Submitted to the
President and Congress
Ida L. Castro
I am pleased, as Chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Commission, EEOC, or agency), to submit EEOC's first Annual Performance Report under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). The Report covers the results achieved for the agency's fiscal year 1999 performance measures.
I am proud to report that, in fiscal year 1999, my first year as Chairwoman, the EEOC made significant and substantive progress in delivering fair, effective, and efficient service to the public in both the private and federal sector programs. In fiscal year 1999, following an historic 15% increase in funding, I led the Commission's efforts to launch a series of major initiatives focused on improving all aspects of the agency's operations. These actions included the implementation of a Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) which strategically coordinates and integrates resources to effect increased staff collaboration on all agency functions in the private and federal sectors, from outreach to resolution of cases, to deliver the best service possible to the public. As a key component of the CEP, we launched a new, groundbreaking National Mediation Program to facilitate early voluntary resolution of complaints. To improve customer service and to further promote voluntary compliance with EEOC-enforced laws, the Commission also implemented an unprecedented Small Business Initiative directed toward building a more cooperative, collaborative relationship with small and mid-sized businesses.
As a result of these efforts, during fiscal year 1999, the EEOC delivered more timely and substantive service to the public. For example, in fiscal year 1999 the agency resolved nearly 98,000 charges of employment discrimination in an average of 265 days, a reduction of 15% from the average of 310 days in fiscal year 1998, ending the year with a 15-year low of 40,234 pending charges. In addition, a higher share of charges resolved delivered relief to victims of discrimination - nearly 17% of the charges resolved were cause findings, successful mediations, conciliations, and other settlement and withdrawals. Moreover, benefits obtained resulted in the highest dollar amount in a decade - $307 million from successful mediations, settlements of all kinds, and litigation. Clearly, the financial investment made by the President and Congress in EEOC was wisely placed and strategically implemented.
Throughout the Fiscal Year 1999 Annual Performance Report, the reader will find an agency that is transforming itself into a strong and viable organization, advancing toward its goal of being the preeminent civil rights enforcement agency in the country.
Since we first developed our Strategic Plan and fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan, we have gained more experience in adopting the principles embodied in the GPRA. Each year we have better integrated our budget and planning process, connecting our GPRA goals and measures with our resource requirements.
During Implementation of our fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan and development of our subsequent GPRA documents, we identified several measures to revise and others to add to address important areas of the agency's program activities and mission. We incorporated some of these changes in our fiscal year 2000 plan, and went even further in our fiscal year 2001 Budget Request and Annual Performance Plan.
The Commission's fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan incorporates the agency's Mission, Goals and Objectives from our Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 1997-2002, except for some modifications described below (GPRA Plan Revisions). The fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report were developed by agency employees as an inherently governmental function, and did not involve non-federal assistance to prepare. Also, we did not request any waivers to administrative requirements to provide managerial flexibility for fiscal year 1999.
Since being sworn-in as Chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on October 23, 1998, I have articulated and implemented an innovative agenda to increase the fairness, effectiveness, and efficiency of all aspects of agency operations by developing and implementing a Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP). The CEP is designed to efficiently and effectively carry out Commission policy, as articulated in the National Enforcement Plan (NEP) ratified by the Commission in February 1996.
The CEP focuses on expanding outreach, education, and technical assistance to a broad range of stakeholders, seeking to prevent discrimination in the first instance and pursuing fair and vigorous enforcement against "bad actors." We have placed special emphasis on reaching out to small businesses and under-served communities to promote understanding, voluntary compliance with the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, and the use of expeditious means to resolve charges through the Commission's mediation program. The CEP and the new programs instituted under it, aim to marshal EEOC resources in a coordinated fashion to increase our efforts to prevent discrimination at the workplace and enforce the EEO laws where discrimination is found.
With my ambitious agenda and commitment to making EEOC the premier civil rights employment agency in the country, we re-evaluated the mission and goals presented in the current 6-year Strategic Plan. The mission statement included in the Strategic Plan stated that: Our mission is to promote equal opportunity in employment by enforcing the federal civil rights employment laws through administrative and judicial actions, and education and technical assistance.
The agency chose to revise this mission statement to clearly articulate the Commission's intention to do all that it can to remove the vestiges of employment discrimination at the workplace.
Our revised Mission Statement clearly and unequivocally conveys to employers and employees alike that the Commission can not, and will not, tolerate any form or any level of employment discrimination. Although some would say the new Mission Statement expresses a seemingly unattainable goal, we believe it faithfully reflects the hopes and dreams expressed by our founding fathers in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.
In addition to the revision of the mission statement, we also made several minor alterations to the language originally used in our Strategic Plan and the final fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan for some of our goals and measures. These changes improve the understanding of the intention or purpose of the goals and measures affected.
Our initial mission statement contained two mutually supportive components: "administrative and judicial actions" and "education and technical assistance." Although the revised Mission Statement does not specifically state these two components of our work, they remain the primary components of our work and our Strategic Plan General Goals. General Goal I includes administrative and judicial actions, where we investigate charges filed with us and litigate where we find discrimination and efforts to conciliate fail. General Goal II covers education and technical assistance, where we promote prevention to foster voluntary compliance with the equal employment laws. Activities within each General Goal consist of:
Our Annual Performance Plan for fiscal year 1999 was our first GPRA-driven effort to identify, refine and measure the wide range of activities supporting these two General Goals in our Strategic Plan. In addition to the General Goals, our Plans included a General Supporting Objective, which addresses activities to improve our agency's use of technology, financial and program analysis, and the knowledge and skills of our employees to more effectively and efficiently carry out the agency's work.
Our fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Report presents each measure and the results obtained, under the General Goals or General Supporting Objective in the Annual Performance Plan. For each measure, we discuss the results and describe any necessary adjustments made in our fiscal year 2000 Annual Performance Plan, based on the results obtained.
It was necessary to consider the effects on performance measures resulting from a fiscal year 2000 appropriation that was over $8 million short of the funds needed to maintain the program levels reached at the end of fiscal year 1999. While fiscal year 2000 funding levels have presented a significant challenge to the Commission's efforts to maintain the progress achieved in fiscal year 1999, the EEOC remains steadfast in its resolve to continue improving its services to the public to the greatest extent possible.
Ida L. Castro
The two components of the original mission statement are the agency's broad goals in our Strategic Plan. Although we revised the mission statement, these two broad goals are unchanged. The agency's Plans contain two broad General Goals and one General Supporting Objective, which stresses the importance of our support functions and employees to achieve our General Goals. The agency's broad goals and objectives are:
Enforce Federal Civil Rights Employment Laws Through a Comprehensive Enforcement Program
Promote Equal Opportunity in Employment by Enforcing the Federal Civil Rights Employment Laws Through Education and Technical Assistance
Enhance the Effectiveness of Our Employees to Achieve Our Mission and General Goals
The following table links our General Goals and the General Supporting Objective to our fiscal year 1999 measures:
|LINKAGE OF FISCAL YEAR 1999 GOALS AND MEASURES|
|General Goal I
|General Goal II
Educate and Assist
|General Supporting Objective
Enhance Employee Effectiveness
|I.A. Improve the effectiveness of the administrative process and litigation program, including the use of mediation, in private-sector enforcement activities utilizing charge prioritization and National Enforcement Plan priorities.||II.A. Encourage and facilitate voluntary compliance with equal employment opportunity laws in the private- and public-sectors.||III.A. Enhance staff capabilities and substantive knowledge to improve work processes and job functions through training, partnership, team- based approaches, and customer- based principles.|
|Performance Measures||Performance Measures||Performance Measure|
|I.A.1. Increase the proportion of Category "A" charge resolutions that involve multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies, so that the proportion in fiscal year 1999 is 5% greater than the proportion for fiscal year 1998.||II.A.1. Consult with 500 employer Stakeholders on operational and legal issues.||III.A.1. Provide training to all employees in skills relevant to their primary job duties and responsibilities.|
|I.A.2. Reduce the average time to process private sector equal employment complaints by doubling the number of complaints eligible for the mediation-based alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program.||II.A.2. Conduct 75 Revolving Fund activities for private-sector and public-sector employers.|
|I.A.3. Increase the proportion of cases filed in court that involve multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies, so that the proportion in fiscal year 1999 is 10% greater than the proportion for fiscal year 1998.||II.A.3. Conduct 10,000 technical assistance efforts, other than Revolving Fund activities, with individual private-sector and public-sector employers.|
|II.A.4. Develop an outreach plan for fiscal years 2000-2002 to provide education and technical assistance and to proactively distribute EEOC's education and information materials to small private-sector employers and to public-sector employers.|
|I.B. Improve the processing of federal- sector EEO complaints, appeal actions, and affirmative employment procedures.||II.B. Increase knowledge about individual rights under equal employment opportunity laws.||III.B. Evaluate organizational components, procedures, and processes aimed at allocating more resources towards General Goal activities.|
|Performance Measures||Performance Measures||Performance Measure|
|I.B.1. Identify and/or develop measures/indicators for assessing the effectiveness of the revisions to the federal-sector EEO process.||II.B.1. Consult with 500 employee Stakeholders on operational and legal issues.||III.B.1. Review internal directives and streamline, update, or eliminate 10 percent of them in order to improve internal processes and free resources for front-line enforcement activities.|
|II.B.2. Develop an outreach plan for fiscal years 2000-2002 to inform under served constituencies of their rights, and to proactively distribute EEOC's educational and informational materials to employee Stakeholders.|
|I.C. Work with State and Local Fair Employment Practices Agencies and Tribal Employment Rights Organizations to improve employment discrimination charge processing and other approaches for addressing workplace discrimination.||III.C. Attain and maintain technological competency.|
|Performance Measures||Performance Measure|
|I.C.1. Improve technological capabilities of 18 Fair Employment Practices Agencies to improve efficiency and effectiveness of charge processing procedures.||III.C.1. Implement a new financial management system.|
|I.C.2. Provide training to improve charge investigation capabilities of 30 Fair Employment Practices Agencies.||III.C.2. Complete installation of Windows- based local area networks in all field offices.|
|III.C.3. Ensure year-2000 compliancy for mission-critical systems.|
Historically, the agency's greatest challenge has been to effectively address a large number of private-sector charges with limited resources. The Commission's successful implementation of our Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP) has resulted in the dramatic reduction of our charge inventory and a significant improvement in the management of our case load. Based on her Comprehensive Strategic Enforcement Model, Chairwoman Castro oversaw the implementation of an integrated and strategic approach to the Commission's work during fiscal year 1999, and she initiated efforts to instill a culture of customer service excellence throughout the entire organization.
Using the conceptual framework of the Model, a Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) was initiated to increase collaboration among outreach, investigatory, and legal staff in all phases of private- sector enforcement to protect the rights of working Americans from outreach through expedited efforts to resolve charges and, when efforts to conciliate fail, to litigate. In addition, efforts were initiated to build stronger relationships with partners in the public and private sectors, including the business community, private bar, State and local agencies, civil rights groups, unions, and other employee groups through outreach programs to educate, train, and provide technical assistance to increase voluntary compliance with anti- discrimination laws.
Goal I.A. measures were established to help us focus our efforts on critical areas of the private-sector enforcement process and achieve our goals using the CEP approach. The Commission believes that achieving these measures will result in more effective enforcement of the employment discrimination laws. Devoting resources to improve our processes will result in better and more timely resolution of charges, benefitting both charging parties and employers.
|Measure I.A.1.||Increase the proportion of Category "A" charge resolutions that involve multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies, so that the proportion in fiscal year 1999 is 5% greater than the proportion for fiscal year 1998.|
We exceeded this measure.
The measure compares fiscal year 1999 results with a fiscal year 1998 baseline. In fiscal year 1998, multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policy charge resolutions were 4.5% of the total number of Category "A" resolutions (715 charges of 15,784 total "A" charge resolutions). Therefore, the target level for fiscal year 1999 5% more than the 1998 rate is 4.7% of the "A" charge resolutions.
Out of 19,780 "A" charge resolutions in fiscal year 1999, 2,396 or 12.1% included multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policy charge resolutions.
This measure, as well as measure I.A.3., focuses our efforts on cases involving larger numbers of applicants, current or former employees, and broad discriminatory policies. Identifying and eliminating employment discrimination in these cases substantially influences private-sector employment practices in several ways. These types of charges directly address issues affecting large numbers of aggrieved individuals and, through media coverage, they influence others to correct or avoid discrimination. We believe that these measures and indicators enable us to better allocate our limited resources to ensure an effective mix in our investigation and litigation work loads. Category "A" cases are those which were identified as having potential merit in terms of findings of employment discrimination.
The target level for fiscal year 1999 was exceeded by a considerable margin. Establishing initial levels for all of our measures was a learning experience for our first Annual Performance Plan. In finalizing our fiscal year 2000 Annual Performance Plan, we reviewed our performance with this measure and revised it in two ways: we redrafted it to be clearer in the spirit of Plain Language writing in the government, and we revised the target level to equal the 12% value achieved in fiscal year 1999.
Fiscal year 2000 measure I.A.1. now reads: At least 12% of Category "A" charge resolutions will involve multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies. Although the Commission has fewer resources available for fiscal year 2000, we are maintaining our commitment to deliver fair and efficient service to the American public and promoting strategic enforcement of the CEP by focusing on significant instances of discrimination in the workplace. If the agency had continued its fiscal year 1999 approach for this measure, the original target level for fiscal year 2000 would have required a much lower proportion of multiple aggrieved parties/discriminatory policy resolutions. Instead, we modified the measure for fiscal year 2000 and will maintain the high target level reached in fiscal year 1999.
|Measure I.A.2.||Reduce the average time to process private sector equal employment complaints by doubling the number of complaints eligible for the mediation-based alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program.|
We exceeded this measure.
The average processing time for charges was reduced to 265 days in fiscal year 1999, from 310 days in fiscal year 1998.
EEOC's mediation program contributed to this achievement when it became fully operational in April 1999. The agency has more than doubled the number of charges eligible for mediation from an estimated 17,800 in fiscal year 1998 to over 41,800 in fiscal year 1999. In addition, the agency increased the number of charges resolved through mediation by almost 3 times, from 1,631 in fiscal year 1998 to 4,833 in fiscal year 1999.
The Commission was able to substantially reduce the average time to process charges from 310 days in fiscal year 1998 to 265 days in fiscal year 1999; continuing a trend to provide more timely service to customers. We intend to continue this trend into the 21st Century, because of the implementation of the Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP) in 1995, and now with the mediation program and other elements of the CEP, even though the Commission is faced with a substantial restriction in its level of resources for fiscal year 2000.
In fiscal year 1999, EEOC increased mediation staff and launched a mediation contract program. Since April 1999, when the mediation process was fully implemented nationwide, the mediation program contributed to the significant reduction in the average time for resolving charges.
In addition, the agency more than doubled the number of charges eligible for mediation from the previous year. In fiscal year 1998, approximately 17,800 charges were eligible. Both the charging party and employer agreed to attempt mediation for approximately 3,100 of these charges, with 1,631 charges resolved in mediation.
A substantially greater number of employees and employers benefitted from the mediation program during fiscal year 1999, after its full implementation in April 1999. Over 41,800 charges were eligible for mediation. Employers and charging parties agreed to attempt mediation in 7,430 of the charges and resolved 4,833, aiding over 4,833 individuals to resolve their charges and delivering $58.6 million in monetary benefits.
The Commission believes that the mediation program will continue contributing as a factor to reduce the time required to resolve charges and will continue to benefit the employer community, especially small employers, by facilitating early settlements acceptable to all parties.
Again, the Commission will make a significant commitment to these two areas of its private-sector enforcement efforts. In fiscal year 2000, we are dividing this measure into two separate ones. The first measure addresses the average processing time, while the second one measures the extension of offers to mediate. We expect the average processing time for charges resolved in the administrative process to be reduced to approximately 220 days; continuing the significant trend to provide more timely service to the public. Also, the Commission will maintain its mediation commitment by extending offers to mediate to at least 50% of appropriate charges received in fiscal year 2000.
We have also added a measure for fiscal year 2000: increase to 20% the proportion of resolved private-sector charges that benefit victims of discrimination. Measure I.A.1., measure I.A.2., and this new measure, working in concert, will focus the Commission on its mission to eradicate employment discrimination at the workplace.
|Measure I.A.3.||Increase the proportion of cases filed in court that involve multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies, so that the proportion in fiscal year 1999 is 10% greater than the proportion for fiscal year 1998.|
More multiple aggrieved party suits were filed, but their share of the total number filed fell short of the value.
In fiscal year 1998, the Commission filed 366 substantive lawsuits and 106, or 29%, involved multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies. Therefore, the target level for fiscal year 1999 was 32% a proportion 10% greater than fiscal year 1998.
The Commission filed 439 lawsuits in fiscal year 1999 and 125, or 28.5%, involved multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies. While both the total number of suits filed and those including multiple aggrieved parties increased significantly, by 20% and 18%, respectively, the share of the total number of suits filed that involved multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies fell short of the goal by 3½ percentage points. The Commission needed to file 140 such suits to meet this goal.
Although the goal for the proportion of lawsuits involving multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies was not achieved for fiscal year 1999, we realized a substantial increase during fiscal year 1999 in both the total number of lawsuits filed and those involving multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies. Lawsuits filed increased from 366 in fiscal year 1998 to 439 in fiscal year 1999, or almost 20%. The number of cases filed involving multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies increased from 106 in fiscal year 1998 to 125 in fiscal year 1999, or almost 18%. Our total cases filed, our multiple aggrieved party/policy cases, and our lawsuits on behalf of individual charging parties all increased in fiscal year 1999.
The Commission remains committed to increasing the proportion of lawsuits filed during fiscal year 2000 involving multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies, even though this will be difficult because of the financial constraints necessary due to funding restrictions. As with measure I.A.1., this measure was rewritten for fiscal year 2000 for clarity, and reads: Thirty two percent (32%) of the cases filed in court during the fiscal year involve multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies.
The federal-sector also generates a significant number of employment discrimination complaints, which are filed with the federal agency where the complainant is employed. EEOC's role is to provide guidance that establishes standards and procedures for handling federal employee complaints and to address requests by those complainants for hearings and appeals. Regulation 1614 ( 29 C.F.R.1614) provides guidance to federal agencies to streamline and strengthen the process and vigorously pursue ways to address an increasing workload of hearings and appeals requests. During the past few years, the number of requests for hearings and appeals has exploded.
The measures in this Goal commit the agency to reduce the time it takes to process hearings and appeals requests. Others address ways to measure results of federal agency implementation of the revised federal sector regulations.
As in the private-sector, the Commission believes that ADR procedures will help resolve employee concerns earlier and reduce the number of complaints proceeding further in the process. The ADR will help both individual federal agencies and the Commission to free resources for other endeavors. Many federal agencies already have implemented or have plans to implement ADR programs in the EEO process. The Commission will assist some of the smaller agencies that do not currently have an ADR program, so that they can benefit from this approach.
|Measure I.B.1.||Identify and/or develop measures/indicators for assessing the effectiveness of the revisions to the federal-sector EEO process.|
We met this measure.
The Commission developed 8 general measures to assess the effectiveness of the revisions to the federal-sector EEO process.
On August 10, 1999, Chairwoman Castro announced initiatives to transform EEOC's federal sector by extending Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) concepts to the federal sector program. The CEP provides a focus for implementing the revised federal sector regulation (29 C.F.R. 1614), which was effective on November 9, 1999. In contrast to the private sector, where EEOC conducts all activities from prevention through enforcement, in the federal sector an individual files a complaint with his/her own agency and can request a hearing at the EEOC after 180 days. They can also file an appeal with the EEOC. The federal sector CEP will maximize resources to eliminate discrimination in the federal government by linking all of EEOC's responsibilities outreach, complaint adjudication, on-site reviews, training, technical assistance and data collection.
The revised regulations for processing federal sector EEO complaints present unique challenges for the Commission and other federal agencies during their implementation in fiscal year 2000. In anticipation of this challenge, we developed fiscal year 1999 measures to lay the groundwork to be able to assess the effectiveness of these revisions and be able to design results-based measures under GPRA in the future.
EEOC identified 8 measures for implementation in fiscal year 2000 to help the Commission, working with other federal agencies directly or through the efforts of the joint EEOC/NPR Interagency Federal EEO Task Force, to assess the process and improve it even more. These measures will assess critical areas of the federal EEO process by guiding the collection and analyses of information to determine the effect of the new regulations after their implementation. The measures are:
In addition to the implementation of the 8 measures developed in fiscal year 1999, we added 5 additional measures designed to improve the federal-sector program using the CEP concepts. The measures focus on reducing the older cases in the hearings and appeals inventories, assisting federal agencies to develop their own Alternative Dispute Resolution program, and conducting on-site evaluation of agency EEO programs. These additional measures represents a substantial commitment to the federal program by the Commission, because of the fiscal constraints we face in fiscal year 2000.
The Commission recognizes the valuable role our state and local and Native American partners the Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) and the Tribal Employment Rights Organizations (TEROs) play in our mutual mission to eradicate employment discrimination at the workplace.
The EEOC has work-sharing agreements with state and local enforcement agencies that qualify under Section 706(c) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These agreements permit employment discrimination charges to be dual-filed with both the EEOC and the Fair Employment Practice Agencies (FEPAs) under state/local laws or federal laws when a charging party comes to either agency. EEOC receives approximately 80,000 charges each year, in addition to nearly 60,000 that are dual-filed with state and local FEPAs. This arrangement has provided efficient customer service over the years by avoiding duplication of effort and by streamlining charge resolution efforts for the charging party, the respondent, the EEOC and the FEPA.
Critical to this endeavor is the support EEOC provides to maintain the technological capabilities of the FEPAs and the training we provide to share knowledge and skills on the investigation and litigation of charges.
|Measure I.C.1.||Improve technological capabilities of 18 Fair Employment Practices Agencies to improve efficiency and effectiveness of charge processing procedures.|
We exceeded this measure.
We completed 22 installations by the end of fiscal year 1999, far exceeding the goal for technological upgrades for FEPAs.
We have demonstrated our commitment to our partners in fiscal year 1999 by far exceeding this performance measure. We upgraded the technology of 22 FEPAs to allow them to interface more effectively with EEOC's charge data base; enhancing the effectiveness of charge processing for both the FEPAs and EEOC and providing better, more timely customer service to the public.
The Commission can not perform additional technological upgrades in fiscal year 2000, because of fiscal constraints. The FEPAs with substantial charge workloads, however, have already received upgrades in previous fiscal years. Consequently, we dropped this measure for fiscal year 2000. The Commission added another measure, however, stressing the importance of our contractual relationship with our FEPA partners to cooperatively resolve dual-filed charges of employment discrimination.
|Measure I.C.2.||Provide training to improve charge investigation capabilities of 30 Fair Employment Practices Agencies.|
We exceeded this measure.
We conducted 49 training activities to benefit the FEPAs during fiscal year 1999, far exceeding the 30 activities required by this measure.
We provided important training to 49 FEPAs. The training maintains high quality charge processing and provides up-to-date information about legal precedents to apply to charges in the dual-filed workload. The training covered topics such as Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP) and substantive training on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues, which are integral to implementation of the National Enforcement Plan and the private sector Comprehensive Enforcement Program in EEOC's District Offices nationwide.
The Commission intends to continue its training commitment to FEPAs and TEROs with a similar measure in fiscal year 2000.
The Commission believes that the preferred method to eradicate employment discrimination at the work place is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We have a statutory mandate to educate the public and provide outreach and technical assistance to facilitate voluntary compliance with the laws we enforce. Our approach to prevent discrimination is built on being proactive and responsive to requests from the public for educational materials and technical assistance.
Prevention of employment discrimination is a major thrust of our Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) strategy for the private-sector and federal-sector programs. The agency's private and federal sector outreach and technical assistance efforts provide important information about employment discrimination issues, policy guidance, and employer and employee rights and responsibilities to a broad, diverse audience. In addition, the Chairwoman, Commissioners, General Counsel and Legal Counsel speak to varied audiences about EEOC initiatives and policy. The agency's Office of Communication and Legislative Affairs provides a wealth of information on a daily basis, responding to requests from the public for EEOC publications and through the agency's 800- number at its publications distribution center. In fiscal year 1999, the agency responded to over 105,000 calls received at EEOC or through its 800-number.
The Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) renews our focus on the critical role prevention plays to achieve the Commission's mission to eradicate employment discrimination. Prevention of employment discrimination is a priority under the CEP and is our preferred approach under the statutes we enforce. We would rather prevent discrimination than have to use our limited resources to investigate and litigate charges, since enforcement resources will never be sufficient to fully address the problem of employment discrimination.
In addition to our efforts for private-sector employers and employees, we are equally committed to enhancing the fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness of the federal EEO complaint process for federal employees and agencies alike. We reach out to federal agency stakeholders and maintain communication with the groups representing those whose employment rights we are charged to protect. By working as partners with federal agencies and employees, we will meet the needs of those we serve, and move closer to our shared goal of eradicating employment discrimination at the federal workplace.
We will be pro-active in our outreach, education and technical assistance efforts in both the private- and federal-sectors. Preventing employment discrimination has a number of practical benefits. Both employees and employers who are knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities will reduce the number of charges and federal complaints filed. And, lastly, early dispute resolution through ADR, including our private-sector mediation program, is likely to reduce charges/complaints. Consequently, the Commission's case load will be reduced in both the private and federal sectors in the long run.
The EEOC provides more specialized and in-depth training services, on a fee-basis, through its Revolving Fund. Congress passed the EEOC Education, Technical Assistance and Training Revolving Fund Act of 1992 (P.L. 104-411) as the vehicle through which the Commission would develop and deliver comprehensive and specialized external education, technical assistance, and training relating to the laws it enforces. Through this technical assistance, employees and employers gain a better understanding of what constitutes unlawful employment discrimination, the evidence required to substantiate discrimination claims, the charge resolution process, and the remedies available for victims of discrimination.
Programs sponsored by the Revolving Fund augment those activities that we provide at no cost to the public. By having the authority to charge reasonable fees to cover related Revolving Fund training costs, it has lessened the dependency of our technical assistance effort on appropriated monies, and has enabled us to better leverage our limited resources.
General Goal II encompasses all of the Commission's outreach, education and technical assistance efforts, including the Revolving Fund activities. Goal II.A. and its performance measures cover activities aimed at employers and employer stakeholders. Goal II.B. is aimed at employees and employee stakeholders. Our outreach, education and technical assistance initiatives and programs often attract individuals and groups from both constituencies. Our discussion below simultaneously covers both Goal II.A. and Goal II.B. and their corresponding measures.
|Measure II.A.1.||Consult with 500 employer stakeholders on operational and legal issues.|
|Measure II.B.1.||Consult with 500 employee stakeholders on operational and legal issues.|
We exceeded measures for both our employer and employee constituencies.
Field offices consulted with 1,232 employer stakeholders on operational and legal issues. For example, consultations were held with entities such as stakeholder advisory councils, individual employer organizations, and at special stakeholder "input" meetings. Special efforts were made to consult with organizations representing small businesses.
Field offices also consulted with 1,533 employee stakeholders about operational and legal issues; substantially exceeding the goal for fiscal year 1999. For example, consultations included regular meetings with stakeholder advisory councils, special stakeholder "input" meetings, and other contacts with advocacy groups representing diverse race/ethnic and religious constituencies, women, individuals with disabilities, older workers and union members.
|Measure II.A.2.||Conduct 75 Revolving Fund activities for private-sector and public-sector employers.|
We exceeded this measure.
The Commission conducted approximately 292 Revolving Fund activities with almost 20,000 participants this year.
|Measure II.A.3.||Conduct 10,000 technical assistance efforts, other than Revolving Fund activities, with individual private-sector and public-sector employers.|
We exceeded this measure.
Field offices have conducted over 46,500 technical assistance efforts, other than Revolving Fund activities, under this measure, substantially exceeding the goal. These employers represented large, mid- sized and small private employers, as well as federal, state and local government employers and educational institutions.
|Measure II.A.4.||Develop an outreach plan for fiscal years 2000-2002 to provide education and technical assistance and to proactively distribute EEOC's education and information materials to small private-sector employers and to public-sector employers.|
|Measure II.B.2.||Develop an outreach plan for fiscal years 2000-2002 to inform under served constituencies of their rights, and to proactively distribute EEOC's educational and informational materials to employee stakeholders.|
We met this measure.
An Outreach Plan for fiscal years 2000- 2002 for employer and employee stakeholders has been jointly prepared by the Office of Field Programs, Office of Federal Operations, Office of General Counsel and the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs, the offices primarily involved in outreach programs. The Plan includes core objectives and activities for providing outreach, technical assistance and education to stakeholders, employers, employee groups, and under served communities, and covers diverse geographical areas. These activities are outlined considering the strategic application of agency resources.
We far exceeded expectations for our fiscal year 1999 outreach, education and technical assistance measures. Our outreach initiatives enabled us to establish contact and obtain input from a broader range of stakeholders; promote mediation; assist small business; and reach under served constituents and geographic areas. The Commission held 2,550 educational, training and outreach events reaching 207,000 persons. Our offices also provided information on EEO laws and staff at more than 400 other public events attended by audiences of approximately 70,000 persons. Agency participation included information booths staffed at job fairs, conventions, cultural expositions and conferences, and participation in many meetings held by community organizations. Our staff also provided more customer specific on-site training for small employers on complex aspects of the laws.
At mid-year, the Commission launched a broad initiative to improve service to small businesses by significantly expanding outreach activities. For example, we:
In addition to the small business activities, more than 576 outreach events specifically focused on our mediation program, and the program was emphasized at all other events.
Our Revolving Fund continued to offer half-day, full day, and multi-day seminars, and expanded the number of half-day programs for smaller employers in fiscal year 1999. We conducted 76 Technical Assistance Program Seminars (TAPS), reaching nearly 11,000 participants this year. We conducted 292 fee-paid training events under the auspices of the Revolving Fund during the fiscal year 1999, attended by almost 20,000 persons.
In the federal sector, we held 123 individualized on-site training sessions in fiscal year 1999. We also began to design and develop two major training programs for implementation in the federal sector in 2000 through the Revolving Fund. One course will address the federal sector complaint process and procedures under the newly revised federal sector regulations, and the second will provide in-depth training on effective EEO counseling and resolution techniques.
During fiscal year 1999, we initiated a national quality enhancement program to further improve the training and presentation skills and techniques of EEOC staff engaged in Revolving Fund training and technical assistance programs.
Finally, we implemented a national computerized registration system for the Revolving Fund to substantially improve customer service, reduce overhead and promote operational efficiency.
Our original fiscal year 2000 projections would result in lower outreach activity than we actually achieved in fiscal year 1999. We revised our measures, and intend to maintain an exceptionally high level of outreach activity in fiscal year 2000.
Our commitments established in our General Goals to investigate, litigate, technically assist, and educate our constituencies can only be accomplished if we invest in our employees. It is critical for us to align our supporting services in technology, personnel, procurement, finance, data compilation and analysis, and policy guidance with our front-line programmatic activities to implement our Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) and achieve our mission.
|Measure III.A.1.||Provide training to all employees in skills relevant to their primary job duties and responsibilities.|
We met this measure.
We trained virtually all employees. Approximately, 1.3% were not trained, but they included recent hires and staff who encountered scheduling problems.
In fiscal year 1999, the agency conducted the most substantial training effort in a decade to provide EEOC employees with unprecedented opportunities to build their job skills. Training was conducted for new investigators, in-house and contract mediators, attorneys and other specialized staff. In addition, management and supervisory training was offered, as part of a two-year effort to train all supervisors and managers. For many, this was their first formal training in supervision or management, including some who had been in their positions for many years. In addition, we provided leadership training to our SES staff.
In fiscal year 1999, we offered a combination of national training events and locally-determined and delivered training, depending upon an individual's job-related needs. Most training was delivered through national training classes and events and national training conferences. This training was aimed at preparing staff to undertake new strategies to support implementation of the National Enforcement Plan through the Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP), and to accomplish the agency's mission. Local training supplemented the specific job-related needs of employees.
During fiscal year 2000, we will only be able to continue our training efforts to a very limited degree, as a result of severe cuts required to absorb a budgetary shortfall. Funds available for training were cut by 2/3rds, leaving enough resources to conduct only national training events of the highest priority. Therefore, although this measure was retained for fiscal year 2000, it was revised to include language indicating that we will only provide training to employees needing critical skills to implement the Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP).
We must improve the ability of our employees to provide excellent customer service to the public by reducing unnecessary internal processes and procedures. Also, we must set an example for the larger federal community through our commitment to the efficient resolution of internal EEO complaints, including the increased use of ADR by voluntary mediation. The measures for this objective will help us gauge our success in these areas.
|Measure III.B.1.||Review internal directives and streamline, update, or eliminate 10 percent of them in order to improve internal processes and free resources for front-line enforcement activities.|
We made substantial progress identifying internal directives for review, setting the stage for measure's future achievement, but fiscal year 1999 activities fell short of the target level.
We identified 156 internal directives as our base number for review. The target level for streamlining, updating or eliminating directives for fiscal year 1999 is 10%, or approximately 15-16 directives.
We updated, streamlined or eliminated 8 directives during fiscal year 1999, or 5%, of the total; however, in our review process, we identified many other directives, laying the groundwork for accelerating progress in the future.
We identified this measure for fiscal year 1999, because we recognized that the agency's internal directives could prevent employees from effectively and efficiently performing their jobs. It is important to review older directives for outdated processes and procedures, or current ones that could be updated, streamlined, or eliminated. Time and resources that could be saved would benefit the entire organization and, ultimately, improve front- line operations and service to the American people.
Although we did not meet the fiscal year 1999 target level, it is important to note that we completed a significant amount of preparatory work that will be important for all three fiscal years that this same measure is included in our GPRA Annual Performance Plans (1999-2001). Our preliminary review in fiscal year 1999 identified 50% of the directives that potentially need updating, streamlining, or possible elimination. This preparatory work will assist us in meeting our fiscal year 2000 measure on directives, and make up the shortfall for fiscal year 1999. Also, one- half of the 8 directives addressed in fiscal year 1999 were actually eliminated, accomplishing one key purpose of this measure to reduce unnecessary internal processes and procedures hamper.
The Commission has this same measure and target level in fiscal year 2000. We intend to achieve this measure as well as make up for the shortfall for fiscal year 1999, because of the important preparatory work conducted last year.
In addition, the Commission added a measure in fiscal year 2000 to reduce the average number of days to process its own EEO complaints. We have already made substantial progress reducing the average time to process a complaint from 1,064 days in fiscal year 1998 to 616 days in fiscal year 1999, a 42% reduction but, to be a model employer in the federal sector, we have to do much more. Reducing the average time to process a complaint by the 15% target level will reduce the processing time by another 92 days.
The information age requires all federal agencies to have a sound technological infrastructure and for the staff to have technological competence. Effective use of technology has proved critical to EEOC's vision of eradicating discrimination at the workplace. In addition to the three fiscal year 1999 GPRA measures, we continued to improve the technological capabilities of our staff and achieved significant progress during the fiscal year. All three measures are treated together, below.
|Measure III.C.1.||Implement a new financial management system.|
|Measure III.C.2.||Complete installation of Windows-based local area networks in all field offices.|
|Measure III.C.3.||Ensure year-2000 compliancy for mission-critical systems.|
We met all of our technology measures.
We implemented a new financial management system the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS).
We installed new local area networks (LANs) in the two remaining District Offices and in 23 of our 25 Area/Local. Installation in the 2 remaining Area/Local offices was postponed, because the offices were relocating in early fiscal year 2000.
Finally, we corrected Y2K-related computer and systems problems so that our information systems will continue to function into the new millennium.
Although the new financial management system was timely implemented, a number of technical issues arose as a result of inadequate testing and training prior to nationwide implementation on October 1998. Most issues were addressed throughout the fiscal year and have been resolved. A few remain to be resolved in fiscal year 2000, including additional training on the features of the system and data input.
We have established a solid technology infrastructure with major improvements in fiscal year 1999 to integrate technology into agency operations. We completed the following major milestones:
Unfortunately, we are forced to cut-back on our technology plans for fiscal year 2000, because of the severe cut-back due to inadequate funding. While EEOC's technology infrastructure and data systems are critical to sound management, information technology is one of the few discretionary areas in our budget. While the agency will not be able to continue replacements and upgrades of hardware and software on the schedule projected in the five-year technology plan, or undertake modernization of information systems for the federal sector and litigation programs, we will be able to continue, albeit at a reduced pace, progress in installing LANs and our WAN, and continue making progress in developing our Integrated Mission System and analyzing agency needs for a new Comprehensive Human Resources Integrated System.
Accurate and reliable data is critical to planning and resource allocation at the Commission. The three major front-line program areas administrative enforcement, litigation, and federal sector programs require charge, case and complaint processing data, respectively, to be able to ascertain how well management decisions and resources applied to these programs are having their intended impact.
In recent years we have initiated projects to improve the data available to managers to evaluate program areas and to more easily verify their accuracy and reliability:
Over the past few years we have been able to invest more consistently and with more resources in its 5-year technology plan and bring the agency closer to enhanced computer capacity to collect more and better program and support information, including the fiscal year 1999 funding increase we received in our information technology budget. Even though we will not be able to sustain this level in fiscal year 2000, continued support for information technology in the future will allow us to continue to develop and implement the system changes required to provide the program data and the capacity to verify and validate the information.
The Commission has initiated three Program Evaluation initiatives that will add valuable information to performance measurement for our programs, in addition to program and support data collected because of our technological capabilities.
With increased funding in the fiscal year 1999 Budget, we fully implemented our piloted mediation program; a voluntary program of alternative dispute resolution offered to charging parties and respondents to resolve allegations of discrimination early in the administrative process. As part of the design of the program, we have tested and implemented a survey instrument for participants and mediators to collect information on the overall impact, and on specific steps, of the process to improve customer service and programmatic decisions.
Our FMFIA process is an important way for management to evaluate programs, processes and procedures and determine whether resources are being utilized effectively and efficiently. In the past, managers reviewed their programs and submitted information annually about activities within the fiscal year which added to the effectiveness or efficiency of the programs and those activities which raised issues that could weaken safeguards for program resources.
As part of a total re-evaluation of the FMFIA process, and in anticipation of the elimination of the reporting requirement to Congress after the fiscal year 1999 report, we initiated an assessment of FMFIA requirements. Staff responsible for FMFIA oversight activities contacted other federal agencies and reviewed their FMFIA processes to determine best practices to consider in redesigning the Commission's program. Also, in a cooperative effort within the agency, the FMFIA staff and the Office of Inspector General, which has similar responsibilities under the Inspector General Acts to assure effective and efficient use of agency resources, worked on concepts to improve the design of a new process.
Another Program Evaluation initiative is the Quality Peer Review Program. The program is designed to foster a climate of continuous improvement by sharing agency- wide best practices and identifying opportunities for improvement. This program is a key component of the CEP to review the quality achieved in the program changes piloted, and to be implemented in fiscal year 2001.
Peer review is a well-established mechanism for assuring the quality, credibility, and acceptability of organizational work products. These types of reviews illuminate areas which need attention and improvements as well as those identified as "best practices" that can be shared and adopted throughout the organization.
The program is unique, however, because it will be designed and developed by program peers, individuals actually doing or managing the front-line program work, in consultation with an outside contractor with expertise in the area of quality and process improvement.
The Quality Peer Review Program is an important new initiative to help us continuously improve our processes. We believe the input from peers conducting office reviews will allow colleagues to help each other implement significant quality improvements and raise the level of our work and service to our customers nation- wide. Essential elements of the program are:
Quality Peer Review concepts were introduced to District Directors and Regional Attorneys from our 25 District Offices in May 1999. The feedback received from these key agency officials has been used to guide the development of the Quality Peer Review Program. Throughout the summer of 1999, the program was reviewed, based on the feedback received, and a plan was developed to establish a team to design the criteria and procedures under the peer review process and implement pilots in fiscal year 2000.
We expect to continue each of our Program Evaluation activities in fiscal year 2000:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's first Annual Performance Report demonstrates the significant progress the agency has made in fiscal year 1999. We met or exceeded virtually all of our measures. More importantly, for fiscal year 2000, we established target levels at least as high as our fiscal year 1999 achievements. We believe that the Commission's employees our most valued resource can continue the trend to uphold the Commission's mantel as America's premier civil rights agency.
This page was last modified on July 20, 2000.
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