Federal Workforce:

Continuing Need for Federal Affirmative Employment

GGD-92-27BR: Published: Nov 27, 1991. Publicly Released: Jan 7, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the federal government's Affirmative Employment Program.

GAO found that: (1) as of September, 1990, white women, Hispanic men, and Hispanic women were underrepresented in the federal civilian work force; (2) problems associated with affirmative employment planning included the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) approval of plans to improve affirmative employment planning without all the required data or analyses, a lengthy EEOC approval process and lack of timeliness standards, and untimely agency submissions of affirmative employment plans; (3) agencies generally used a benchmark of the civilian labor force that at times was outdated and did not adequately reflect specific occupational or educational requirements; (4) the base of the government's hierarchy is very different from its middle and upper levels and the representation of women and minorities in those middle and upper levels is low enough on its face to warrant continued use of affirmative employment programs; and (5) although women and minorities were often underrepresented in jobs that could lead to middle or upper management positions compared to the civilian labor force, women and minorities entered middle management positions at higher rates.

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