This week the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report to the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce on its recent audit of OFCCP. The report reviews (1) how the Agency conducts audits; and, (2) the Agency’s outreach assistance and guidance efforts.
The 56-page report – titled “Strengthening Oversight Could Improve Federal Contractor Nondiscrimination Compliance” – finds OFCCP audits only “about 2 percent of federal contractor establishments annually.” Notably, the report concludes OFCCP “does not have reasonable assurance that it is focusing its compliance efforts on those contractors with the greatest risk of noncompliance.”
The GAO is also concerned 85% of contractors do not timely submit AAPs within the 30-day deadline which “suggests that OFCCP processes do not ensure that all contractors are complying with their obligation to complete and annually update an AAP.” Some contractors have already seen requests for extensions to submit their AAPs in response to Scheduling Letters shortened or outright denied. It is likely this practice will continue, and even intensify, in the wake of this observation from the GAO.
The report makes six recommendations for OFCCP. Included are recommendations to:
- revamp the audit selection process to better target noncompliant contractors
- develop a mechanism to monitor AAPs on a regular basis, including possibly electronically collecting AAPs and contractor certification of annual updates
- make changes to the current scheduling process to addresses “changes in human capital and not rely exclusively on geographic location”
The GAO plans to provide updated information when it confirms what actions the agency has taken in response each recommendation.
In response to the release of the report, the House Committee to which the report was issued, published a statement in which it commented
This report demonstrates that there are tools already in place to protect workers and hold federal contractors accountable. Despite the rhetoric we hear from the administration and its Democrat allies in Congress, this also shows the overwhelming majority of employers do the right thing and follow the law
Stay tuned for GAO updates, other developments and impacts of this report on OFCCP’s enforcement actions.