On February 12, 2018, the Trump Administration released its proposed fiscal year 2019 budget. As it did last year, the budget proposes significant cuts to the funds allocated to OFCCP.
The proposed budget allocates to OFCCP just over $91 million, a decrease of nearly $12.7 million (or 12.5%). The budget also seeks to cut OFCCP’s headcount by 75 full-time equivalents – a reduction of more than 14% from fiscal year 2018.
According to the Administration, its request for reduced OFCCP funds will enable OFCCP to: (1) streamline its desk audit procedures; (2) focus on high-impact systemic compliance evaluations; (3) expand contractor compliance assistance to promote voluntary compliance with nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity requirements; and (4) modernize the agency’s operational model by, among other things, staffing OFCCP regional offices in closer proportion to the number of contractor establishments in those regions, and establishing Skilled Regional Centers of Excellence. Notably, the proposed budget is silent on a previous proposal to merge OFCCP and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The merger proposal was rejected by Congress last year and appears to be tabled indefinitely at this time.
As always, the President’s proposed budget is just that – a proposal – for Congress to consider as it negotiates and prepares its appropriation bills. We will continue to monitor and report significant developments in the budget process.