Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Due to the high volume of calls, the VETS-100 helpdesk’s telephone lines and email boxes are overloaded. Federal contractors who can’t reach the help desk for assistance by the September 30th, 2009 deadline have until October 31, 2009 to file their VETS-100 or VETS-100A Report(s). To reach the Vets-100/Vets-100a help desk, contractors should email Please retain documentation of the granted extension (automatically generated email) for your records.

New ARRA audit letters have arrived

The new OFCCP audit letters under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) initiative have begun landing on the desks of contractors around the country. These letters are not your typical desk audit as they are giving notice to construction contractors that not only is the OFCCP is coming on-site, but they are only providing one-weeks notice.

A few items to pay attention to:

- Very short notice of an on-site visit
- The requirements of the letter are different than a typical desk audit
- The evaluation covers the past 6-months of activity
- There is no OMB number associated with the letter meaning it has not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget
- The letter can be directed to the President/CEO of the company

BCG also expects the standard Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) and a new batch of desk-audit letters to be sent out in October of 2009. It is possible that desk-audits will be scaled back as much of OFCCP's current resources are focusing on ARRA audits.

Are you a Federal contractor?

People often ask us, "How can I be sure that I am a Federal contractor?"

It has always been something of a mystery to many organizations that have no idea where their contract is or in some cases which part of their business falls under the Executive Order.

BCG recommends that companies take a look at the Federal Contractor Compliance Advisor found under the following website:

Companies may fall under the contractor, subcontractor or construction contractor obligations. This site will also help single entities that are part of a larger organization determine if they fall under the Executive Order even if they are not directly associated with the fulfillment of a contract.

Friday, September 25, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Audits

By Mike Bostick

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), companies that receive bailout money from the government are now subject to the same guidelines as federal contractors, which could make them subject to an evaluation of their EEO activities to ensure compliance. A large portion of the ARRA funding is going to the construction industry for new construction projects. Please visit for more information. Construction companies face the same procedures as non-construction companies. A certified letter is sent to the company informing them of the compliance evaluation in regards to having received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for a particular project.

Traditionally, onsite audits are only conducted if OFCCP suspects further investigation is necessary based on their preliminary review of a federal contractors’ AAP; onsite audits are also conducted on every 50th compliance evaluation. Active Case Management (ACM), which is a procedure used by the OFCCP to determine if there is enough cause to warrant the continuation of the audit, does not apply to ARRA funded companies under an audit. Companies who receive bailout money will be subject to a full compliance evaluation that will include an onsite visit by a compliance officer. Companies are required to present the compliance officer (CO) with a sufficient working area along with an authorized official that is available to answer any questions or to discuss company policies. The ARRA construction letter also includes an attachment labeled Documentation of Contractor’s Compliance Efforts. This is a list of all the records and information that will need to be available for the CO upon request.

Please see the following link for a sample construction audit letter: Also available are the frequently asked questions about ARRA, ACM, and other audit procedures:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Survey Result with regard to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

By Nina Le-Tse

BCG Institute for Workforce Development (BCGi) sponsored a survey to compile the perceived success of diversity initiatives across organizations of all sizes. As a model for this survey, BCGi used the recommendations outlined in the articles written by Dan Biddle, PhD and Patrick Nooren, PhD, titled, Diversifying Your Organization: How to Actually Make it Happen in EEO Insight. The survey was circulated in January 2009.

One of the questions asked whether respondents evaluated their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to ensure that it is capable of collecting/retaining the required EEO information. The results indicated that a vast majority of contractors, regardless of company size, claim to have evaluated their ATS to ensure it is capable of collecting proper information to address Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) data requirements (e.g., disposition codes). ). As a consultant who have been in this field for more than six (6) years, these results are surprising because in the event of an audit, most contractors are unable to identify the step where each applicant fell out of the selection process (e.g., did not meet minimum qualifications, passed or failed phone interview, declined offer, etc.). Tracking applicants through the selection process is not an easy task. The OFCCP is aware of the difficulty of collecting and retaining proper applicant data, and this unfortunately makes contractors vulnerable to recordkeeping violations during audits. At the 2009 National Industry Liaison Group Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the OFCCP noted that recordkeeping is still the number one violation issued during compliance reviews. In fact, during the 2008 fiscal year, Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) collected $67,510,982 in back pay, salary, and benefits from federal contractors for systemic discrimination. As always, the OFCCP can rely on an “adverse inference” if proper applicant information is not collected or retained Given the current focus of the OFCCP and other federal enforcement agencies on adverse impact in hiring, proper design of applicant tracking systems is vital.
It is an unfortunate situation when employers are unable to defend themselves in the event of an audit or litigation simply because they lack the data to properly do so. If the goal is to create a diversified workforce, then employers need reliable reports that can direct their efforts towards meeting this goal. Outside using the appropriate metrics to create meaningful reports, correct and reliable data should be the first and foremost in any employer’s agenda. It’s not just about the right statistical process; it’s about the right data.

Below are some of the recommendations that will help employers properly collect and retain applicant data and consequently, impact their diversity initiatives:
• Configure your applicant tracking system to collect and retain all necessary information.
• Configure your applicant tracking system to collect and retain a history of disposition codes for each applicant, or
o Develop disposition codes to identify where each applicant is within the process and where each applicant has fallen out and why
• Implement a requisition-based system to more easily link applicants to hires
• Train on the proper usage of the system and regularly evaluate usage of the system
• If at all possible, funnel the steps in the recruitment process to force users of the ATS to follow the designated steps and eliminate manual decisions and selections wherever possible
• Proactively run adverse impact analyses (at least on the high-volume positions) and inform those with the ability to affect change
• Validate all steps in the process

To view the full results of the survey as well as the article, Diversifying Your Organization: How to Actually Make it Happen, please visit

Thursday, September 10, 2009

E-Verify Goes Live

The E-Verify program is now active as of September 8, 2009.

U.S. District Court Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., of Maryland, rejected an 11th-hour-effort last week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to delay the mandate while a federal appeal is pending.

Under the mandate, a clause requiring contractors and subcontractors to use the government's E-Verify system will be written into every new or renewed government contract started on Tuesday, September 8th. It will also be written into every new work order issued under existing contracts, officials say. It will be up to government agencies that issue the contracts to enforce the mandate.

Once a contractor is operating under the new clause, it will have to check the legal eligibility of every employee working on a government project through a secure website. The E-Verify system compares data entered by employers with records maintained in Social Security Administration and immigration databases.

The E-Verify website is here:

Also, on the E-Verify website there is a webinar series that contractors can sign up for:

And here are the E-Verify FAQ's:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Job Group Assignment Can Have a Major Impact on Analysis Results

Job Group Assignment Can Have a Major Impact on Analysis Results
by Dao Vang, EEO Analyst

In the EEO industry there are many different types of companies, and with such diverse organizations it is expected that the methods they employ to approach affirmative action can be very different. While many place great importance on the creation and implementation of their Affirmative Action Plans, it is equally common for AAP development to become an annual exercise that has little impact on the organization. Unfortunately, some contractors only take their AAP and its corresponding obligations seriously when faced with an OFCCP audit.

While a lack of interest in creating and implementing proper AAPs has many drawbacks, one major issue is the creation of defensible job groups. We will call upon an example where a company (let’s call them Company XYZ) had been using the same AAP job groups for years. Company XYZ was aware that their AAP job groups needed significant revisions but it had yet to become a priority. Although as consultants we had pleaded with Company XYZ to work with us on redefining the job groups, and the client intended to make the necessary changes, they unfortunately did not make the time or provide the resources to make reassigning jobs a priority. As a result the project remained on the back burner for too long. The same concern had been revisited and mentioned by BCG each year, however, the restructuring of the job groups remained a “not so important task” from the client’s point of view. Not surprisingly, the excuses continued and the convenience of not making any changes won out for several years. Therefore, Company XYZ knowingly continued to use flawed job groups for their AAPs.

Then along came the day when Company XYZ received a 30-day scheduling letter from the OFCCP. Naturally, several of their job groups had adverse impact in hiring against females and/or minorities and lo-and-behold the overhaul of job group assignments suddenly became top priority. The rushed review confirmed two issues that the consultant already suspected: 1) some jobs were inappropriately grouped together (for example, technical and administrative professional jobs are in the same job group); and 2) there are job groups that could be split into more appropriate groups without sacrificing appropriate sample size.

Needless to say, when more appropriate job groups were created, the number of potential problem areas dropped dramatically. Unfortunately, the lesson learned was that the undertaking of job reassignments during a desk audit caused tremendous stress for everyone. In order to accommodate the newly created (but more appropriate) job groups, the current AAP had to be re-created, the previous year’s availability and placement goals reports were also re-created, and new adverse impact analyses had to be conducted --- all within the 30-day allotted period for the AAP submission.

From the consultant’s point of view, AAPs should be used as a diagnostic tool to determine whether potential problem areas exist in an organization. It should be obvious that plan results are only as good as the job title to job group assignments that they are based upon. Having pointed that out, here is some advice when creating AAP job groups:

o The jobs in each job group should have similar content, opportunities, wages, level, and responsibilities
o Job Groups should not reflect more than one EEO Category
o There is no minimum sample size requirement for each job group. However, there should be enough individuals in each job group to yield meaningful results
o For contractors with 150 employees or less, the regulations state that they can use EE0-1 Categories to as job groups (
o Creating and dividing larger job groups or EEO categories into sub job groups are common. Consider creating sub job group by skill level or/and specialty (e.g., lower level managers, mid level managers, and upper level managers).

If you have any questions about creating job groups please e-mail BCG at