Equal Employment Opportunity:

Administrative Judges' Recommended Decisions and Agencies' Actions

GGD-98-122R: Published: Jun 10, 1998. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) numbers of recommended decisions made by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administrative judges during fiscal years (FY) 1991 through 1996, broken out by the numbers of decisions containing findings of discrimination and those containing findings of no discrimination; and (2) overall rates of agencies' acceptance, modification, or rejection of administrative judges' recommended decisions, broken out by decisions containing findings of discrimination and those containing findings of no discrimination.

GAO noted that: (1) EEOC's data showed that the total number of recommended decisions made by EEOC administrative judges, after increasing from 1,800 in FY 1991 to 3,185 in FY 1994, decreased to 3,001 in FY 1995 and 2,962 in FY 1996; (2) a decreasing percentage of these recommended decisions contained findings of discrimination; (3) this percentage, which was 14.8 percent in FY 1991, decreased to 10.8 percent in FY 1996; (4) the rate at which agencies rejected administrative judges' recommended decisions containing findings of discrimination showed no clear trend, fluctuating between 38.7 and 62.7 percent during fiscal years 1991 to 1996; and (5) in contrast, agencies rarely rejected recommended decisions containing findings of no discrimination, rejecting no more than eight-tenths of 1 percent in any year examined.

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