2024 OFCCP Certification Cycle Announced

In 2022 the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) began requiring that federal contractors and subcontractors subject to the affirmative action requirements of Executive Order 11246 annually certify that they are meeting their requirement to develop and maintain annual affirmative plans (AAPs).  In rolling out this program, OFCCP warned that covered contractors that failed to certify by a deadline would be at a higher risk for audit.  OFCCP made good on this warning when it published its 2023 Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL), which is a courtesy notice of contractors that will be audited. The 2023 CSAL limited audits to those contractors that failed to certify through the Portal by December 1, 2022.  A second certification cycle was announced in March 2023 wherein OFCCP set the deadline that year as June 29, 2023, and added a requirement that contractors and subcontractors provide the start date of their AAP Coverage Period. 

On March 25, 2024, OFCCP announced its third annual certification cycle. Beginning on April 1, 2024, OFCCP will accept certifications by federal contractors and subcontractors that they have developed and maintained compliant affirmative action programs for each establishment. As with the prior two years, there are no documents for contractors to submit as part of the certification process. The deadline for existing contractors and subcontractors to complete their certification is July 1, 2024.

In the prior certification cycle, contractors were required to provide the start date of their AAP Coverage Period.  If the contractor entered a date that was older than one year, the system would generate an error message and not accept the certification. It is not clear from the agency’s news release if that functionality will remain in place for this cycle. 

Unlike in the past two cycles, OFCCP’s announcement does not include a warning that contractors that have not certified by July 1, 2024, will be more likely to be audited than those that fail to meet the certification deadline.  However, the lack of warning does not mean contractors’ certification status will not be considered when OFCCP identifies federal supply & service contractors and subcontractors for audit purposes.  

At least for the time being federal construction contractors that are not also supply and service contractors remain exempt from the certification requirement.

Companies that are new federal contractors or subcontractors this year have 120 days to develop their AAP(s) and must register and certify compliance through the contractor Portal within 90 days of developing their AAP(s). Although the current deadline for existing contractors to certify is July 1, 2024, the Certification Portal will remain open past that date for new federal contractors and subcontractors.

Companies that are unsure of their status as federal contractors or subcontractors and whether to certify compliance should consult with legal counsel.  

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.