The obligations imposed on government contractors parallel those imposed by Title VII. Executive Order 11246 prohibits employment discrimination and establishes affirmative action requirements for nonexempt Federal contractors and subcontractors. FAR Clause at 52.222-23 requires insertion of specific goals for minorities and women for the area of performance. See Construction Goals of Air Force Installations.
The administration of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is the responsibility of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Recently, OFCCP has been revising its regulations to reduce the compliance burden on contractors and agencies. There are three changes in particular that affect the contracting process.
First, the dollar threshold at which pre-award clearance of a prospective contractor must be obtained was raised from $1 million to $10 million.
Second, the time frames in which pre-award clearance decisions must be made has been reduced. OFCCP has 15 days to notify the awarding agency of its intention to conduct a pre-award compliance evaluation. If OFCCP does not inform the awarding agency, then clearance shall be presumed. If it does inform an awarding agency of its intention to conduct a pre-award compliance review, it has an additional 20 days to provide its conclusions to the agency or clearance is presumed.
Third, OFCCP has established on the internet a National Pre-Award Registry. Awarding agencies may search for prospective contractors to whom they intend to award contracts of $10 million or more. If the specific contractor receiving the contract is listed on the Registry, the contracting agency is not required to request pre-award clearance from OFCCP.
If the contractor is not listed, then contact the Regional OFFCP Office.