Technological advances, shifting demographics, changes in the business environment, and the demand for improved operational efficiencies are factors that have prompted the Commission to take a fresh look at its structure and service delivery mechanisms. More than 80% of the Commission's budget is directed to fixed expenses such as salaries and rent. Its organizational structure has not been significantly modified in more than 25 years. In addition, the PMA requires each Federal agency to conduct an internal review and develop a five-year restructuring plan. Consequently, in March 2002, we commissioned the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct an objective, independent study of our structure and program delivery systems.
Fighting Race Discrimination
The Denver District Office settled a lawsuit against Milgard Manufacturing, Inc., a producer of windows and sliding doors, alleging that the defendant engaged in racially discriminatory practices by not hiring black applicants. The human resources assistant who complained about the discriminatory practices was also harassed, criticized and forced to resign her employment in retaliation for her complaints. Total monetary relief of $3.37 million includes relief to the class, compensation for a consent decree monitor, and relief to the human resources assistant.
In February 2003, NAPA issued its report, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Organizing for the Future. The report was made available to all EEOC stakeholders and staff for review and comments. To obtain further input into the repositioning process, all employees were encouraged to make their recommendations for improving the efficiency of the agency. Additionally, the Commission held a public meeting on September 8, 2003, to gather more input from government reform experts, stakeholder organizations, and EEOC union and management leaders. In early 2004, we convened a work group of field and headquarters employees to provide discussion and recommendations on issues including criteria to be considered in determining field office structure.
Based upon all the recommendations received from NAPA, EEOC employees, and stakeholders, as well as detailed analyses of workload and demographic data, including population and civilian job growth, minority population, and immigration patterns, we are developing a five-year comprehensive restructuring plan that will be subject to Commission vote.
A major component of our repositioning effort is the establishment of an NCC. The NCC will provide for a centralized point of access to the Commission and allow EEOC staff to focus on mission-critical duties such as charge intake, investigations, mediation, litigation, and outreach to employers and employees. The NCC will respond to public inquiries for general information through two toll-free numbers, one for voice and one for TTY (used by individuals with hearing and speech impairments), as well as via email. The NCC will be staffed by customer service representatives between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Callers will be able to access an automated system with answers to frequently asked questions on a 24-hour basis. The NCC will provide customer support in multiple languages.
On November 6, 2003, EEOC Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a two-year NCC pilot project. We issued a formal solicitation notice on March 8, 2004. Because our acquisition policy requires approval by the Commission for the obligation of funds for contracts of $100,000 or more, EEOC staff evaluated bids and submitted a contract award recommendation to the Commissioners on August 26, 2004. The Commissioners approved the staff recommendation on September 17, 2004. The NCC is scheduled to begin operation in mid-FY 2005.
This page was last modified on November 18, 2004
Return to Home Page