In the world of federal contractor compliance, things are ever-changing – especially when it comes to audits. While OFCCP may be doing fewer audits than they used to, the audits themselves have become more complex and time consuming, leaving government contractors confused about their rights when asked for documentation and information. In the first episode of season four, our resident OFCCP compliance experts Candee Chambers and John C. Fox sat down to discuss this very topic – and what a conversation it was! Take a peek at this portion of their chat before listening in on the episode in its entirety.
So, what our DE members really want to know today, John, and, really, what I would like to discuss with you is, what is going on currently with the ever-changing audit world of OFCCP, and what are the issues and the practical advice to handle these issues at the OFCCP that we could give to our federal government contractor members?
John C. Fox:
Well, it is always changing, Candee, as you say. And as we sit here in August of 2022, right now, they are doing about 1,000 audits per year. That includes construction and supply and service, both. This is way down, a historic low. When I was at OFCCP, I had a bad feeling if we did fewer than 7,000 a year.
And we used to do full onsite reviews 100 times out of 100 in those days, but these audits have changed quite a bit. So, it seems like a good thing at first blush for contractors, but they’re only doing 1,000. The downside of that is that they are doing what I call a deep dredge. These are very multi-year, difficult, complex, time-consuming audits in a way that they weren’t in the old days.
I certainly don’t want to have a political discussion, but it does seem to move from active case enforcement… Or active case management to active case enforcement, depending on the political party in office. And I think we are back in the deep dredge and the active case enforcement focus today.
John C. Fox:
Very much so. 2015, Pat Shiu definitely, consciously, purposely, and she signaled this publicly, wanted to change the audits, slow them down, make them go deeper. She was afraid that OFCCP was missing discrimination by moving too quickly. And then we’ve been waiting to see where this OFCCP is going to go, because every director puts his or her own stamp on it.
Second, there’s two types of reviews to keep in mind, supply and service, which most of us just think of as the regular contractor type of audit that applies to the non-construction world, and then there’s the construction contractors, and they’re going through a new evolution right now because of the Baker DC case decision where I represented Baker DC. It shut down OFCCP’s construction program for about two and a half years while they rebooted and have, just recently in the last three or four months, started their new life of construction audits, and we’re in the very first early opening moments of that new era…
To uncover current trends for each type of audit, how the distinction of desk versus on-site audit is determined, what OFCCP can and can’t request and more, listen to the full episode! Missing out on updates of new episodes? Subscribe via email or SMS alert, or find all of our episodes on your preferred podcast provider.
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