OFCCP Issues Important Update About Contractor Portal Certification Process

On July 28, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued important clarifications about the certification process through its Federal Contractor Portal (Portal). As previously reported, the Portal is new this year and required federal contractors and subcontractors (contractors) to certify the status of their annual affirmative action plan (AAP) for each establishment before June 30, 2022. In its bulletin update communicated to subscribers by email, the OFCCP stated that — although the portal remains currently open — it has not extended the June 30 deadline and that contractors that have not yet registered and certified their AAP compliance should do so as soon as possible. But it also explained that the agency will consider those contractors that requested assistance from the OFCCP on or before June 30, 2022 — but have not yet completed registration or certification because of a pending request for assistance — to have met the June 30 deadline.

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OFCCP Publishes 2022 Corporate Scheduling Announcement List for Upcoming Audit

On May 20, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its 2022 Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL), which notifies 400 supply and service establishments (locations) of upcoming audits. Federal contractors should immediately review the 2022 CSAL because it serves as the only advance notification to contractors of upcoming audits.

The CSAL also specifies the type of audit the contractor will undergo: Full Compliance Review (Establishment Review), Corporate Management Compliance Evaluation (CMCE) or Functional Affirmative Action Program (FAAP) Review.

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New OFCCP Directive Rolls Back Previous Administration’s Contractor-Friendly CERT Principles

On March 31, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued its second directive of the Biden administration, Directive 2022-02, titled “Effective Compliance Evaluations and Enforcement.” The policies outlined in the new directive signal the end of the contractor friendly policies of the Trump era and a return to an enforcement heavy compliance regime.

Directive 2022-02 revokes several Trump era directives including Directive 2018-06, Contractor Recognition Program (Aug. 24, 2018); Directive 2018-08, Transparency in OFCCP Compliance Activities (Sept. 19, 2018); Directive 2020-02, Efficiency in Compliance Evaluations (Apr. 17, 2020); and Directive 2021-02, Certainty in OFCCP Policies and Practices (Dec. 11, 2020). These policies were initially developed as a part of the OFCCP’s CERT initiative towards certainty, efficiency, recognition and transparency in compliance.

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OFCCP New Federal Contractor Portal Opened for Required Certification

On March 31, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) opened the certification period for its new Federal Contractor Portal (Portal). Supply and service federal contractors and subcontractors (contractors) are required to certify the status of their annual affirmative action plans (AAPs) for each establishment before June 30, 2022.

As previously reported, the OFCCP opened the Portal for registration on February 1, 2022, allowing contractors to visit the site, register their company and validate their information. The OFCCP updated the resource landing page on its web page, which — in addition to a previously provided rollout timeline, user guide and FAQs — now includes additional FAQs addressing certification and registration, how-to videos, a user guide and one-page guides for registration and certification. Contractors are now required to register (if not done previously) and certify compliance.

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Equal Pay Day Heralds New Executive Order and OFCCP Directive

On Equal Pay Day (March 15, 2022), President Biden issued an executive order aimed at advancing the effectiveness in federal contracting by promoting pay equity and transparency in tandem with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) first formal directive (DIR 2022-01) during the Biden administration on pay equity in federal contractors. The directive addresses the OFCCP’s position on obtaining compensation related documents sought during the agency’s audits, which includes pay equity review.

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New Executive Order Requires Project Labor Agreements on Large Federal Construction Projects

On Friday, February 4, 2022 President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14063, requiring project labor agreements (PLA) for all federal construction projects costing more than $35 million. PLAs are agreements between contractors and one or more labor organizations that establish the terms and conditions of employment, such as wage rates and benefits, for specific construction projects. Because of their project-based specificity, the terms and conditions of a PLA often (depending upon the PLA’s terms) supersede the provisions of an existing, but more geographically generalized, area collective bargaining agreements (CBA).

The order takes effect immediately and will apply to many of the projects funded by the recent infrastructure bill.

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