Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms:

Bureau's Handling of Sexual Harassment and Related Complaints

T-OSI-93-1: Published: May 26, 1993. Publicly Released: May 26, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' (BATF) procedures and practices for investigating and resolving sexual harassment and discrimination complaints. GAO noted that: (1) between 1988 and 1993, BATF received 198 formal equal employment opportunity complaints; (2) BATF has not developed, implemented, or communicated adequate guidelines and responsibilities that internal offices need to investigate alleged incidences of sexual harassment and other discriminatory practices; (3) BATF internal offices' sexual harassment investigations often overlapped and were duplicative; (4) although BATF has distributed workplace harassment policy statements, policy implementation has varied greatly between offices; (5) BATF employees lack confidence in the scope, independence, confidentiality, investigative techniques, and objectivity of the sexual harassment investigative process; and (6) BATF employees lack information about the actual or potential disciplinary actions BATF can take against employees engaged in discriminatory behavior.

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