Page images

10479, with the Vice President of the United States serving as chairman, and the Secretary of Labor,, vice chairman. The Committee was composed of 15 members, 9 representing the public and 6 representing the principal contracting agencies of the Government.

President Kennedy, in 1961, established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity through Executive Order 10925. As in the earlier committees, the chairman was the Vice President and the vice chairman was the Secretary of Labor. There was also an executive vice chairman--an Assistant Secretary of Labor, a special counsel, and an executive director. The authority for administering Executive Order 10925 was delegated to the executive vice chairman.

A reorganization occurred in the spring of 1964, and the executive vice chairman also assumed the position of associate special counsel to the President.

In 1965, President Johnson transferred the functions of the Committee to the Department of Labor through Executive Order 11246. The Secretary of Labor appointed a director of the newly established Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCC).

Since 1969 the OFCCP has operated under the administrative and management umbrella of the Employment Standards Administration (then known as the Wage and Labor

for administering and directing programs dealing with minimum wage and overtime standards, equal pay, age discrimination in employment, promotion of women's welfare, standards to improve employment conditions other than safety, and workers' compensation programs for Federal and certain private employers and employees. addition to OFCCP, the suboffices of ESA include the Wage and Hour Division, Women's Bureau, and Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.

In March 1972, ESA was reorganized.


All field of

fices were made directly responsible to ESA regional administrators, and OFCC no longer had direct authority over its regional offices.

In 1975, OFCC's name was changed to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. With the enactment of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, OFCCP added to its jurisdiction contract compliance activities affecting handicapped people and Vietnam-era veterans. What began in 1941 as a limited undertaking to prohibit racial discrimination by defense contractors is now three programs requiring nondiscrimination and affirmative action by nearly every contractor doing business with the

Description of the Executive Order Program

Executive Order 11246 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin by firms with Government contracts. It also requires contractors to take affirmative action to insure that applicants are hired, and that employees are treated during employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Order requires all Government contracting agencies to include an equal opportunity clause in all nonexempt Federal contracts. The basic nondiscrimination and affirmative action obligations are spelled out in that clause. For failure to comply with those contractual obligations, the Order authorizes contract suspension, cancellation, termination, and debarment from future contracts. Conditions precedent to the imposition of these sanctions include a reasonable period to conciliate and an opportunity for a formal hearing. Appropriate cases may also be referred to the Department of Justice for judicial proceedings.

The Secretary of Labor is assigned the responsibility for administering the Order and is empowered to issue whatever rules, regulations, and orders deemed necessary to achieve its purpose. The responsibility for achieving compliance with the requirements of the Order currently

branch which award and administer a large segment of the Federal Government's contracts for supplies, services,

and building construction. In carrying out that responsibility the agencies are obligated by the Order to abide by the rules, regulations, and orders issued by the Secretary.

The mission of OFCCP and the delegate Federal agencies is to establish nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies, standards, and procedures as conditions for prospective and continued contract eligibility; to identify contractors who are in violation of those requirements; to remedy violations through conciliation; and, where conciliation fails, to achieve compliance through the withholding of contract awards, contract sanctions, and, where more practical, judicial litigation. The basic obligations of Federal contractors and the basic duties of Federal procuring agencies are detailed in Chapter 60 of Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The affirmative action duties and obligations of contractors for supplies are amplified further in 41 CFR 60-2 of those regulations. This section requires such contractors to meet specific requirements for a written affirmative action program (AAP). Known as Revised Order No. 4 or the Affirmative Action Program Regulations, 60-2 also contains some limited amplifica

However, for the most part, they emphasize specific numerical standards and "result-oriented" procedures.

Since the inception of Executive Order No. 11246, contractors in the construction industry have been treated separately. Although many have an obligation to meet specific numerical standards, such standards are not embodied in a comprehensive set of affirmative action obligations.

By regulation the Secretary of Labor has delegated responsibility and authority, except general rulemaking, to the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Also by regulation the 16 major procuring agencies and departments have been designated as compliance agencies. They are assigned compliance responsibility primarily on an industry basis in ac

cordance with the Standard Industrial Classification Codes. For example, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare has responsibility for institutions of higher education; the Department of the Treasury, the banking industry; the Department of Transportation, the air transportation industry; the Department of Agriculture, the food processing industry; the Department of Defense, industries associated with defense (aerospace, metals, engines, etc.); the General Services Administration, industries associated with civilian government

« PreviousContinue »