The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is conducting a study of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the regulations protecting veterans in the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). The GAO is a federal agency that serves as a source of objective, non-partisan information on government operations. The GAO completes work at the direction of congressional committees or subcommittees. OFCCP is responsible for enforcement of VEVRAA, which prohibits employment discrimination against protected veterans by covered federal contractors and subcontractors, and also requires each contractor and subcontractor to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment protected veterans.
The GAO has reached out to the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) to solicit feedback on OFCCP as it relates to their enforcement of VEVRAA requirements. The NILG is a consortium of professionals consisting of federal contractors and subcontractors, focused on working in partnership with the federal regulatory agencies responsible for creating and enforcing regulations related to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.
Specifically, the GAO is interested in learning about the resources that OFCCP provides to federal contractors to help them comply with VEVRAA requirements. The agency is also asking for feedback on how OFCCP’s enforcement efforts help ensure federal contractors take steps to recruit and employ protected veterans.
This is not the first time the GAO has shown an interest in the work of OFCCP. The GAO released a report critical of OFCCP in 2016, after conducting an investigation that included interviews with liaison groups and contractors. The report included a variety of criticisms of OFCCP, including taking issue with the way the agency selects contractors for audit, their over reliance on contractors’ voluntary compliance, and a lack of training for compliance officers. Some changes in response to this report were contractor assistance programs and the proposed AAP certification process.
Berkshire will provide updates as the results of this survey are published.