Happy Holidays: Federal Contractors Must Begin Certifying to the Government that they have Prepared Affirmative Action Plans
In August 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) information collection request for an Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface through a new online portal. The portal is a new OFCCP platform where covered federal contractors and subcontractors must certify that they are meeting their obligation to develop and maintain annual Affirmative Action Plans (AAP), as well as upload AAP’s during a compliance review. This stems from a 2016 OMB report that criticized OFCCP for having no means to determine whether federal contractors were actually complying with their obligation to prepare annual AAPs.
Today, the OFCCP published additional information about the portal, including the following target dates for implementation.
On Feb. 1, 2022, federal government contractors may begin registering for access to the portal. OFCCP will also send an e-mail to each covered federal contractor whose email information is available in its system inviting them to register.
On March 31, 2022, contractors will be able to begin utilizing the certification feature in the portal to certify their AAP compliance.
By June 30, 2022, contractors must certify that they have developed and maintained an affirmative action program for each establishment and/or functional unit, as applicable.
OFCCP states that more information will be forthcoming over the next few months – including
How-To Videos and a User Guide. In the meantime, the Agency has published a link to Frequently Asked Questions and a Contractor Portal Landing Page.
We’ll keep you updated on further developments as OFCCP shares additional information. Nevertheless, this underscores the importance for federal government contractors and subcontractors to timely prepare an annual AAP now that there will be meaningful consequences from failing to do so.