I am proud to present the Office of Personnel Management’s Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (“No FEAR Act”) annual report, which summarizes many of our significant advancements in civil rights for our programs and workforce during Fiscal Year 2005. OPM is fully committed to the preservation of merit system principles as we work towards ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce.
The No FEAR Act, signed by President George W. Bush on May 16, 2002, is intended to reduce the incidence of workplace discrimination within the federal government by making agencies and departments more accountable. Section 203 of the No FEAR Act specifically requires, not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal year, each Federal agency to submit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives, each committee of Congress with jurisdiction relating to the agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Attorney General an annual report with specific information relating to each agency's EEO complaints activity.
During Fiscal Year 2005, OPM achieved measurable results in its internal operations and strategic management of human capital by promoting policies and initiatives to proactively prevent violations of antidiscrimination and whistleblower laws. I am pleased to report that OPM implemented several new policies, including: an EEO Policy Statement; a Prohibited Personnel Practices Policy Statement; and a No FEAR Act Notice. OPM also disseminated important information through a new EEO Brochure and through quarterly web postings of its complaints data as required by the No FEAR Act. Furthermore, OPM provided mandatory training on EEO, Diversity, Prohibited Personnel Practices, and the No FEAR Act to all of our executives, managers and supervisors. Similarly, OPM made significant progress towards the delivery of this training to the remainder of our workforce.
In addition to providing information on employee protections, OPM promoted workforce acceptance and celebration of cultural and individual differences. OPM improved our Special Observance programs by scheduling events which helped increase exposure and awareness of different cultures, while emphasizing the agency’s commitment to workforce diversity. OPM also provided Federal volunteers to staff recruitment events at several colleges and universities to provide Federal career information to a wide audience of potential future recruits.
Finally, OPM stressed the importance of a fair and expeditious complaints process to ensure civil rights compliance and accountability. OPM’s successes in this area are apparent in many areas, including the effectiveness of its EEO program. For example, OPM increased its workforce during Fiscal Year 2005 by approximately 46% from the previous year as a result of the transfer of the Defense Security Service’s Personnel Security Investigations (PSI) program to OPM; however, OPM’s EEO complaints activity remained relatively consistent with the activity from previous years. OPM’s EEO complaint processing statistics, as noted in this report, demonstrate a complaints program that is efficient, compliant with regulations, and expected to improve even more in the coming year.
I am excited about the continued progress we are making to champion the Federal workforce at OPM. I look forward to OPM’s success as we strive for excellence by maintaining exemplary human resources practices.
|Linda M. Springer