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Committee Leaders Respond to Government Watchdog Report on OFCCP Enforcement Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 22, 2016
Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, issued the following joint statement after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report concerning the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which is responsible for enforcing employment nondiscrimination policies for federal contractors: 

This report demonstrates that there are tools already in place to protect workers and hold federal contractors accountable. Despite the rhetoric we hear from the administration and its Democrat allies in Congress, this also shows the overwhelming majority of employers do the right thing and follow the law.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to strengthen how federal policies are enforced, including those prohibiting employment discrimination. However, the answer isn’t creating a new layer of bureaucracy. Instead, the department should heed these nonpartisan recommendations to improve compliance assistance and better target its enforcement efforts. This responsible approach would help employers understand their responsibilities, hold bad actors accountable, and ensure the rights of workers are protected.

Chairman Kline and Chairman Walberg asked GAO to do a comprehensive review of DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforcement activities. OFCCP enforces nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements for about 200,000 federal contractor establishments. The report examines how OFCCP conducts compliance evaluations and reviews OFCCP outreach, assistance, and guidance efforts to aid contractors. GAO made a number of findings, including:

  • Since 2010, approximately 78 percent of compliance evaluations showed no violations, and about 2 percent determined that discrimination occurred.

  • OFCCP does not have “reasonable assurance that it is focusing its compliance efforts on those contractors with the greatest risk of noncompliance.”

  • OFCCP outreach activities to contractors and stakeholders have decreased 80 percent from 2012 to 2014.

  • Compliance assistance activities for federal contractors are down 30 percent since 2012. 

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