Based on information provided by the chair of the National Industry Liaison Group, it appears that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has decided to continue its practice of sending Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to contractors. As recently as last month, OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu stated that she was still considering whether the agency would continue the practice of issuing CSALs. Now a new wave of CSALs is expected to be sent during the next two months.

What is a CSAL?

The CSAL is a notification to a parent company that two or more of its establishments are on the scheduling list for compliance evaluations during the current scheduling cycle. OFCCP’s continued use of the CSAL is good news for federal contractors and subcontractors, as it allows for some advance planning, self-evaluation, and audit preparation. The letter also allows contractors to anticipate the time and resources that will be required for compliance evaluations during the cycle.

Establishments Not Listed on a CSAL

The CSAL does not necessarily provide an inclusive list of establishments that may be audited during the scheduling cycle. For example, establishments that are not clearly associated with the parent company on EEO-1 Reports will not be included on a CSAL. It is our experience that OFCCP may choose to audit locations not listed, and some establishments listed will not be audited. Contractors also should be aware that as of FY2010, there is no limit on the number of a contractor’s establishments that OFCCP can audit during a calendar year. The previous limit of twenty-five establishments is no longer in effect.

CSALs are mailed to the Chief Executive Officer or other designated point of contact for each parent company with two or more establishments on the scheduling lists. According to OFCCP’s website, a contractor can find out whether a CSAL was sent by faxing a written request, on company letterhead, to the Division of Policy, Planning & Program Development. Click here for more information.

What Contractors Should Do

If you receive a CSAL, immediately notify personnel responsible for the establishment and for affirmative action compliance that an audit is likely. Consider using the time before a scheduling letter is received to conduct a partial or full mock audit of the establishment. At the very least, review the establishment’s affirmative action program, adverse impact analysis, outreach efforts, and progress toward goals. Consult with counsel about the best approaches for self-audits and whether some or all of the review should be done under attorney-client privilege.