- What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
- Who submitted this FOIA request?
- What is the scope of the request?
- Will information from this request be made public?
- How can contractors receive updates about this FOIA request from OFCCP?
- How do contractors find out whether their company filed Type 2 EEO-1 Reports from 2016-2020?
- If a company was only a federal contractor for part of the time from 2016-2020, is its EEO-1 data included in this request?
- What is FOIA Exemption 4?
- Where can contractors find the Federal Register Notice that OFCCP published?
- What happens if a contractor does not submit a written objection?
- What information should contractors include in a written objection if their company decides to file one?
- What will OFCCP do with the written objection once it receives it?
- If a contractor submits a written objection and OFCCP, after its review, determines that the company’s EEO-1 Report Type 2 data can be withheld from disclosure, what happens then?
- If a contractor submits a written objection and OFCCP, after its review, determines that the EEO-1 Report Type 2 data must be disclosed, what happens then?
- Does OFFCP have a position on whether the requested data should be disclosed or withheld?
- How long after the contractors submit their response will they be notified of the determination?
- Does the agency plan to release a list of companies who objected to the FOIA release of their EEO-1 data?
- If contractors have additional questions that are not answered by these FAQs, how can they contact OFCCP to ask these questions?
1. What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. Like all federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is required to disclose records requested in writing by any person. However, agencies may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the statute. FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Read more about FOIA.
2. Who submitted this FOIA request?
Will Evans from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), a non-profit news organization based in Emeryville, California.
3. What is the scope of the request?
The request seeks all Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 Report demographic data (i.e., “Component 1” EEO-1 Reports) submitted by federal contractors and first-tier subcontractors for reporting years 2016-2020. The Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 Report is one of several different types of reports that are filed by entities with multiple establishments. EEO-1 reports filed by single-establishment contractors (Type 1) and other EEO-1 reports filed by multi-establishment contractors (Types 3, 4, 6, and 8) are not covered by the request. EEO-1 reports containing compensation information (i.e., “Component 2” EEO-1 reports), which were collected by the EEOC, are also not covered by the request. Furthermore, Type 2 data only applies to multijurisdictional establishments and not to contractors with only one establishment. Contractors that only have one establishment are not subject to this request.
For more information on the EEO-1 Report, please refer to our EEO-1 FAQs.
4. Will information from this request be made public?
Yes. FOIA requires that if agencies receive three or more requests for the same information, it must make all records that have been disclosed in response to those requests available for public inspection in an electronic format 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2)(D)(ii)(II). OFCCP has received more than three requests for the information requested by CIR. Responses and productions provided to the requester of this FOIA request will be made publicly available in our FOIA library.
5. How can contractors receive updates about this FOIA request from OFCCP?
We encourage all contractors to subscribe to OFCCP’s stakeholder communications to receive updates from OFCCP about this FOIA request and other important OFCCP matters. You can subscribe on the OFCCP webpage and click on SUBSCRIBE at the top right of our website to complete our questionnaire. Please remember to add OFCCP@subscriptions.dol.gov and govdelivery.com address on your safe senders list. We remind current federal contractors that they must register each establishment and/or functional business unit in OFCCP’s Contractor Portal, and annually certify compliance by accessing the OFCCP Contractor Portal.
If you have questions, please email us at OFCCP-FOIA-EEO1-Questions@dol.gov or contact our helpdesk at 800-397-6251.
6. How do contractors find out whether their company filed Type 2 EEO-1 Reports from 2016-2020?
If a company has filed EEO-1 Reports in the past, the EEO-1 Component 1 Reports from 2016-2020 are available in the EEO-1 Online Filing System. From the Company Dashboard, click on Historic Data (Prior EEO-1 Reports) to download prior year reports.
7. If a company was only a federal contractor for part of the time from 2016-2020, is its EEO-1 data included in this request?
Any Type 2 EEO-1 Report filed from 2016-2020 indicating that a company was a federal contractor is included in the request.
8. What is FOIA Exemption 4?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a statute that provides the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. FOIA also contains some “exemptions” under which agencies may redact, or withhold entirely, certain information that is requested. FOIA Exemption 4 protects from disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential.” 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(4).
9. Where can contractors find the Federal Register Notice that OFCCP published?
Here at the Federal Register Notice.
10. What happens if a contractor does not submit a written objection?
If OFCCP does not receive a written objection, the agency will assume that the company has no objection to disclosure and will begin the process of sending the contractor’s Type 2 EEO-1 Report data to the FOIA requester (CIR).
11. What information should contractors include in a written objection if their company decides to file one?
Contractors should include the first and last name of their company’s point of contact (POC), the POC’s phone number and email address, the company’s name and address, any other entities associated with your company for which contractors are also submitting objections, and the parent company’s EEO-1 unit number.
Contractors should also provide as much information as possible addressing why they believe their Type 2 EEO-1 Report data should not be released under FOIA, including whether the information is commercial/financial and confidential. At a minimum, OFCCP suggests that written objections address the following questions:
- Do you consider information from your EEO-1 Report to be a trade secret or commercial information? If yes, please explain why.
- Do you customarily keep the requested information private or closely held? If yes, please explain what steps have been taken to protect data contained in your reports, and to whom it has been disclosed?
- Do you contend that the government provided an express or implied assurance of confidentiality? If yes, please explain. If no, skip to the next question.
- If you answered “no” to the previous question, were there expressed or implied indications at the time the information was submitted that the government would publicly disclose the information? If yes, please explain.
- Do you believe that disclosure of this information could cause harm to an interest protected by Exemption 4 (such as by causing genuine harm to your economic or business interests)? If yes, please explain.
12. What will OFCCP do with the written objection once it receives it?
For contractors that submitted a timely objection, OFCCP will independently evaluate the objection(s) submitted and make a determination as to whether the information can be properly withheld under FOIA Exemption 4 based on the information provided in the written objection.
13. If a contractor submits a written objection and OFCCP, after its review, determines that the company’s EEO-1 Report Type 2 data can be withheld from disclosure, what happens then?
OFCCP will notify the company and the FOIA requester of our determination to withhold the data.
14. If a contractor submits a written objection and OFCCP, after its review, determines that the EEO-1 Report Type 2 data must be disclosed, what happens then?
OFCCP will provide written notice to the contractor of the reasons the disclosure objections were not sustained, a description of the information that will be disclosed, and a specified disclosure date that is a reasonable time after the contractor receives notice of OFCCP’s determination.
15. Does OFFCP have a position on whether the requested data should be disclosed or withheld?
OFCCP believes the information requested may be protected from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 4, which protects disclosure of confidential commercial information, but has not yet determined whether the requested information is protected from disclosure under that exemption. OFCCP will make a determination about whether a particular contractor’s Type 2 EEO-1 data can be withheld under Exemption 4 after evaluating the written objection submitted by that contractor.
16. How long after the contractors submit their response will they be notified of the determination?
We cannot give an exact time by when OFCCP will make its determination before we know how many objections we will receive. We intend to issue responses as soon as practicable.
17. Does the agency plan to release a list of companies who objected to the FOIA release of their EEO-1 data?
OFCCP is currently processing and cataloguing the submitter objections it has received, and thus it does not yet have a complete, finalized list of federal contractors that have submitted objections. In the course of the ongoing FOIA litigation, CIR has requested a list of contractors that have submitted objections. Under FOIA and relevant interpretive case law, the identities of objecting contractors are not exempt under FOIA Exemption 4. Accordingly, once the processing of the objector list has been completed and the accuracy of the list has been confirmed, OFCCP will provide CIR with the requested list of objecting contractors.
18. If contractors have additional questions that are not answered by these FAQs, how can they contact OFCCP to ask these questions?
The best method of contact for specific questions is by emailing us at OFCCP-FOIA-EEO1-Questions@dol.gov. They may also contact our Help Desk number at 1-800-397-6251.