EEOC Hears from Front Line Staff, Managers and Stakeholders
WASHINGTON- On Wednesday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting to develop the agency's Quality Control Plan (QCP). Development of the QCP was called for in the EEOC's 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The plan will revise the criteria used to measure the quality of agency charge investigations and conciliations throughout the nation. Three roundtables-made up of EEOC front line staff, private employer and employee representatives, and EEOC managers-presented their views to Commission and the chairs of the work group appointed to develop a draft plan for Commission approval.
All participants underscored the importance of meaningful measurements that gauge more than procedural quality, but also substantive and analytical quality that advances EEOC's core mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination. Participants also agreed that the quality control plan must take into account the limited budgetary and staffing resources available to the EEOC during these tight fiscal times for the federal government and the nation. Moreover, each roundtable noted the critical importance of quality intake - the initial interaction between the charging party and the EEOC and the first step in the investigative process.
Private practitioners further urged the Commission to ensure that investigative and conciliation procedures, including whether to make certain disclosures, be applied consistently throughout the agency in every district and field office. However, EEOC staff counseled that while consistency is important, it must be balanced against the need for flexibility in the field, taking into account office resources, investigator case-load, and the specific needs of each investigation.
"Ensuring quality investigations and conciliations that advance enforcement, providing excellent customer service, and implementing internal efficiency are the cornerstones of the agency's new Strategic Plan," said EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien. "We will therefore carefully consider the recommendations of our staff and external stakeholders on how to strengthen and improve EEOC's administrative enforcement program. As always, I continue to be proud of the efforts and skill of the agency's field staff and am committed to ensuring the QCP serves only to enhance their work."
In December 2012, EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien appointed an internal work group to review the current status of EEOC investigations and conciliations, look for areas where the agency is excelling in its administrative law enforcement program, and determine where the agency would benefit from improvements within the context of the agency's limited fiscal resources. Yesterday's public meeting and the EEOC's solicitation of written public input in February 2013 is part of the agency's unprecedented effort over the last year to ensure the views of agency staff and our external partners and stakeholders are incorporated into the implementation of the agency's strategic plan.
The Commission will hold open this Commission meeting's record for 15 days, and invites audience members, as well as other members of the public, to submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at the meeting. Public comments may be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507, or emailed to: Commissionmeetingcomments@eeoc.gov.
The public comments submitted will be made available to members of the Commission and to Commission staff working on the matters discussed at the meeting. In addition, the comments may be publicly disclosed on the EEOC's public website, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, or in the Commission's library. By providing public comments in response to this solicitation you are consenting to their use and consideration by the Commission and to their public dissemination. Accordingly, do not include any information in submitted comments that you would not want made public, e.g., home address, telephone number, etc. Also note that when comments are submitted by e-mail, the sender's e-mail address automatically appears on the message.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.