The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has announced that employers with federal supply or service contracts/subcontracts will be required to annually certify that they have developed written affirmative action plans (AAPs), with an initial deadline of June 30, 2022. The certification requirements apply to employers who are already required to prepare written AAPs, meaning those that have at least 50 employees and a federal supply or service contract or subcontract worth at least $50,000 (for AAPs related to race/ethnicity, gender, and disability) or at least $150,000 (for AAPs related to protected veterans). Federal construction contractors don't have to submit certifications at this time.
Covered federal contractors will submit their certifications through the OFCCP's Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface, also known as the OFCCP Contractor Portal. The timeline is:
February 1, 2022: Registration opens. You'll need to create a Login.gov account using an email and password for entry into the portal. To register, you'll need to enter your company's Employer Identification Number (EIN) and EEO-1 Headquarters/Company Number and Establishment/Unit Number. If you don't know your EEO-1 number, you'll have to provide your company's legal business name, DUNS number, and NAICS code.
March 31, 2022: Certification period begins. This is the earliest date existing contractors can certify their compliance with the written AAP requirements.
June 30, 2022: Certification period ends. This is the deadline for existing contractors to certify their AAP compliance.
New federal contractors are already required to complete written AAPs within 120 days of beginning a federal contract. Once the OFCCP Contractor Portal is up and running, these new contractors will have 90 days after completing their written AAPs to certify their compliance.
Tips: We don't yet know the exact language of the certification, but this change will likely mean that covered employers will need to complete their annual AAPs much more promptly. Some companies delay this process for many months after the close of their AAP recordkeeping year. Those days may be coming to an end. If you use Vigilant to prepare your AAPs and have had difficulty gathering your data in a timely manner, talk with your Vigilant affirmative action representative to discuss how we can support you in your efforts.
The OFCCP's actions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. This certification has been a long time coming. In September 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended that the OFCCP implement annual certifications to broaden its oversight of federal contractor compliance, since the OFCCP audits only a small fraction of federal contractors' affirmative action plans each year. The portal is still under development, but the FAQs provide additional details on the new requirements. The OFCCP also intends to require contractors who are audited to upload their data through the OFCCP Contractor Portal rather than sending it by email to a compliance officer.