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: Published: Oct 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2005.

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In May 2001, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (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. 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.

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.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: As of July 2010, EEOC stated that they have no further comment concerning GAO's recommendations in this report other than to note that since our report was issued there have been 3 subsequent Chairpersons of the Commission who have addressed the issues they viewed as most impacting EEOC's mission. Actions EEOC had previously taken include: completing the migration of the national contact center to an in-house customer response function, realigning its field offices as of January 2006, and placing headquarters restructuring plans on hold due to staff attrition and other priorities. Despite these efforts, GAO believes that EEOC's actions to date have not been fully responsive to our recommendation.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the Commission's restructuring efforts, the Chair of EEOC should 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 Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

 

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