This is a first, in a series, of ‘Ask The Expert’ Q&A blogs where we will tap into the vast pool of industry knowledge we have here at America’s Job Exchange (AJE). This blog features our resident expert, Gary Cowan, Director of Compliance.
Q: I know you are an expert in your field, but can you give others a quick summary of why you are particularly knowledgeable in the area of OFCCP audits?
A: I worked at the US Department of Labor for over 24 years, 16 years as an investigator and 8 years in the Administration of DOL. During my time as an investigator I trained hundreds of investigators in investigative techniques and the application of the regulations. I also spent 8 years in Boston, NY and DC as a Director of Administration, supervising over 50 staff members, coordinating several national special projects and working with regional directors nationwide.
Q: How do you use your expertise to assist our customers here at AJE?
A: I have the unique experience that I have trained the auditors in investigative techniques, the application of regulations and the inner workings on how and why companies are audited. Providing that information to our customers is extremely valuable in their approach to an OFCCP audit.
Q: Gary, you are in the unique position of having participated in audits from both sides, as an investigator with the DOL and now on the other side, providing audit support to federal contractors being subjected to audits. This is a huge asset to AJE customers. Can you summarize the “beginning to end” audit support AJE customers experience?
A: Within one business day of an audit request by an AJE customer, they will receive individual job reports, summary job reports, distribution job reports and AAP reports. All reports are reviewed for compliance prior to distribution to the customer. I also work with our customer throughout the audit to answer any questions that arise, I coordinate with the customer’s attorney or AAP provider and will also work with the OFCCP auditor upon a customer request.
Q: How many customers does AJE have? And how many audits do we process yearly for them?
A: AJE is proud that we have surpassed 1,000 customers. During my time directing AJE’s OFCCP compliance efforts I’ve proccessed a high-volume of audit requests by our customers. I don’t have a definite number but do know I’m always busy ensuring our customers are well-prepared with the necessary documentation needed for their OFCCP evaluations. Besides working directly with me, customers also have access to their employer portal where archived job distribution reports, outreach documentation and other audit-required records are available to view and download 24/7.
Q: What is the current audit success rate for our AJE customers?
A: Besides the customer-created issues outside of AJE’s service area, only one customer has reported an issue during an audit. This issue was resolved when I coordinated a call between the customer, the OFCCP district office and regional office due to inconsistent verification requirements requested by OFCCP. The end result of this audit was no violations.
Q: Are you noticing any recent OFCCP audit trends amongst the federal contractors we have as customers?
A: Outreach, Outreach, Outreach! OFCCP has completely shifted their focus to whether or not our customers are creating relationships and documenting these relationships with the organizations that receive their jobs. If you have not conducted this Outreach, OFCCP will call a violation. To prepare for this shift in focus, AJE created the Outreach Management Solution that allows customers to access our 6500 partners and record and report on their outreach activities.