This is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's second Annual Performance Plan under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). The preparation of two documents helped us clarify measures for this fiscal year 2000 Annual Performance Plan: our fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan and our fiscal year 2001 Budget Request to Congress, where we fully integrated our GPRA measures for 1999-2001 with our budget information and request.
Since being sworn-in as Chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on October 23, 1998, Ida L. Castro has implemented an innovative agenda to increase the fairness, effectiveness, and efficiency of all aspects of agency operations by developing a Comprehensive Strategic Enforcement Model. The Model is designed to efficiently and effectively carry out Commission policy, as articulated in the National Enforcement Plan (NEP) ratified by the Commission in February 1996. The Model focuses on expanding outreach, education, and technical assistance to a broad range of stakeholders, seeking to prevent discrimination in the first instance, and on pursuing fair and vigorous enforcement against "bad actors" to ensure that EEOC is the nation's premier civil rights enforcement agency.
The first application of the Model was the agency's development and initial piloting of a Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) in the private-sector administrative and litigation processes in fiscal year 1999. Under the CEP, all resources are strategically linked to deliver fair, effective and efficient service to the public.
With this ambitious agenda, the agency began to re-evaluate its mission and goals in the Commission's current 6-year Strategic Plan prepared under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA. The Plan's mission statement did not clearly articulate our intention to do all that we could to remove the vestiges of employment discrimination at the workplace. In preparing our fiscal year 2001 Budget Request and GPRA Annual Performance Plan, we determined that the Plan's mission statement needed to be rephrased. Since the Commission will implement its new 6-year Strategic Plan by fiscal year 2001, the fiscal year 2001 budget and planning cycle and this final version of our fiscal year 2000 Annual Performance Plan presented timely opportunities to restate the mission statement.
EEOC's new Mission Statement clearly and concisely conveys to employers and employees alike that the Commission can not, and will not, tolerate any form or level of employment discrimination covered by laws implemented by the agency. Although the statement expresses a noble and some would say unattainable goal, the Commission believes, instead, that the goal embodies the hopes and dreams of our society expressed in our founding documents the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as the statutes EEOC has been entrusted to enforce.
In addition to the restated Mission Statement, we significantly enhanced the collaborative development of our budget and planning documents during the fiscal year 2000 cycle. We continued this process further for our fiscal year 2001 Budget Request. These steps strengthen our commitment to the principles of the Government Performance and Results Act by aligning our budget/planning processes.
Also, this Annual Performance Plan, like our first Plan, was developed by agency employees as an inherently governmental function, and no non-federal assistance was involved in its preparation. Finally, we do not request any waivers to administrative requirements to provide managerial flexibility.
The Commission achieved many noteworthy accomplishments in fiscal year 1999 supporting EEOC's story of success. The story, however, is incomplete. Historically, the agency's greatest challenge has been to effectively address a large number of private-sector charges with limited resources. Our history has shown that any hesitation in providing EEOC with the necessary means to sustain its current level of effort (i.e., covering all mandatory cost increases), not to mention additional resources needed for improving service to the public, adversely impact on the agency's noble mission for years to come. Because EEOC's enacted fiscal year 2000 budget did not fully cover basic expenses, the significant gains made in agency programs and operations with fiscal year 1999 funding will suffer,endangering the Commission's progress, particularly with the Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP). The measures for the private sector enforcement programs, as well as in all other areas of this Annual Performance Plan, reflect the funding reality for fiscal year 2000. We intend, however, to continue making as much progress as we can in the implementation of the CEP.
The Commission's successful implementation of our Priority Charge Handling Procedures (PCHP) has resulted in the dramatic reduction of our charge inventory and a significant improvement in the management of our case load. In fiscal year 2000 the Commission will continue its efforts to bring an integrated and strategic approach to all of the Commission's work, and instill a culture of customer service excellence throughout the entire organization. The modest funding increase for fiscal year 2000, however, affects our ability to continue the implementation of these initiatives to the fullest extent anticipated when we launched them in fiscal year 1999.
We will continue to implement this strategic enforcement approach in both the private and federal sector programs in two ways. First, the agency will continue implementing its Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) a program designed to implement the agency's Comprehensive Strategic Enforcement Model for integrated enforcement of the laws it enforces. Second, we will build stronger relationships with partners in the public and private sectors, including the business community, private bar, State and local agencies, civil rights groups, unions, and other employee groups through outreach programs to educate, train, and provide technical assistance to increase voluntary compliance with anti-discrimination laws.
Under the CEP, all resources are strategically linked to deliver fair, effective, and efficient service to the public, in order to maximize implementation of the agency's National Enforcement Plan (NEP), adopted by the Commission in fiscal year 1996. As a result of these initiatives, the agency made significant accomplishments in fiscal year 1999 and is close to achieving many core performance measures, demonstrated by the following:
Our Goal I.A. measures will help us concentrate our efforts on critical areas of the enforcement process. The Commission believes that achieving these measures will result in more effective enforcement of employment discrimination laws.
We will devote resources to improve our processes so that charging parties and employers receive better and more timely resolution of charges. Measures #4 and #5 are designed to help achieve this important purpose.
Several measures (measures #1 and #3) are aimed at eliminating discrimination that involves multiple aggrieved parties or discriminatory policies in the work place. These types of charges and cases can have a broad impact in the private- sector and a successful outcome can improve the climate for equal employment opportunity. These measures enable the Commission to carefully weigh all of its priorities and ensure in its work load a proper mix of complex or issue-oriented private- sector charges and litigation that require more resources.
The Commission will continue its mediation program in fiscal year 2000, clearly demonstrating our continuing commitment to this approach (Measure #2). We believe that mediation can assist in the resolution of appropriate charges to the benefit of both charging parties and employers, while fulfilling the agency's mission to promote equal opportunity in employment.
On August 10, 1999, Chairwoman Castro announced initiatives to transform EEOC's federal sector by extending Comprehensive Enforcement Program (CEP) concepts to this program. The CEP provides a focus for implementing the revised federal sector regulation, which was effective on November 9, 1999. In contrast to the private sector, where EEOC conducts all activities from prevention through enforcement, in the federal sector an individual files a charge with his/her own agency and can request a hearing at EEOC after 180 days. They can also file an appeal with EEOC.
The federal sector CEP maximizes resources to eliminate discrimination in the federal government by linking all of EEOC's responsibilities outreach, complaint adjudication, on- site reviews, training, technical assistance and data collection. In addition to CEP implementation in EEOC, improvements in the comprehensiveness and quality of data submitted by federal agencies, the implementation of regulatory changes requiring agencies to offer Alternative Dispute Resolution ( ADR), and other changes will further enhance the quality of the federal sector program.
A General Accounting Office report (GAO/GGD-98- 167BR) recognized EEOC's expanding federal sector workload and the fact that it will continue to grow in the future if nothing is done to stem it. In our fiscal year 2000 Budget Request, the Commission presented the critical issue of rapid increases in complaints in the Commission's federal sector hearings and appeals workloads, despite extraordinary productivity by its attorneys since 1994. While EEOC has focused extensively on addressing the workload problems in the federal sector program, including revising regulation 29 C.F.R. 1614, we will be unable to effectuate improvements to meet the 180-day requirement in the regulation without the necessary funding. The funding was an important factor for bring case-processing results in the federal sector program to a level comparable to the results we expect to achieve in the private sector program by the end of fiscal year 2001.
To foster federal agency involvement in designing improvements to their processes, EEOC is co-sponsoring a task force with Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR), which was initiated in fiscal year 1999 and will complete its work in fiscal year 2000. The task force has been identifying best practices, promoting pilots to utilize information technology to track progress through the system, and other innovative methods to improve the federal sector processes.
The CEP provides the framework for utilizing the EEOC/NPR interagency task force to accelerate changes under the new regulations. EEOC will work with agencies choosing to initiate pilot projects to improve their EEO programs, and task force teams will address the following:
CEP implementation will transform the federal sector EEO program, through implementation of the new regulations, the joint federal task force, and a revitalized EEOC federal sector program that strategically utilizes headquarters and field resources.
Several measures for this Goal commit the agency to reduce the time it takes to process hearings and appeals (measures #2, #3, and #4). Other measures will help to develop better future measures for evaluating agency results in this program under the revised federal sector regulations (measure #1), and to review federal agency compliance with equal employment opportunity principles by conducting more on-site reviews (measure #6).
In particular, measure #1 is important to assess the implementation and impact of the revised regulations. The revised regulations cover the processing of federal sector EEO complaints and present unique challenges for the Commission and other federal agencies during their implementation in fiscal year 2000. In anticipation of this challenge, the Commission developed eight measures in fiscal year 1999 to lay the groundwork for designing future, results-based measures under GPRA.
The Commission will use the 8 measures to assess critical areas of the federal EEO process by guiding the collection and analyses of information in fiscal year 2000 to determine the effectiveness of the revised regulations after their implementation. These measures are:
We believe that the implementation of Alternative Dispute Resolution ( ADR)procedures will help resolve federal employee concerns earlier and reduce the number of complaints proceeding further in the process, as in the private-sector. This result will help both individual federal agencies and the Commission free resources for other endeavors. Many federal agencies already have implemented or have plans to implement ADR programs in the EEO process. Therefore, our final measure for this Goal will assist some of the smaller agencies, that do not currently have an ADR program, implement one so that they can benefit from this approach (measure #5)..
The Commission has diligently worked over the years with our Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA) and Tribal Employment Rights Organization (TERO) partners to address employment discrimination. We are committed to continuing this relationship. Key measures for fiscal year 2000 are to provide training on emerging issues in charge processing for FEPA officials at a National Training Conference; to distribute training materials covering at least 2 employment discrimination subjects to each FEPA with an EEOC charge resolution contract; and to continue technical assistance for FEPAs and TEROs (measure #1). Also, the agency will continue its important contractual arrangements with our FEPA partners to resolve over 53,000 dual-filed charges (measure #2)..
Throughout its history, the Commission has strongly promoted voluntary compliance by employers with federal equal employment opportunity laws to foster the prevention of discrimination before it occurs. We provide education and technical assistance to employers and the many other constituencies interested in or affected by our interpretations of law and how we do our work to encourage voluntary compliance.
We have also benefitted, however, from the ongoing dialogue we have had with these constituencies about our policies and procedures. This dialogue helps us develop better approaches to prompt voluntary compliance. In fiscal year 1999, we conducted a substantial number of these consultations with employers and groups, far exceeding our goal in this area. We will continue to seek input from these groups at the level achieved in fiscal year 1999 (measure #1).
As part of our comprehensive outreach plan, our measures also commit us to assist these groups, fostering voluntary compliance with the equal employment opportunity laws. Again, we achieved extremely high levels of education and technical assistance in fiscal year 1999, including our Revolving Fund efforts. For fiscal year 2000, our measures reflect our commitment to maintain those high levels supporting voluntary compliance (measures #2 and #3). In addition, we will implement the outreach plan developed in fiscal year 1999, proactively distributing our education and technical assistance materials to private-sector employers, particularly small employers, and to federal-sector employers (measure #4).
In addition to our dialogue with the employer community, the Commission has also benefitted from a dialogue with employee constituencies about our policies and procedures. We will continue to seek a wide range of viewpoints and input from the employee community at the same high level of consultations achieved in fiscal year 1999 (measure #1). In addition, the Commission provides education and technical assistance to potential charging parties in the private sector and complainants in the federal sector to help them understand our processes and know their rights and responsibilities under the employment laws we enforce. As part of the comprehensive outreach plan developed in fiscal year 1999, under this Goal we will proactively distribute our education and information materials to employee stakeholders to reach more individuals about their rights under employment discrimination law (measure #2)..
Our commitment to eradicate discrimination at the workplace can only be fulfilled if we invest in our employees. Funding restrictions in fiscal year 2000 require us to scale back our training initiatives to include only those skills essential for continuing the implementation of the CEP. Measure #1 commits us to provide training to EEOC employees, within our limited resources in fiscal year 2000, with critical skills relevant to implementing the Comprehensive Enforcement Program, so that they can improve their capabilities and give better service to the public.
Provide training to EEOC employees with critical skill needs relevant to implementing the Comprehensive Enforcement Program.
We must improve the ability of our employees to provide excellent customer service to the public by reducing unnecessary internal processes and procedures. Although we did not meet our target for this measure in fiscal year 1999, we made significant preparations. This fiscal year, we intend to achieve not only the target number established for fiscal year 1999, but also the additional target number for the fiscal year 2000 measure (measure #1). Also, the Commission knows it must set an example for the larger federal community with a commitment to the efficient resolution of our internal EEO complaints, including the increased use of ADR by voluntary mediation. Measure #2 provides the impetus to begin to set that example by reducing the average number of days to process our internal EEO complaints. Both measures here will help us gauge our success in these areas.
The information age requires all federal agencies to have a sound technological infrastructure and for staff to be technologically competent. This will allow the agency to sustain its programs and business operations; support its mission, goals and objectives; and have employees use the most modern and efficient tools to do their jobs and serve the public. The Commission is committed to providing the best technology it can within its resources, especially with the funding limitations imposed in fiscal year 2000. Measures #1 through #3 are aimed at fulfilling that promise.
Accurate and reliable data is critical to planning and resource allocation at the Commission. The three major front- line program areas administrative enforcement, litigation, and federal sector programs require charge, case and complaint processing data, respectively, to be able to ascertain how well management decisions and resources applied to these programs are having their intended impact.
The agency, throughout fiscal year 1999, began to assess its data collection approaches and systems and their capability to demonstrate performance results for the measures contained in, or proposed for, its Performance Plans. In addition, we began to integrate our budget and planning processes and documents. During this endeavor, the agency considered future data collection approaches and systems to more effectively meld these processes.
As we developed this fiscal year 2000 Annual Performance Plan, the agency greatly benefitted from the dialogue among Commission offices. Future GPRA Plans, and the measures developed, will use better data collection approaches and systems. We will continue to rely heavily on the Commission's core data systems already in place throughout the agency; however, we plan to upgrade many of them, consolidate separate systems, and use advanced technology to obtain data more effectively. All of these approaches will help us make more informed management decisions.
In recent years the Commission has initiated projects to improve the data available to managers to evaluate program areas and to more easily verify their accuracy and reliability:
The fiscal year 1999 Annual Performance Plan has helped us develop approaches to verify and validate information, and our discussions about critical data collection and verification procedures have already helped focus our dialogue about measures. The agency will continue to refine these approaches during fiscal year 2000. and we anticipate that our collection and verification processes in future years will improve significantly.
The Commission is exploring different data needs in order to develop more outcome-type measures and assess levels of accomplishment. The most difficult problem is to establish causal relationships for particular outcomes. We need to consider which data are appropriate, how much value they will add towards our ability to evaluate our achievements, what level of resources are needed to establish a causal relationship, and how the data will be verified. Some of the efforts we took in fiscal year 1999 with some of our measures will help us build a foundation for developing future outcome-oriented measures.
The fiscal year 2000 appropriation was $281,000,000, after a $1 million recission. This represented only a $2 million increase over the $289 million fiscal year 1999 appropriation and does not cover all of the adjustments to base required for fiscal year 2000. Consequently, the performance measures originally proposed were revised to reflect the available funding.
The EEOC has two Program & Finance (P&F) schedules. The schedules cover salaries and expenses, and a small "enterprise fund," known as the "Revolving Fund," which enhances the agency's education and outreach efforts.
The yearly appropriation for the major P&F schedule covers salaries and expenses in three program activity areas: (1) Executive Direction and Program Support,(2) Enforcement, and (3) State and Local. The salaries and expenses are linked to agency activities within each identified program activity area.
The agency's fiscal year 2000 appropriation for both the Executive Direction and Program Support and Enforcement program areas is $252,000,000. With this restricted level of resources available to the EEOC for fiscal year 2000 and the effect of this financial constraint on the Commission's ability to sustain its substantial programmatic achievements from fiscal year 1999, we will focus our efforts on continuing to incrementally implement our initiatives, particularly the Comprehensive Enforcement Program beyond the pilot stage, and maintaining gains achieved in fiscal year 1999.
The fiscal year 2000 budget for the third program activity area, State and Local, is $29,000,000. This represents level funding and will allow EEOC to support achievement of the measures for this program activity area.
The second P&F schedule addresses an enterprise fund, which was established under the EEOC Educational, Technical Assistance, and Training Revolving Fund Act of 1992. This Revolving Fund provides money to enhance the Commission's education and outreach efforts. Achievement of the Goals in this Annual Performance Plan for education and outreach is predicated upon this dual funding approach.
An important part of our program and budget activities is the continued integration of our budget and planning processes, which will help us enhance managerial decision-making. We began these efforts in fiscal year 1999, and have continued them with fiscal year 2000. This effort includes the identification of data needed to more accurately assess the resources necessary to perform the Commission's different activities. Currently, our systems may not be capable of collecting specific data or it may take a disproportionate amount of resources to collect the data. We will use other approaches to allocate expenditures among our activities to improve planning and budget decisions, while we continue to develop better data and data collection systems.
Our Strategic Plan describes many strategic planning activities the agency conducted in the past. It has continued these efforts since Chairwoman Ida L. Castro arrived at the Commission in the fall of 1998. The Chairwoman and her fellow Commissioners Commissioner Paul M. Igasaki, Commissioner Paul Steven Miller and Commissioner Reginald E. Jones have voted on policy and process changes covering the administrative, litigation, and federal sector responsibilities of the agency. We continue to build on a substantial record of achievements to make the Commission more effective and efficient. Some examples of our accomplishments during fiscal year 1999:
Our Program Evaluation efforts support these substantial achievements. We will continue to integrate the results of Program Evaluations into the development of better, more effective performance measures, as we gain more strategic planning experience. Program Evaluations will help us determine what programs worked and how well they worked. We will be able to quantify results and adjust programmatic approaches with more specific, accurate information on hand.
We intend to focus on several critical program areas in fiscal year 2000:
We expect to survey participants in the Commission's mediation program. Collection of this data is critical to ascertain how well the program is being implemented and if it is having its intended result. We expect to make modifications to the program to improve the service the program delivers, because of the input received from our customers. Also, we expect that the information collected will help the agency discern whether the types of charges entering the mediation program are appropriate.
In fiscal year 2000, we expect to complete the design of a new FMFIA process. The approach of the new program will be to focus on critical areas of the Commission's work more frequently than on other less critical areas. A schedule of reviews and the types of reviews to conduct will be determined in fiscal year 2000. Materials will be developed for the areas selected for review and methodologies, such as sampling, on-site team reviews or self-assessments, will be developed and utilized, as appropriate, in the first reviews of program areas.
A development team was selected and convened meetings in headquarters with an outside contractor to design the Quality Peer Review Program in the first half of fiscal year 2000. The development team developed general guide lines and parameters, along with standards and measures, that will be used to assess the quality of various aspects of the Commission's work. The proposed program design was shared with District Directors and Regional Attorneys for feedback and input. The feedback received from these key agency senior officials were used to make adjustments to the program. Final changes will be made and pilots will be initiated in the second half of fiscal year 2000.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission believes that this second Annual Performance plan continues our efforts to implement the Government Performance and Results Act. This Plan defines those goals and measures for fiscal year 2000 that will enhance our programs and their effectiveness.
This page was last modified on March 20, 2001.
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