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OFCCP Overhauls Construction Contractor Audit Practices and Auditing Schemes

By Debra Milstein Gardner - Mar 5, 2024 12:23:42 PM - 5 MINS READ

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has unveiled significant changes in its approach to auditing construction contractors, aiming to prioritize systemic discrimination investigations. This move marks a substantial shift in the regulatory landscape for the construction industry.

In two major initiatives, OFCCP has introduced revamped audit selection protocols and auditing schemes. The first initiative involves revitalizing the "CC-257" monthly report, a tool to track hours worked on each construction site. On February 23, 2024, the OFCCP published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments regarding its sudden proposal to obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to resurrect, with changes, a Monthly Employment Utilization Report (CC-257) for construction contractors. According to the supporting statement to the request, OFCCP emphasizes that the revival of the form would enhance its construction program. The proposed changes include incorporating updated reporting fields and allowing electronic submission to improve efficiency. These include adding fields for Unique Entity ID (UEI) or Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Numbers, identifying covered areas with projects, and categorizing employees by race, gender, and classification.

The agency indicated that the report would aid in audit selections by using new neutral criteria and enhance efficiency by preventing audits on completed projects. By utilizing the gathered data, OFCCP aims to bolster its compliance assistance endeavors and monitor the progress of contractor outreach initiatives and the agency's Megaproject Program. Additionally, the collected information would facilitate more effective scheduling of compliance evaluations for covered construction contractors, as it provides insights into currently active projects and employee counts.

The second initiative focuses on revising the audit scheduling letter and itemized listing. On February 26, 2024, the OFCCP published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the changes to its Information Collection Requirements (ICRs). OFCCP's proposal includes significant modifications to its construction contractor scheduling letter, itemized listing, and contract award notification requirement form. These changes, detailed in a supporting statement submitted to the OMB, aim to align with OFCCP's heightened focus on systemic discrimination investigations. 

In its identified changes, the OFCCP intends to scrutinize hiring practices, promotions, terminations, layoffs, compensation, and overtime assignments for potential discrimination. These changes pose challenges for construction contractors, requiring meticulous documentation to defend against potential audits. 

Construction contractors are urged to review and provide feedback on the resurrection of the CC-257 monthly report here and here before the deadline of April 23, 2024. Comments related to the proposed changes to the audit scheduling letter and itemized listing can be made here and here before the deadline of April 26, 2024.




As OFCCP positions itself to routinely subject construction contractors to systemic discrimination investigations, stakeholders must prepare for a new era of compliance challenges. These initiatives underscore the importance of staying informed and proactive in navigating regulatory changes within the construction sector. Additionally, maintaining accurate records and ensuring compliance with existing regulations can help mitigate risks associated with future audits.

OFCCP's decision to reintroduce the CC-257 report discontinued almost 30 years ago has sparked discussions within the construction contractor community. No other Republican or Democrat administration since then has thought the CC-257 reports worthwhile, and all thought them too expensive for construction contractors for OFCCP itself to process.

As stakeholders navigate these proposed changes, it's crucial to engage in the comment process and monitor developments closely. OFCCP's initiatives signify a paradigm shift in construction contractor auditing protocols, underscoring the need for proactive adaptation within the industry.

Debra Milstein Gardner

Debra Milstein Gardner has worked in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action (AA) space for the past 43 years while working in the public and private sectors in various human resources compliance roles. She began her career working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then went to the Marriott Corporation for nine years working in EEO, Affirmative Action and field human resource roles. In 1990, Debra founded Workplace Dynamics LLC providing EEO, AA, and DEI consulting services to government contractors. In 2016, Debra sold the affirmative action portion of Workplace Dynamics to OutSolve LLC and works part-time as a Market Analyst. Debra is a sports fanatic, routing for the Baltimore Ravens and all Virginia Tech Hokie teams. She loves to hike and boat in her mountain and lake community of Lake Lure, NC.

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