A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Naomi Churchill Earp assumed the role of Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on August 31, 2006, after serving as Vice Chair of the Commission since April 28, 2003.
I am pleased to present the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for Fiscal Year 2007. This report contains the agency’s assessment of its FY 2007 program and financial performance, as well as an updated strategic plan which was issued at the start of FY 2007, and now covers the six-year period through FY 2012.
In FY 2007, we continued to focus on improving our delivery of services to the public and strengthening our systemic enforcement efforts. While trying to maintain sufficient staff levels our case inventory continued to rise to more than 9% above last year’s levels. We continued to work with our state and local partners to educate young workers and disseminate best practices. We are continuing also to recognize and reward specific practices and activities that produce results and reflect an abiding commitment to access and inclusion in the workplace through the EEOC’s Freedom to Compete Award.
This past year, the EEOC was presented with two significant management challenges affecting both our infrastructure as well as how we will continue to provide service to the public, over the next 10 years. The first of these was formalizing a lease for new Headquarters space away from the downtown D.C. metropolitan area, to a newly developing area northeast of the Capitol. Rising costs and a reduction in the Headquarters workforce dictated the need to find more affordable and less sizable housing. While much progress has been made working out the logistics for the move, including physical transfer of our Information Technology (IT) structure, the challenges of relocating to a new area by October 2008 will continue to test our resources throughout the next fiscal year.
The other significant challenge came later in the year in a split vote among the Commission and the express will of Congress to dismantle the National Contact Center (NCC), which had been responsible for answering more than 700,000 public inquiries this past year. As a result, the NCC will cease to be an outsourced, one-location, customer service center. The responsibilities formerly performed by the NCC will be reassigned to agency employees, and they and the calls they are assigned to answer will be dispersed throughout the nation to 15 different locations.
While this has been a year of significant challenge, I am gratified that we have received an unqualified opinion for the fourth consecutive year from independent auditors. I am confident that the financial information and the data measuring EEOC’s performance contained in this report are complete and accurate.
We also worked together to manage our internal controls. Based on a review of agency-wide materials and the assurances of the agency’s senior managers, the agency’s management and financial controls environment under the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) was sound in FY 2007, with the exception of a material weakness in information security controls that was identified in the previous fiscal year and findings of three financial non-conformances. One financial non-conformance has already been corrected and the remaining two non-conformances have corrective action plans in place to resolve the findings in FY 2008. In FY 2007, we resolved all issues that were responsible for the material weakness, and no new material weaknesses in our controls have been identified.
Additionally, the Strategic Plan that was issued at the start of FY 2007 was modified. These modifications improved our performance-measurement focus on key mission-related areas and helped us begin to address the improvement plan, which was developed as a result of OMB’s review of the agency in FY 2006 using its Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). We expect that resolving these areas will enable OMB to revise its overall PART rating in the near future.
As a steward of taxpayer dollars, the EEOC holds in high regard the right of every American taxpayer to expect maximum performance and maximum return from every dollar we spend toward enforcing our mission. As the enforcer of equal opportunity in employment for every member of America’s workforce, present and prospective, EEOC embraces its charge as a matter of social justice and a national economic imperative.
Naomi C. Earp
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
November 15, 2007