The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has quietly released an updated Directive of its approval process for developing Functional Affirmative Action Plans. Although the changes are not major, the good news is that they should somewhat lighten the burden on contractors seeking approval of FAAPs.
Affirmative action plans are traditionally based on establishments. By contrast, Functional Affirmative Action Plans are developed along lines of business or functional units instead of establishments. The regulations require that contractors seeking to use FAAPs get prior approval from the OFCCP, and the Agency's Directive sets out the process for obtaining approval, as well as other terms and conditions for developing FAAPs.
OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu issued an FAAP Directive on June 14, 2011. On May 22, 2012, the OFCCP solicited comments on a proposal to modify Shiu's original Directive. The OFCCP submitted its proposed Directive to the Office of Management and Budget on October 11, 2012, thus giving interested parties a chance to comment once again. The updated Directive was formally issued on December 17, 2012.
The new Directive eliminates the following requirements that applied to the approval process under the original Directive:
• The requirement to submit VETS-100/100A Reports.
• The requirement to provide race and gender information on all employees within each proposed functional unit.
• The requirement to identify, for each proposed functional unit, the major job groups, representative job titles, the current number of employees by race and gender in each group, and the relevant recruitment area for each job group.
• The requirement to submit sample outreach efforts toward individuals with disabilities and covered veterans.
The new Directive also increases the time period for contractors with an approved FAAP agreement to provide notice of significant changes in corporate structure. Under the old directive, such notice had to be provided to the OFCCP within 30 days of the change. Under the new rule, contractors will have 60 days.
Although the contractor community did not get all the changes it requested, the new Directive is an improvement and will make things easier for contractors who seek approval of FAAPs.