HR Management & Compliance

New Government Contractor AAP Verification Process in the Works

Last fall, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) received approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to implement a new online platform—the Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface (AAP-VI)—to collect information from covered federal contractors (including covered subcontractors) about their AAPs. Read on to learn when the portal will go live, although some legal challenges are expected.

How OFCCP’s Portal Would Work

The proposed AAP-VI consists of two separate elements. First, it provides a portal for contractors to submit electronic copies of their AAPs and supporting documents to the OFCCP during an audit. Second, it creates a new “certification” tool for all covered contractors. The new tool would require each contractor to (1) certify annually that it has (or has not) created and maintained compliant AAPs at each establishment and (2) acknowledge it may not alter or update the current plans after the certification is made.

AAP contractor verification

For the first time, the AAP-VI would give the OFCCP a database of entities identifying as government subcontractors. The agency would be able to use the information to identify future targets for enforcement activities, such as compliance audits.

The OMB’s approval signifies its conclusion that the OFCCP’s record-keeping proposal wouldn’t be inappropriately burdensome on federal contractors or duplicative or in conflict with other federal agencies’ work. But the OMB doesn’t review the substance of the agency proposals or determine whether they are within the scope of an agency’s regulatory authority.

Compliance Deadlines, Possible Legal Action

The OFCCP claims existing affirmative action regulations let it require contractors to use the AAP-VI, and it’s proceeding with implementation without going through the rulemaking process for adopting new rules.

Accordingly, the OFCCP just announced the new AAP-VI portal will open for contractor registration on February 1, 2022, and for contractor certifications beginning March 31. The deadline to certify compliance (or lack thereof) will be June 30.

We expect to see legal challenges to the OFCCP’s authority to impose the AAP-VI portal requirements on contractors. After all, nothing in the existing regulations directly authorizes the agency to (1) require contractors to submit documents electronically or (2) make annual certifications of compliance.

Takeaway for Federal Contractors

In the meantime, contractors should work with legal counsel to evaluate whether they meet the regulatory definition of a “covered” contractor or subcontractor, update their current AAPs, and analyze the risks of compliance or noncompliance with the upcoming certification deadlines.

Charles McClellan is an employment lawyer with Foulston Siefkin LLP in Wichita, Kansas. You can reach him at

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