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GAO discussed a proposed federal pay equity study that the Federal Employee Compensation Equity Act of 1987 would require. In a previous report, GAO compared two potential approaches that were used to study the pay equity issue in the federal work force, specifically economic analysis and job content analysis. GAO found that the proposed bill would: (1) utilize both job evaluation and economic analysis techniques; (2) designate a commission to oversee policy issues and facilitate the objectivity needed in these types of analysis; and (3) analyze the classification, grading, and pay-setting processes within the General Schedule (GS) and Federal Wage System (FWS) to determine whether basic pay rates reflect substantial differences in personnel duties, responsibility, and qualification requirements. GAO also found that: (1) the study of pay equity between GS and FWS systems would require the development of a single job evaluation technique for both systems; and (2) the study should focus on positions in which either sex is numerically predominant or any race or ethnic group is disproportionately represented.

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