DHS Publishes List of Federal Contractors Using E-Verify
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a list of federal contractors who are currently enrolled in E-Verify on its public website. The Federal Contractors List (officially known as M-784) includes a detailed breakdown of employer names, workforce size, verification election (existing employees or entire workforce), and E-Verify query volume from September 8, 2009 to March 31, 2010. This information is being made public pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which must be signed by all employers enrolling in the E-Verify program. In particular, employers must agree that E-Verify is not confidential information and may be disclosed as authorized or required by law and DHS or SSA policy, including but not limited to, Congressional oversight, E-Verify publicity and media inquiries, determinations of compliance with Federal contractual requirements, and responses to inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The DHS has also just added a cover page to the list, which provides several caveats, including:
- The list may not include all business locations of a particular federal contractor, since employers are free to provide a single point of contact address when enrolling
- The list may include the employer’s legal name (rather than a trade name), so it may be difficult for the public to determine if a particular business is participating.
- While the list is all about federal contractors, E-Verify does not maintain any information about the contracts themselves (DUNS number, contract number, period of performance, etc.)
- The list represents only a snapshot in time, and so it will become outdated quickly. E-Verify intends to update the list on a quarterly basis
- The list only includes employers who have indicated that they have a federal contract with the E-Verify clause and have 5 or more employees.
In addition to general public scrutiny, employers should also be aware that their employees may check the list to verify the employer’s federal contractor status, especially if they are being asked to complete a new I-9 for E-Verify purposes. For that reason (and many others), employers should plan their E-Verify federal contractor roll out very carefully, and work with legal counsel to devise an appropriate policy for verifying current employees.