The Office of Contract Compliance (OFCCP), which enforces federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ affirmative action obligations, recently rescinded its 2003 ACM directive. The 2003 ACM or "Active Case Management" directive allowed for abbreviated desk audits where only the affirmative action plan and personnel data were reviewed. If no evidence of systemic discrimination was revealed (defined as discrimination affecting at least 10 employees or applicants), the evaluation would be closed. If such evidence was indicated, a full desk audit and possible onsite review would be launched. The ACM also mandated that a full desk audit be performed for every 25 contractors and a full onsite review for every 50 contractors.
Rescinding the ACM directive signals that desk audits may be more expansive in the future and that onsite reviews may become more common. However, the rescission may be just a formality. Many contractors found that some regional and local OFCCP offices had not been following the ACM directive for some time, but formally rescinding the ACM directive does signal that the agency intends to be more aggressive in its enforcement activity. The OFCCP has yet to issue new procedures for desk audits and onsite reviews.
With a renewed focus on onsite reviews, the OFCCP will be able to expand its enforcement efforts to other areas of affirmative action, rather than just focus on what the statistics reveal. For example, in an onsite review, the OFCCP can look at disabled accessibility issues, posting requirements, and interview workers.
We will update you if a new directive replacing the ACM is issued.