1B04 Follow-Up Contact with Contractor and Jurisdiction Challenges
COs must contact the contractor within 15 calendar days after sending the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing to ensure that the contractor or the contractor’s representative, or both, fully understand the requests contained in the letter. If the contractor has questions, COs will provide technical assistance to clarify the contractor’s obligations and the compliance evaluation process. The CO should establish himself or herself as the primary point of contact for the compliance evaluation, provide an overview of what to expect during the evaluation, and explain the allowable one-time 30-day extension for submission of Itemized Listing18 information as well as the SCN process for failure to meet deadlines for submitting the AAPs and Itemized Listing information.
The contractor may challenge OFCCP’s authority to schedule it for a compliance evaluation. For instance, the contractor could assert that the establishment is closed, the establishment is part of an approved FAAP agreement, or it does not have a large enough federal contract or the requisite number of employees to trigger OFCCP’s AAP requirements. The contractor might also inform the CO that it has been less than 24 months since it received a closure letter from OFCCP for a prior compliance evaluation or since the end of the monitoring period for a CA or consent decree it entered with OFCCP to remedy violations uncovered during a prior evaluation.
If the contractor challenges the agency’s jurisdiction for any reason, the CO must elevate the issue to the attention of DPO, in coordination with his or her supervisor and regional office. DPO will use a number of resources, including the System for Award Management (SAM),19 to verify whether OFCCP has jurisdiction over the scheduled contractor. If jurisdiction is then established, yet the contractor continues to dispute OFCCP’s jurisdiction, the CO will recommend issuance of an SCN. Chapter 8, Section D explains the use of SCNs. If jurisdiction is not established, then the CO would administratively close the compliance evaluation.20
SAM includes information on whether a contractor has declared that it maintains AAPs for all of its establishments. The information is under Representations and Certifications; Affirmative Action Compliance (Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.222-25). COs may find it beneficial to check SAM to determine whether the contractor made this declaration in SAM before making the 15-day call.
If a region schedules a compliance evaluation of an establishment that is covered by a functional or business unit, the regional office and CO must contact the FAAP branch to verify if the establishment is covered within an approved functional or business unit. The FAAP branch will advise the regional office and CO whether to administratively close the evaluation.
18. See Directive 2018-08, “Transparency in OFCCP Compliance Activities.” OFCCP will provide a 30-day extension for contractors to provide supporting data related to the Executive Order 11246, VEVRAA and Section 503 AAPs, provided that: 1) the contractor requests the extension any time before the initial 30-day due date for the AAPs and 2) the contractor timely submits the basic Executive Order 11246, Section 503 and VEVRAA AAPs within the initial 30-day period after receiving the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing.
19. The System for Award Management is located at https://sam.gov/content/home (last accessed August 2019). For OFCCP’s current jurisdictional thresholds, see https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/taguides/jurisdiction.htm (last accessed August 2019).
20. Letter L-1 – Sample Administrative Closure Letter.