An affirmative action program (AAP) is a management tool designed to ensure equal employment opportunity for female, minority, disabled, and veteran applicants and employees of a federal contractors’ workforce. AAPs ensure equal employment opportunity by institutionalizing the contractor's commitment to equality in every aspect of the employment process. Affirmative action under Executive Order 11246, Section 503, and VEVRAA therefore seeks to increase diversity in the workforce, consistent with availability, through outreach, recruitment, and elimination of barriers to equal employment opportunity while always following the non-discrimination obligation that prohibits preferences and quotas as well as departures from merit selection principles. As part of its commitment to affirmative action as well as efficiency in compliance evaluations, OFCCP is adding AAP focused reviews to its existing focused review lineup in lieu of compliance checks.
While still limited compared to full compliance evaluations, AAP focused reviews have a broader scope than compliance checks and include the full review of a contractor’s AAPs and support data under Executive Order 11246, Section 503, and VEVRAA. They also include an onsite (virtual or physical) and compliance assistance such as best practices in developing an AAP. If OFCCP finds AAP and/or recordkeeping violations, the focused review can conclude in a conciliation agreement between OFCCP and the contractor. In addition, if OFCCP finds widespread or serious violations, the focused review may expand into a full compliance evaluation.