The effectiveness of a contractor’s overall AAP is not measured by whether the contractor met all its goals, but rather by whether the contractor made good faith efforts to do so. Generally, if the contractor met properly determined goals in a job group, further examination of good faith efforts for that job group is unnecessary. Determining whether a contractor demonstrated good faith efforts to meet its affirmative action obligations is separate from the determination of whether the contractor discriminated. Therefore, to focus the investigation on good faith efforts, COs must take the following steps:
- Measure the degree of progress in job groups where the contractor established goals and opportunities occurred;
- Evaluate the contractor’s resulting overall goals performance; and
- Identify areas where specific additional information is needed to evaluate good faith efforts.
COs will evaluate both prior year and current year, if applicable, and address any goal issues in Part B.IV of the SCER.
As noted earlier, to be acceptable, AAP Itemized Listing data must include a report of progress on immediately preceding AAP year goals. In addition, the contractor should include a report of progress on current goals if the contractor is at least six months into its current AAP year when it receives the Scheduling Letter. COs will use this progress report to analyze goals progress.
a. Data Needed. To conduct this analysis, COs must first identify the job groups for which the contractor established goals at the beginning of the period under review. Second, COs must determine the percentage placement goal for each job group and the protected class to which it applies. Third, for each such job group, the number of total placements including hires and promotions, and the number of minority and/or female placements must be determined. If a contractor does not submit this information at the desk audit, COs will conduct the analysis below at whatever point in the review they obtain sufficient information.
b. Analysis. The analysis takes into consideration the number of opportunities the contractor provided in relation to the goal. More specifically, to determine how many minorities or women the contractor would have placed if the goal were met, COs multiply the percentage placement goal by the number of placements that occurred. The CO then compares this result with the number of minorities or women placed.
If a contractor established a goal for a particular race or ethnicity, or men or women of a particular race or ethnicity, then the CO evaluates progress on that goal in the same fashion as in the above example.
An evaluation of good faith efforts includes a review of the contractor’s overall performance toward goals, the identification of areas requiring additional examination, and ensuring that adequate information is available to determine good faith. Each is discussed in this subsection.
a. Overall Performance. In evaluating a contractor’s good faith efforts, COs must first make an overall assessment of the contactor’s goals and affirmative action performance, and record results in Part B.IV of the SCER. For example, were there areas where goals were established but not met? This evaluation should also take into account the fulfillment of AAP commitments and the quality of those commitments in terms of creative problem-solving to remove any impediments to minority and female utilization.
b. Goal Areas Needing Further Examination for Good Faith Efforts. COs must identify goal areas needing further evaluation for good faith efforts. For each such goal area, the COs will review any contractor description of good faith efforts pertinent to the area. This should be included as part of the contractor’s report on goals. COs will also use the AAP and Itemized Listing data to identify the reasons for lack of progress and the type of AAP action items that would be pertinent. Below are some examples of the types of inquires a CO could pursue.
- Do the Itemized Listing data on employment activity show that the jobs were filled predominantly by hires or by promotions? If by hires, was there low applicant flow?
- What AAP commitments did the contractor make about recruitment efforts? Is there any evidence they were fulfilled?
- Was there an adequate representation of minorities and women in probable feeder groups if the contractor filled jobs primarily by promotion?
- What AAP commitments did the contractor make concerning the promotion process (e.g., job posting, encouraging bidding, training)? Is there any evidence the contractor fulfilled these commitments?
For each goal area without sufficient information to determine good faith efforts, the CO will list the additional information needed on SCER Part B.IV. For example, the contractor did not meet its goal for minorities in the Clerical I job group. However, in reviewing the data, it appears that low applicant flow is the cause. The AAP may state that the contractor will use a particular agency with a significant minority clientele to aid in the recruitment of minority applicants for the Clerical 1 job group. The additional information needed here may include contact with the agency to confirm its use by the contractor, as well as other actions such as identifying additional recruitment sources while on-site.