At the end of 2021, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) unveiled a new contractor portal that has since become active with the new year. Federal prime contractors and subcontractors are required to register on the portal so they can deliver an annual form certification. To help you get acquainted and understand what is required of you, here’s what you need to know about OFCCP’s new contractor portal.
The OFCCP’s Background
To best understand what drives the changes and evolution of the OFCCP and its practices, it helps to understand its background and the ideals the OFCCP was created on. The OFCCP administers and enforces three primary equal employment opportunity laws:
- Executive Order 11246
- Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974
These three laws are central to how the OFCCP operates and are most indicative of their goals—to ensure the workplace remains fair and equitable for historically disadvantaged demographics and that everyone can prosper regardless of their circumstances.
New Certification Requirements
The prior policy dictated that covered contractors and subcontractors would confirm they have an Affirmative Action Plan in place through the government’s previous system, the System for Award Management. With the introduction of the OFCCP’s new contractor portal, regulations have shifted and now require contractors and subcontractors to develop an AAP within 120 days of entering their contracts. They must update their AAPs annually to ensure they remain compliant with regulations and that businesses are operating with the best practices as regulations change and become more nuanced.
New Portal Features
Now that you know how the OFCCP is using the contractor portal to improve AAP regulations, let’s talk about what you need to know about the OFCCP’s new contract portal’s features; specifically, how the portal and its new features can make life easier for federal contractors.
The key benefit of the contractor portal is it will make compliancy much easier. Foremost, it provides a single place to submit your business’s AAP certifications and necessary documentation. The portal will also help you stay up to date on changes between regulations and practices when they occur so you can update your AAP accordingly. Previously, a major problem with helping businesses stay compliant was ensuring every contractor had the most up-to-date information on AAP compliance.
While the contractor portal helps ease the process, it’s still a lot to handle and difficult to thoroughly prepare your entire business. For that reason, you should consider the benefits of outsourcing OFCCP compliance and look for professionals well-versed in the practices. Preparing for an OFCCP audit and keeping your business up to date with a certified AAP is no simple task. Stay informed and know your options when preparing and implementing new regulations and practices into your business.