As part of OFCCP’s continuing efforts at transparency, the Agency in late-November 2018 issued a Directive stating it would develop “a dynamic and searchable publically available source of Help Desk questions and answers to assist contractors.” Moreover, the Directive announced OFCCP would issue Opinion Letters to provide guidance on specific topics, either in response to Help Desk inquiries or in response to direct requests for Opinion Letters.
OFCCP is now actively seeking input from federal contractors and their attorneys. The communication asked folks to
Please reach out through the Help Desk portal to submit suggestions for issues that you would like to see addressed in specific Opinion Letters. You may also email [email protected] or mail your suggestions to the address below.
OFCCP intends to make responses to at least some of the Help Desk inquiries public so through the database and thus encourages contractors and their counsel to participate so everyone can benefit. Help Desk question and answer database will be anonymous, as will Opinion Letters based on Help Desk questions. Direct requests for Opinion Letters are not entirely anonymous. Based on information available about the process, a contractor or lawyer requesting an opinion must at least supply Zip Code, Email or Phone Number, State, and County information. That’s not to suggest that providing identifying information will have any negative consequences. However, OFCCP has said it will consider whether a contractor acted consistently with an Opinion Letter or Help Desk answer when determining whether to issue a violation. Thus, it will be important for contractors to stay up to speed on the Agency’s publicly available answers as well as consider the implications of requesting a response to a directed inquiry.