Federal contractors should immediately review the Fiscal Year 2021 Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL), released on July 1 by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), to see if they have been selected for a future audit.
This CSAL notifies 750 Supply & Service establishments (locations) of upcoming audits and is the only advance notification to the contractor of the upcoming audit. In years past, establishments selected for an audit received notice by mail in the form of a Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter. But now, OFCCP is exclusively posting the CSAL online.
The CSAL also specifies the type of audit the contractor will undergo: Full Compliance Review (Establishment Review), Corporate Management Compliance Evaluation (CMCE), University, or Functional Affirmative Action Program (FAAP) Review.
Although less typical, federal contractors not identified on the CSAL still have the potential to be selected for an audit in certain circumstances. According to OFCCP’s CSAL FAQs, the “establishment of a contractor not on the CSAL may be selected for evaluation because of a complaint, contract award notice, or as a result of a conciliation agreement or consent decree progress report monitoring.” Additionally, the publication of this new CSAL list does not terminate any previously scheduled, but yet to be completed, audits which appeared on the previous CSAL. However, if your assigned focused review or compliance was removed from the amended FY 2020 CSAL, the new FY 2021 CSAL will not affect that previous cancellation.
Along with the CSAL, the OFCCP also published the methodology used to determine which contractors were selected for the current pre-audit list. The OFCCP noted that the geographic distribution of this year’s assigned audits was computed based on the district office’s current audit list size and is proportional to the office’s headcount count as of May 12, 2021.
The OFCCP noted that it applied the following criteria in selecting establishments up for audit:
- The OFCCP selected establishments with large employee counts where all available establishments are ordered by employee count within each district office.
- No parent company has more than nine establishments on the list.
- No company with a Functional Affirmative Action Program (FAAP) agreement with OFCCP has more than three functional units on the list.
In addition, the OFCCP sought to distribute the audits throughout its geographic districts and regions, such that:
- No OFCCP district office has more than two establishments/functional units of the same parent company.
- No OFCCP district office has more than one CMCE review.
- No OFCCP region has more than one university review.
Federal contractors should not miss this window of opportunity to begin preparing for the audit, as OFCCP publishes the CSAL a minimum of 45 days before it begins to issue the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-approved Scheduling Letter, which commences the compliance evaluation process. Upon receipt of the Scheduling Letter, contractors typically then have only 30 days to submit their Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) and contractor records to the OFCCP. Contractors identified on the CSAL should use this opportunity to ensure their affirmative action plans are legally compliant and evaluate their additional compliance efforts required by federal regulations.
Faegre Drinker will continue to provide updates on the CSAL and other OFCCP compliance updates.