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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption
Frequently Asked Questions

National Interest Exemption for New Contracts Specifically to Provide Hurricane Irma Relief

  1. Which contracts are covered by the National Interest Exemption?
  2. How do I know if my Federal contract is exempt?
  3. What constitutes a contract specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief?
  4. My company received a federal contract during the period of September 1, 2017 – December 1, 2017. This contract is for providing materials related to Irma relief in the area impacted by that hurricane, as well as materials to other areas not impacted by the hurricane. Is this contract covered by the Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption?
  5. My company has a new contract specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief and has other covered federal contracts unrelated to Irma relief. Do I need to continue to comply with the affirmative action provisions of OFCCP’s laws, including Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act?
  6. What specific obligations are waived by the September 7, 2017, National Interest Exemption?
  7. Does the September 7, 2017 National Interest Exemption apply to subcontractors?
  8. Must a prime contractor include the NIE language in a subcontract specifically for Hurricane Irma relief for the NIE to apply to the subcontract?
  9. I have a new contract for Hurricane Irma relief that is subject to the NIE. What are my obligations?
  10. I have a new contract for Hurricane Irma relief. Who should I contact with questions about my obligations?
  11. My company wants to assist with the hurricane relief efforts in Florida. How can I contract with the Federal government to participate in the Hurricane Irma emergency response?

Status of Open Compliance Evaluations in the Affected Area

  1. What is the geographic area impacted by Hurricane Irma?
  2. How does OFCCP plan to handle pending compliance evaluations in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma?

Complaints of Discrimination

  1. Will OFCCP continue to accept complaints of discrimination against contractors operating in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma?
  2. I believe that I was discriminated against by a federal contractor providing Hurricane Irma relief. What can I do?

 


 

National Interest Exemption for New Contracts Specifically to Provide Hurricane Irma Relief

  1. Which contracts are covered by the National Interest Exemption?
  2. The National Interest Exemption (NIE) Memorandum issued to Federal contracting agencies on September 7, 2017 applies to new supply & service and construction contracts entered into between September 1, 2017 and December 1, 2017, specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief. This NIE may be extended should special circumstances in the national interest so require.


  3. How do I know if my Federal contract is exempt?
  4. The Department of Labor, OFCCP, issued the NIE memorandum to all Federal contracting agencies notifying them of the NIE and providing language to include in new supply & service and construction contracts entered into specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief. If your Federal contract is exempt, it will contain the clauses in the NIE memorandum.


  5. What constitutes a contract specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief?
  6. Federal contracting officers know the terms and conditions of the contracts they execute. Therefore, they are in the best position to determine what constitutes a supply & service or construction contract specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief and whether it is appropriate to include the NIE language in the contract.


  7. My company received a federal contract during the period of September 1, 2017 – December 1, 2017. This contract is for providing materials related to Irma relief in the area impacted by that hurricane, as well as materials to other areas not impacted by the hurricane. Is this contract covered by the Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption?
  8. No. Only new supply & service and construction contracts solely for the specific purpose of providing Hurricane Irma relief are covered by the exemption.


  9. My company has a new contract specifically to provide Hurricane Irma relief and has other covered federal contracts unrelated to Irma relief. Do I need to continue to comply with the affirmative action provisions of OFCCP’s laws, including Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act?
  10. Yes. The Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption only applies to new supply & service and construction contracts specifically for Irma relief. Contractors that hold contracts unrelated to Irma relief, and thus were already required to comply with the affirmative action requirements of laws enforced by OFCCP, must continue to do so.

    Yes. The Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption only applies to new supply & service and construction contracts specifically for Irma relief. Contractors that hold contracts unrelated to Irma relief, and thus were already required to comply with the affirmative action requirements of laws enforced by OFCCP, must continue to do so.


  11. What specific obligations are waived by the September 7, 2017, National Interest Exemption?
  12. The contractors covered by the Exemption do not have to prepare written affirmative action programs as required by 41 C.F.R 60-1.40;60-2, Subpart B; 60-300, Subpart C and 60-741, Subpart C.


  13. Does the September 7, 2017 National Interest Exemption apply to subcontractors?
  14. Yes, as long as the subcontractor is providing goods or services as part of a prime contract specifically for Hurricane Irma relief that explicitly contains the national interest exemption provision set out in the September 7, 2017 NIE memorandum.


  15. Must a prime contractor include the NIE language in a subcontract specifically for Hurricane Irma relief for the NIE to apply to the subcontract?
  16. No, as long as the prime contract specifically for Hurricane Irma relief explicitly contains the national interest exemption provision set out in the September 7, 2017 NIE memorandum, then the NIE also applies to any subcontractor providing goods or services as part of the prime contract. Prime contractors, however, may choose to also insert NIE language into the subcontracts.


  17. I have a new contract for Hurricane Irma relief that is subject to the NIE. What are my obligations?
  18. New supply & service and construction contracts falling under the NIE will continue to be subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of EO 11246, VEVRAA and Section 503 and to the following FAR requirements:

    • Posting of the “Equal Opportunity is the Law” notice under all three laws;
    • Record keeping and record retention requirements under all three laws; and
    • Employment listings with the appropriate employment service delivery system as required under VEVRAA.

  19. I have a new contract for Hurricane Irma relief. Who should I contact with questions about my obligations?
  20. OFCCP’s website at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp contains contractor resources, frequently asked questions about new contractor obligations and information about EO 11246, VEVRAA and Section 503. You may also call OFCCP’s toll–free Help Desk at 1–800–397–6251 or contact the OFCCP District Office nearest you for assistance.


  21. My company wants to assist with the hurricane relief efforts in Florida. How can I contract with the Federal government to participate in the Hurricane Irma emergency response?
  22. OFCCP regulates Federal contractor compliance with equal employment opportunity laws and does not award or manage federal government contracts. Businesses interested in getting Federal contracts, including those for disaster recovery efforts, can visit the Federal government’s FedBizOpps.Gov web site at www.fbo.gov or www.fedbizopps.gov. The website posts all Federal procurement opportunities with a value over $2,500.


Status of Open Compliance Evaluations in the Affected Area

  1. What is the geographic area impacted by Hurricane Irma?
  2. Any area that has been designated a Designated Area by FEMA to receive both individual and public assistance (FEMA categories A and B). For a list of Designated Areas please visit FEMA’s Disaster Declarations page.


  3. How does OFCCP plan to handle pending compliance evaluations in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma?
  4. OFCCP will contact contractors with open compliance evaluations in the impacted areas regarding the status of their evaluation and next steps.


Complaints of Discrimination

  1. Will OFCCP continue to accept complaints of discrimination against contractors operating in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma?
  2. Yes. OFCCP will continue to investigate complaints of discrimination. The agency will take into consideration all practical circumstances and exercise reasonable flexibility in investigating complaints.


  3. I believe that I was discriminated against by a federal contractor providing Hurricane Irma relief. What can I do?
  4. For information on how to file a complaint with OFCCP, please go to: https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/pdf/pdfstart.htm