November 1, 2004
It is with
distinct pleasure that I present the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) Performance and Accountability
Report for fiscal year (FY) 2004. The report illustrates our
efforts to be more customer-centered and results-oriented, as
prescribed in the President's Management Agenda (PMA).
I am especially pleased that we have received an unqualified opinion from independent auditors just one year after our first audit in FY 2003. I am confident that the financial data and performance information contained in this report are complete and accurate.
FY 2004 was an exceptional year for the Commission. On July 2, 2004, the nation celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in our history - one that addresses discrimination in voting, education, public accommodations, Federal programs and, of particular relevance to us, employment. Title VII of the Act, in making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, and national origin, also created the Commission itself to enforce this new Federal law.
Over the past 40 years much progress has been made, yet much work remains to fulfill the promise of equal employment opportunity for all. EEOC is proud of the pivotal role it has played over the years and remains ever vigilant in the pursuit of our mission for years to come. However, we find ourselves at a crossroads between a powerful past and an emerging future. The past 40 years have seen incredible changes: shifting demographics, globalization, and the explosion of technological innovations. The world and the workplace have changed dramatically during that time, and we are working to better position ourselves to address the needs of the 21st century workplace.
New times call for new strategies. No longer can the agency be viewed strictly as a workplace watchdog, but as a workplace partner as well. In FY 2004, we began implementing our new Strategic Plan for FYs 2004-2009. The Plan articulates our strategic vision for the future and charts the course of action for the Commission over the next few years. It emphasizes proficient resolution, proactive prevention, expansion of mediation, strategic enforcement and litigation, and EEOC as a model workplace - components of the agency's Five-Point Plan. We are particularly proud of our accomplishments in each of these areas during the fiscal year. The accomplishments are articulated throughout this report.
Notably, during the fiscal year, the Commission significantly reduced its inventory of complaints filed by Federal employees, processed cases more efficiently, and achieved noteworthy resolution rates and settlements. We settled a $54 million dollar lawsuit with a leading Wall Street firm - the highest profile case challenging glass ceiling issues on Wall Street. We are breaking new ground in several areas of our work and continue to build upon past successes. We have expanded the use of mediation in America's workplaces through policy guidance, education, and programmatic initiatives such as Universal Agreements to Mediate (UAM) and a Referral Back Program. On the prevention side, we reached a substantial number of employers and employees through our outreach, education and technical assistance efforts. In fact, we launched a new initiative designed to reach the youth in America's workplaces, continued efforts to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities through our participation in the President's New Freedom Initiative, created partnerships with business leaders through our Freedom To Compete Initiative, and expanded use of foreign language publications and media.
In addition to these programmatic successes, we made a significant step toward changing the way we do business here at EEOC. On September 17, 2004, the Commission voted three-to-one to fund a two-year National Contact Center (NCC) pilot program to handle the agency's general information calls. Public access is essential to our mission. The public's 'real world' workplace issues and concerns are crucial to our enforcement of the Nation's employment discrimination laws, and the public needs to be able to reach us in 'real time.' The establishment of a National Contact Center will provide a centralized point of access to the Commission and will allow EEOC staff to focus more on mission-critical duties such as charge intake, investigations, mediation, litigation, and outreach to employees and employers.
EEOC is working to make a difference in the lives of those we serve and employ. From briefcases to lunch boxes, from hardhats to handhelds, we are a nation of workers facing opportunities and circumstances unlike any other. The past year was exceptional. We are steadily making progress on several fronts. This Performance and Accountability Report captures the progress made in FY 2004 and signals the work still to come. I welcome the opportunity to share with you both our challenges and accomplishments in working toward creating equality of opportunity for all who live and work in the United States.
Cari M. Dominguez
U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission
This page was last modified on November 18, 2004
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