Contractor Watchdog Agency Gets $91M in White House Proposal

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By Porter Wells

The proposed budget appropriation for the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for fiscal 2019 is just over $91 million, continuing a downward funding trend from 2015. The office was funded at $104 million in 2017 and 2018.

The reduction in appropriations proposed for 2019 would bring the agency closer to its funding levels during the George W. Bush administration, when it was generally funded at the low end of the $80 million range. The Obama administration increased funding for the agency between 2010 and 2016, with appropriations hovering around $105 million most years.

The proposed budget also recommends reducing the OFCCP workforce from 525 full-time employees in 2018 to 450 full-time employees for 2019. The agency offered voluntary buy-outs to its staff in late 2017.

There is no mention in the fiscal 2019 budget of a previous plan to merge the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the OFCCP.

The agency’s goals for 2019 are to streamline its auditing procedures by geographically aligning staff workload with financial contractors and establishing Skilled Regional Centers. The latter goal appeared in the OFCCP’s FY 2018 Congressional Budget Justification, where the agency said it would locate these centers in San Francisco and New York and staff them with specialized compliance officers to reduce the need for a “network of field area and district offices.”

The office annually evaluates between 1 percent and 2 percent of about 200,000 federal contractor facilities to confirm and enforce compliance with three federal equal employment opportunity laws: Executive Order 11,246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

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