Press Release 06-12-2020

EEOC Issues Federal Sector Report

Provides Best Practices When Handling Conflict of Interest Cases

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a report to provide recommended best practices for federal agencies when processing conflict of interest cases. The recommendations set forth in this report underscore the EEOC’s commitment to supporting all federal agencies in their efforts to be model employers.

In Fiscal Year 2019, the EEOC conducted a program evaluation to explore the processing of conflict cases within the federal EEO community. To inform suggested practices for agencies, the report drew information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, interviews with federal agency officials, a voluntary survey of all federal sector EEO Directors, two focus groups comprised of agency officials responsible for complaint processing, and documents received from federal agencies related to conflict case processing. 

Referencing the importance of the proper handling of conflict of interest cases, EEOC, Office of Federal Operations Director Carlton Hadden advises, “When there is a conflict of interest, or an appearance of a conflict of interest, federal agencies need to take steps to ensure that discrimination complaints are processed in non-biased manner.  The recommendations in this report help agencies identify ways to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest and protect the integrity of the federal EEO complaint process.”

Highlighted best practices for agencies include: 

  • Providing a clear definition of a conflict case;
  • Creating written policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs);
  • Ensuring confidentiality;
  • Creating detailed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between agencies who agree to mutually process the other’s conflict cases;
  • Delegation of writing a Final Agency Action.

Commission federal sector decisions are available on the EEOC's website. The public may also receive federal sector information updates and news items via GovDelivery and Twitter

A copy of this report is available online at

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