Civil Service Reform:

Redress System Implications of the Omnibus Civil Service Reform Act of 1996

T-GGD-96-160: Published: Jul 16, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 1996.

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GAO discussed the implications of the Omnibus Civil Service Reform Act of 1996 on the redress system for federal employees. GAO noted that: (1) the proposed legislation would eliminate jurisdictional overlap between the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); (2) EEOC would be in charge of investigating the merits of individual EEOC complaints and deciding whether to argue these complaints before MSPB; (3) MSPB would adjudicate discrimination complaints that are not associated with adverse actions; (4) the proposed legislation would give complainants' the opportunity to take their case before the U.S. district court, but it would deny them the right to pursue formal adjudication within the federal redress system; (5) the number of discrimination complaints reaching the formal adjudicative stage would be lessened; (6) changes in EEOC and MSPB adjudicatory responsibilities would require major organizational changes in both agencies; (7) basic changes in the adjudicatory redress system would have repercussions for individual federal agencies; (8) a transition period would be needed to ensure an orderly changeover from the old redress system to the new system; and (9) alternative dispute resolution is a good way to avoid the time and expense of employee litigation, but this procedure is in its preliminary stages of development.

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