Voluntary early retirements and voluntary separation incentives offered to certain OFCCP employees in specific positions
In an attempt to work with a $10 million budget reduction, OFCCP is offering voluntary early retirement and voluntary separation incentives. President Trump’s budget proposal calls for a staff reduction of about 131 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), bringing the agency’s workforce to 440 employees.
The “buyouts” are offered under the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment Authority and the “early outs” are offered under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. Offering these early retirement options is nothing new for OFCCP; however, the number of employees being offered these options may be greater than in the past.
It is unknown how the staff reduction will impact future audit activity. It is interesting that they are coming in a time where OFCCP is considering providing more support, in the form of training, to government contractors.
Voluntary separation incentive (VSP) criteria
OFCCP employees who choose to voluntarily resign or retire must do so by September 15, 2017. The maximum voluntary separation incentive payment is $25,000. Employees must:
• Be in a position covered by the VSIP (outlined in Tom Dowd’s letter),
• Be serving under an appointment that is without time limitation,
• Currently employed for a continuous period of at least three years with the federal government,
• Not eligible for disability retirement,
• Not have a current or previous notice of involuntary separation for misconduct or unacceptable performance,
• Not be an employee who is covered by statutory reemployment rights and who is on transfer employment with another organization,
• Not be an employee who performed service: (1) during the previous 36 months for which a student loan repayment benefits was or is to be paid, (2) during the past 24 months for which a recruitment or relocation bonus was or is to be paid, or (3) during the past 12 months for which a retention bonus was or is to be paid,
Voluntary Early Retirement Authority details
Employees who choose early retirement must be:
• At least 50 years old with at least 20 years of creditable federal service
• Any age with at least 25 years of service.
Click here to review the letter from acting Deputy Director Thomas Dowd to OFCCP employees provided by BNA.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
OFCCP will attempt to do more with less. The inevitable exit of the most senior and/or most talented staff who are likely not to hang around a diminished agency will mean both opportunity and frustration for contractors. The opportunity will come in the form of lighter than average short-term compliance evaluations. Likely, the focus will be refined even further on compensation and adverse impact with ancillary items taking a back seat.
It’s not all good news for contractors. For those with open evaluations, expect longer possible times to closure as those exiting compliance officers are likely simply to transition their open audits to the bottom of the stack of another C.O. Further, some staffing changes in OFCCP’s internal management sign-off and quality control may further delay completion.