Will the new Acting Director of OFCCP make it a kinder, gentler agency?
Attendees of the 2018 NILG Conference were fortunate to meet the OFCCP’s new Acting Director, Craig Leen. With memories of Patricia Shiu still fresh in mind, everyone was curious to hear his goals and objectives in hopes they would be reflective of a kinder, gentler OFCCP.
In addition to attending the NILG General Session where Acting Director Leen presented to all attendees, I also attended a smaller meeting between ILG Chairs and AD Leen. The content of his message to both groups was generally the same regarding his goals for the agency: enhance equal employment opportunities through affirmative action; eliminate discrimination of protected groups; and have a better relationship with contractors.
What I found interesting was the tone of his delivery between the two groups and the different responses from attendees after each session. Attendees from the General Session seemed more focused on the agency’s partial goal of building a better relationship through transparency and collaboration. Perhaps only focusing on this one particular goal is still due to the lingering after effects of Patricia Shiu’s reign. However, what many did not hear, though was expressed openly during the ILG Chair meeting and via comments afterwards, was the OFCCP continues to be an enforcement agency. Their expectations continue to be that contractors will provide OFCCP with access to whatever request they make; the requests will be fulfilled in a timely manner; and contractor responses will fulfill the request. When someone suggested that the OFCCP could perhaps extend the 30-day period for submitting an audit after receiving the audit notice, to 60 or 90 days, AD Leen’s response was that the OFCCP already provides contractors with the Contractor Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) and that if contractors are committed to compliance, this should be ample preparatory time in order to meet the 30 day deadline.
Acting Director Leen has several exciting ideas pertaining to how the agency can be more efficient and partner more with federal contractors and I look forward to watching these come to fruition. However, federal contractors must not lose sight that even though there is a new AD in town, the agency’s mission remains the same and it is business as usual.