Equal Employment Opportunity:

Actions Needed for FAA to Implement Committee Recommendations in the Airline Industry

HRD-89-100: Published: Aug 18, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the legal and administrative mechanisms the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would need to follow a House of Representatives suggestion that it share responsibility with the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) for enforcing the airline industry's compliance with affirmative action and equal employment opportunity requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors.

GAO found that, to follow the House recommendation: (1) the President would need to issue a new executive order to define specific Department of Transportation (DOT) and FAA enforcement responsibilities; (2) Congress would need to amend two acts to define specific DOT and FAA enforcement responsibilities and to continue OFCCP overall responsibilities; (3) FAA and OFCCP would need to review the staff and funding FAA would need to enforce the airline industry's compliance with federal requirements; (4) Congress would need to approve new legislation for, or the President would have to submit for congressional approval, a reorganization plan to appropriate or transfer from OFCCP to FAA the necessary funds and staff for the new responsibilities; (5) the Secretary of Transportation would need to redelegate contract compliance responsibilities to FAA; and (6) OFCCP and FAA would need to enter into a memorandum of understanding to define each agency's specific responsibilities. GAO also found that both DOL and DOT disagreed with the House recommendation, citing their opinion that federal contract compliance program enforcement should remain with one organization, OFCCP, since the transfer of enforcement responsibility to FAA could be counterproductive and could result in a fragmented and ineffective enforcement program.