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For the first time since November 2014, OFCCP sends new round of scheduling letters

By Cynthia L. Hackerott, J.D.

On February 17, the OFCCP sent out its first round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) since November 2014, a DOL spokesperson confirmed to Wolters Kluwer on February 22. According to an updated FAQ section regarding the Federal Contractor Selection System (FCSS), the agency has identified 800 federal contractor establishments slated for a possible compliance review during fiscal year (FY) 2017. This number is down from the 2,500 CSALs that were sent out in the last round in November 2014. Continuing a practice that began several years ago, the CSALs were sent to the specific establishment locations identified for a potential compliance review rather than to the contractor’s corporate headquarters.

The OFCCP’s audit scheduling cycle for supply and service contractor establishments is based on its fiscal year, which runs from October 1 through September 30. Starting with the George W. Bush Administration, the OFCCP’s typical practice had been to issue two rounds of CSALs per year, usually one in the Fall, and another in late Winter or early Spring. Accordingly, each FCSS scheduling cycle has generally included two scheduling list releases per fiscal year. However, this latest round, which marks the first release off the FY 2017 Scheduling List, is the first round to be sent since the CSALs sent out in November 2014 (from the FY 2015 scheduling list). The FAQ section regarding the FCSS notes that the “[n]umber of releases and size of each release depend on the agency’s workload and resources,” adding that “compliance evaluations may be scheduled beyond the FY of its release depending on the workload and pace of processing compliance evaluations in the local office.”

According to the updated FAQ section, 375 distinct companies and 29 industries are represented among the 800 establishments on the FY 2017 Scheduling List. This list includes 30 Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations (CMCEs). Notifications of Functional Affirmative Action Program compliance reviews are handled through a separate process.

The CSAL is a courtesy advance notification of compliance reviews. The letter is not required by law but, rather, is intended to facilitate the contractor’s complete, accurate, and timely production of materials and information should that contractor receive a scheduling letter and be selected for an evaluation. The formal notice of a compliance review comes in the form of the OFCCP Scheduling Letter. Depending on the workload of individual OFCCP offices, all establishments identified in the CSAL may not be scheduled for an evaluation. Corporations may confirm whether an establishment was mailed a CSAL by e-mailing a written request on company letterhead to the Division of Program Operations at OFCCP-DPO-Scheduling@dol.gov .

There is no legal requirement that limits the number of establishments per contractor that the OFCCP may schedule for compliance evaluations, the FAQ states. However, from list to list, the OFCCP may set caps or limits on the number of establishments per contractor that can be scheduled for review. The decision to set caps or limits is based on factors that include agency resources and local office workload.