Earlier this year, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) held a series of “stakeholder” meetings in which new agency Director Ondray Harris asked for candid feedback from the federal contractor community and other interested parties regarding how the agency can improve its compliance assistance and enforcement efforts. These meetings followed a similar set of “town hall” meetings held by the agency last fall while it awaited appointment of a new Director.

The recent stakeholder meetings in particular sent a tangible signal that Director Harris appeared committed to achieving his expressed goals of reducing the cost of compliance, changing the often adversarial relationship the agency has with the federal contractor community, and increasing the transparency of OFCCP’s compliance audit process. The only question was whether OFCCP was listening.

Now, in response, OFCCP this week published what it calls its “Town Hall Action Plan,” a document that details the 18 actions the agency proposes to take to address contractor concerns.

In particular, OFCCP plans to develop and publish a booklet entitled “What Federal Contractors Can Expect.” It is described as a “‘Bill of Rights’ styled document” that will “outline certain OFCCP principles that contractors can expect” such as timeliness, accuracy, communication, confidentiality, and professionalism. The agency is also exploring reviving its “ombudsman program” to “bring an impartial and independent perspective to attempts to resolve communication and trust issues, and certain problems with pending reviews.”

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.