Supply and service contractors should be aware of a new OFCCP Directive that changes the way compliance audits will be conducted. OFCCP publishedDirective No. 295, known as Active Case Enforcement (ACE) [pdf], in mid-February 2011. The new directive sets forth how OFCCP will proceed with audits.

Under the new Directive, supply and service contractors will be subject to any of four possible types of compliance evaluation:

  • compliance review;
  • compliance check;
  • focused review; or
  • offsite review of records.

Each type of compliance evaluation will initially be assigned in a neutral manner, and each requires somewhat different information. Regardless of the type of compliance evaluation used, however, all supply and service contractors will be subject to a full desk audit as a first step.

Understanding ACE is critical for supply and service contractors. Regular OFCCP audits will be significantly more in depth than the audits under the previous ACE directive, which was in place under the Bush administration.

ACE makes clear that part of OFCCP's audits will include coordination with EEOC and similar state agencies to examine charges filed against contractors. According to the directive, this furthers OFCCP's stated intention of increasing coordination among agencies and encourages the contracting community to review its employment practices in a holistic, proactive way. It has been some time since contractors have been subject to this type of elevated scrutiny. We encourage contractors to ensure their house is in order.

ACE applies only to supply and service contractors--not to construction or federally-assisted construction contractors.