Equal Opportunity:

Problems Concerning the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program

FPCD-79-62: Published: Jun 18, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 1979.


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The Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program provides governmentwide recruiting policies and programs designed to eliminate underrepresentation of minorities and women in civil service employment.

The problems which restrict the ability of agencies to fulfill program requirements include data collection and reporting systems, responsibility and accountability, and items not included in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulation. The fragmented information available results in management not being able to assess fully the effect of its decisions on the workforce profile. Responsibility and accountability need to be pinpointed. A mechanism for evaluating the recruitment program is essential, as is a method for identifying members of minority groups. The latter is currently based on a guess by visual identification. The OPM regulation only specifies a very general and undefined goal of eliminating underrepresentation. This goal is grandiose and may be rejected by agency management as unrealistic.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: More guidance should be given to agencies in the areas covered in the program. The reporting requirements should be streamlined, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission should consider other methods of consolidating and simplifying plans and reports. Equal employment opportunity plans should contain analyses of the statistics, showing at least the percentages of increases and decreases in the profiles. Timetables should be developed for implementing this change. Supplements to the regulation should specifically state that authority is commensurate with assigned responsibilities, and that responsibilities are clearly stated, so that accountability may be pinpointed. OPM should also specifically state what its own responsibilities and accountability will be for program implementation. Agencies should be informed on the method of evaluation. The proposed model evaluation must explain the objectives of the recruiting program to guide agencies and permit an evaluation. It would be useful to the visual identification if all employees are asked to identify their race, sex, and ethnicity. Short-term and mid-range goals, with specific timetables and realstic parameters, should be developed. The regulation supplements should include a specific definition of measurable progress toward representation. Attention should be given to uniformity in the determination of civilian labor force baselines and in the occupational and grade groupings.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

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

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