OFCCP Audits: Fewer but More Comprehensive in 2011 and Beyond

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced it will conduct fewer audits in 2011 (3,500) and 2012 (3,675) than in 2010 (5,000 goal), but the audits will be more intensive. OFCCP has implemented this change by abandoning Active Case Management (ACM), which was designed to conserve resources by focusing on systemic discrimination. ACM generally meant abbreviated desk audits and fewer full audits. It also involved fewer, more focused, on-site evaluations, aimed at indicators of patterns of potential discrimination in job groups of 10 or more affected individuals.

Retroactive to January 1, 2011, OFCCP replaced ACM with Active Case Enforcement (ACE), which moves in the opposite direction. ACE means every compliance evaluation will include a full desk audit of affirmative action plans, including compensation analysis, as well as documented disabled and covered veterans outreach efforts. If there are indicators of significant technical violations, potential discrimination, or non-compliance with other labor and employment laws (VETS, OSHA, WHD), the evaluation will move to an on-site evaluation. OFCCP will look for patterns of individual discrimination, as well as patterns of potential discrimination affecting classes of as few as two individuals (as opposed to 10 under ACM). The subsequent on-site review will not be limited to the indicators that triggered it. One in every 50 compliance evaluations will be a “full compliance review,” including a full desk audit, an automatic, full on-site review, and where necessary, an off-site analysis.
What does this mean? Federal contractors must be even more vigilant to keep affirmative action plans up-to-date, understand them, and actively use them as the EEO “management tool” they are required to be.