Federal contractors and subcontractors have to follow certain affirmative action regulations and policies. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) takes the time to ensure that every contractor is abiding by these regulations through compliance evaluations. Do you know how to prepare for a compliance evaluation? If you are found to be in violation of the policies, the problem must be resolved through conciliation, however, if you understand the process of review and prepare in advance, you can avoid this.
How Does the Compliance Evaluation Work?
The first part of the process is selection. The OFCCP always investigates companies if a complaint is filed by an employee or former employee. Additionally, a Federal Contractor Selection System is used twice each year to select which companies will be investigated. This mathematical model selects contractors randomly, but it does integrate certain statistics to select contractors that are more likely to be violation of a policy. If you are selected, however, you should not be afraid. The Federal Contractor Compliance Manual (FCCM), which provides extensive information and guidance when selected, is freely available for you to read, so you can learn how to prepare for a compliance evaluation. The OFCCP will be checking whether you – Put nondiscriminatory hiring strategies into practice – Are actively pursuing equal employment opportunities – Follow proper employment decision guidelines If you are familiar with these requirements and are confident that you are following them, you should not be worried about the investigation passing. A compliance evaluation is made up of three parts: The desk audit, the on-site review, and the off-site analysis. Most investigations do not take longer than 60 days to complete.
The Scheduling Letter
If you are selected to be investigated, the process will start by sending you a Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL). This is a courtesy that the OFCCP provides contractors. The letters are sent out at the time of the biannual selection, which means there may be several months before the investigation begins. Make no mistake, however; receiving the scheduling letter marks the beginning of the compliance evaluation process, so you cannot appeal not to be investigated. When you are selected, immediately begin researching how to prepare for a compliance evaluation, what is required of you, and what you should expect. The CSAL will request copies of your APP(s) and other supporting data to be sent to the OFCCP.
The Desk Audit
While it is possible for the specific methods of review to vary, a desk audit is always required. During this stage of evaluation, the OFCCP is primarily concerned with the contractor’s Affirmative Action Plan or AAP. You have 30 days to provide the required documents, which means the best course of action is to spend the time reviewing your AAP and government contracts internally. You should immediately advice the OFCCP if you find that you are not covered or if you do not meet the threshold requirements for developing an AAP. Before the compliance evaluation continues, the OFCCP must determine whether you have made significant efforts to develop an AAP and whether your AAP is acceptable.
The On-site Review
After the Desk Audit is complete, an OFCCP official will travel to the contractor’s establishment to review the operation in person. Their primary focus while reviewing will be to guarantee that the AAP submitted is in effect and to investigate any potential problems determined during the desk audit. The official will hold a conference when beginning and ending their investigations. Additionally, the OFCCP will require a tour of the facility, review your documents in person, and interview employees, manager, and hiring officials. This may be the most nerve-racking part of the process, but it is important that you remain calm. If you reviewed how to prepare for a compliance evaluation, you have nothing to worry about. Remember that the priority when reviewing is to help contractors reach the required level of operation. If you are found to be in violation, the official will work with you to help you improve your practices for the benefit of your employee and your business alike.
The Off-site Analysis
After the on-site review, the OFCCP will likely take some documentation for review elsewhere. They may perform compliance checks, focused reviews, pre-award compliance evaluations, industry compliance review, or corporate management compliance evaluations. Further review of employee complaints is often done at this stage, taking their interview with this employee into consideration. If everything is in order, this will complete the compliance evaluation.
It is the responsibility of business owners to understand how to prepare for a compliance evaluation, as well as the laws, regulations, and other evaluations they must follow. Use Mighty Recruiter to learn more about these processes.