U.S. Commission on Civil Rights:

Concerns About Commission Operations

GGD-88-71: Published: May 26, 1988. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed certain activities of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1978 through 1985, including: (1) employment, staffing, and hiring trends; (2) commissioners' and special assistants' financial disclosure reports, billing practices, travel, and use of official automobiles; (3) state advisory committees; and (4) lobbying practices.

GAO found that the Commission: (1) had missing or incomplete records, which hampered attempts to gather information; (2) hired mostly noncareer employees; (3) violated Office of Personnel Management requirements regarding consultant and temporary employee appointments; (4) could not support its assertion that it provided mandatory employment notices to employment services offices; (5) hired and promoted a substantial number of minorities and women; (6) promoted a proportionate amount of the employees it hired after 1983; (7) rechartered the selection process for state advisory committee members, resulting in fewer meetings and reports; and (8) used official automobiles in compliance with regulatory requirements. GAO also found that: (1) the current Chairman billed the Commission a yearly average of 235 days, while the former Chairman averaged 126 days; (2) commissioners and special assistants did not rely on the Commission as their sole source of income; (3) commissioners averaged the same number of trips each year; (4) special assistants' travel increased from an average of 6 to 19 trips a year; and (5) although the current Chairman's correspondence did not violate antilobbying restrictions, 10 speeches contained types of remarks which the restrictions generally attempted to limit.

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