Achieving Representation of Minorities and Women in the Federal Work Force: Report to the Congress

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U.S. General Accounting Office, 1980 - Affirmative action programs - 48 pages
The Civil Service Reform Act made federal agencies responsible for establishing recruiting programs to eliminate underrepresentation of minorities and women in the federal work force. The act required the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to establish guidelines for agencies to use in carrying out the program and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue regulations implementing a minority recruitment program. OPM required agencies to develop and have in operation by October 1, 1979, plans for eliminating underrepresentation of minorities and women. As of January 1980, about 70 percent of the agencies were still developing plans. Several policy issues need to be resolved which will affect the direction of the government's efforts to recruit, hire, and promote minorities and women in sufficient numbers to achieve a representative work force. These issues include: (1) how the labor force of the United States is to be defined; (2) how to use the civilian labor force for measuring underrepresentation for the recruitment program; and (3) how to integrate the use of the civilian labor force into the affirmative action goal-setting process. OPM and EEOC need to work together to successfully resolve these issues. None of the eight agencies which GAO reviewed had operational recruitment plans in place by October 1, 1979, because of late program guidance, significant data collection requirements, and uncertainty over program relationship to other programs. During the first year, neither OPM nor EEOC fully discharged their responsibilities for evaluating the recruitment program. Because few plans had been developed and implemented, the annual report was a status report on the program which did not address the program's effectiveness. OPM and EEOC need to coordinate their activities to assure a clear understanding of their respective responsibilities, eliminate potential duplicative efforts, and minimize the burden the two programs place on agencies. They need to clearly delineate who reviews guidance and what actions must be taken to resolve conflicts. The two agencies have not fully coordinated their evaluation efforts and differ on their approaches to measuring underrepresentation.

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