Early Notice Allows Federal Contractors To Take Advantage Of Agency’s Resources

The Chair of the National Industry Liaison Group for Affirmative Action Planning recently reported that he has been notified by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that the federal agency plans to issue Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL) in the next two months. A CSAL is a courtesy notification to a federal contractor that two or more of its establishments are on the list to undergo a compliance evaluation during the current scheduling cycle (i.e., OFCCP’s fiscal year of October 1 to September 30).

One of the stated purposes of the advance notification is to encourage contractors to take advantage of the OFCCP’s compliance assistance resources and activities. CSALs are not the same as scheduling letters, which actually start the evaluation process and request submission of the con-tractor’s affirmative action plan (AAP) and supporting data within 30 days of receipt.

Just because a contractor does not receive a CSAL does not mean that one or more of its establishments will not be selected for a compliance re-view during the current scheduling cycle. CSALs are generated from the OFCCP’s Federal Contractor Selection System (which identifies contractor establishments for audits by predicting the likelihood of a finding of systemic discrimination based on information from EEO-1 Reports), but contractors also may be selected for audits based on a contract award, a directed review, a complaint, or as part of the OFCCP’s Corporate Management Compliance Evaluation or Functional AAP initiatives. Likewise, our experience reveals that not all establishments included in a CSAL will actually be audited during the current scheduling cycle.

Since CSALs will be mailed to corporations’ CEOs, federal contractors should notify their CEOs to be on the lookout for these letters and remind them, upon receipt of a CSAL, to immediately notify the individuals responsible for affirmative action compliance for the establishments identified. Establishments selected for evaluation should begin to compile and review the information they must submit in response to a desk audit letter and ensure compliance with federal contractors’ numerous other requirements. A copy of the OFCCP’s standard scheduling letter and itemized listing of requested information is available on the OFCCP’s website.

Note: This article was published in the November/December 2010 issue of The Employment Law Authority.

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