If the contractor does respond to the PDN, the CO should review the presented information. If there are issues requiring further investigation, the CO should request and analyze the additional information, as needed. The CO may conduct further investigation on-site or through an off-site review of records. The CO should determine whether the contractor’s response satisfactorily rebuts some or all of the allegations of discrimination in the PDN. For example, does the PDN response provide a legitimate, nondiscriminatory explanation (that is, an explanation that is not a pretext for discrimination) for alleged disparate treatment? The CO should also determine whether the contractor’s response satisfactorily rebuts any other violation findings made in the PDN. In evaluating the response, the CO should remember that unsupported contractor assertions, or assertions that the CO previously fully considered, are not sufficient to rebut findings of discrimination.
A contractor may respond to the PDN in one of three ways: with a full rebuttal of all the issues, with a partial rebuttal or with an inadequate rebuttal.
a. Contractor Adequately Rebuts. If the contractor’s response adequately rebuts all of the preliminary findings in the PDN and there are no other remaining issues, the CO will acknowledge acceptance of the response and issue an appropriate closure document.412
b. Some Issues Rebutted. If the contractor’s response adequately rebuts some, but not all, of the preliminary findings in the PDN, the CO should issue an NOV accepting the response in those areas where it was sufficient. The CO should address the remaining findings of violations with recommended corrective actions.
c. All Issues Inadequately Rebutted. If the contractor’s response does not rebut any of the preliminary findings in the PDN, the CO should acknowledge the response. The acknowledgment should also explain that the contractor’s response did not sufficiently rebut the preliminary findings and give an appropriate explanation. The CO should incorporate the PDN’s findings and recommended corrective actions into an NOV.
412. See Letter L-5 – Notice of Closing: No Violation Found.