Element Five - Efficiency
The agency must evaluate its EEO complaint resolution process to ensure it is efficient, fair and impartial. Processing times should not exceed those provided for in 29 C.F.R. Part 1614.
· The agency's complaint process must provide for neutral adjudication; consequently, the agency's EEO office must be kept separate from the legal defense arm of the agency (i.e., the Office of General Counsel) or other agency offices having conflicting or competing interests.
· Agencies must establish and make available an ADR program that facilitates an early, effective, neutral, efficient informal resolution of disputes. This enables disputants to potentially resolve disputes in a quick, amicable and cost effective manner.
· The agency should have a system for identifying, monitoring and reporting significant trends reflected by complaint processing activity. Analysis of data relating to the nature and disposition of EEO complaints can provide useful insight into the extent to which an agency is meeting its obligations under Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act.
· The agency should have a system for ensuring timely and complete compliance with EEOC orders, as well as the orders of other adjudicatory bodies, and implementation of the provisions of settlement/resolution agreements.
· The agency must have in place adequate and accurate information collection systems, which are integrated into the agency's information management infrastructure, that will provide the ability to conduct a wide array of periodic examinations of the agency's Title VII and Section 501 workforce profile(s). Such systems will be used to collect data, and monitor and evaluate its EEO programs. All gencies shall provide for the following:
· A data collection system that allows the agency to identify and evaluate information related to management actions affecting employment status. The system should be capable of tracking applicant flow data for each selection made by the agency identified by race, national origin, sex, and, where known, disability, as well as disposition of each application. 29 C.F.R. § 1607.
· A system capable of monitoring employment trends through review of personnel transactions and other historical data.
· A system capable of tracking recruitment efforts to permit data analyses of these efforts.
· The system shall allow integration of comprehensive management, personnel, and budget planning with Title VII and Rehabilitation Act program planning.
· All agencies shall also provide for a complaint tracking and monitoring system that permits the agency to identify the location, status, and length of time elapsed at each stage of the EEO complaint process, the issues and the bases of the complaints, the aggrieved individuals, the involved management officials and other information necessary to analyze complaint activity to identify trends.
· All agencies must be mindful of the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, as amended, which regulate the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of personal information by federal executive branch agencies. All agencies must balance the need to maintain information about individuals (such as aggrieved individuals and involved management officials) with the rights of such individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy stemming from federal agencies' collection, maintenance, use and disclosure of personal information about them. Accordingly, agency data collecting systems and complaint tracking and monitoring systems must be devised and implemented in a manner which complies with the Privacy Act. As always, agencies should guard against unwarranted disclosure of this information and ensure that appropriate protective measures exist to safeguard the information.
Agencies are encouraged to consult with EEOC to learn which federal agencies have best practices that can be used as a model.