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entitled 'Equal Employment Opportunity: DOD's EEO Pilot Program Under 
Way, but Improvements Needed to DOD's Evaluation Plan' which was 
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Report to Congressional Addressees: 

May 2006: 

Equal Employment Opportunity: 

DOD's EEO Pilot Program Under Way, but Improvements Needed to DOD's 
Evaluation Plan: 

GAO-06-538: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-538, a report to congressional addressees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Delays in processing of equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints 
have been a long-standing concern. In 2000, as part of the Department 
of Defenseís (DOD) fiscal year 2001 authorization act, Congress 
authorized DOD to carry out a 3-year pilot program for improving 
processes to resolve complaints by civilian DOD employees by testing 
procedures that would reduce EEO complaint processing times and 
eliminate redundancy, among other things. The act requires two reports 
from GAOó90 days after the first and last fiscal years of the pilot 
programís operation. In December 2005 and January 2006, we provided 
briefings on our initial review of the pilot program. This report (1) 
describes key features and status of the three programs and (2) 
assesses DODís plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot 
program. 

What GAO Found: 

In August 2004, the Secretary of Defense authorized 2-year programs in 
(1) Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), (2) the Defense Commissary Agency 
(DeCA), and (3) components of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) which became 
operational in fiscal year 2005. While the legislation stated that the 
pilot program is exempt from procedural requirements of current Equal 
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations, to a large extent 
two of the three programs were designed and are operating within 
existing EEOC requirements, with a specific emphasis on alternative 
dispute resolution (ADR) as encouraged in DODís memo soliciting pilot 
program proposals. ADR techniques include, but are not limited to, 
conciliation, facilitation, mediation, or arbitration and usually 
involve the intervention or facilitation by a neutral third party. 
After the first year, program officials reported low case activity and 
stated that they plan to request approval from the Secretary to 
continue their respective programs for a third year. To carry out the 
programs, officials used similar strategiesóoutreach to inform eligible 
staff about the pilot programs, staff training, and the use of 
electronic data collectionóbut implemented them differently. 

Our assessment of DODís evaluation plan for the pilot program found 
both strengths and limitations (see figure below). A sound evaluation 
plan contains such features as criteria for determining program 
performance and measures that are directly linked to program 
objectives. Such key features increase the likelihood that the 
evaluation will yield sound results, thereby supporting effective 
program and policy decisions. Lacking these key features, DOD is 
limited in its ability to conduct an accurate and reliable assessment 
of the programís results, and Congress is limited in its ability to 
determine whether features of the overall program have governmentwide 
applicability. Officials from DODís pilot program oversight entities 
have acknowledged shortcomings and have indicated a willingness to 
modify the plan. 

Figure: Strengths and Limitations of DOD's Evaluation Plan: 

[See PDF for Image] 

[End of Figure] 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that DOD
develop a sound evaluation plan that includes key evaluation features 
to accurately and reliably assess the pilot programsí results. 

DOD generally concurred with the recommendation and stated that it 
would incorporate our recommended key features into the evaluation plan 
as appropriate. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-538]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact George H. Stalcup at 
(202) 512-9490 or Stalcupg@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

The Three Programs Emphasize ADR Techniques, Share Common 
Implementation Strategies, and Report Low Case Activity: 

Although Containing Some Strengths, Limitations in Its Evaluation Plan 
Will Hinder DOD's Ability to Assess Pilot Program Results: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: EEO Laws and Regulations Applicable to Federal Employees: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Figures Figures: 

Figure 1: The EEO Administrative Complaint Process with Related Time 
Frames: 

Abbreviations:

ADR: alternative dispute resolution: 

AFB: Air Force Base: 

AJ: administrative judge: 

CORE: Compressed Orderly Rapid Equitable: 

C.F.R.: Code of Federal Regulations: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

DeCA: Defense Commissary Agency: 

DLA: Defense Logistics Agency: 

EEO: equal employment opportunity: 

EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: 

ERO: early resolution opportunity: 

MCAS: Marine Corps Air Station: 

MD-110: Management Directive-110: 

MSPB: Merit Systems Protection Board: 

PECP: Pilot for Expedited Complaint Processing: 

RESOLVE: Reach Equitable Solutions Voluntarily and Easily: 

USAF: United States Air Force: 

Letter: 
May 5, 2006: 

Congressional Addressees: 

Federal employees or applicants for employment who allege that they 
have been discriminated against by a federal agency may file a 
complaint with that agency.[Footnote 1] The Equal Employment 
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has established procedures for federal 
agencies to process equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaints, 
including time frames for taking certain actions, and use of 
alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs.[Footnote 2] The federal 
EEO complaint process consists of two stages--informal, or precomplaint 
counseling, and formal, when a complaint is filed with the agency. 
Delays in the processing of EEO complaints have been a long-standing 
concern of EEOC, other federal agencies, and Congress. As an example of 
such delays, from fiscal years 1993 to 2003, the time the federal 
government took to investigate a formal EEO complaint rose from an 
average low of 171 days to an average high of 343 days.[Footnote 3] 

In 2000, as part of DOD's fiscal year 2001 authorization act,[Footnote 
4] Congress authorized the Department of Defense (DOD) to carry out a 3-
year pilot program for improving processes for the resolution of EEO 
complaints by civilian employees of DOD. The legislation provided that 
the pilot program was to include procedures to reduce EEO complaint 
processing times, eliminate redundancy, reinforce accountability, and 
provide for early resolution. While not prescribing details of how the 
pilots were to be designed or operated, the authorizing legislation 
provided that complaints processed under the pilot program shall be 
subject to the procedural requirements established for the pilot 
program and exempt from the procedural requirements or other 
regulations, directives, or regulatory restrictions prescribed by EEOC. 
The programs DOD authorized in August 2004 were in (1) the Defense 
Commissary Agency (DeCA), (2) Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and (3) 
components of the U.S. Air Force (USAF), and they became operational in 
fiscal year 2005. 

The 2001 authorization act requires GAO to submit two reports on the 
pilot program--90 days after the first and last fiscal years of pilot 
program operation. We provided briefings on the results of our initial 
review of common features and preliminary case activity for the three 
programs to interested congressional committees in December 2005 and 
January 2006. This report provides additional information by (1) 
describing key features and status of the programs and (2) assessing 
DOD's plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program. 

To describe the three programs and their key features, we reviewed 
documents provided by DOD officials and interviewed those officials. In 
addition, we reviewed information about the federal regulations 
governing the federal EEO complaint process[Footnote 5] and our 
reports.[Footnote 6] To assess DOD's plan for evaluating the 
effectiveness of the pilot program, we reviewed the plan and DOD's 6- 
and 9-month evaluation reports. We also interviewed DOD officials about 
the evaluation reports. We consulted social science and evaluation 
literature, along with our publicized guidance, to identify key 
features of an evaluation plan. On the basis of criteria gathered from 
these sources, we identified strengths and limitations of DOD's plan. 
As the pilot program and the evaluation efforts were already under way 
when we began our review, we focused on the plan's strengths and those 
specific limitations where it would still be possible for DOD to 
implement improvements. 

Program officials provided data on case activity for the three 
programs. The data are preliminary and because we do not use them to 
develop findings, we did not conduct a data reliability assessment. 
Because we did not assess the reliability of the data, the data are of 
undetermined reliability. 

We conducted our review in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area from 
August 2005 through March 2006 in accordance with generally accepted 
government auditing standards. 

Results in Brief: 

All three programs are under way and emphasize the use of ADR 
techniques to resolve allegations before they reach the formal 
complaint stage--an option already available under the current EEO 
regulations and encouraged in DOD's memo soliciting pilot program 
proposals. While the legislation provided DOD considerable latitude in 
designing its program, to a large extent, two of the three pilot 
programs DOD authorized were designed to operate within the parameters 
existing under law and EEOC regulations. In the case of DLA, program 
officials indicated that the program's ADR features are the same as 
those in the current EEO process. DeCA's program emphasizes early 
resolution before the start of the informal precomplaint stage of the 
current process through the use of a trained EEO facilitator who 
attempts to negotiate resolution. In addition, according to a DeCA 
official, DeCA's program seeks to reduce processing time frames in the 
formal stage of the complaint process and replaces paper documents with 
electronic files. Unlike the other two programs, USAF's focuses on the 
formal stage, combining the two-step investigative and hearing phases 
of the current EEO process into a single fact-finding process aimed at 
reducing processing time and including voluntary participation in ADR. 
The three programs also featured common implementation strategies-- 
DeCA's and USAF's programs conducted outreach to inform eligible staff 
about the programs, and all three programs conducted staff training and 
used electronic data collection. According to DOD and the pilot program 
officials, as a result of the low case activity, program officials will 
seek to extend their respective programs for an additional (third) 
year. 

Our initial assessment of DOD's evaluation plan for the pilot program 
found both strengths and limitations. One strength of the plan was the 
inclusion of forms for collecting baseline data (before the programs 
began) and program data, which provides a tool for the programs to 
measure some aspects of their progress. Although DOD developed an 
evaluation plan for the overall pilot program, the plan lacked some key 
features of a sound evaluation plan, including measures that are 
directly linked to the program objectives, criteria for determining 
individual pilot program performance, and an appropriate data analysis 
plan for the evaluation design. The lack of established key evaluation 
features in DOD's plan increases the likelihood of insufficient data, 
further limiting confidence in pilot program results. Without 
confidence in pilot program results, DOD will be limited in its 
decision making regarding this pilot program, and Congress will be 
limited in its decision making about the pilot program's potential 
broader application. 

We provided a draft of this report to the Secretary of Defense for his 
review and comment. DOD generally concurred with our recommendations. 
Concerning our recommendation that DOD establish regular intra-agency 
exchange of information, DOD stated that it would begin convening 
quarterly meetings with DOD pilot program managers to discuss and 
exchange relevant information regarding pilot implementation processes. 
As for the recommendation to develop a sound evaluation plan, DOD 
partially concurred and stated that it will consider and incorporate 
our recommended key features into its pilot program evaluation plan as 
appropriate. DOD's written comments are reprinted in appendix II. 

Background: 

As of January 1, 2000, all federal agencies covered by EEOC regulations 
were required to establish or make available an ADR program for both 
the informal and formal complaint stages of the EEO process. 

On March 9, 2000, at a joint hearing held by the Subcommittee on Civil 
Service of the House Committee on Government Reform and the 
Subcommittee on Military Readiness of the House Armed Services 
Committee, the Navy discussed the results of its experiences under its 
18-month pilot program for resolving EEO complaints through the use of 
ADR, which resulted in resolution on an average of 31 days. 

The Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act, for fiscal year 
2001, authorized the Secretary of Defense to carry out at least three 
pilot programs--one at a military department and two at DOD agencies. 
The programs were authorized to operate for 3 years. The act exempts 
the programs from EEOC's procedural requirements or 
restrictions.[Footnote 7] 

In 2004, DOD authorized the following as pilot programs: (1) DLA, which 
provides worldwide logistics support--munitions and supplies--for the 
missions of military departments; (2) DeCA, which operates a worldwide 
chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, 
retirees, and their families at a discount; and (3) 31 bases of the 
USAF, accounting for about one-third of USAF bases with federal EEO 
programs. The pilot programs were authorized by the Secretary for 2 
years with an option for an additional (third) year. 

The legislative objectives for the programs are to: 

* reduce processing time, 

* eliminate redundancy, 

* reinforce local management and chain of command accountability, and: 

* provide the parties involved with early opportunity for resolution. 

The legislation also provides that pilot program participants 
voluntarily participate in the pilot program, and that participants 
maintain their right to appeal final agency decisions to EEOC and file 
suit in federal district court as is the case in the federal EEO 
complaint process. 

The Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Civilian 
Personnel Policy, the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary for Equal 
Opportunity, and the Office of Complaint Investigations within the 
Civilian Personnel Management Service have ongoing responsibility for 
oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of the overall pilot program. 

Under EEOC regulations, during the informal, or precomplaint counseling 
stage, ADR techniques can be used. Counselors are to advise individuals 
that, when the agency agrees to offer ADR in the particular case, they 
may choose to participate in either counseling or in ADR. If the matter 
is not resolved by counseling or if ADR is unsuccessful, the counselor 
is required to inform the employee in writing of his or her right to 
file a formal discrimination complaint with the agency. ADR can also be 
used after an agency receives a formal complaint. 

After a complainant files a formal discrimination complaint, the agency 
must decide whether to accept or dismiss the complaint and notify the 
complainant. If the agency dismisses the complaint, the complainant can 
appeal the dismissal to EEOC.[Footnote 8] If the agency accepts the 
complaint, it has 180 days to investigate the accepted complaint and 
provide the complainant with a copy of the investigative file.[Footnote 
9] Within 30 days of receipt of the copy of the investigative file, the 
complainant must choose between requesting (1) a hearing and decision 
from an EEOC administrative judge (AJ)[Footnote 10] or (2) a final 
decision from the agency. When a hearing is not requested, the agency 
issues a final decision. A complainant may appeal an agency's final 
decision to EEOC. 

In cases where a hearing is requested, the AJ has 180 days to issue a 
decision and send the decision to the complainant and the agency. If 
the AJ issues a finding of discrimination, he or she is to order 
appropriate relief. After the AJ decision is issued, the agency can 
issue a final order notifying the complainant whether or not the agency 
will fully implement the decision of the AJ, and the employee can file 
an appeal with EEOC.[Footnote 11] If the agency issues an order 
notifying the complainant that the agency will not fully implement the 
decision of the AJ, the agency also must file an appeal with EEOC at 
the same time. See appendix I for more details and associated time 
frames related to the EEO complaint process. 

The Three Programs Emphasize ADR Techniques, Share Common 
Implementation Strategies, and Report Low Case Activity: 

Although features of the three programs vary by agency and focus on 
different stages of the complaint process, they all emphasize the use 
of ADR techniques available under the current federal EEO process. They 
also share common implementation strategies, including outreach to 
eligible staff to inform them about the programs, staff training, and 
electronic data collection. In its 9-month evaluation, DOD observed 
that pilot program activity had been lower than anticipated; DOD did 
not provide a baseline for its comparison or elaborate on the reason 
for this occurrence. After 12 months, program officials continue to 
report low case activity. 

DOD's Pilot Program Emphasizes ADR Techniques: 

In developing the overall EEO pilot program, DOD allowed DLA, DeCA, and 
USAF to determine their individual program design. However, in its memo 
soliciting pilot program proposals, DOD encouraged potential 
participants to work with the Office of Complaint Investigations to 
develop the format and content of their proposals, offering the 
assistance of the Office's experienced staff of certified complaint 
investigators and mediators with success in using ADR techniques. Two 
of the programs--DLA and DeCA--emphasize the use of ADR in the informal 
stage, consistent with federal EEO regulations. Program officials said 
that their programs are attempting to address the legislative objective 
of providing early opportunity for resolution by focusing on ADR. The 
third program, in selected bases of the USAF, changes the formal stage 
of the federal EEO process by combining the investigative and hearing 
phases after a complainant has filed a formal complaint. This program 
also emphasizes the use of ADR techniques both during the informal 
stage as well as at the time a complainant files a formal complaint. 

DLA's Pilot Program: 

DLA's program, Pilot for Expedited Complaint Processing (PECP), began 
in October 2004 at DLA headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Va.[Footnote 12] 
DLA considers: 

several types of cases, such as those that challenge government policy, 
inappropriate for PECP and screens them out.[Footnote 13] 

The PECP process is similar to the informal stage of the current EEO 
process. DLA officials said the PECP process has three steps. The first 
step occurs when an employee who believes he or she has been 
discriminated against makes initial contact with DLA's EEO office. An 
EEO Intake Specialist collects specific information about the 
employee's concerns and drafts an intake report, which includes a 
description and basis of the claim. The EEO Intake Specialist advises 
the employee orally and in writing about (1) PECP and how it compares 
to the federal counseling process and (2) the employee's right to opt 
out of the pilot program at any time before the filing of a formal 
complaint. The second step begins when the employee chooses to 
participate in PECP. At this time, the EEO Intake Specialist discusses 
and offers the employee ADR. The EEO Intake Specialist also informs the 
employee that participating in ADR is optional and can be used at any 
stage of the complaint process. The EEO Intake Specialist considers two 
methods of ADR--mediation or facilitation. Mediation is the primary 
method used by PECP.[Footnote 14] According to DLA, the method of ADR 
used is based on the employee's claim and the EEO Intake Specialist's 
assessment of the method that would more likely encourage communication 
between the employee and management and resulting resolution. 

Under the third step, ADR takes place. DLA pilot program officials 
acknowledged that the pilot program's ADR features do not differ from 
those offered under the current EEO process. DLA has an ADR program 
called Reach Equitable Solutions Voluntarily and Easily (RESOLVE), 
which is used when mediation is offered. RESOLVE is managed by DLA's 
General Counsel. According to DLA officials, RESOLVE mediators cannot 
mediate precomplaints or complaints involving organizations they may 
service in another capacity, thus ensuring the neutrality of the 
mediator.[Footnote 15] 

DeCA's Pilot Program: 

DeCA's program, Early Resolution Opportunity (ERO), began in February 
2005 and covers 23 stores[Footnote 16] in three zones (DeCA West Zone 
16-San Diego, Calif; DeCA East Zone 28-Virginia Beach, Va; and DeCA 
East Zone 6-San Antonio, Tex.) Using ADR techniques, ERO seeks to 
provide early resolution opportunities, because according to DeCA, 
ineffective communication between employees and supervisors or managers 
often results in perceptions of discrimination. Moreover, DeCA believes 
that disputes can be resolved before they enter the informal counseling 
stage if a trained EEO facilitator[Footnote 17] can intervene to 
negotiate resolution. Cases that involve alleged violent acts, theft, 
sexual harassment, termination, or may be precedent setting, are 
ineligible for ERO.[Footnote 18] 

ERO is divided into two steps. In the first step, a trained DeCA 
facilitator attempts to resolve a claim before the start of the 
informal stage of the current process. Employees at stores 
participating in ERO can call a toll-free number to discuss their 
concerns with a trained facilitator. For example, an employee could 
call about perceived discrimination over schedule changes, and the 
facilitator may discuss what had occurred and rationale for schedule 
changes (e.g., to cover absences). According to DeCA officials, some 
employees "self screen" during the facilitation process, deciding not 
to pursue an EEO complaint or to pursue another avenue, such as the 
negotiated grievance process.[Footnote 19] 

The second step of ERO, which follows if facilitation is unsuccessful 
in resolving the employee's concerns, involves calling in a third-party 
mediator. According to a DeCA official, DeCA uses mediators from DOD's 
Office of Complaint Investigations, because they are trained, 
experienced ADR professionals, and have a greater perception of 
neutrality as they do not work for DeCA. 

If mediation fails, an individual may choose to file a formal 
complaint. According to a DeCA official, ERO seeks to reduce the 
processing time of the formal stage. To help achieve this goal, DeCA 
reduces processing times for two phases of the formal stage of the 
complaint process: (1) after a complainant files a formal complaint, 
DeCA has set a goal in ERO of 14 days to accept, partially accept, or 
dismiss it; and (2) after the report of investigation is completed, 
DeCA sends a notice informing the complainant that he or she has 7 days 
to either request a hearing or a final agency decision, reducing the 
time from 30 days under EEOC regulations. In addition, to further 
reduce processing time for ERO cases, paper documents are replaced with 
electronic files.[Footnote 20] Finally, according to a DeCA official, 
officials from DeCA and the Office of Complaint Investigations can 
download relevant case documents from a secure shared drive for 
complaints filed under both ERO and under the current EEO process. 

USAF's Pilot Program: 

USAF's program, called Compressed Orderly Rapid Equitable (CORE), 
focuses on the formal phase of the EEO complaint process. The program 
began January 1, 2005, at 29 continental U.S. sites and 2 overseas 
offices that we refer to as test bases.[Footnote 21] Although the 31 
test bases account for less than one-third of all USAF bases with EEO 
programs, they produce over 80 percent of all USAF EEO complaints. 
Cases that involve class and mixed-case complaints[Footnote 22] or 
cases related to claims already accepted under the current federal EEO 
complaint process are not eligible to participate in CORE.[Footnote 23] 

CORE has a two-step process that begins at the time the complainant 
files a formal complaint. Until a complaint is filed, USAF officials 
attempt early resolution of allegations of discrimination in the 
informal stage using the current federal EEO process.[Footnote 24] If 
resolution is not achieved during this stage, the complainant must 
choose between CORE and the current federal EEO process. The first step 
of CORE involves mediation. If the complainant declines mediation or 
mediation is unsuccessful, step two begins, and a CORE Fact-Finding 
Conference is conducted. USAF defines this conference as a "non- 
adversarial, impartial fact-gathering procedure." The conference is 
conducted by a CORE fact-finder, provided by the Office of Complaint 
Investigations. During the conference, the fact-finder hears testimony 
from witnesses and receives documentary evidence; also at this time, a 
verbatim transcript is taken by a certified court reporter. Following 
the conference, the fact-finder completes the record of the complaint 
and recommends a decision[Footnote 25] in the case to the director of 
the USAF Civilian Appellate Review Office. The director of the USAF 
Civilian Appellate Review Office may accept, reject, or modify the fact-
finder's recommended decision. The director then prepares a final 
agency decision for signature by the director of USAF Review Boards 
Agency.[Footnote 26] The director of USAF Review Boards Agency issues 
the final agency decision. Any further action on the complaint, 
including rights to appeal to EEOC and file a lawsuit, are governed by 
current federal EEO complaint procedures. 

According to USAF, by combining the investigative and hearing phases of 
the current federal EEO complaint process, USAF aims to issue a final 
agency decision within 127 days or less of filing the formal complaint; 
the current process can take up to 360 days plus another 70 days to 
provide the complainant and the agency their allotted time for decision 
making. USAF officials also indicated that through the CORE Fact- 
Finding Conference, each complainant gets their "day in court," whereas 
under the current EEO process, complainants often wait months to 
request a hearing and can have their complaint dismissed by an EEOC AJ 
without a hearing. 

DOD's EEO Pilot Programs Share Common Implementation Strategies: 

The three programs share common implementation strategies but implement 
them differently. In our review of the programs and subsequent 
discussions with DOD and program officials, DeCA and USAF conducted 
some level of outreach to program-eligible employees to inform them 
about the programs. For example, DeCA officials went to participating 
stores and handed out brochures describing ERO. According to USAF 
program officials, outreach on CORE included sending a letter to all 
participating bases from the Chief of Staff for Personnel as well as a 
notice to the unions. Additionally, CORE was publicized in USAF news 
service and governmentwide media. 

We also found that agencies varied in how they trained their EEO 
employees about the programs. USAF officials used contractors to train 
some employees in CORE over a 1-week period; in turn, those employees 
trained others. DLA officials had informal in-house employee training. 
DeCA sent EEO officials and an attorney from its headquarters trained 
in ERO to each of its three zones to train EEO managers as well as 
managers and supervisors at its 23 stores. 

Finally, all three programs used electronic data collection for 
tracking and monitoring, with each program developing its own 
electronic data collection method. For example, USAF uses EEO-Net 
system and software to collect program data.[Footnote 27] USAF also 
uses USAF-specific software, the Case Management and Tracking System, 
to manage the EEO process, including CORE, and an electronic case 
identifier to mark CORE cases to help in monitoring those program cases 
that reach EEOC on appeal. DeCA currently uses an Access database to 
track ERO activity, and DLA uses an Excel spreadsheet to track PECP 
activity. 

Officials from both the programs and DOD's EEO pilot program oversight 
entities have indicated their willingness to share information. As we 
have previously reported, by assessing their relative strengths and 
limitations through collaboration,[Footnote 28] agencies can look for 
opportunities to address resource needs by leveraging each others' 
resources and obtaining additional benefits that would not be available 
if they were working separately. While the focus of our earlier work 
was on coordination between agencies from different departments, the 
findings would also be applicable to agencies within a department that 
are engaged in similar activities. 

DOD's EEO Pilot Programs Report Low Case Activity: 

In its 9-month evaluation report, DOD stated that program activity for 
all three programs had been lower than anticipated. At the end of the 
first year, program officials reported continued low program activity. 
However, in its report, DOD did not provide a baseline for its 
comparison or elaborate on the reason for this occurrence. Instead, 
DOD's evaluation plan states that data collected during the pilot 
program are to be measured against fiscal year 2004 baseline data. 
Therefore, we are including fiscal year 2004 data as reported to EEOC 
for each program for comparison purposes. Since many cases are still 
going through the program process, for comparison, we report only the 
number of initial contacts or formal complaints. 

According to DeCA officials, from January 1, 2005, through January 31, 
2006, 42 employees contacted DeCA's EEO office; of those, 41 were 
offered participation in ERO, and all opted for ERO. Of those who 
completed ERO, 16 did so with resolution; 9 did so without resolution, 
and 14 are still in process. Data are not available for DeCA test 
stores for fiscal year 2004, the year before ERO was 
implemented.[Footnote 29] 

According to DLA officials, from January 1, 2005, through January 31, 
2006, 15 employees contacted DLA's EEO office; of those, 13 were 
offered participation in PECP, and 12 opted for it. Of those who 
completed PECP, 10 did so with resolution; 1 declined participation,and 
1 withdrew the precomplaint; 1 opted out of PECP. For fiscal year 2004, 
the year before DLA implemented PECP, 26 employees contacted DLA's 
headquarters EEO office. 

According to USAF officials, from January 1, 2005, through January 31, 
2006, a total of 634 formal complaints were filed USAF-wide. The CORE 
process was available to 534 of the complainants. Of those complainants 
offered CORE, 104 opted to process their complaint using CORE. Of these 
104, 63 have been closed with resolution, and 28 CORE cases are still 
in progress. Thirteen complainants opted out of CORE and chose to 
return to the current EEO process. For fiscal year 2004, the year 
before USAF implemented CORE, 667 formal complaints were filed USAF- 
wide; of these, 488 were filed at what are now CORE test sites. 

DOD's 9-month report stated that case activity was lower than expected. 
As a result of the low case activity, program officials have said they 
will seek to extend their respective programs for an additional (third) 
year. According to the authorizing memo from DOD implementing the pilot 
program, in April 2006 program officials can request to extend the 
pilot program for a third year. At the time of this report, DeCA and 
USAF had made requests of DOD to extend the operation of their pilot 
programs for a third year. 

Although Containing Some Strengths, Limitations in Its Evaluation Plan 
Will Hinder DOD's Ability to Assess Pilot Program Results: 

Our initial assessment of DOD's evaluation plan for the pilot program 
found both strengths and limitations. One strength of the plan was the 
inclusion of forms for collecting baseline data (before the programs 
began) and pilot program data, which provides a tool for the pilot 
programs to measure some aspects of their progress. Although DOD 
developed an evaluation plan for the overall pilot program, the plan 
lacked some key features of a sound evaluation plan, including measures 
that are directly linked to the program objectives, criteria for 
determining pilot program performance, and an appropriate data analysis 
plan for the evaluation design. Without such features, DOD will be 
limited in its ability to conduct an accurate and reliable assessment 
of the programs' results. In addition, the lack of established key 
evaluation features in DOD's plan increases the likelihood of 
insufficient or unreliable data, further limiting confidence in pilot 
program results. Without confidence in pilot program results, DOD will 
be limited in its decision making regarding this pilot program, and 
Congress will be limited in its decision making about the pilot 
program's potential broader application. 

Officials from DOD's pilot program oversight entities have acknowledged 
shortcomings and have indicated a willingness to modify the plan. 

Strengths of DOD's Evaluation Plan: 

Considering the evaluation plan itself and interviews with DOD 
officials, we found that DOD's plans for assessing the pilot programs 
had some strengths, including: 

* Forms in the evaluation plan for collecting baseline data (before the 
pilot programs began) and pilot program data. According to the 
evaluation plan, baseline data from fiscal year 2004 are recorded on a 
template (i.e., a modified version of EEOC Form 462) appropriate to the 
part of the complaint process the pilot program focuses on. Data 
collected during the programs will be measured against the baseline 
data collected in the prior year's EEOC Form 462.[Footnote 30] Pilot 
program and nonpilot program data are to be collected by an Individual 
Data Report form, which is to collect processing-time data, comparative 
information on early ADR, and early management involvement in cases at 
each pilot program site. Comparing data from the modified EEOC Form 462 
to data from the program as well as to nonprogram cases is expected to 
help DOD determine whether processing times and redundancy were reduced 
concerning early resolution and streamlining as a result of the pilot 
program. 

* Detailed time frames, roles and responsibilities, and report planning 
in the evaluation plan. The evaluation plan includes a schedule that 
details tasks, roles and responsibilities, and milestones for 
completing set tasks in evaluating the pilot program. This schedule 
provides a framework that is organized and easy to follow. 

* Inclusion of reasonable research design. The evaluation plan includes 
a reasonable method for assessing pilot program results. Because the 
pilot program legislation mandates voluntary participation in the 
program, DOD was restricted from one form of design (i.e., randomly 
assigning employees alleging or filing complaints of discrimination to 
participate in the pilot program). As a result, DOD chose to compare 
prepilot and postpilot program data as well as pilot and nonpilot 
program cases. 

In addition, DOD officials said that the plan can be adjusted to the 
extent feasible to ensure that the data collected are sufficient for 
evaluating the pilot program. 

Without Key Evaluation Plan Features, DOD Will Be Limited in Its 
Ability to Assess Pilot Programs' Results: 

DOD's plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program lacks 
some key features that are essential to assessing performance. Well- 
developed evaluation plans, which include key evaluation features, have 
a number of benefits, perhaps most importantly, increasing the 
likelihood that evaluations will yield methodologically sound results, 
thereby supporting effective program and policy decisions. The lack of 
established key evaluation features in DOD's plan increases the 
likelihood of insufficient or unreliable data, limiting confidence in 
pilot program results. Without confidence in pilot program results, DOD 
will be limited in its decision making regarding this pilot program, 
and Congress will be limited in its decision making about the pilot 
program's potential broader application. 

Some key features of a sound evaluation plan include:[Footnote 31] 

* well-defined, clear, and measurable objectives; 

* measures that are directly linked to the program objectives; 

* criteria for determining pilot program performance; 

* a way to isolate the effects of the pilot programs; 

* a data analysis plan for the evaluation design; and: 

* a detailed plan to ensure that data collection, entry, and storage 
are reliable and error-free. 

DOD's evaluation plan contains the following limitations: 

* The objectives in DOD's evaluation plan are not well defined or 
clear, which makes measurement problematic. For example, the evaluation 
plan identifies management accountability as an objective without 
defining it, who it applies to, and how it will be measured. Without 
well-defined, clear, and measurable objectives, the appropriate data 
may not be collected, thus hindering the assessment of pilot program 
progress. 

* DOD's data collection efforts are not linked to objectives in the 
evaluation plan. For example, the evaluation plan contains a variety of 
surveys that the individual pilot programs can use to measure customer 
satisfaction, but customer satisfaction is not included in the 
evaluation plan as an objective of the plan. Directly linking 
objectives and measures is a key feature of an evaluation plan. Without 
such linkage, data collection efforts may not directly inform stated 
objectives, and in turn, may not inform the evaluation effort. 

* DOD's evaluation plan does not establish standards for evaluating 
pilot program performance. For example, DOD's plan does not state the 
amount or type of change required to indicate that a pilot program has 
succeeded in reducing processing time. Without targets or standards for 
determining success, it will be difficult to determine if the pilot 
program was effective. 

* DOD's evaluation plan does not mention controlling for possible 
outcomes that are attributable to factors other than the effects of the 
programs. A preferred research method is to use random assignment of 
program participants to provide greater confidence that results are 
attributable to a program. As we mentioned, DOD was restricted from 
randomly assigning employees alleging or filing complaints of 
discrimination to participate in the pilot program. As a result, other 
factors, such as the type of complaint, complainant, or the mediator 
may affect pilot program outcomes. Establishing controls for such 
factors could help isolate the effects attributable to the pilot 
programs. When an evaluation design involves, for example, a comparison 
between prepilot and postpilot program conditions, the research design 
should include controls to ensure that results will be attributable to 
the pilot program and not to other factors. 

* DOD's evaluation plan does not explain how the data will be analyzed. 
Although the evaluation plan has templates for collecting data, 
including pilot program baseline data, individual data reports, and 
various surveys, it does not state how the data collected will be 
analyzed. A data analysis plan is a key feature of an evaluation plan 
as it sets out how data will be analyzed to determine if program 
objectives have been met. Without a data analysis plan, it is not clear 
how the data will be analyzed to inform the objectives of the 
evaluation and assess the performance of the programs. 

* DOD's plan does not explain how the integrity of the data collected 
will be ensured. A detailed plan to ensure that data collection, entry, 
and storage are reliable and error-free is a key feature of an 
evaluation plan that gives greater confidence to data quality and 
reliability and to any findings made from these data. Without a 
detailed plan to ensure that data collection, entry, and storage are 
reliable and error-free, confidence in pilot program results will be 
limited. 

Conclusions: 

All three programs share a common feature of emphasizing the use of ADR 
to meet the legislative mandate to improve the efficiency of the EEO 
complaint process. In addition, although authorized to operate outside 
of current EEOC regulations, to a large extent, two of the three 
programs have been designed by DOD to operate within the requirements 
of current regulations. While sharing common strategies in such areas 
as electronic data collection, the pilot programs implemented them 
differently. As the challenges of the 21st century grow, it will become 
increasingly important for DOD to consider how it can maximize 
performance and results through the improved collaboration of its 
organizations. Officials from the programs and DOD's EEO pilot program 
oversight entities have indicated their willingness to share 
information and strategies. 

To better ensure that it will provide useful results, DOD needs to make 
changes to its evaluation plan. Although DOD's evaluation plan had some 
strengths, the plan's shortcomings may impede DOD's ability to produce 
sound results that can inform both program and policy decisions 
regarding the overall pilot program. The lack of key evaluation 
features, such as clear and measurable objectives, measures linked to 
these objectives, and established criteria for determining pilot 
program performance may limit confidence in pilot program results. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To improve the performance and results of the pilot program, we 
recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Deputy 
Undersecretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy, the Deputy 
Undersecretary for Equal Opportunity, and the Civilian Personnel 
Management Service to take the following actions: 

Establish regular intra-agency exchanges of information on outreach 
strategies, training, and electronic data collection from which the 
pilot programs could achieve potential benefits that would not be 
available if working separately. 

Develop a sound evaluation plan to accurately and reliably assess the 
pilot programs' results, including such key features as: 

* well-defined, clear, and measurable objectives; 

* measures that are directly linked to the program objectives; 

* criteria for determining pilot program performance; 

* a way to isolate the effects of the pilot programs; 

* a data analysis plan for the evaluation design; and: 

* a detailed plan to ensure that data collection, entry, and storage 
are reliable and error-free. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to the Secretary of Defense for his 
review and comment. The Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense 
provided written comments, which are included in appendix II. 

DOD generally agreed with our recommendations. Regarding the 
establishment of regular intra-agency exchanges of information among 
the pilot programs to leverage potential benefits, DOD stated that it 
will hold quarterly meetings with pilot program managers. Concerning 
the development of an evaluation plan that accurately and reliably 
assesses the pilot programs' results, DOD partially concurred with the 
recommendation and stated that it would consider and incorporate the 
recommended key features into the evaluation plan as appropriate. 
However, DOD also stated that the purpose of the plan was to assist 
pilot program evaluators in their work by specifying those procedures, 
tools, and objectives that would be unique to the pilot programs. In 
its comments, DOD reasons that because all pilot program officials 
agreed on a particular objective, which was common to both the pilot 
and traditional EEO complaint procedures, that it was not necessary to 
link data collection efforts to that objective or incorporate either 
the objective or the data collection effort in the evaluation plan. 
Because the plan is the long-term guide for the pilot program 
evaluation process and because staff changes occur, it is important 
that DOD include all objectives and methods they intend to use in the 
plan, allowing the evaluation process to be more transparent and 
provide clearer guidance to the pilot program officials on evaluation 
procedures. 

In its response, DOD also commented on our observation that to a large 
extent two of the three pilot programs were designed and are operating 
within existing EEOC requirements. DOD noted that this was due in large 
part to a presidential memorandum issued when the legislation was 
signed. The memorandum, which addressed the implementation of the pilot 
program, required that a complaining party be allowed to opt out of the 
pilot program at any time. According to DOD, adhering to this 
requirement necessitated using a similar design to the current EEO 
process so that complaining parties who decided to opt out would not be 
penalized by having to start at the very beginning of the current EEO 
complaint process. It is not clear to us that ensuring the ability to 
opt out at any point necessitates returning the complaining party to 
the very beginning of the current EEO process in all cases. Rather, the 
complaining party would be returned to the current EEO process at an 
appropriate point based on what was achieved through the pilot program 
process. Overall, we see nothing in the presidential memorandum that 
would limit DOD's legitimate use of the procedural flexibility granted 
by Congress through the pilot program authority. 

We will send copies of this report to other interested congressional 
parties, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chair of EEOC. We also will 
make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the report 
is available on GAO's home page at [Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If your staff have questions about this report, please contact me on 
(202) 512-9490. Key contributors to this report are listed in appendix 
III. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by:

George H. Stalcup: 
Director, Strategic Issues: 

List of Congressional Addressees: 

The Honorable John Warner: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Duncan Hunter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable George V. Voinovich: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal 
Workforce, and the District of Columbia: 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Jon C. Porter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Danny K. Davis: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization: 
Committee on Government Reform House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: EEO Laws and Regulations Applicable to Federal Employees: 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, makes it illegal 
for employers, including federal agencies, to discriminate against 
their employees or job applicants on the basis of race, color, 
religion, sex, or national origin.[Footnote 32] The Equal Pay Act of 
1963 protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the 
same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.[Footnote 33] The 
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, prohibits 
employment discrimination against individuals who are 40 years of age 
or older.[Footnote 34] Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act 
of 1973, as amended, prohibit discrimination against qualified 
individuals with disabilities who work or apply to work in the federal 
government.[Footnote 35] Federal agencies are required to provide 
reasonable accommodation to qualified employees or applicants for 
employment with disabilities, except when such accommodation would 
cause an undue hardship. In addition, a person who files a complaint or 
participates in an investigation of an equal employment opportunity 
(EEO) complaint or who opposes an employment practice made illegal 
under any of the antidiscrimination statutes is protected from 
retaliation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is 
responsible for enforcing all of these laws. 

Federal employees or applicants for employment who believe that they 
have been discriminated against by a federal agency may file a 
complaint with that agency.[Footnote 36] The EEOC has established 
regulations providing for the processing of federal sector employment 
discrimination complaints.[Footnote 37] This complaint process consists 
of two stages, informal, or precomplaint counseling, and formal. Before 
filing a complaint, the employee must consult an EEO counselor at the 
agency in order to try to informally resolve the matter. The employee 
must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the matter alleged to 
be discriminatory or, in the case of a personnel action, within 45 days 
of the effective date of the action. Counselors are to advise 
individuals that, when the agency agrees to offer alternative dispute 
resolution (ADR) in the particular case,[Footnote 38] they may choose 
to participate in either counseling or in ADR. 

Counseling is to be completed within 30 days from the date the employee 
contacted the EEO office for counseling unless the employee and agency 
agree to an extension of up to an additional 60 days. If ADR is chosen, 
the parties have 90 days in which to attempt resolution. If the matter 
is not resolved within these time frames, the counselor is required to 
inform the employee in writing of his or her right to file a formal 
discrimination complaint with the agency. The written notice must 
inform the employee of the (1) right to file a discrimination complaint 
within 15 days of receipt of the notice, (2) appropriate agency 
official with whom to file a complaint, and (3) duty to ensure that the 
agency is informed immediately if the complainant retains counsel or a 
representative. 

After a complainant files a formal discrimination complaint, the agency 
must decide whether to accept or dismiss the complaint and notify the 
complainant. If the agency dismisses the complaint, the complainant has 
30 days to appeal the dismissal to EEOC.[Footnote 39] If the agency 
accepts the complaint, it has 180 days to investigate the accepted 
complaint and provide the complainant with a copy of the investigative 
file.[Footnote 40] Within 30 days of receipt of the copy of the 
investigative file, the complainant must choose between requesting (1) 
a hearing and decision from an EEOC administrative judge (AJ)[Footnote 
41] or (2) a final decision from the agency. When a hearing is not 
requested, the agency must issue a final decision within 60 days. A 
complainant may appeal an agency's final decision to EEOC within 30 
days of receiving the final decision. 

In cases where a hearing is requested, the AJ has 180 days to issue a 
decision and send the decision to the complainant and the 
agency.[Footnote 42] If the AJ issues a finding of discrimination, he 
or she is to order appropriate relief. After the AJ decision is issued, 
the agency has 40 days to issue a final order notifying the complainant 
whether or not the agency will fully implement the decision of the AJ, 
and the employee has 30 days to file an appeal with EEOC of the 
agency's final order.[Footnote 43] If the agency issues an order 
notifying the complainant that the agency will not fully implement the 
decision of the AJ, the agency also must file an appeal with EEOC at 
the same time. Parties have 30 days in which to request reconsideration 
of an EEOC decision. Figure I illustrates the EEO complaint process. 

Figure 1: The EEO Administrative Complaint Process with Related Time 
Frames: 

[See PDF for image]

[A] Where the agency agrees to offer ADR in the particular case, 
employees may choose between participation in ADR and counseling 
activities. ADR generally refers to any procedure agreed to by the 
parties in a dispute that is used to resolve issues in controversy 
including, but not limited to, mediation. 

[B] Where ADR is chosen, the parties have up to 90 days in which to 
attempt resolution.

[End of figure] 

If a complaint is one that can be appealed to the Merit Systems 
Protection Board (MSPB) such as a removal, reduction in grade or pay, 
or suspension for more than 14 days,[Footnote 44] the complaint is a 
"mixed-case complaint." EEOC regulations provide that an individual may 
raise claims of discrimination in a mixed case, either as a mixed-case 
EEO complaint with the agency or a direct appeal to MSPB, but not 
both.[Footnote 45] 

A complainant may file a civil action in federal district court at 
various points during and after the administrative process.[Footnote 
46] The filing of a civil action will terminate the administrative 
processing of the complaint. A complainant may file a civil action 
within 90 days of receiving the agency's final decision or order, or 
EEOC's final decision. A complainant may also file a civil action after 
180 days from filing a complaint with his or her agency, or filing an 
appeal with EEOC, if no final action or decision has been made. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
4000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, D.C. 20301-4000: 

Personnel And Readiness: 

Mr. George H. Stalcup: 
Director, Strategic Issues: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, N. W. 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Mr. Stalcup: 

This is the Department of Defense response to the GAD draft report, 
"EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: DoD's EEO Pilot Program Under Way, but 
Improvements Needed to DoD's Evaluation Plan," dated March 28, 2006. 
(GAO Code 4504671/GAO-06-538). We have reviewed the draft report and 
generally concur with its recommendations. Specific responses to the 
report's recommendations are attached. 

In several places, the report expresses concern that the general design 
of the DOD pilot programs seem to operate within the existing 
parameters of law and regulation rather than creating a totally new 
process. This parallelism was necessitated by a memorandum to the 
Secretary of Defense issued by the President when he signed the 
authorizing legislation. In that memorandum, the President directed 
that participation in the pilot programs should be strictly voluntary 
and that pilot design should provide that complaining parties could opt 
out of the pilot program at any time. In order not to penalize 
complaining parties who opt out of the pilot program by making them 
start the traditional complaint process at the very beginning with pre- 
complaint counseling, the DOD pilots were designed to parallel the 
traditional complaint process so that individuals who do opt out could 
be inserted into the appropriate phase of the traditional process. 

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment upon the draft 
report. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Gail H. McGinn: 
Performing the Duties of the Principal Deputy: 

GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED MARCH 28, 2406 GAO CODE 450467/GAO-06-538: 

"EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: DoD's EEO Pilot Program Under Way, but 
Improvements Needed to DoD's Evaluation Plan" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations: 

RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel 
Policy, Deputy Undersecretary for Equal Opportunity, and the Civilian 
Personnel Management Service to establish regular intra-agency 
exchanges of information on outreach strategies; training, and 
electronic data collection from which the pilot programs could achieve 
potential benefits that would not be available if working separately. 
(p. 19-20/GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: The DOD concurs with this recommendation. Quarterly 
meetings will be held with DOD pilot program managers to discuss and 
exchange relevant information regarding pilot implementation processes. 

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel 
Policy, Deputy Undersecretary for Equal Opportunity, and the Civilian 
Personnel Management Service to develop a sound evaluation plan to 
accurately and reliably assess the pilot programs' results, including 
such key features as: 

* Well-defined, clear, and measurable objectives; 

* Measures that are directly linked to the program objectives; 

* Criteria for determining pilot program success; 

* a way to isolate the effects of the pilot programs; 

* a data analysis plan for the evaluation design; and: 

* a detailed plan to ensure that data collection, entry, and storage 
are reliable and error-free. (p. 19-20/GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: The DOD partially concurs with the recommendation. The 
DOD will consider and incorporate these recommendations into our 
evaluation plan as appropriate. However, it should be noted that the 
principal purpose of the DOD document was to assist pilot evaluators in 
their work by specifying those procedures or tools that would be unique 
to the pilots. When pilot and traditional procedures were common, there 
did not appear to be a need to include them. For example, the EEOC uses 
time consumed in each of the various phases of processing 
discrimination complaints as the principal measure to assess federal 
agency effectiveness. From the very beginning, therefore, DOD pilot 
planners agreed that a principal objective of the pilots would be to 
significantly reduce the processing time between the filing of a formal 
written complaint and the issuance of a final agency decision. Since 
everyone involved with the pilots accepted and agreed with that 
objective, it did not seem necessary to state it in the monitoring 
document. Also, since the pilot programs would rely upon the same staff 
and procedures to record and enter statistical data necessary for both 
the traditional complaint process and the pilot process, there did not 
appear to be a need to outline the methodology in the monitoring 
document.

[End of section] 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

George H. Stalcup, (202) 512-9490 or stalcupg@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgements: 

In addition to the individual named above, Belva M. Martin, Assistant 
Director; Karin K. Fangman; Cindy Gilbert; Emily Hampton-Manley; 
Anthony Patterson; Rebecca Shea; Linda Sidwell (detailee); and Kiki 
Theodoropoulos made key contributions to this report. 

(450467): 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] Federal employees are protected by various federal laws that 
prohibit employment discrimination because of race, color, religion, 
sex, national origin, age, or handicap. In addition, federal employees 
are protected from retaliation for filing a complaint, participating in 
an investigation of a complaint, or opposing any practice made unlawful 
under these antidiscrimination laws. (See app. I.) 

[2] ADR techniques include but are not limited to, conciliation, 
facilitation, mediation, or arbitration. ADR techniques usually involve 
intervention or facilitation by a neutral third party. 

[3] Federal Sector Investigations - Time and Cost (EEOC, Office of 
Federal Operations). An agency has 180 days to investigate a formal 
complaint and provide the complainant with a copy of the investigative 
file, which can be extended by 90 days when both parties agree. 29 
C.F.R. 1614.108(e). 

[4] Section 1111 of P.L. 106-398 (Oct. 30, 2000). 

[5] 29 C.F.R. Part 1614. 

[6] GAO, Federal Employee Redress: An Opportunity for Reform, GAO/T- 
GGD-96-42 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 29, 1995); Equal Employment 
Opportunity: Rising Trends in EEO Complaint Caseloads in the Federal 
Sector, GAO/GGD-98-157BR (Washington, D.C.: Jul. 24, 1998); 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); and 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). 

[7] See, for example, 29 C.F.R. Part 1614. 

[8] An agency may dismiss an individual's complaint for a number of 
reasons, including failure to contact an EEO counselor in a timely 
manner, failure to file a complaint in a timely manner, or failure to 
state a claim based on covered discrimination. 

[9] This period can be extended an additional 90 days when both parties 
agree. 

[10] A complainant may request a hearing at any time after 180 days 
have elapsed from the filing of the complaint, regardless of whether 
the agency has completed its investigation. 

[11] If the agency does not issue a final order within 40 days, the 
decision of the AJ becomes the final action of the agency. 

[12] According to DLA, 1,545 employees are eligible to participate in 
PECP. 

[13] Other types of cases that would be inappropriate for PECP include 
those that (1) involve potentially precedent setting issues; (2) 
significantly affect other employees who are not part of the ADR 
proceedings; (3) involve prohibited personnel practices or sensitive 
issues regarding the health, safety, and security of DLA employees; (4) 
concern disputed law, not fact; and (5) involve unsuccessful prior ADR 
attempts or breaches of the confidentiality of a previous ADR session. 

[14] Mediation is a process in which a trained neutral third party 
helps disputants negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement. A mediator 
has no authority, does not render a decision, but may suggest some 
substantive options to encourage the parties to expand the range of 
possible resolutions under consideration. Any decision must be reached 
by the parties themselves. 

[15] According to DLA, if an internal mediator is used, DLA works to 
ensure his/her neutrality by never having that person serve as a 
mediator in the same case in which he/she was an Intake Specialist. 

[16] According to DeCA, it has 2,083 employees who are eligible to 
participate in ERO in three zones: DeCA West, Zone 16: Camp Pendleton, 
El Centro, Imperial Beach, North Island, San Diego, San Onofre, Miramar 
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), and 29 Palms (stores in Southern 
California) and Yuma MCAS and Yuma Proving Ground (both located in 
Western Arizona); DeCA East, Virginia Beach, Zone 28: Fort Eustis, 
Langley Air Force Base (AFB), Little Creek Naval Air Base, Oceana Naval 
Air Station, Portsmouth Naval Station, Norfolk Naval Base, and Fort Lee 
(stores located in Central Virginia); and DeCA East, San Antonio, Zone 
6: Fort Hood I and II, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB, 
and Dyess AFB (stores located in Central Texas). 

[17] Facilitation, a form of ADR, involves the use of techniques to 
improve the sharing of information in a meeting between parties to a 
dispute, focusing on the process involved in resolving a matter. 

[18] According to DeCA, a definitive or authoritative resolution of the 
matter is required for precedential value. An ADR proceeding is not 
likely to be accepted, generally, as an authoritative precedent. 

[19] When a person is employed by an agency subject to 5 U.S.C. 7121 
and is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that permits claims 
of discrimination to be raised in a negotiated grievance procedure, a 
person wishing to file a complaint or a grievance on a claim of alleged 
employment discrimination may raise the claim under either Part 1614 or 
the negotiated grievance procedure, but not both. 

[20] Formal complaints under the current EEO process are not expedited 
in this way. 

[21] These test bases are as follows: Altus, Bolling, Brooks, 
Charleston, Columbus, Dobbins, Dover, Edwards, Eglin, Elmendorf, 
Hanscom, Hill, Holloman, Homestead, Keesler, Kirtland, Lackland, 
Langley, Laughlin, Los Angeles, March, McGuire, Nellis, Peterson, 
Ramstein, Scott, Seymour Johnson, Tinker, Travis, Robins, and Wright- 
Patterson. 

[22] A complaint is a mixed-case complaint if it is a matter that can 
be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board such as removal, 
reduction in grade or pay, or suspension for more than 14 days. 

[23] According to USAF officials, 128,074 employees are eligible to 
participate in CORE. 

[24] USAF asks all aggrieved parties to choose between ADR and informal 
counseling in the informal stage. In addition, during the initial 
counseling session of the informal stage, the individual is briefed on 
the CORE process and told that if he or she decides to file a formal 
complaint, a decision must be made whether to use CORE or follow the 
current federal EEO process. 

[25] Under the current EEO complaint process, fact-finding conferences 
may be used by agencies in developing an appropriate factual record. 
The fact-finders, under this process, are not responsible for providing 
a recommended decision. 

[26] The Director of Air Force Review Boards Agency is a position with 
delegated authority from the Secretary of the Air Force to make 
decisions under 29 C.F.R. 1614.110 on individual EEO complaints. 

[27] EEO-Net is designed to automate data entry, case tracking, and 
reporting requirements. 

[28] Collaboration among federal agencies can take many forms, 
including establishing mutually reinforcing or joint strategies to 
achieve an outcome; identifying and addressing needs by leveraging 
resources; and developing mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report 
the results of collaborative efforts. See GAO, Results-Oriented 
Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance and Sustain Collaboration 
Among Federal Agencies, GAO-06-15 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 21, 2005). 

[29] For fiscal year 2004, 222 employees contacted their particular EEO 
offices DeCA-wide. 

[30] Agencies are to use EEOC Form 462 to report the discrimination 
complaint processing statistics for individual complaints of 
discrimination, including such information as total number of 
individuals counseled during a reporting period, number counseled where 
counseling was completed within 30 days, and the number of formal 
complaints filed. 

[31] P.H. Rossi, M.W. Lipsey, and H.E. Freeman, Evaluation: A 
Systematic Approach (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: 2004); GAO, Designing 
Evaluations, GAO/PEMD-10.1.4 (Washington, D.C.: May 1991); GAO, 
Assessing Social Program Impact Evaluations: A Checklist Approach, 
(Washington, D.C.: October 1978); B.R. Worthen, J.R. Sanders, & J.L. 
Fitzpatrick, Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical 
Guidelines (New York: 1997); L. Scharf, "Evaluating ADR Programs", in 
Federal ADR Program Manager's Resource Manual. 

[32] 42 U.S.C. secs. 2000e et seq. 

[33] 29 U.S.C. sec. 206(d). 

[34] 29 U.S.C. secs. 621 et seq. 

[35] 29 U.S.C. secs. 791 and 794a. 

[36] For allegations of discrimination under Title VII and the 
Rehabilitation Act, filing an administrative complaint is a 
prerequisite to filing a civil action in court. See 42 U.S.C. sec. 
2000e-16(c) and 29 U.S.C. sec. 794a(a)(1). 

[37] 29 C.F.R. Part 1614. EEOC has supplemented these regulations with 
additional guidance relating to the processing of complaints with 
Management Directive-110 (MD-110). 

[38] ADR generally refers to any procedure agreed to by the parties in 
a dispute that is used to resolve issues in controversy including, but 
not limited to, conciliation, facilitation, or mediation. As of January 
1, 2000, all federal agencies covered by 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 were 
required to establish or make available an ADR program during the 
informal (precomplaint counseling) and formal complaint stages of the 
EEO process. 

[39] An agency may dismiss an individual's complaint for a number of 
reasons, including failure to contact an EEO counselor in a timely 
manner, failure to file a complaint in a timely manner, or failure to 
state a claim based on covered discrimination. 

[40] This period can be extended an additional 90 days when both 
parties agree. 

[41] A complainant may request a hearing at any time after 180 days 
have elapsed from the filing of the complaint, regardless of whether 
the agency has completed its investigation. 

[42] The AJ can extend this time for issuing a decision by making a 
written determination that good cause exists to do so. 

[43] If the agency does not issue a final order within 40 days, the 
decision of the AJ becomes the final action of the agency. 

[44] MPSB is an independent quasijudicial agency in the executive 
branch that adjudicates employee appeals of personnel actions and 
conducts studies of the federal merit system. 

[45] For employees of agencies subject to 5 U.S.C. sec. 7121(d) and 
covered by a collective bargaining agreement that permits claims of 
discrimination to be raised in a negotiated grievance procedure, the 
employees similarly must elect to file an EEO complaint or grievance. 

[46] There are different time requirements for filing a civil action in 
district court alleging discrimination under the Equal Pay Act and for 
filing civil actions relating to mixed-case complaints. See 29 C.F.R. 
sec. 1614.408 and sec. 1614.310. 

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