extent the compliance officer is willing to discuss these issues with a company representative, may request additional data and/or information.
In the event that the contractor’s responses to deficiencies identified by the compliance officer do not satisfy the Agency’s concerns, the audit transitions to the on-site review phase. This phase involves a three- to four-day visit by OFCCP compliance officers and their review of documents and interviews of managerial and non-managerial employees. Generally, the OFCCP has identified specific job groups to investigate. In light of the potential monetary liability that an organization may be exposed to, contractors are well advised to engage counsel, if they have not already done so, to assist with the on-site review.
Once the on-site review is completed, the OFCCP enters into an off-site review phase. During the off-site review, the OFCCP analyzes the data collected during the desk and on-site audits. The off-site analysis phase can be a point of frustration for the contractor as there is no established timeframe within which the OFCCP must complete this phase and close its review. The contractor is best advised to establish a routine scheduled outreach effort to the compliance officer to determine the progress of the off-site phase of the investigation and to inquire as to a timeline for the completion of the entire audit.