The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Meeting of September 8, 2003, Washington D.C. on Repositioning for New Realities: Securing EEOC's Continued Effectiveness

Remarks of Reuben Daniels, Jr.
District Director, Charlotte District Office
Former Acting Director, Office of Field Programs


Good Morning,

Madame Chair, Madame Vice Chair, Commissioners, General Counsel, Guests and all EEOC Staff. My name is Reuben Daniels, Jr., District Director of the Charlotte District Office. Thank you for the opportunity to share a few observations on the tasks before us from my perspective as a Field Office Director who also has had the privilege to serve as Acting Director, Office of Field Programs (OFP) for 9 months of this fiscal year.

The most surprising moment of my 24 year career with the EEOC occurred just over one year ago when I was called early one morning by the COO, at the request of the Chair, and invited to come serve as Acting Director, OFP as the then Director was retiring in about two weeks. Relieved to find my 1st phone call from the COO did not have immediate adverse employment implications, I rushed home to explain to my wife that her moving to Charlotte, North Carolina from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July, 2002 and my going on detail to Headquarters in September, 2002 was really GOOD timing and cause for celebration. We had spent nearly 17 of my first 20 years with the agency in Milwaukee, the last seven as the Regional Attorney before I began the move to Charlotte in November, 1999. I returned to Charlotte from the detail here in HQ some nine months later after a rich and enlightening experience.

The Office of Field Program's primary responsibility is the administrative enforcement of the Federal Statutes prohibiting employment discrimination in the public and private sectors. OFP has lead responsibility for the Administrative and Enforcement oversight of the 51 field offices located throughout the country and the dedicated staff that perform the work of this agency. I will use this time to highlight span of control, staffing and workload concerns.


The Chair and agency leadership implemented a 5 Point Plan nearly two years ago through which the agency would accomplish its vision and mission. It built upon prior changes such as the Priority Charge Handling Procedures through which the agency has improved its charge processing operations bringing inventory and average charge processing times to historic lows. The 5 Point Plan has broadened the reach of the agency through increased Education, Outreach, Mediation and Strategic Enforcement and Litigation.


These structural challenges and overlaps, combined with the recurring need to move workload as a stop-gap measure to compensate for staffing imbalances, have been chronic challenges for this agency. As you know, the agency's current efforts to find long-term solutions began with the directive we received from the Office of Management and Budget in May, 2001, which set forth workforce planning and restructuring requirements for all federal agencies. This OMB Bulletin, No. 01-07, implements the goal of making federal government more citizen centered. It directed EEOC, and each federal agency, to develop a five-year restructuring plan to streamline agency operations, with two objectives:


The choices confronting this Commission are large with long ranging consequences. Civil Rights enforcement is a issue that requires commitment, passion and the will to do the right thing despite our biases or self interests. All members of the EEOC family must understand the choices you make are larger than any individual circumstance. Your choices must reflect that which is best for the mission and the customers on whose behalf we have dedicated our life's work. This is a moment in time, when this community of believers whom you have invited here today, must rise and shape Civil Rights enforcement for the next 40 years. This is the time when we must wisely and boldly plan an organization whose staffing, workload distribution and organizational structure insures citizens and decision makers are in close proximity and services are delivered in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Above all, this is a time to be certain our organization, staffing and work processes are true to our mission.

This concludes my statement and I thank you for the opportunity to speak with you on the current state of the agency as we confront new realities for the 21st century.

This page was last modified on September 9, 2003.

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