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Total Articles: 10

Senate Passes VA MISSION Act; Eliminates Federal Contractor Status for Some Long-Term Care Providers

On May 23, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive bill called the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 or the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (H.R. 5674), which authorizes the use of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provider agreements for “extended care” providers, including nursing facilities among others. The act, which the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved, also covers hospital care and medical service providers. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law.

OFCCP Extends Enforcement Moratorium for TRICARE Subcontractors to 2021, Includes Veterans Affairs Health Benefits Program Providers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued Directive 2018-2, which extends the moratorium on its enforcement of affirmative obligations for subcontractors under TRICARE, the health care program of the United States Department of Defense that provides medical benefits to active duty and retired military personnel and their families.

U.S. DOL Announces Two-Year TRICARE Moratorium Extension

Executive Summary: On May 18, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Directive that extends by two years the enforcement moratorium pertaining to the affirmative obligations of TRICARE providers. TRICARE is a health care program through the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) that pays health care benefits to active duty and retired military service members and their families. The moratorium, which had previously been in effect for four years and was set to expire this month, will now expire on May 7, 2021. The OFCCP also expanded coverage under the moratorium to apply to Veterans Affairs Health Benefits Program providers, in addition to TRICARE providers.

OFCCP Extends Moratorium on TRICARE Enforcement for Two More Years

On May 18, 2018, the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a directive ending uncertainty as to whether efforts to audit TRICARE participants will resume in 2019 and signaling an encouraging willingness to reconsider the agency’s prior positions on this issue. Directive 2018-02 announces a two-year extension of the current moratorium on enforcement of federal contractor obligations based on TRICARE participation through May 7, 2021.

OFCCP Extends TRICARE Moratorium to 2021

According to a May 18, 2018, press release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has extended its moratorium on enforcing the affirmative action obligations of TRICARE providers (a health care program of the U.S. Department of Defense that pays for the medical benefits of active duty and retired military personnel and their families). According to a new OFCCP directive, the moratorium, which has been in effect since 2014, will now expire on May 7, 2021. In a footnote, Directive 2018–02 also amends the moratorium to include Veterans Affairs Health Benefits Program providers in addition to TRICARE subcontractors.

Only One Item On OFCCP’s Spring Regulatory Agenda: TRICARE

Today, the Trump Administration released its Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which “reports on the actions administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term.”

Key Personnel Changes at OFCCP

With any change in presidential administration, it is typical to see turnover of the highest-ranking personnel in a federal agency. Those transitions appear to be occurring rapidly at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), as several key OFCCP staffers have quietly left the agency or announced an imminent departure within the last month. Thomas M. Dowd, former deputy director, was quietly removed from the OFCCP website in April of 2018. Midwest Regional Director Bradley A. Anderson recently announced his departure from OFCCP for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The latest change occurred in the Pacific Region, which has developed a reputation for its active posturing in compensation investigations—a reputation that may change with the apparent departure of Regional Director Janette Wipper, who was announced as chief counsel at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on May 1, 2018.

OFCCP Makes FY 2018 Scheduling List Methodology Available

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently released its scheduling methodology for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 scheduling list. The two-page document describes the process the agency used to develop the FY 2018 Supply and Service scheduling list, from downloading information on federal contracts, consolidating the information to create a single record on each contract, and removing certain contracts (i.e., cancelled or expired contracts) from the collected data.

OFCCP Clarifies Methodology for Contractor Audit Selection

On April 18, 2018, in another step signaling increased transparency for federal contractors, OFCCP issued a release describing its methodology for selecting and scheduling federal contractors for audit in 2018.

OFCCP Reduces Veteran Hiring Benchmark

OFCCP has announced the new Veteran Hiring benchmark will be 6.4% effective March 31, 2018. Affirmative Action Plans in effect until the March 31, 2018 date should utilize the prior year’s benchmark of 6.7%.