Equal Employment Opportunity:

DOL Contract Compliance Reviews Could Better Target Federal Contractors

HEHS-95-177: Published: Sep 28, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Carlotta C. Joyner
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' (OFCCP) oversight of federal contractors' equal employment opportunity (EEO) practices, focusing on: (1) OFCCP fulfillment of its mission and responsibilities; (2) changes in OFCCP resources in recent years; and (3) whether the OFCCP selection procedure for contractor reviews could mask discrimination against specific minority groups.

GAO found that: (1) OFCCP uses compliance reviews which compare the racial and gender composition of the contractor's workforce with those of similar federal contractors to ensure that federal contractors use nondiscriminatory employment practices; (2) when OFCCP identifies EEO violations during its compliance reviews, it resolves the violations by working with the contractors rather than imposing sanctions on the contractors; (3) OFCCP recommends enforcement proceedings only if the contractor does not correct its EEO violation; (4) OFCCP uses 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of its enforcement resources for complaint investigations and compliance support; (5) from 1989 to 1994, OFCCP financial and staff resources decreased 9 percent and 15 percent, respectively, and the number of compliance reviews completed decreased by 33 percent; (6) although OFCCP aggregates data on all minority employees in a given contractor's workforce during the initial selection stage of compliance reviews, it may overlook a contractor's discriminatory practices against one or more particular minority groups; and (7) OFCCP uses aggregate data to identify contractors for compliance reviews because the data produce a large enough number of observations for a statistically valid analysis.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OFCCP has implemented this recommendation. Beginning with the 1997 run of the Equal Employment Data System (EEDS), which included FY 1996 data, OFCCP incorporated statistical analyses of disaggregated data into EEDS in addition to utilization index and concentration index computations for minorities as a whole.

    Recommendation: In order to reduce the likelihood of overlooking contractors that may discriminate against particular racial groups, OFCCP should use, in targeting contractors for review, existing data on individual minority groups in geographic areas where the minority populations are large enough so that statistically valid analyses can be completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor: Employment Standards Administration: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs


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