Chair Earp Cites Government-Wide Progress, Calls for Further Improvements
WASHINGTON – Naomi C. Earp, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today released the Annual Report on the Federal Work Force for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, covering October 2005 through September 2006. The comprehensive report, which informs and advises the President and the U.S. Congress on the state of equal employment opportunity (EEO) government-wide, is available on the agency’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/fsp2006/index.html.
The 58-page annual report follows the structure of the requirements set forth in the EEOC’s Management Directive (MD)-715 and includes practical tips for improving EEO performance. Data in the report are presented both in individual agency profiles and in government-wide aggregate form. MD-715, which became effective in October 2003, is an extensive guidance document for federal agencies promoting EEO principles and best practices.
The report shows that in FY 2006, federal employees and applicants filed 16,723 complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal – down seven percent from just over 18,000 complaints in FY 2005 and nearly 20,000 complaints in prior years.
While exceeding the 180-day time frame required by federal regulations, agencies considerably reduced the average processing time for conducting investigations, from 237 days in FY 2005 to 186 days in FY 2006 (down from 280 days in FY 2004). The average processing time for closing complaints was 367 days, down from the 411 days in FY 2005 and 469 days in FY 2004.
“While federal agencies continue to make noticeable progress in complaint processing, much more needs to be done to truly have an efficient and expeditious system,” EEOC Chair Earp said. “We are working closely with our sister agencies to effectuate continued improvements and promote best practices to ensure that the federal government is a model employer.”
According to the annual report, the general composition of the federal work force has remained relatively steady over the past decade. Overall, the representation of women, Hispanic or Latinos, Black or African Americans, Asians and American Indian/Alaskan Natives has slightly increased.
The report also shows that the number of federal employees with targeted disabilities remains less than one percent of the total federal work force, continuing a 10-year decline. The EEOC, through its LEAD Initiative (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities), is reaching out to agencies with enhanced technical assistance and guidance to increase the population of individuals with disabilities employed by the federal government.
The EEOC monitors federal agency compliance with equal employment opportunity laws and procedures. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.