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The federal Department of Labor has published various guidelines connected with affirmative action. Here is one definition of an affirmative action program used by the department:

An affirmative-action program is a set of specific and result-oriented procedures to which a contractor commits himself to apply every good faith effort. The objective of these procedures plus such efforts is equal employment opportunity. Procedures without effort to make them work are meaningless; and effort, undirected by specific and meaningful procedures, is inadequate. An acceptable affirmative-action program must include analysis of areas within which the contractor is deficient in the utilization of minority groups and women, and further, goals and timetables to which the contractor's good faith efforts must be directed to correct the deficiencies and thus, to increase materially the utilization of minorities and women, at all levels and in all segments of his work force where deficiencies exist.

Reference: This definition is quoted in Paul Seabury's article "HEW and the Universities" in Reverse Discrimination edited by Barry Gross, p. 99.