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entitled 'Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Actions Taken, but 
Agency Restructuring Efforts Could Benefit from a More Systematic 
Consideration of Advisory Panel's Recommendations' which was released 
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Report to Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

October 2005: 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: 

Actions Taken, but Agency Restructuring Efforts Could Benefit from a 
More Systematic Consideration of Advisory Panel's Recommendations: 

GAO-06-10: 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Summary of Findings: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendation for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Briefing Slides: 

Appendix II: Sixty-four Recommendations from the National Academy of 
Public Administration to EEOC: 

Appendix III: Comments from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission: 

GAO Comments: 

Appendix IVGAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Related GAO Products: 

Abbreviations: 

EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: 

NAPA: National Academy of Public Administration: 

OMB: Office of Management and Budget: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

October 28, 2005: 

The Honorable Frank R. Wolf: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Alan B. Mollohan: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and 
Commerce, and Related Agencies:
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Jose E. Serrano: 
House of Representatives: 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) promotes equal 
opportunity in the workplace and enforces federal laws that prohibit 
employment discrimination. EEOC investigates charges of discrimination 
from the public, litigates major discrimination cases, and reaches out 
to federal agencies and the public to educate and prevent 
discrimination. EEOC serves every industry, every segment of the 
population, and every part of the country. Since EEOC was established 
over 40 years ago, its core mission has not changed, but new issues 
continue to emerge. For example, the agency is experiencing an increase 
in charges of sexual harassment of teenagers in the workplace and 
discrimination against individuals who speak with accents. EEOC has 
also seen an increase in employer reprisals against employees who 
complain about discriminatory treatment, cooperate with EEOC 
investigations, or file formal charges. 

In May 2001, EEOC and other federal agencies were directed by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare restructuring plans to 
make government more responsive to citizens' needs.[Footnote 1] By June 
2001, agencies were to submit a workforce analysis to OMB that would 
include, for example, demographic information on the agency's employees 
and would serve as the baseline for agency-specific restructuring 
plans. Agencies were to submit restructuring plans to OMB with fiscal 
year 2003 budget submissions and annual performance plans. These 
submissions were due to OMB September 2001. OMB's directive required 
agencies with more than 100 full-time employees to develop 
restructuring plans with the goal of flattening the federal hierarchy. 
The OMB directive stated that plans should describe the specific 
activities and actions each agency planned to take, associated 
resources, expected outcomes, and tools to measure performance. 

In order to ascertain what progress EEOC has made in reorganizing its 
operations, we determined (1) whether EEOC implemented OMB's directive 
to develop a restructuring plan and (2) what actions EEOC is taking to 
restructure and make its operations more efficient and effective. 

To determine whether EEOC implemented OMB's directive to develop a 
restructuring plan, we obtained and reviewed OMB's directive, the 
President's Management Agenda, and other guidance. We interviewed key 
EEOC officials in headquarters to identify the steps that the agency 
took in order to implement OMB's directive. We interviewed key OMB 
officials to determine the extent to which EEOC's actions had met the 
OMB requirements. To determine what actions EEOC is taking to 
restructure and make its operations more efficient and effective, we 
interviewed key EEOC officials and reviewed documents pertaining to the 
agency's restructuring efforts. To learn how these restructuring 
efforts would affect EEOC's operations, we visited EEOC headquarters, 
the national contact center, and EEOC district offices in Chicago and 
San Antonio. In these district offices, we interviewed staff from all 
major functions and at different levels. To gain additional 
perspectives, we interviewed district directors from another five EEOC 
field locations (Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and San 
Francisco). We also interviewed representatives from an advisory panel 
of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA)[Footnote 2] and 
the American Federation of Government Employees, EEOC Locals 216. We 
conducted our work between October 2004 and September 2005 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

On September 19, 2005, we briefed your staff and other staff of the 
Subcommittee on the results of our work based on the briefing slides we 
include in appendix I. The purpose of this letter is to formally 
publish the briefing slides and to officially transmit our 
recommendation to the Chair of EEOC. 

Summary of Findings: 

Although EEOC did not develop or submit to OMB a restructuring plan as 
required, it has developed and submitted a workforce analysis to OMB, 
contracted with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) 
for a study of its operations, and taken action to implement some of 
the study's recommendations. OMB officials stated that they have found 
EEOC's restructuring approach to be acceptable. EEOC chose to implement 
three major initiatives from the study of its operations but did not 
have an organized strategy to consider all of the study's 
recommendations. These wide-ranging recommendations address multiple 
topics, including EEOC's mission, needed technological improvements, 
and human capital management. 

In this report, we are making a recommendation to the Chair of EEOC to 
develop and implement an organized strategy to consider all of the NAPA 
recommendations. EEOC disagreed with this recommendation, indicating 
that they had already implemented such a strategy. We continue to 
believe that EEOC needs to more systematically evaluate each of the 
NAPA recommendations, which would include an examination of the 
implementation costs, contributions to Commission goals, as well as 
establishing a means for measuring the impact of those recommendations 
that are implemented. 

Status of EEOC's Implementation of OMB's Directive: 

EEOC did not develop or submit a restructuring plan as the OMB 
directive required but took actions OMB officials have found to be 
acceptable. According to EEOC officials, EEOC did not meet the 
directive's requirement because the agency was unsure of how to conduct 
a restructuring effort given the financial difficulties the agency was 
facing. Further, EEOC was experiencing management challenges at the 
time. According to EEOC officials, the agency was undergoing a major 
management transition to a new chair. 

EEOC's Actions to Restructure: 

To prepare for restructuring, EEOC commissioned a study of its 
operations by a NAPA advisory panel in June 2002. NAPA's February 2003 
report emphasized three major initiatives and identified 64 wide- 
ranging recommendations that EEOC should implement.[Footnote 3] The 64 
recommendations address multiple topics such as creating a balance 
among enforcement, outreach and prevention, and mediation activities; 
needed technological improvements; and human capital management. 
Appendix II contains a list of these recommendations. EEOC addressed 
some of these recommendations, however, it did not have an organized 
strategy for considering all of them.[Footnote 4] Instead, EEOC 
considers addressing the three major initiatives as the completion of 
its primary restructuring efforts. To address the three initiatives, 
EEOC (1) established a pilot test of a national contact center to take 
calls from the public, (2) recently approved a plan to streamline its 
field structure, and (3) intends to reorganize its headquarters 
operations at an undetermined date once the structure of its field 
operation has been determined. 

National Contact Center: 

EEOC's national contact center, which is operated by a contractor, 
became operational in March 2005 and will continue as a pilot test for 
18 months. Contact center representatives provide callers with basic 
information but do not take charges of discrimination, contrary to 
NAPA's recommendation. Instead, contact center representatives refer 
potential charges of discrimination to EEOC field locations for 
investigation. The contact center also processes postal mail and e-mail 
inquiries from the public. As a part of the pilot test, the EEOC 
Inspector General is conducting a review of the contact center. 

Field Streamlining: 

EEOC approved its field streamlining plan in July 2005 and plans to 
begin implementing it in October 2005. The plan would increase the 
total number of field locations nationwide, but it would change the 
size level of some offices. In an effort to better match workload with 
the size of its field locations, EEOC's plan would reduce the number of 
district and area offices and increase the number of field and local 
offices. Further, it would change the menu of services available at 
select locations to correspond with their new size levels. According to 
EEOC officials, workload and geography were the primary criteria used 
to determine each field location's level. EEOC will not lay off any 
employees or force them to relocate as a result of implementing the 
streamlining plan. Employees will leave these positions through 
attrition or through voluntary reassignment. EEOC officials estimate 
that implementing the field streamlining plan will free up $8.26 
million through fiscal year 2013. However, EEOC will not begin to 
realize these financial benefits until fiscal year 2010 because of the 
immediate costs of opening two new local offices and the time needed 
for employees to leave their eliminated positions. 

Headquarters Reorganization: 

EEOC intends to reorganize its headquarters operations, but it does not 
yet have a plan or specific time frame for doing so. According to EEOC 
officials, the agency will begin reorganizing its headquarters 
operations after its field streamlining is under way--at some time 
during fiscal year 2006. As a part of the headquarters reorganization, 
the agency intends to shift 20 percent of resources--a combination of 
human resources and funding--from its headquarters to the field in 
order to better serve the public. 

Conclusion: 

In the last year, EEOC took major restructuring actions that could 
fundamentally change the way the agency serves the public. Given its 
role as the preeminent antidiscrimination enforcement agency, making 
such important changes in how the agency is structured and operates 
calls for carefully considering all available options. NAPA completed a 
major study of EEOC's operations and created an extensive list of 
recommendations. However, EEOC has no organized approach to consider 
each of these recommendations. Without such an approach, EEOC lacks 
assurance that each recommendation has been fully considered. As a 
result, EEOC may miss an opportunity to fully benefit from NAPA's work, 
become more efficient and effective, and further improve its ability to 
enforce the nation's civil rights laws. 

Recommendation for Executive Action: 

In order to improve the Commission's restructuring efforts, we 
recommend that the Chair of EEOC develop and implement an organized 
strategy to consider all of the NAPA recommendations. This strategy 
should include, among other things: (1) an examination of each 
recommendation from the perspective of its potential to aid in 
achieving the strategic goals and objectives of the agency, (2) an 
evaluation of the costs associated with their implementation, and (3) a 
means of measuring the impact of any recommendations that are 
implemented. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

We provided officials at EEOC an opportunity to comment on a draft of 
this report. In general, EEOC disagreed with our findings, conclusion, 
and recommendation regarding the agency's lack of an organized approach 
to consider all of NAPA's recommendations. EEOC's assertion, that it 
has developed an organized and comprehensive framework for considering 
and implementing NAPA's recommendations, does not correspond with the 
results of our review. More specifically, over the course of our 
review, we sought documentation supporting the agency's strategy for 
reviewing and implementing the NAPA recommendations; however, EEOC 
officials told us on several occasions that such documentation did not 
exist. Only after we completed our review and discussed our preliminary 
findings did EEOC provide us with an internal tracking document that 
discussed its implementation of many of NAPA's recommendations. Only in 
response to a draft of this report did the Commission provide us with 
an additional document that listed the implementation status of each of 
the recommendations. Neither of these documents contained, nor could we 
obtain from the agency, evidence of the strategy EEOC said it developed 
to evaluate the NAPA recommendations, or evidence of the kind of 
strategic approach that we continue to recommend: (1) an examination of 
each recommendation from the perspective of its potential to aid in 
achieving the strategic goals and objectives of the agency, (2) an 
evaluation of the costs associated with their implementation, and (3) a 
means of measuring the impact of any recommendations that are 
implemented. EEOC's comments and our response are reproduced in 
appendix III. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairman and Ranking 
Member, House Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, 
Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies, Committee on 
Appropriations; other interested parties; and will make copies 
available to others upon request. We are also sending copies to the 
Chair of the EEOC. In addition, the report will be available at no 
charge on GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov. 

If you have any questions about this report, please contact me at (202) 
512-7215. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and 
Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this report. GAO staff 
who made major contributions to this report are listed in appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

Robert E. Robertson: 
Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Briefing Slides: 

[See PDF for images] 

[End of slide presentation] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Sixty-four Recommendations from the National Academy of 
Public Administration to EEOC: 

[End of section] 

Aligning Mission and Functions. 

Initiative 1: Establish a nationwide call center. 

1; Establish a toll-free national call center staffed by individuals 
who have been thoroughly trained in both responding to questions about 
EEOC's mission and services, and in taking charges over the phone. 

Initiative 2: Realign field offices and administrative work. 

2; Establish a network of lead offices in areas with high workload 
levels. EEOC should define workload to include private sector charge 
filings and other factors, such as local industry data, population 
demographics, and EEOC's mediation and outreach efforts. Lead offices 
might have satellite offices under them, and perhaps a mobile unit that 
could travel to areas not close to EEOC offices. 

3; Create pilot projects for a combination of place-based, mobile, and 
remote services so that EEOC can develop and test service to customers, 
infrastructure support, management checks and balances, revised work 
processes, and supporting human resources systems for recruitment, 
training and performance assessment, and other components. 

4; Consolidate most administrative support functions; leaving in each 
major office one highly skilled, fully trained administrative staff 
member to provide those services that must be performed on site and 
coordinate those that are performed at another location. 

5; Locate at least some of its consolidated support functions (should 
EEOC choose to provide them directly) outside of Washington, D.C., in 
locations where real estate costs are lower and where it may be easier 
to recruit and retain staff. 

6; Develop the costs and benefits of two options: (1) establishing a 
full service agreement with the Department of Interior, instituting 
additional cross-servicing agreements with other federal organizations, 
or (2) contracting out administrative functions to the private sector. 

Initiative 3: Realign headquarters. 

7; Establish more distinct focuses of accountability at the 
headquarters level for prevention and technical assistance, 
enforcement, and mediation. These three areas should have appropriate 
priority in field offices, even though resource allocation cannot be 
equally divided. 

8; Put all operational legal work in the Office of General Counsel and 
ensure that the Office of Legal Counsel maintains a policy guidance and 
internal advice role. 

9; Ensure that staff who review federal agency affirmative action 
programs report directly to the Office of Federal Operations. 

Harnessing Technology to Achieve the Mission. 

Design secure technology tools for electronic charge filing. 

10; Ensure that the secure technology tools for electronic filing be 
designed so that customer service is user- friendly, staff can 
routinely follow up on Internet-filed charges with phone or in-person 
interviews, and information can be promptly provided to those whose 
queries or submissions do not involve employment discrimination. 

Acquire software and use new technology to improve management 
information, better support program delivery, and save money over the 
long term. 

11; Enhance its analytical capabilities by acquiring software that will 
allow it to access and analyze data from its multiple systems to 
improve its strategic decision making. 

12; Invest in litigation management software and new primary office 
software platforms to better support program delivery. If funds are not 
available to purchase the entire primary office software, the agency 
should begin its investment with the presentation software to allow 
preparation of outreach and other presentations. 

13; Conduct business case analyses on some long- term possibilities for 
savings and more effective operations. These include reducing the 
square footage for district libraries by creating a good virtual 
library and using videoconferencing or Web cameras for mission 
activities such as mediation, conciliations, and internal organization 
meetings. 

Institute pilot telework programs and develop the secure technology to 
support them. 

14; Develop the secure technology tools to support teleworkers and 
other staff who travel to the customers. This would include secure 
remote access to major EEOC systems, appropriate equipment, and methods 
to keep the workforce current on EEOC software and data systems. 

15; Protect data at the sensitive-but-unclassified level by such things 
as Protective Key Infrastructure for mobile staff. These protections 
include adequate firewalls, antivirus protection for clients and 
servers, intrusion detection systems, onetime password authentication 
identification systems, and encryption software for laptops. 

16; Implement the EEOC Office of Inspector General recommendation that 
EEOC institute pilot telework programs. 

Ensure that senior management candidates understand the value of 
technology. 

17; Make it a condition of advancing to a senior management position 
that an individual understand the value of technology in accomplishing 
EEOC's mission and demonstrate an ability to lead others in applying 
this value. 

Making the Best Use of EEOC's Workforce. 

Realign staff through work with OPM and union. 

18; Assess agency position descriptions to determine such things as 
which are current, which need to be redesigned to reflect new work 
methods, whether existing career ladders are appropriate, and whether 
positions accurately distinguish supervision from production. 

19; Seek approval from the Office of Personnel Management for a 
targeted early-out retirement option for staff in those headquarters 
and field offices that will be downsized. 

20; Design and implement a cost-effective career transition center. 

21; Work in partnership with EEOC's unions as the agency makes 
decisions to realign staff work locations. 

Enhance agency leadership through leadership programs and improved 
accountability. 

22; Build a model of leadership that integrates achieving results, 
leveraging resources, maintaining accountability, and improving the 
organizational culture. 

23; Create executive development activities for all senior executives 
and managers by partnering with other federal agencies for mobility 
assignments, developmental activities, and enhancement of leadership 
skills. 

24; Partner with whichever federal, academic, nonprofit, or for-profit 
entities can most effectively tailor leadership development training 
programs for EEOC staff at all levels. 

25; Hold all managers accountable for performance, reward those whose 
performance meets or exceeds expectations, and provide assistance or 
sanctions for those who fail to meet expectations. 

26; Design performance measures and metrics that support accountability 
and the full scope of management. 

27; Focus on inspiring, leading, motivating, and sustaining high-
performing organizations and offices within EEOC as well as managing 
staff resources and workload. 

Create strategic human capital plan expeditiously and link it to the 
planning and budget processes. 

28; Expedite a workforce planning effort and link it to the planning 
and budget processes. 

29; Develop an inventory of the competencies required to perform 
mission-critical work such as investigation, litigation, mediation, 
analysis, outreach, and prevention. 

30; Determine which of those staff who are eligible to retire plan to 
do so, the gaps these retirements will create in individual offices, 
the size of the pool needed to replace those retiring from specific 
positions, and the level of training or outside hiring required to put 
people with the right skills in the areas most critical to mission 
fulfillment when they are needed. 

31; Prepare a comprehensive cost-estimate for skill development needs 
so that EEOC can present an integrated strategy with cost implications 
to the Office of Management and Budget. 

32; Prepare individual development plans for staff so that EEOC has 
better information on the skills that staff have and whether 
anticipated development efforts match staff aspirations and agency 
needs. 

33; Revise individual performance appraisal elements to reflect changes 
in roles and the linkage to achieving organizational performance goals. 

34; Develop the metrics for the revised performance elements. 

Develop a multi-year training plan for supervisors, managers, SES 
candidates, and other mission-critical staff. 

35; Develop a multiyear training plan, anchored in the competencies 
required for mission-critical staff, that reflects an adequate and 
stable level of spending through a mix of on-site, e- training, and 
other methods; and use this plan as the basis for funding requests. 

36; Develop a strong first-line supervisor and midlevel manager 
training program so that individuals moving into these and more senior 
leadership positions have the competencies they need to succeed. 

37; Develop an expanded Senior Executive Service candidate development 
program that leverages EEOC resources with those of other federal 
organizations for such things as mobility assignments or developmental 
activities. 

Align support staff responsibilities with fully-trained support staff. 

38; Determine, by office and function, the extent to which higher-grade 
employees are spending time on support-like functions; and consider, 
within the availability resources and work priorities, whether 
investment in additional support staff would be justified by a 
measurable increase in productivity. 

39; Provide adequate training and career development for administrative 
and support staff. 

Revamp the agency awards and evaluation systems. 

40; Revamp the agency awards systems to ensure they meet the four key 
elements of effective reward design: (1) performance requirements 
(financial, operational, and customer satisfaction); (2) talent needs 
(skills, experience, behaviors, and employee preferences); (3) cost and 
funding (affordability); and (4) culture and branding (alignment with 
mission, vision, and values). 

41; Revise the process for evaluating, counseling, and (if necessary) 
terminating poor performers to ensure that EEOC's cadre of staff 
includes those who not only are dedicated to its mission but 
demonstrate their dedication through effective performance. 

Performance-Based Management. 

Delegate authorities to senior executives with accompanying budgets, 
management tools, and accountability. 

42; Delegate authorities to senior executives with accompanying 
budgets, management tools, and accountability. 

43; Include with the delegation for compensation funds such features as 
a requirement that the Office of Chief Financial Officer provide each 
year's funding level and an estimate for the following year and a 
requirement that the funding for hiring, promotions, within-grade step 
increases, and the like must be within budget allocation for the 
current year and the estimate for the following year. 

44; Train senior executives and delegated staff to manage that portion 
of the EEOC budget for which they are accountable, and phase in 
additional delegations as appropriate. 

45; Review, periodically, program accomplishment against expenditures 
for which each senior executive is responsible. 

46; Assess, annually, the quality of budget and other resource 
deployment by each senior executive. Ensure that this assessment is a 
significant factor in performance appraisals, and withdraw or modify 
the delegation where circumstances indicate the need. 

47; Conduct a periodic review of spending by all offices to inform the 
reallocation of resources during the year, to adjust for unanticipated 
imbalances in workload, and to adjust for new needs. 

Ensure cases are closed with the most appropriate resolution at the 
most appropriate time. 

48; Require that the Office of Field Programs routinely examine a 
random sample of closed cases from each office, on a rotating basis, to 
ensure that the cases were adequately investigated, given the 
information the charging party and respondent provided. 

49; Require that the Office of Field Programs circulate and discuss 
aggregate case-processing timeliness data from each field office and 
use it to determine whether variations are the result of especially 
good or poor work methods or management styles, share the best 
practices with other field offices, and work closely with offices that 
have problems to correct them. 

50; Stress that cases are to be closed with the most appropriate 
resolution at the most appropriate time. 

Expand capacity to analyze, validate, and disseminate best practices. 

51; Expand EEOC's capacity to analyze, validate, and disseminate 
information on best practices and take this expansion one step further 
to correlate work methods or processes with results. If some methods 
are clearly better, then the results achieved through them should be 
used in designing new standards of performance. 

52; Reinforce that the Director of the Office of Field Programs is the 
individual who can determine which methods or operations appear most 
effective and require that all offices either use these methods or 
achieve similar results with the methods they use. 

53; Reward those offices or key staff within them when their work 
methods are selected as best practices that other offices can emulate, 
and ensure that those with poor practices are directed to improve and 
receive the support necessary to do so. 

Develop methods to demonstrate the impact EEOC work has on reducing 
employment discrimination in the workplace. 

54; Develop methods to demonstrate the impact EEOC's work has on 
reducing employment discrimination in the workplace. 

55; Develop baseline discrimination metrics for certain industries, 
nationwide firms, or geographic areas. 

56; Plan specific EEOC activities to direct toward the industries, 
firms, or areas that are implementing the activities and recording the 
level of effort. 

57; Track discrimination levels in the selected industries, firms, or 
geographic areas. 

Implementation Strategy and Plan. 

Develop an implementation strategy and detailed implementation plan. 

58; Develop an implementation strategy and detailed implementation plan 
for the changes the commission decides to make, and use the plan to 
manage the implementation process. 

59; Decide which of the panel's recommended changes do not require 
extensive consultation and can be implemented immediately. 

60; Identify a small staff responsible for planning, execution, 
tracking, and implementation assessment efforts. 

61; Present funding estimates and justifications for the multiyear 
restructuring plan to OMB, seeking the first-year resources at minimum 
as a change to the pending fiscal year 2004 request now at OMB. Explore 
with OMB whether any additional resources for fiscal year 2003 might be 
provided as a small amendment to the fiscal year 2003 appropriation. 

Develop a communication strategy and plan. 

62; Develop a communication strategy and plan that identifies all the 
internal and external stakeholders, the issues and communications 
methodologies to be used with each, the frequency of communications, 
and the mechanisms for stakeholder feedback. 

Develop resource estimates for implementation. 

63; Develop resource estimates: The Academy Panel stresses that 
substantive improvements require real increases in resources each year 
for several years. This would be over and above the flexibility that 
can be realized against internal realignment and reallocations. 

Develop appropriate training for staff on the new methods and policies. 

64; Develop appropriate training to ensure that staff members who use 
or are responsible for the new methods and policies have the knowledge 
to fulfill their new roles and responsibilities successfully. 

Source: National Academy of Public Administration. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Comments from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission: 

U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION: 
Office of the Chair: 
Washington, D.C. 20507: 

October 13, 2005: 

Mr. Robert E. Robertson: 
Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Mr. Robertson: 

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the draft 
report, "Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Actions Taken, but 
Agency Restructuring Efforts Could Benefit from a More Systematic 
Consideration of Advisory Panel's Recommendations, " (GAO 06-10), which 
we received on September 29, 2005. We would like to provide the 
following comments and ask that you include them in any final report 
that you issue. 

The draft report identifies some of the many actions the EEOC has taken 
to implement the recommendations of the National Academy of Public 
Administration (NAPA) in its 2003 study of the EEOC, and we appreciate 
your recognition of the positive benefits that will result from our 
plan to reposition the EEOC to better serve our stakeholders. We are 
pleased that the draft report focuses on ways to improve our future 
restructuring efforts and does not suggest any reason our efforts 
should be delayed. 

The draft report questions the EEOC's approach to considering the NAPA 
recommendations and suggests a strategy for EEOC to utilize in moving 
forward with restructuring. We agree with the principle that a 
systematic approach is needed in evaluating the recommendations of 
NAPA. We disagree, however, with the suggestion that the Commission has 
not been adhering to a systematic approach in our repositioning 
efforts. To the contrary, the EEOC is proceeding with repositioning in 
three well-defined phases. 

The EEOC in fact has had an organized and comprehensive framework for 
considering and implementing, as appropriate, the NAPA recommendations. 
Upon receipt of the NAPA report in February 2003, EEOC reviewed all of 
the recommendations in the first instance, sought staff and stakeholder 
input, and convened a day-long Commission meeting to discuss and 
evaluate the recommendations. Our framework for implementation was to 
divide the NAPA recommendations into two groups, the major mission- 
central initiatives that would require extensive study and Commission 
approval, and the subsidiary, specific recommendations that could be 
evaluated and implemented as soon as feasible through administrative 
action as we moved forward with study of the major recommendations. 

The choice of this implementation framework was based, in part, on one 
very significant organizational fact about the EEOC that the draft 
report misses: the EEOC is a multi-member Commission, created by Title 
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII invests the Chair of the 
EEOC with responsibility for the agency's administrative operations. 
However, it is the Commission that approves Commission policy and that 
decides by vote of all of its members whether to approve agency 
reorganizations. 

The three major NAPA recommendations were: (1) establishment of a 
National Contact Center; (2) streamlining and repositioning of the 
field structure; and (3) reorganization of the headquarters structure. 
The EEOC determined that addressing these recommendations sequentially 
was the most appropriate approach. Under our plan, these 
recommendations were designated as Phases I, II, and III. 

In accordance with the NAPA report's emphasis that the need for a 
National Contact Center was the most urgent of its recommendations, the 
EEOC convened a staff Work Group to examine whether a contact center 
would advance the work of the agency, to investigate the center's 
estimated costs, and to provide for methods of measuring the impact of 
the contact center. The Work Group's report, completed in August 2003, 
was discussed at two public Commission meetings, culminating in the 
Commission's approval of the contact center in September 2004. The 
executive summary of the Work Group's report is available at 
http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/meetings/9-8-03/center.html. The Contact 
Center became fully operational nationwide in March 2005. The two-year 
pilot will include an independent evaluation of the Contact Center's 
performance in terms of quality, efficiency, effectiveness, and 
achievement of agency goals and objectives. Implementation of the 
Contact Center was Phase I of repositioning. 

The EEOC developed its field plan, Phase II of repositioning, in a 
similar framework. As NAPA recommended, we conducted extensive fact- 
finding and gathered input on field repositioning from our employees 
and stakeholders, engaging in a thorough discussion and systematic 
evaluation of the NAPA recommendations. We analyzed population 
demographics, charge filing patterns over time, and other factors as 
recommended by NAPA, and staff presented that analysis to the 
Commission at its September 2003 meeting. This analysis is available at 
http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/meetings/9-8-03/. We also convened a 
staff Work Group, under the leadership of the EEOC Vice Chair and a 
Commissioner, to examine NAPA's recommendations in view of their impact 
on the agency's strategic goals and mission. Specifically, NAPA 
recommended that the EEOC establish a network of lead offices in the 
field and identify factors to consider in locating field offices and 
realigning the field. Accordingly, the Work Group enumerated specific 
factors including workload levels, geographic considerations, and 
population demographics. Those factors were used in the EEOC's 
repositioning plan, which was approved by the Commission in July 2005. 
Methods to measure the plan's impact on our efficiency and 
effectiveness will be an integral part of its implementation. 

Phase III is our plan to reorganize our headquarters structure. We are 
following a similar framework for evaluation and implementation of the 
NAPA recommendations. To determine the most appropriate and effective 
headquarters structure to provide support to the field, it was 
necessary to determine the field structure first. As we worked on the 
field plan, we began evaluating the current headquarters structure in 
depth. In early 2005, Chair Dominguez conducted functional reviews of 
thirteen headquarters offices/activities, with all office directors and 
the senior management team devoting many days to this evaluation and 
planning process, using a defined methodology for organizational 
improvement. We examined all functional capacities at headquarters, 
including, as NAPA recommended, the balance of capacities between 
enforcement activities and our prevention and mediation activities. We 
also went well beyond the NAPA recommendations, looking to identify 
other potential areas for streamlining and providing more effective 
levels of service. The functional reviews laid the groundwork for 
development of the headquarters repositioning plan, which will occur 
during FY 2006. 

We would also like to emphasize that NAPA has expressed confidence in 
the EEOC's implementation actions in response to its 2003 report. 
Before the field plan was approved by the Commission, we briefed NAPA 
representatives and NAPA concluded that "it appears that [the EEOC's] 
proposed actions to change EEOC's field staff are consistent with 
recommendations made by an Academy Panel in its February 2003 report. . 
. ." The full text of the letter from NAPA President C. Morgan Kinghorn 
to EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez is attached. 

In sum, the draft GAO report reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of 
our strategy. It fails to recognize the strategic process that we used 
in addressing the NAPA recommendations and the sound policy, 
organizational and operational reasons for our actions. The record 
shows that the EEOC has, in fact, carefully evaluated all the NAPA 
recommendations and implemented, or is in the process of evaluating and 
implementing, the large majority of them. Where we have chosen not to 
implement a particular recommendation, or devised a modified approach 
to accomplish the objective identified by NAPA, we have documentation 
to support our decisions. 

We provided GAO with our internal tracking document listing the 
implementation status of each recommendation. We are disappointed that 
GAO did not use this information in the draft report. Our internal 
assessment shows that the EEOC has implemented or is in the process of 
implementing the large majority of NAPA's recommendations. As we 
explained, we have decided not to implement some recommendations at 
this time, or to take an alternative approach, based on our assessment 
of what will best advance the agency's mission. 

We note that Appendix II of the draft report enumerates 64 NAPA 
recommendations. We had not previously been provided with this list, 
but the EEOC's internal assessment does address the same points. To 
correlate our assessment with the Appendix, we have prepared a chart 
keyed to the 64 items, giving the status of implementation of each 
item. The bottom line remains the same: the EEOC has implemented most 
of the NAPA recommendations, either in whole or in modified form. We 
are in the process of evaluating those recommendations relating to 
Phase III of our plan. Please add this information to your Appendix II. 

Finally, the draft report concludes by recommending that the EEOC 
improve its restructuring efforts by implementing a strategy to 
include: (1) evaluation of the NAPA recommendations in terms of their 
potential to aid in achieving the strategic goals and objectives of the 
EEOC; (2) evaluation of the costs associated with implementation; and 
(3) a means of measuring the impact of any recommendations that are 
implemented. We appreciate your highlighting these points. We certainly 
agree that any recommendations for organizational change must be 
evaluated in terms of the agency's mission and the costs and impact of 
implementation. Please be assured that these important steps have been 
integral to our strategy thus far and we will emphasize them as we move 
forward. 

Over the last four years, Chair Dominguez has sheparded this agency's 
progress in spite of tight resources and an archaic organizational 
structure that has been unchanged for more than 25 years. Our structure 
was created in 1979 for an agency of 3,800 employees. It predates the 
era of information technology. Today we have 2,400 employees and vastly 
different needs and resources. We are faced with a pressing need to 
redirect our resources to where the jobs are, where the charges of 
discrimination arise, and where the public most requires our services. 
But we cannot continue to operate without some relief from this 
outdated structure. It is essential for the EEOC's future viability to 
move to an organizational structure that is more flexible and 
responsive to our environment while protecting our limited resources 
and our employees' jobs. 

From the outset the Chair has clearly articulated our strategy in 
developing a new organizational structure: we must take our resources 
away from where they are no longer needed and reinvest those resources 
where they need to be in today's environment. There is complete 
consensus on our need to invest in more line jobs providing direct 
service to the public --more trial attorneys, investigators, mediators, 
and outreach specialists --and to devote less of our budget to upper 
level management jobs. Our repositioning strategy has been driven, at 
every stage, by our objective of enhancing front-line service to the 
public. 

Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on the draft report. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Leonora L. Guarraia: 
Chief Operating Officer: 

Attachments: 

(1) EEOC Chart: Actions Taken by EEOC on Sixty-four NAPA 
Recommendations: 

(2) July 5, 2005 letter from NAPA President C. Morgan Kinghom to EEOC 
Chair Cari M. Dominguez: 

Sixty-four Recommendations from the National Academy of Public 
Administration to EEOC, with Action Taken by EEOC: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of table] 

GAO Comments: 

1. EEOC's assertion, that it has developed an organized and 
comprehensive framework for considering and implementing NAPA's 
recommendations, does not correspond with the results of our review. 
More specifically, over the course of our review, we sought 
documentation supporting the agency's strategy for reviewing and 
implementing the NAPA recommendations; however, EEOC officials told us 
on several occasions that such documentation did not exist. Only after 
we completed our review and discussed our preliminary findings did EEOC 
provide us with an internal tracking document that discussed its 
implementation of many of NAPA's recommendations. Only in response to a 
draft of this report did the agency provide us with an additional 
document that listed the implementation status of each of the 
recommendations. Neither of these documents contained, nor could we 
obtain from the agency, evidence of the strategy EEOC said it developed 
to evaluate the NAPA recommendations, or evidence of the kind of 
strategic approach that we continue to recommend. 

2. EEOC asserted that our report overlooks that EEOC is a multi-member 
Commission that decides whether to approve agency reorganizations by 
vote of all of its members. Our finding that EEOC did not have an 
organized strategy to consider all of NAPA's recommendations is not 
based on EEOC's organizational structure. We believe EEOC's current 
organizational structure allows the agency to develop and implement 
such a strategy. 

3. EEOC asserted that NAPA, in a letter to the Commission, expressed 
confidence in EEOC's implementation actions in response to its 2003 
report. We reviewed this letter and acknowledge that NAPA expresses 
confidence in EEOC's field streamlining plan. However, NAPA's letter 
does not address all of EEOC's restructuring actions or the many other 
NAPA recommendations, and NAPA's comments are qualified by the 
statement "Given that we have not had the opportunity to restudy the 
issues addressed in this report, our comments in this letter are based 
solely on current information supplied by EEOC." 

4. EEOC claimed that our report reflects a fundamental misunderstanding 
of its strategy for addressing NAPA recommendations, and it has 
carefully evaluated all the NAPA recommendations and has documentation 
to support its decisions. See comment 1. 

5. EEOC stated that it provided us with an internal tracking document 
listing the implementation status of each recommendation and is 
disappointed that we did not use this information in our draft report. 
See comment 1. 

6. EEOC stated that we had not previously provided it with appendix II 
of our draft report. However, this appendix is merely a listing of the 
recommendations contained in the February 2003 NAPA report that should 
have been the Commission's starting point for systematically evaluating 
each of the recommendations and their potential to improve EEOC's 
operations. We have included EEOC's chart as an attachment to its 
letter. However, we cannot verify many of the actions that EEOC claims 
it has taken because the agency did not provide the supporting 
documentation. 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Robert E. Robertson (202) 512-7215 or robertsonr@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

David Lehrer, Assistant Director; Margaret Armen; Neal Gottlieb; Paul 
Schearf; and Rosemary Torres Lerma made significant contributions to 
this report. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Equal Employment Opportunity: The Policy Framework in the Federal 
Workplace and the Roles of EEOC and OPM. GAO-05-195. Washington, D.C.: 
April 29, 2005. 

Diversity Management: Expert-Identified Leading Practices and Agency 
Examples. GAO-05-90. Washington, D.C.: Jan. 14, 2005. 

Equal Employment Opportunity: Discrimination Complaint Caseloads and 
Underlying Causes Require EEOC's Sustained Attention. GAO/T-GGD-00- 
104. Washington, D.C.: Mar. 29, 2000. 

Equal Employment Opportunity: Complaint Caseloads Rising, with Effects 
of New Regulations on Future Trends Unclear. GAO/GGD-99-128. 
Washington, D.C.: Aug. 16, 1999. 

Equal Employment Opportunity: Data Shortcomings Hinder Assessment of 
Conflicts in the Federal Workplace. GAO/GGD-99-75. Washington, D.C.: 
May 4, 1999. 

Equal Employment Opportunity: Rising Trends in EEO Complaint Caseloads 
in the Federal Sector. GAO/GGD-98-157BR. Washington, D.C.: July 24, 
1998. 

Equal Employment Opportunity: Administrative Judges' Recommended 
Decisions and Agencies' Actions. GAO/GGD-98-122R. Washington, D.C.: 
June 10, 1998. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Employers' Experiences with ADR in the 
Workplace. GAO/GGD-97-157. Washington, D.C.: Aug. 12, 1997. 

EEOC: Burgeoning Workload Calls for New Approaches. GAO/T-HEHS-95-170. 
Washington, D.C.: May 23, 1995. 

EEOC: An Overview. GAO/T-HRD-93-30. Washington, D.C.: July 27, 1993. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] OMB Bulletin No. 01-07, "Workforce Planning and Restructuring," May 
8, 2001. 

[2] NAPA is an independent organization chartered by Congress to 
improve governance. 

[3] "A Report by the Panel of the National Academy of Public 
Administration for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: 
Organizing for the Future," February 2003. 

[4] Although EEOC contracted with NAPA to conduct the study, the agency 
is under no obligation to implement the recommendations. 

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