OFCCP Rescinds Four Directives
Awareness of new directives and updates to existing ones is integral for federal contractors and subcontractors to protect their organizations from costly violations.
In a recent update from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP), the agency has implemented the “Effective Compliance Evaluations and Enforcement” Directive 2022-02, which rescinded four previous directives – known as “The Four Pillars” of Certainty, Efficiency, Recognition, and Transparency (CERT for short) – paving the way for deeper scrutiny of adherence to contractor compliance requirements.
Key Directive 2022-02 takeaways
The requirement of covered contractors to use the new OFCCP Contractor Portal to register and annually certify their Affirmative Action Plans (AAP) to meet compliance – with a June 30, 2022 deadline to certify.
All AAP data and supporting information must be submitted within 30 days of receipt of an audit scheduling letter – extensions will only be granted in “extraordinary circumstances.”
During a compliance audit, contractors are expected to provide their AAP submissions and supporting data in a timely manner as well as access to data on employees, applicants, and other witnesses.
The 45-day window for scheduling contractor compliance reviews will no longer be given beyond the Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) issuance.
Which directives were changed under Directive 2022-02?
Aiming to provide clarity and reaffirm transparency in their compliance evaluation process and expectations for contractors, the OFCCP modified DIR-2018-06, DIR 2018-08, DIR 2020-02, and DIR 2021-02.
An overview of the four rescinded directives:
DIR 2018-06, Contractor Recognition Program (Aug. 24, 2018): The rescinded directive was intended to recognize contractors with high-performing compliance programs and support proactive approaches to compliance. Despite rescinding, the OFCCP continues to support a proactive approach to compliance and offers compliance assistance to identify promising and proven actions to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO).
DIR 2018-08, Transparency in OFCCP Compliance Activities (Sept. 19, 2018): The rescinded directive authorized an automatic 30-day extension for submission in compliance evaluations and an additional automatic 45-day scheduling delay after the issuance of a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL). According to the OFCCP, several policies within the directive caused misunderstandings and subsequent delays. By removing the directive, the OFCCP aims to minimize delays and employment discrimination.
DIR 2020-02, Efficiency in Compliance Evaluations: The rescinded directive was considered outdated by the OFFCP and refers to enforcement data and measures from previous fiscal years. It states that the OFCCP accomplished the effective progress of compliance evaluations, professional conduct by OFCCP staff, and neutral scheduling of compliance evaluations.
DIR 2021-02, Certainty in OFCCP Policies and Practices: This rescinded directive reaffirmed that the OFCCP is committed to an ongoing review (at least annually) of all its own policies and practices – now deemed impractical and unnecessary.
How this affects contractors
Directive 2022-02 indicates a shift from the OFCCP – leaning toward a more aggressive approach to ensuring compliance adherence by federal contractors and subcontractors.
However, if contractors proactively develop, certify, and continuously maintain their plans and practices, gathering data and support materials should – theoretically – be simpler.
Looking for expert guidance to ensure your organization is meeting its compliance obligations? Request a complimentary site audit or introduction to our full compliance suite here.
Disclaimer: This is not intended to offer legal advice—secure legal counsel when ensuring government compliance.
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