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OFCCP Seeks Approval for Online AAP Certification – “Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface”

As reported in today’s Federal Register, OFCCP is seeking regulatory authority to:

  • Require federal contractors to annually certify they have prepared AAPs via an online interface; and,

  • Institute “a secure method” to electronically submit AAPs when contractors are scheduled for an audit.

As we reported nearly a year ago, because OFCCP cannot conduct a compliance review of every federal contractor location every year, OFCCP wants an efficient alternative method to ensure all federal contractors are regularly preparing annual AAPs.  OFCCP’s desire for an annual certification process stems directly from a pre-COVID-19 Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticism that 85% of contractors do not timely submit AAPs within the 30-day deadline.  According to the GAO, that statistic “suggests that OFCCP processes do not ensure that all contractors are complying with their obligation to complete and annually update an AAP.”  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that percentage may now be even higher.

The Federal Register notice is short on details.  Instead, OFCCP is soliciting your input regarding, among other topics:

  • The frequency of the certification (the proposal is for annual certification);

  • The type of information and level of detail to be required in the certification;

  • Whether certification would be practically useful to OFCCP in service of its mission, as compared to the burden on contractors; and,

  • Whether the estimated burden on contractors (36 minutes to certify) is accurate.

The notice does appear to propose that contractors upload AAPs annually as part of the certification process, a possibility floated in the GAO’s 2016 report.

Contractors can submit their input to OFCCP on or before November 13, 2020 via the federal e-Rulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov/ .

As we receive more detail and assess the possibilities for the certification process, we will make sure to bring you our insights and updates.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 258

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Laura Mitchell, Jackson Lewis, Management Representation lawyer, Contractual Drafting Attorney
Principal

Laura A. Mitchell is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management exclusively in all areas of employment law, focusing on affirmative action and government contractor compliance.

Ms. Mitchell is a Principal in the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Defense practice group, representing government and non-government contractors in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) matters, preparing for and defending OFCCP audits, and counseling employers on issues stemming...

303-225-2382
F. Christopher Chrisbens, Jackson Lewis, litigation attorney, employment law, intellectual property legal counsel, OFCCP compliance lawyer
Of Counsel

F. Christopher Chrisbens is Of Counsel in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Over his years as a litigation attorney, manager, trainer and workplace investigator, Mr. Chrisbens has developed a diverse array of employment law skills serving employers in a variety of legal and corporate settings.

Mr. Chrisbens began his career as a litigator and appellate practitioner in Los Angeles, California, and later returned to Boulder, Colorado where he was partner in a Boulder firm practicing in the areas of commercial, intellectual property and employment litigation.

Mr. Chrisbens joined Jackson Lewis after many subsequent years as the manager of affirmative action planning and OFCCP compliance in both the law firm and employer association settings. He now counsels, represents, and provides training to federal contractors in all facets of affirmative action planning and OFCCP compliance, including all phases of OFCCP compliance audits. Mr. Chrisbens has successfully and efficiently guided many federal contractors through OFCCP audits, including on-site investigations, compensation scrutiny and applicant tracking analyses. Mr. Chrisbens also provides customized on-site affirmative action and investigations training, and frequently accepts speaking engagements on both topics.

303-225-2381