Equal Employment Opportunity:

Hispanics' Advancement Opportunities in SSA Region IX

HRD-87-82: Published: Jul 30, 1987. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1987.

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Linda G. Morra
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In response to congressional concern about the Social Security Administration's (SSA) fair consideration of Hispanics for promotions in SSA Region IX offices, GAO investigated SSA employment policies concerning Hispanics.

GAO found that: (1) at least 30 percent of the contact and claims representatives in six Region IX service area offices were bilingual in Spanish and English and able to assist Spanish-speaking claimants; (2) for the affirmative action plans covering fiscal years (FY) 1984 through 1986, Hispanics in Area 6 were fully represented in social administrative positions at grades 11 and 12 and grade band 13-14, but in Area 7, Hispanic females were fully represented, while Hispanic males were underrepresented in grades 11 and 12; (3) as of June 30, 1986, Hispanics were fully represented in Area 6 in grades 11 through 14, while in Area 7, both Hispanic males and females were underrepresented in grade 11 and Hispanic males in grade 12; and (4) during FY 1984 through 1986, SSA did not promote any Hispanic males in Area 7 for either grade 11 or 12 vacancies or any Hispanic females for grade 11 vacancies, but did promote two Hispanic females for grade 12 vacancies. GAO also found that: (1) SSA properly used noncompetitive methods to reassign an employee to a branch manager position in Area 6; (2) 11.2 percent of the participants in a development program for employees in grades 11 through 14 were Hispanic; and (3) SSA delayed designation of a Hispanic Employment Program manager to allow regional management time to consider a transfer of the position's functions to another office and to initiate a new process to fill the position.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In February 1988, SSA Region IX completed its barrier analysis report on Area 7. Since then, the region has taken action to remedy underrepresentation where it was found.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of Social Security, Region IX, should conduct an analysis of potential artificial barriers that may hinder the advancement of Hispanics to Area 7 positions where they are underrepresented.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration: Region IX, San Francisco, CA


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