The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs — the agency charged with prohibiting discrimination by firms that contract with the federal government — announced three new directives last week. The new directives are part of the department’s efforts to maximize the effectiveness of compliance assistance outreach, the agency announced.

Directive 2018-05. The first is aimed at clarifying the office’s approach to compensation evaluations of employees. Believing that prior guidance was unclear, the OFCCP said “fulsome guidance will further support contractors’ ability to conduct meaningful self-audits so that they can proactively identify and address issues with their compensation practices.”

Directive 2018-06. Another is the establishment of a contractor recognition program to highlight those with high-quality and high-performing compliance programs and initiatives.

Directive 2018-07. Finally, the agency is establishing of a program for verifying compliance by all contractors with “Affirmative Action Program” requirements. The office reported that federal contractors must develop an Affirmative Action Program within 120 days of the commencement of their contracts. However, the office cited a 2016 report that found almost 85% of contract companies did not submit a written plan within 30 days of receiving a scheduling letter for a compliance evaluation.

For more, see this post on JD Supra by law firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith and Prophete LLP.