On June 7, AGC submitted comments to the U. S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in response to its proposal to institute a new approach in reviewing federal construction contractors’ compliance with OFCCP’s Affirmative Action Program (AAP) and record-keeping requirements through compliance checks. OFCCP intends for these compliance checks to be less burdensome, but exercised in greater quantity as opposed to more intensive compliance reviews or audits. If OFCCP determines during the compliance check that the contractor has not maintained AAPs, affirmative action specifications, and required records, OFCCP will provide individualized compliance assistance to help the contractor come into compliance and may place the contractor in a pool for a future compliance evaluation. The amount of information for contractors to submit would be more extensive for direct federal contractors than federally assisted contractors.
AGC supports OFCCP’s current focus on compliance assistance over immediate and strict enforcement, but defends the view that contractors are widely discriminating across the industry, especially in face of the current workforce crisis. AGC also provided a few specific critiques to the proposal. Specifically, AGC advised the OFCCP to develop, in consultation with the industry, a methodology for selection of contractors to be selected for audits and compliance checks. A neutral selection methodology has been expected for years now and needs to be produced prior to any new audits or new types of audits. AGC also argued that the scope of these new compliance checks is no less burdensome that of a full review. The information required for disclosure appears to be very similar in substance and amount to that required for a full compliance review. AGC believes that OFCCP underestimated the time and effort a contractor would have to undertake in gathering and submitting the information required.
AGC will continue to provide input to the DOL on the impact further changes might have on the construction industry and will notify members of any developments.
For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at [email protected] or 703-837-5382.
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