AID Management:

EEO Issues and Protected Group Underrepresentation Require Management Attention

NSIAD-93-13: Published: Nov 23, 1992. Publicly Released: Nov 23, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Agency for International Development's (AID) compliance with equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action requirements, focusing on: (1) women and minority representation by job category, major occupation, and grade level; (2) an AID recruitment strategy to ensure women and minorities were hired at representative rates; (3) AID assignment and promotion practices' impact on EEO groups; and (4) AID development of EEO and affirmative action monitoring processes.

GAO found that: (1) in AID professional, administrative, technical, clerical and other (PATCO) job categories, women and minorities were underrepresented in 22 of 40 categories and, in the AID foreign service workforce, EEO groups were underrepresented in 12 of 20 categories; (2) in major occupational categories, EEO groups, except black males, were underrepresented in 44 of 80 categories; (3) at senior grade levels, EEO groups were underrepresented in 25 of 40 civil service categories, and in 53 of 80 foreign service categories; (4) AID did not have a formal written plan for recruiting and hiring underrepresented EEO groups; (5) external recruitment efforts focused mainly on black and Hispanic institutions; (6) AID internal recruitment efforts comprised of two foreign service programs leading to career candidate status; (7) AID internal recruitment efforts were not integrated into its affirmative action plan; (8) most EEO groups were hired at representative rates for entry level positions in both services, while mid-level position rates were mixed; (9) AID did not meet its numerical hiring goals for underrepresented occupations from 1989 to 1991; (10) most EEO groups were adversely affected by AID civil service hiring procedures, but not by foreign service procedures; (11) AID did not routinely collect and analyze data to determine the adverse impact of hiring procedures or attempt to ascertain if adverse impact was due to inadequate recruitment efforts or to agency selection procedures; (12) all EEO groups, plus white males, were adversely affected by AID assignment and promotion practices, and AID did not follow Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements for briefing promotion panels; (13) a minority recruitment advisory group and an EEO task force assumed the functions of the EEO oversight board; (14) senior managers' performance objectives did not include the agency's affirmative action plan items, so they were not measured on their EEO performance; and (15) managers were not given adequate information or EEOC criteria for setting representation goals.

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

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should ensure that external and internal recruitment activities are coordinated with the agency's affirmative action plan.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As detailed in a 1995 implementation plan developed by AID's Office of Human Resources, the agency has revised and revamped its selection criteria for its International Development Intern and mid-level hire programs to better link internal and external recruitment efforts with the agency's annual analysis of representation levels.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should prepare analyses of PATCO categories with substantially elevated protected group representation levels to determine how better balance might be achieved across job series.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID's affirmative action plan includes an analysis of PATCO categories that identifies both deficient and elevated levels of representation. AID's Office of Equal Opportunity Programs is actively coordinating with the Office of Recruitment to ensure that these representation levels are incorporated into the agency's outreach programs.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should routinely collect and analyze selection data for evidence of adverse impact at each step in the hiring process and determine whether any actual adverse impact is related to bona fide affirmative action efforts.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID has instituted a tracking system to collect uniform hiring data for both its Civil and the Foreign Service. AID has agreed to prepare an adverse impact analysis of hiring data when a sufficient mass of data (that is, 100 or more persons for each assessed action) has been collected through its new tracking system. This amount of data will be required before a meaningful analysis can be conducted. Given current hiring levels, this point may not be reached for several years.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should modify or validate those selection procedures where adverse impact not related to bona fide affirmative action efforts is found.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID has instituted a tracking system to collect uniform hiring data for both its Civil and the Foreign Service. AID has agreed to prepare an adverse impact analysis of hiring data when a sufficient mass of data (that is, 100 or more persons for each assessed action) has been collected through its new tracking system. This amount of data will be required before a meaningful analysis can be conducted. Given current hiring levels, this point may not be reached for several years.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should routinely collect and analyze assignment and promotion data for evidence of adverse impact and determine whether any actual adverse impact is related to bona fide affirmative action efforts.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID has launched a data collection effort which will culminate in an adverse impact analysis being prepared for both assignments and promotions.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should modify or validate those selection procedures where adverse impact not related to bona fide affirmative action efforts is found.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID has asserted that it fully intends to review selection procedures that show evidence of adverse impact.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should restrict the use of limited career extensions as AID officials have indicated they would be.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The agency has revised its Senior Foreign Service Handbook chapter to cap LCE at a 5-year maximum. Each year since 1991, LCE approval rates have dropped significantly.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should require that EEO briefings emphasize that selection panel members must only consider merit-based factors in their deliberations.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID's promotion precepts have been revised to explicitly state that review panels must assess employess on the basis of merit alone.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should incorporate specific action items from the agency's affirmative action plan in senior managers' performance contracts.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID issued a directive to senior managers in November 1993 which called for the inclusion of specific EEO actions and objectives in managers' performance contracts. Recent performance contracts already include such language.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should develop a work force profile format that uses representation indexes and tables showing the extent of underrepresentation by PATCO category, major occupation, and grade level.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID has begun to prepare simplified representation analyses for senior manager use. These analyses do not utilize a representation index, however, they do compare agency representation levels with civilian labor force data in a manner that can be readily understood.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should develop a detailed Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program plan that focuses the agency's attention on underrepresented groups and integrates the agency's external and internal recruitment efforts.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID issued a Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program plan on October 7, 1993.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should ensure that senior- and mid-level managers are informed of EEOC criteria for setting representation goals and the current benchmark data being used by AID.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID has developed a brochure for distribution to all employees describing the agency's EEO process. This brochure should be available for distribution late in the year.

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