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Trump’s proposal to merge EEOC and OFCCP may be off the table or delayed

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Acting Director Dowd recommends working within the framework of the current MOU with EEOC

According to Bloomberg BNA, in a letter from OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd to the Institute for Workplace Equality, the proposed merger of the EEOC and OFCCP includes “several challenging transition issues.” Additionally, legislative and regulatory actions needed to merge the agencies “will likely prove time consuming and could delay the expected FY 2019 start for the proposed consolidation.” Dowd also stated that there are “contemporaneous opportunities” to improve OFCCP through an existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EEOC. “Working within the framework of the MOU, we should be able to achieve desired reforms in the near term, without immediate recourse to legislative and regulatory action.”

Mr. Dowd’s remarks were made on behalf of the DOL and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). An OMB spokeswoman commented to Bloomberg BNA that “we understand the concerns of the agencies involved and are taking them into consideration as we move forward in the budget and government reorganization process.” There was no comment from either the DOL or EEOC regarding Tom Dowd’s letter.

The proposed agency merger was presented in President Trump’s 2018 budget request but was opposed by the business community and civil rights organizations.

The merger could still appear in the proposed reorganization plans that each agency is required to submit by September 9, 2017 in a mandatory government-wide review to determine where federal programs can be eliminated or modified to save costs. Keep in mind that Congress makes the final decision but to-date House bills that fund the DOL and EEOC in FY 2018 have not mentioned the merger proposal. The Senate has not yet released its version of spending legislation.

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