Federal Contractors: It’s Time to Register for the Contractor Portal

While change over the last couple of years has been focused on COVID issues, agencies continue to assess new ways to manage their core responsibilities. As one such change, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) officially launched the Contractor Portal (Portal) on February 1, 2022, and contractors are now able to access and register their organization in the Portal.

OFCCP is currently only requiring annual certification for supply and service contractors. Contractors that are only construction contractors are not required to certify compliance, and therefore should not register for the Portal.

What is the purpose of the Contractor Portal?

The Contractor Portal is a new OFCCP platform where covered federal contractors and subcontractors must certify whether they are meeting their requirements to develop and maintain annual affirmative action programs (AAPs). The Portal was created in response to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which revealed that the OFCCP had no process for ensuring that contractors are developing an AAP within 120 days of contract commencement or that contractors have updated their AAP annually.

Refresher: Why do certain federal contractors have to develop an AAP?

In general, federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts exceeding $10,000 must comply with the federal equal employment opportunity mandates, which require contractors to take affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunities for employees and potential employees regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or national origin. To promote these equal opportunity mandates, contractors and subcontractors working under a federal contract are required to implement a written AAP to monitor and track employment actions.

Who is required to use the Portal?

Supply and service contractors and subcontractors who meet certain jurisdiction thresholds are required to use the Contactor Portal to register and certify their AAP compliance:

  • Supply and service contractors that hold a contract of $50,000 or more and employ 50 or more employees
  • Supply and service contractors that hold a contract of $150,000 or more and employ 50 or more employees. In addition to a general AAP, must also develop a veteran-specific AAP pursuant to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.

Upcoming Deadlines

The OFCCP recommends that federal contractors register for the Portal by March 30, 2022, to avoid any delays with certification. Registered users will be able to begin certifying their compliance on March 31, 2022.

Deadlines differ depending on whether the certification is in connection to a contract continuing from the previous calendar year or involves a newly executed contract.

  • Contractors that have an ongoing obligation to maintain an AAP(s) must complete certification by June 30, 2022.
  • Newly qualified contractors have 120 days from the date the federal contract was awarded to develop their AAP(s) and must register and certify compliance through the Contractor Portal within 90 days of developing their AAP(s).

The OFCCP has a user guide and a frequently asked questions page for further clarification and guidance on accessing the Contractor Portal.

This signifies an emphasis on monitoring AAPs. All employers need to escalate and update their programs, even if they are not required to register with the Portal.