During Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, the EEO complaints activity at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) decreased significantly – with a total of 36 formal EEO complaints filed, down from a total of 54 complaints filed in FY 2005. OPM’s aggregate FY 2006 EEO complaints total is also consistent with its complaints total in fiscal years prior to FY 2005, reflecting a significant proportional decrease in EEO complaints activity because OPM’s total workforce increased in FY 2005 by approximately 1,600 employees – almost a 46% increase from its previous total of 3,500 employees – due to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Security Service (DSS) Personnel Security Investigations (PSI) program transfer to OPM on February 20, 2005.
OPM’s FY 2006 EEO complaint activity does not reflect any systemic EEO issues or any particular trend by bases or issues.
See paragraph A above.
Practical Knowledge Gained through Experience
During FY 2006, OPM Director Linda M. Springer continued to emphasize the importance of EEO, committing herself to the implementation of important policies and initiatives at OPM which supported EEO and the strategic management of human capital. OPM achieved success in EEO and civil rights by maintaining a strong focus on merit system principles, delivering No FEAR Act and EEO training, promoting proactive and inclusive conduct through policies and special observances, and by providing efficient and fair complaints processes.
See paragraph D below for specific actions taken by OPM to advance its EEO program.
Actions Planned/Taken to Improve Agency Complaint or Civil Rights Program
During FY 2006, OPM accomplished significant results in promoting merit system principles at OPM, including EEO and the strategic management of human capital. Some of the noteworthy achievements are set forth as follows:
- OPM's issuance of a new Schedule A regulation, providing Federal agencies – including OPM – with enhanced flexibilities to hire persons with severe physical disabilities, as well as removing barriers and increasing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. OPM, Human Resources Specialists routinely encouraged selecting officials to use various appointing authorities, such as Schedule A, to facilitate the employment of qualified individuals, including disabled veterans.
- OPM's hosting of a Government-wide Deaf/Hard of Hearing Seminar, with opening remarks by OPM Director Linda Springer.
- OPM's hosting of a Government-wide Disability Conference – including accessibility by OPM employees – to support recruitment and provide substantive information on reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities.
- Reissuance of OPM's EEO Policy Statement and Prohibited Personnel Practices Policy Statement.
- Publishing of No FEAR Act Notice in the Federal Register.
- Implementation of No FEAR Act training plan.
- Initial No FEAR Act training provided to all employees, including executives, managers, and supervisors.
- Prompt quarterly public website posting of No FEAR Act EEO complaints data.
- Implementation of special emphasis outreach activities, as well as Special Observance programs for: National Hispanic Heritage Month; National Disability
Awareness Month (including an exhibition by the U.S. Department´s Computer/Electronics Accommodation Program (CAP)): National American
Indian Heritage Month; National African American History Month; National Women's History Month; and National Asian and Pacific American Month.
- OPM's use of interpretype machines at agency events to enhance communication and accessibility for individuals with hearing impairments.
- OPM's use of Relay Conference Captioning, a service which streamed real-time
text to the personal computers of users during major OPM gatherings (e.g., "All-Hands" meetings, Special Observances, etc.), to make events accessible to employees with hearing difficulties.
- Delivery of EEO trainings to OPM offices, including those in field locations.
- EEO presentations provided during new employees´ orientation
- Annual training provided to all OPM EEO Counselors and Investigators.
- Efficient EEO complaints process with measurable successes, including the following:
- Informal EEO Counselings: Average processing time of 18.2 days with 100% success rate in meeting regulatory timeframes.
- Acknowledgment of Formal Complaints: Average processing time of 6.97 days.
- Investigation: Average processing time of 104.8 days with 100% success rate in meeting regulatory timeframes.
- Final Agency Decisions (without EEOC hearing): Average processing time of 209.2 days (includes time required to investigate complaints (generally 180 days by regulation).
- Average Number of Days Pending Dismissal: 55.94 days in FY 2006 (compared to 147.9 in FY 2005, 278.7 in FY 2004, and EEOC-suggested
- Total Complaints Pending from Previous FY: 8 at the end of FY 2006.