Equal Opportunity:

Department of Justice Should Improve Its Equal Employment Opportunity Programs

FPCD-78-79: Published: Feb 23, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1979.

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GAO reviewed the affirmative action programs within the Department of Justice and each of its seven bureaus for the period from July 1974 through September 1978. Attention was focused on the practices affecting the structure and implementation of the affirmative action programs; employment recruitment, selection, promotion, training, and assignment; and the discrimination complaint process. This is a final report discussing the following aspects of the equal employment opportunity affirmative action programs: attitudes and perceptions involving women and minorities; salary differentials for employees; the model developed to forecast Justice's equal employment opportunity profile; Justice-wide improvements needed in equal employment opportunity programs; and improvements needed in the discrimination complaint system.

Some progress has been made by Justice since GAO began work; however, the programs need strengthening. More leadership and commitment by management could speed up the accomplishment of the equal employment opportunity goals. Forecasting models and questionnaires are tools that provide indicators of program problems, yet Justice had not used modeling techniques to evaluate its programs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should appoint a full-time Equal Employment Opportunity Director with direct access to the Attorney General to give full attention to equal employment opportunity problems and concerns and to monitor actions that have been taken. A sample should be taken of employees' attitudes and perceptions, responses should be analyzed, and areas identified that need development. Salary analysis and statistical modeling techniques would help identify realistic equal employment opportunity goals, measure and monitor progress, and allow for periodic modification of program policies and practices. The Attorney General should also examine the feasibility of instituting three programs in Justice: (1) a program for the administrative divisions; (2) one for the legal divisions; and (3) one for the offices of the U.S. Attorneys. Regulations should be adopted to provide needed guidance for the Black Affairs and Hispanic Employment Programs, and a minimum amount of time should be allocated for part-time coordinators to carry out their duties. Finally, the Attorney General should make sure that the discrimination complaint process is evaluated to determine the existence of management deficiencies and that delays in processing complaints are corrected.

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