In the words of OFCCP, the contractors spoke and OFCCP listened. OFCCP is also listening to the Government Accounting Office and its detailed review of the Agency.
In response to the GAO’s Strengthening Oversight Could Improve Federal Contract Nondiscrimination Compliance report and on the heels of OFCCP’s Compliance Assistance Town Halls, the Agency has developed a path to address “three general areas of focus: training, communication and trust” through a Town Hall Action Plan. OFCCP reports it developed the action plan “consistent with its existing budgetary and human resources” and that that the agency
further expects that this plan will not only respond to the three common themes identified in the town halls in FY 2017, but will also contribute to the agency’s response to recommendations four, five, and six in the 2016 GAO report.
The Plan is founded on three initiatives:
- Review and Enhance Contractor Compliance Assistance
- Assess and Improve the Quality of Contractor and Compliance Officer Training and Education
- Increase Transparency and Communication
Perhaps of most interest to contractors are the issues of transparency, communication and consistency addressed in the third initiative. The initiate states OFCCP will “create a ‘roadmap’ or written guide to the compliance evaluation process for contractors” which will further its goal of enhancing communications between contractors and OFCCP, improve the transparency in OFCCP’s work, and begin to address trust issues.
In addition to the Agency’s previously-announced renewed reliance on predetermination notices, OFCCP “will develop policy guidance for creating greater transparency around the identification of indicators of a violation, explaining the basis for a supplemental data request, and conducting a meaningful compensation self–assessment.” This initiative is consistent with recent reports regarding the possible rescission of OFCCP’s controversial Directive 307 regarding audit compensation analyses.
The Town Hall Action Plan also previews what OFCCP is referring to as a “Bill of Rights” titled “What Contractors Can Expect.” This document, to-be-entitled What Contractors Can Expect, will outline certain OFCCP principles that contractors can expect to exist during an engagement with OFCCP. These principles are expected to “include, but are not limited to, things such as timeliness, accuracy, communication, confidentiality, and professionalism.”
And the Agency isn’t done listening. For those contractors who received OFCCP’s survey, you still have time to give your feedback – the deadline to respond is May 4th – let your voice be heard.
We applaud the Agency’s initiatives and look forward to learning more about the details, which we will share as they become available.