Notices of Pending Compliance Reviews Issued by Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Government contractors should carefully check their mail. Last week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) mailed notices to hundreds of federal service and supply contractor and subcontractor locations indicating that their establishment may be the subject of a compliance review in the coming months.
Commonly referred to as CSALs, the Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters went directly to local facilities, rather than the corporate headquarters of the companies that may be subject to the review. The letters, signed by Interim OFCCP Director Thomas Dowd, may be addressed generically to the Human Resources Director or other title. Therefore, contractors and subcontractors should immediately contact all of their locations to determine whether any facilities received a letter from the Department of Labor.
Whether a compliance review actually occurs following receipt of the CSAL depends on the workload within the District Office which will conduct the review. Even if a review is not scheduled this fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2017, the CSAL also provides contractors with an advance view of facilities where something on the EEO-1 form or other data collected by the OFCCP indicates a potential for audit. In the past, some contractors have found that locations identified in a CSAL in one year receive audit letters within the next two fiscal years, even though that facility was not included on a CSAL in the year of the actual compliance review.
Every establishment receiving a CSAL should take proactive steps to be prepared for a Scheduling Letter which signals that a compliance review is underway. In addition, although CSALS provide some notice of which facilities might receive a Scheduling Letter, contractors should be aware that:
the OFCCP may schedule compliance for multiple establishments of the same corporate parent;
companies may receive one or more CSALs but receive a notice of audit for an establishment that did not receive a CSAL; and
companies who receive no CSALs may still receive Scheduling Letters for one or more of their establishments.
The number of new compliance reviews decreased significantly in the last few years of the Obama administration, as more emphasis appeared to be placed on the expansion of coverage and the development of new enforcement mechanisms. The Trump administration’s public statements to date have indicated both hostility toward new regulations and the need to reevaluate those already issued. However, the issuance of the CSALS in the first two months of the administration does signal that the agency has compiled a new list of contractor establishments for compliance reviews. Although a large increase in the number of scheduled reviews cannot occur unless Congress approves additional money for hiring compliance officers, prudent contractors should at least review their list of compliance action items that may not have been fully implemented.