October 14, 2004
GAO Investigating EEOC
I met with members of the GAO staff Wednesday morning, October 13, 2004. Staff from AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices departments, as well as the General Counsel’s office also attended this meeting. It seems as if our efforts to highlight the problems at EEOC, as well as the help and concern from other constituent groups opposed to what is happening at EEOC, have not gone unnoticed. Nor have the efforts of our partners who share our concern and have acted to have these issues addressed.
GOA charge from Congressmen Wolf and Serrano is to investigate the EEOC’s plans to reorganize EEOC and implement a call center, as well as to examine how EEOC might be more efficient. A final piece of the charge is to examine accountability at EEOC. As you know, Congressman Wolf is the Chair and Congressman Serrano is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations subcommittee that determines EEOC’s funding levels.
GAO will be investigating throughout December of this year. Part of the investigation will involve visiting offices in the field. Although the specific offices have not been identified yet, I requested to be notified of the office, date and time, prior to the GAO site visits. The object is to be able to provide advance notice of when GAO will visit.
I was able to present GOA with our position on the issues it is investigating, as well as raise our concerns about hiring abuses (term and temporary hires) and the general lack of hiring, technology and the lack of it, the impact of the lack of updated PDs, the impact of the lack of support staff and the federal sector changes as they impact employees and the public. AFGE was able to highlight the problems from the public sector employee side
As for the call centers, one good thing is that GAO has an understanding that call centers present a real problem for users, since GAO investigated the Medicare call center. We also discussed the problems with the office restructuring plans, the lack of a business case or justification for “gutting” in accordance with the EEOC’s plan. With respect to both the call center and the restructuring, I discussed the inability to get any clear and precise data on the costs of the program.
GAO seemed very interested in what AFGE and I had to say; we will monitor the process and keep you posted. For general information about GAO, please cut and paste this link into your browser: http://www.gao.gov/about/history.html