Foreword This report describes the accomplishments of the Women’s Advisory Council (WAC) during fiscal year 1989. Memorandums issued during the year are cited in the text, and copies are included in appendix I. The Council’s Executive Board wishes to thank all those who contrib- uted to WAC'S efforts during the past year. Susan A. Sacco President Diana M. Olmstead Executive Vice President Mary D. Pniewski Vice President for Communications Eileen Regen Larence Secretary Page 1 GAO/WAC 1989 Report - Contents Foreword 1 Chapter 1 Introduction and Background and Goals Organization and Issues Overview Executive Board Projects President’s Message Women’s Advisory Council Fiscal Year 1989 Award Recipients Chapter 2 9 Career Development Studying Part-Time Work Opportunities Monitoring Alternative Appraisal Systems 9 9 Issues Enhancing Administrative Roles 10 Supporting Upward Mobility 10 Chapter 3 12 Personnel Issues Studying Employee Benefits and Recruitment Materials Monitoring Affirmative Action Statistics 12 13 Chapter 4 14 Special Projects Child Care Information and Referral Service 14 Sexual Harassment Survey 15 Speakers’ Series 15 Appendix Appendix I: Memoranda Issued 18 Table Table 1.1: Women’s Advisory Council Members for Fiscal 7 Year 1989 Page 2 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Contents Abbreviations ACG-Ops Assistant Comptroller General for Operations APSS Administrative, Professional, and Secretarial Support DMTAG Design, Methodology, and Technical Assistance Group GAO General Accounting Office MSPB Merit Systems Protection Board OIP Operations Improvement Program PAB Personnel Appeals Board PFP Pay-for-Performance WAC Women’s Advisory Council WRO Washington Regional Office Page 3 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview The Women’s Advisory Council (WAC) was officially sanctioned by the Background and Goals Comptroller General in 1976 as a permanent council to address the inter- ests of women in GAO. In August 1989, the Council expanded to include representatives from regional and overseas offices and thereby became a national council. The Council’s overall goals, as stated in its bylaws, are to advance the interests of women in GAO in an environment of equal opportunity; advise and assist the Comptroller General and division and office senior managers on GAO policies and programs concerning women and an envi- ronment of equal opportunity; provide a representative forum for discussing and publicizing women’s issues and problems; and apprise GAO managers and staff of any sexual stereotyping, discrimina- tion, and sexual harassment issues that may occur and how these influ- ence the agency’s work and environment. Three standing committees carried out the Council’s work in fiscal year Organization and 1989: Career Development, Personnel, and Special Projects. Each WAC Issues representative joined one of these committees. Committee members for fiscal year 1989 are listed in table 1.1. The Executive Board, composed of the Council’s elected officers, also participated in projects and met with GAO officials to discuss Council issues throughout the year. The Council presented awards to representatives who made special contribu- tions. Award recipients are listed on page 8. Major committee activities included . studying part-time work issues; l monitoring alternative appraisal and compensation systems for adminis- trative, professional, and secretarial support (APSS) staff; l studying employee benefits and recruitment materials; l surveying users of the child care information and referral service; and l sponsoring a speakers’ series. Page 4 GAO/W% 1989 Report Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview Executive Board activities included Executive Board Projects . incorporating regional representation into the Council; l commenting on draft GAO manuals and revised orders concerning GAO’S Pay-for-Performance system; and l commenting on the proposed revision to GAO'S smoking policy. Regional Representation During fiscal year 1989, the Executive Board concluded its efforts to include regional representatives in the Council. In August 1989, special on WAC elections were held to elect representatives from each GAO regional office. Elections for headquarters’ unit representatives were held in October. The first national WAC meeting was held in November 1989 in Arlington, Virginia. Pay-For-Performance In April 1989, the Council commented on the draft manuals for Bands I/ II and Band III Appraisal Systems. (See app. I, p. 18) Generally, WAC (PFP) System believed that the changes in the appraisal manuals greatly helped to simplify appraisal procedures and facilitate GAO'S shift to a Pay-for-Per- formance system. However, Council members did have some difficulty with the format of the Band I/II manual, which was confusing at times. Further, the Council noted that the job dimension task lists for certain dimensions appeared to greatly change the level of responsibilities expected of Developmental and Full-Performance staff. In June 1989, WAC also commented on revised GAO Orders 2335.8, Merit Selection Plan for Evaluator and Evaluator-Related Positions, and 2430.2, Annual Assessment. (See app. I, p. 20.) In reviewing these two orders, the Council found that the revisions improved upon existing gui- dance because they complemented the draft performance appraisal system manuals issued for use in GAO'S PFP system. Further, the changes were beneficial because employees would be able to find needed infor- mation more quickly than with the prior guidance. Proposed Revision to GAO In May 1989, the Council commented on a memorandum issued by the Smoking Policy Assistant Comptroller General for Operations (ACG-OHS)titled “Smoking in GAO Facilities.” (See app. I, p. 22.) The Council commended GAO man- agement’s decision to designate the GAO building a nonsmoking building, effective January 1, 1991. Page 5 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview The Council was pleased that the proposed revision called for the desig- nation of one person in each unit as a contact for employee concerns on this issue. Further, WAC strongly agreed that GAO audit sites and regional offices should, to the extent that GAO space is physically separate from other building space, follow GAO'S smoking policy. WAC'S June 1988 study of the implementation of GAO'S smoking policy recommended these measures. Fiscal year 1989 saw great changes for WAC because during this year the President’s Message Council grew from a headquarters-based organization to a national council, with the addition of regional representatives. The Council can now provide a truly representative forum for women throughout GAO. During the year, the Council’s efforts included monitoring the develop- ment of alternative appraisal and compensation systems for administra- tive, professional, and secretarial support staff; completing an employee benefits and recruitment materials study; administering a survey to gauge employee satisfaction with GAO'S child care information and referral service; preparing a survey on sexual harassment at GAO; and continuing to sponsor a speakers’ series. I would like to thank the members of this past year’s Council for their hard work and dedication in advancing the interests of women in GAO. I also wish the fiscal year 1990 Council much success in their endeavors. Page 6 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview Table 1.1: Women’s Advisory Council Members for Fiscal Year 1989 Executive Board Susan Sacco RCED President Drana Olmstead IMTEC Executtve Vice President Mary Pnrewskr RCED Vrce President for Communications Erleen Reaen Larence NSIAD Secretarv Career Develooment Committee Leah Cates GGD Cochair Delores Crawford OGC Cochair Mananna Dunn COMB Lise Levie HRD Ronni Schwartz GS&C Crndv Stnte HRD Personnel Committee Lrnda Johnson AFMD Cochair Patricia Zemple GGD Cocharr Suzanne Burns IMTEC Marv Pnrewski RCED Frankre Shannon Personnel Magdalene Slew AFMD Kathleen White PEMD Special Projects Committee Kathleen Hancock NSIAD Cochair lnez Minor COMB Cochair Ellen Aronson GS&C Kimberly Capnoa AFMD Jackie Council GS&C Beverlv Cox PERS Beth Hoffman NSIAD Eileen Regen Larence NSIAD Susan Lreber GGD Charlotte Merritt NSIAD Maureen Murphy OGC Ellen Radisha HRD Violet Summons-Stith PEMD Sherry Gilmore Taylor= RCED Sarah Veale %esrgned from Council during year Page 7 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview Women’s Advisory Council Fiscal Year 1989 Award Recipients Distinguished Diana Olmstead Achievement Award Sherry Gilmore Taylor Outstanding Service Leah Cates Linda Johnson Award Judy Pagan0 Special Recognition Delores Crawford Jackie Council Marianna Dunn Kathleen Hancock Eileen Regen Larence Mary Pniewski Patricia Zemple Page 8 GAO/W!! 1989 Report Career Development Issues During fiscal year 1989, as part of its career development efforts, the Council initiated a study of part-time work opportunities, consulted with management and monitored the early stages of the devel- opment of alternative appraisal and compensation systems for GAO employees not covered by the PFP system, continued exploring ways to enhance administrative roles, and continued its support for the Upward Mobility Program. The Council initiated a study of part-time work opportunities in GAO. Studying Part-Time Council members met with Personnel staff to identify the number and Work Opportunities distribution of part-time employees and began developing a part-time work survey. The survey, which will be sent to part-time employees in late fiscal year 1990, will include such issues as reasons for working part-time and perceptions of part-time work’s effects on both job responsibilities and career advancement. In early 1989, the Council was apprised of a Civil Rights Office study Monitoring showing that staff not covered by PIT are predominantly women and Alternative Appraisal minorities. As a result, WACdecided to monitor development of the alter- Systems native appraisal and compensation systems that GAO is planning for these administrative, professional, and secretarial support staff. Council members met with the Acting Director of the Civil Rights Office for a briefing on the study and organized a similar briefing for other employee council representatives. To monitor progress and give informal feedback on employees’ concerns, WAC members (1) met with the Special Assistant to ACG-OPS,(2) met often with the Deputy Director of Personnel in charge of developing alternative compensation systems, and (3) organized a meeting with the Deputy Director of Personnel for other employee council representatives. With implementation of PFP for evaluators and evaluator-related staff, questions arose about how or if those not covered by PIT will be simi- larly rewarded for excellent performance and the agency’s ability to attract and retain excellent performers in the non-evaluator series. The Council supported GAO'S development of alternative appraisal and com- pensation systems and recognizes that GAO has nearly completed devel- oping a standard appraisal system for APSS employees. The Council, Page 9 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 2 Career Development Issues however, urges a clearer statement on how these employees will be com- pensated. Specifically, WAC urges developing a written plan, including objectives and milestones, that describes the agency’s approach to this issue. The Council continued to support development of an Operations Enhancing Improvement Program (OIP) project to test a new administrative posi- Administrative Roles tion. Such a position, tentatively titled administrative processing spe- cialist, could serve as an alternative upward step for employees in secretarial and clerical positions. Administrative processing specialists could perform many of the administrative duties performed by evalu- ators and could work on several assignments at once. The Council consulted with the Office of Organizational Development and with several divisions to identify similar projects that might enhance administrative roles. After gathering information about these projects, the Council decided to proceed with its own proposal. A Council member agreed to draft a prototype project and encourage a division or region to adopt the proposed position as an OIP project. The Council has always supported the Upward Mobility Program and its Supporting Upward efforts to give secretarial and clerical staff additional promotion oppor- Mobility tunities. Further, the Council has supported an expansion of the pro- gram to include positions other than those solely in the evaluator and DMTAG Series. During fiscal year 1989, the Council was informed that the program had been temporarily suspended. Council members met with program staff to learn the reasons for the temporary suspension and to encourage its resumption. Council members were informed that the program has been suspended since the devolution of the Washington Regional Office (WRO). WRO had guaranteed staff years for Upward Mobility participants, and, since its devolution, no other GAO organization has assumed WRO'S role in the program. The Office of Internal Evaluation is completing an Upward Mobility study to consider program improvements and how GAO should proceed with this program in a pay-for-performance environment. Results of this study will be released sometime in fiscal year 1990. The Council encouraged the resumption of the Upward Mobility Pro- gram because the program is an opportunity for GAO to increase its Page 10 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 2 Career Development Issues appeal to and help retain staff who want additional promotion opportunities. Page 11 GAO/IWCl989Report ’ Personnel Issues The Women’s Advisory Council’s efforts in the personnel issue area include reviewing draft revisions of major personnel directives, moni- toring the agency’s affirmative action efforts and activities of the Per- sonnel Appeals Board (PAB), and studying the impact of personnel practices on women. In fiscal year 1989, WAC continued work on an employee benefits and recruitment materials study to compare benefits and recruitment efforts at private firms with those at GAO; obtained promotion data by gender for 1985 through 1989 from the Office of Affirmative Action Plans; obtained clarification of GAO'S temporary leave transfer program and suggested that the Personnel Office publish clearer information on this program (See app. I, p. 24.); continued to monitor the meetings of the Personnel Appeals Board; and reviewed personnel orders, including those on the PAB charter and PFP banding and grievance procedures. In fiscal year 1989, the Council continued work on a study comparing Studying Employee GAO employee benefits and recruitment materials with those of private Benefits and firms. Following are summaries regarding each area. Recruitment Materials Employee Benefits To obtain information on employee benefits offered by private firms, Council members, using standardized questions, interviewed by tele- Comparison phone personnel from 10 companies in the Washington area repre- senting the accounting, management consulting, information systems, and financial services fields. Companies in these fields were chosen because they hire employees with job and education experience similar to GAO hirees. The survey focused on benefits of special interest to women: maternity/paternity leave, leave to care for older relatives, part-time employment, flexitime, on-site child care, and child/elder care referral services. The survey revealed that, overall, GAO benefits for most of the areas surveyed appear comparable. The majority of the companies surveyed had child care referral systems, part-time opportunities, and 6 or more months’ leave without pay for employees after childbirth. Five of the ten companies surveyed also had flexible starting times. GAO also has these benefits and generally allows 6 months’ leave without pay for Page12 GAO/WAC1989Report Chapter 3 Personnel Issues childbirth. GAO fared better than the majority of surveyed companies in providing compressed work schedules and an in-house child care center for employees. Some companies provided benefits that GAO does not. Of the seven firms that gave this information, all had separate provisions for disability insurance and allow this benefit to be used for maternity leave. Half of the companies had a dependent care expense account that allows employees to set aside $5,000 (tax-free) and draw down the account as child care expenses accrue. Three companies allowed use of sick leave for caring for an older relative, and one had an elder care referral ser- vice. The Council plans to research the possibility of providing these benefits at GAO. Recruitment Materials The Council found differences between GAO and the companies reviewed in comparing recruitment materials. On the whole, the recruitment Comparison materials used by the companies studied reflect sophistication and pro- fessionalism that GAO materials do not match. For example, the compa- nies’materials use state-of-the-art graphics, imaginative text layouts, eye-catching headlines, and bold, dynamic colors. The Office of Recruit- ment is currently designing a new recruitment strategy and recruiting materials with the help of professional consultants. As part of its responsibility to monitor the advancement of women in Monitoring GAO, the Council obtained promotion data on women since 1985 from the Affirmative Action Office of Affirmative Action Plans. The data includes the number of Statistics women eligible for promotion, on the best-qualified list, and promoted. The Council worked with the Office of Affirmative Action Plans to ensure that it will continue to generate promotion data by gender for the Council. (See app. I, p. 25.) The Council plans to analyze the information regularly and alert the Office of Affirmative Action Plans to any problems the statistics may reveal about the advancement of women in GAO. Page 13 GAO/WAC 1989Report Chapter 4 Special Projects The Women’s Advisory Council performed the following special projects’ activities during fiscal year 1989: . administered a survey on employee satisfaction with GAO'S child care information-and-referral service and provided results and recommenda- tions to the Comptroller General; . prepared a survey on sexual harassment for distribution to GAO employees during fiscal year 1990; l continued to sponsor a speakers’ series; . provided suggestions for a survey of newly hired employees being car- ried out by the Office of the Assistant Comptroller General for Operations; l canvassed GAO employees on the types of services they would like for the renovated GAO headquarters building and provided the results to the Executive Assistant to CG-Ops (See app. I, p. 27.); and l encouraged the Office of Security and Safety to publish information about health and safety issues related to the use of personal computers, including the availability of eye-protection screens. The Council conducted a telephone survey of a random sample of GAO Child Care employees at headquarters and in the regions to determine user satisfac- Information and tion with the agency’s child care information and referral service pro- Referral Service vided by the Child Care Solution/Partnership Group, Inc. The service provided referral information about child care providers, distributed printed materials, and offered information about child care concerns, such as licensing regulations. The survey revealed that most users rated the service excellent or good. Most employees telephoned the service to obtain child care referrals, while requesting printed materials was the second most common reason for calling. In a memorandum to the Comptroller General in January 1989, the Council recommended that GAO extend the contract with Child Care Solution/Partnership Group, Inc., investigate the possibility of the con- tractor providing child care workshops to employees, and publicize the service more broadly. (See app. I, p. 28.) Council members also met with staff from ACG-OPS,the Office of Counseling and Career Development, and with a representative from Child Care Solution/Partnership Group, Inc. to discuss the survey results and suggest improvements to the extended contract. Page 14 GAO/WAC 1989Report Chapter 4 Special Projects GAO has decided not to extend the contract with Child Care Solution/ Partnership Group, Inc. because of its high cost but is keeping the con- tract open until the child care center is established at GAO headquarters. ACG-OPSis considering other options for continuing child care referral ser- vices after this point. One option is to have the Office of Career Coun- seling and Development and liaisons in the regional offices provide a referral data base. The Council took the position that the child care information and referral service provides an important benefit to GAO employees and should be continued. Although GAO headquarters is opening a child care center, it will not have space for all GAO employees needing child care. In addition, no regional offices have child care centers. Therefore, many employees will still have a need for this service. WAC encouraged GAO to find a cost-effective way to continue this service. Sharing the service with another agency might be one option to lessen costs. The Council prepared to conduct a survey of sexual harassment at GAO Sexual Harassment using the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) survey instrument. Survey During 1988 and 1989, the MSPB survey was administered to 22 of the largest federal departments and agencies. WAC administered this survey to all GAO employees, both men and women, in mid-1990. The Council plans to inform ACG-OPSof the survey results and publish the findings in fiscal year 1991. WAC sponsored six seminars during fiscal year 1989. The topics, Speakers’ Series speakers, and affiliations are listed below: Self-Defense Lt. Jim Boulard, Retired Memphis, Tennessee, Police Department Women’s Executive Leadership Development Program Aletha Brown Information Management and Technology Division GAO'S Process for Handling Sexual Harassment Complaints Nilda Aponte Civil Rights Office Page 15 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Chapter 4 Special Projects Women’s Issues in GA0 Rosslyn Kleeman General Government Division Drug Awareness Officer Purvis Dawson, Jr. Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department Women’s Health Issues Damian Alagia, M.D. Columbia Hospital for Women Page 16 GAO/W! 1989 Report Page 17 GAO/X4C 1999 Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued Memorandum Date: April 28, 1989 To: Deputy Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources - Joan M. McCabe From: President, Women' Susan A. Sacco Subject: Comments on Draft Manuals for Bands I/II and Band III Appraisal Systems The Women's Advisory Council has reviewed the draft manuals describing the appraisal systems which take effect on June 16, 1989. Generally, we believe that the changes in the appraisal manuals go a long way towards simplifying the appraisal procedures and facilitating GAO's shift to a pay- for-performance system. The Council believes the Pay-for- Performance Task Group, Personnel, and the OOD specialists have developed very comprehensive guidance. WAC does, however, have the following comments on the Bands I/II manual format and job dimension task lists. Bands I/II m.anual format In reviewing the manual for Bands I and II, Council members had difficulty at times following the guidance primarily because of the manual's format. The performance standards and job dimerlsion task lists for Developmental, Full Performance, and Band II employees are listed in a "building block" approach which could lead to confusion among employees. Further, the manual's Table of Contents does not show the page numbers for the performance standards (Appendix IV) for Developmental/Full Performance employees and Band II ernployees. We feel that the guidance could be clarified by having separate manuals - one for Band I employees and one for Band II employees - rather than a single manual for the two Bands. This seems logical in light of the fact that Band I includes Developmental staff whose tasks ar,e less complex than those performed by Band II staff. Page 18 GAO/WAC 1989 Report AppendixI MemorandaIssued Bands I/II job dimension task lists The job dimensions task lists for the dimensions concerning Data Gathering and Documentation, Data Analysis, Written Communication, and Oral Communication on pages 41-52 appear to place the onus of the assignment on the shoulders of the Developmental and Full Performance staff employees. More specifically, many of the tasks listed under the Full Performance level for these particular dimensions are tasks which are typically performed under the present appraisal system by Evaluators-in-Charge, who are generally GS-13's and 14's. We believe the tasks are more l*developmentall' in nature for GS-12's, and that few opportunities exist to perform these tasks routinely. For example presently GS- 13/14's are responsible for preparing job progress and report processing documents and for preparing issue area plans. In addition, as a general rule GS-12's do not attend meetings with Congressional staff nor do they have any contact with the press, which would make it extremely difficult for them to write OCR or press contact memorandums, as is noted in the new manual. These are but a few examples of the discrepancies we found. WAC believes that these changes represent a major shift in the level of responsibility expected of a GS-12 or "full performance level" staff member. Regarding Band II employees, WAC is also concerned about the wording of the narrative for the dimensions on Data Gathering and Documentation and Data Analysis. We believe this narrative is ambiguous and needs clarification. For example, what is the meaning of "...a broad range of technical skill exhibited by Band II staff"? Further, in reviewing the Oral Communication dimension for Band II for example, it should be noted that presently GS-13/14's do not usually chair GAO policy meetings, present testimony, or represent GAO with the press. These tasks are generally performed by Assistant Directors. The Council appreciates the opportunity to comment on the manuals and trusts that our comments will be given due consideration. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitant to contact me on 366-1791. 2 Page19 GAO/WAC1989Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued GAO Memorandum Date: June 6, 1989 To: Personnel - Policy and Program Development Group lcL.J‘%ti iz.dL From: President, Women's Advisory Council - Susan A. Sacco Subject : Comments on Revised GAO Orders 2335.8, Merit Selection Plan for Evaluator and Evaluator-Related Positions, and 2430.2, Annual Assessment The Women's Advisory Council has reviewed the two subject orders and believes that they offer comprehensive guidance to employees on both the merit selection and annual assessment programs. It appears from our review that the revisions are complementary to the draft performance appraisal system manuals recently issued for use in GAO's pay-for-performance system. However, we do have some comments and questions regarding the revisions. GAO Order 2335.8 In comparison to existing 1987 guidance, the revised GAO order on the Merit Selection Program contains the same basic information in a slightly different format. For example, headings identifying important sections have been added in Chapter 2 - "Promotion Process for Generalist Evaluators" - and Chapter 4 - "Selection". The Council believes these changes are beneficial in that employees should be able to find needed information more quickly. WAC does have questions concerning some deletions from the revision. We have found that the former Chapter 3 section entitled "8. Provisions for Positions Announced Government- wide" is no longer included in the revision. Why has this section been deleted from the revised order? Also, Chapter 6 -"Responsibilitiesqt - indicates that the responsibilities listed for the Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources (presently deemed the Deputy Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources) in the existing order have been transferred to the Director of Personnel. Why were these responsibilities given to the Director of Personnel and not to the Deputy ACG for Human Resources? A Operations Improvement Page 20 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Appendix1 MemorandaIssued GAO Order 2430.2 In comparison to existing guidance, the revised order on the annual assessment process contains guidance which is complementary to the new pay-for-performance system. The Council believes that the format change which divides the former Chapter 2 - "The Annual Assessment Form and Process" - into 3 distinct chapters dealing with bonuses, promotion, and outstanding achievement awards is a good change. We do have a question concerning several deletions from the revision. In Chapter 1 - "Purpose and General Information" - three sections have been deleted, namely, "6. Relationship to Other Personnel Policies", "9. Responsibilities of Management Panels", and "10. Training of Panel Members". Why have these sections been deleted form the revised order? The Council appreciates the opportunity to comment on the two orders. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on 366-1791. 2 Page21 GAOflAClSSSReport Appendix I Memoranda Issued United States GAO General Accounting Off& Memorandum Date: May 26, 1989 To: Executive Assistant to the ACG/Operations - Claudia G. Cooper n From: President, Women's Advisory Council - Susan A. Sacco Subject : Proposed Revision to Smoking Policy The Women's Advisory Council has reviewed the revised smoking policy for GAO facilities and commends management's decision to designate the GAO headquarters building as a "non-smoking" building, effective January 1, 1991. As recognized in the draft revision, GAO's smoking policy was not entirely effective and some changes were needed. The Council is pleased that the proposed revision calls for the designation of one person as the focal point for employee concerns on this issue in each unit. Further, we strongly agree that GAO audit sites and regional offices should, to the extent that GAO space is physically separate from other building space, follow GAO's smoking policy. WAC's June 1988 study of the implementation of GAO's smoking policy recommended these measures. Overall, WAC believes that the draft revision is a much needed improvement upon GkO's current smoking policy. However, we believe some changes need to be made under the Interim Facilities section on page three of the draft revision. -- A misspelling was found in the second "bulleted" sentence - the word llfacultyl* should be changed to "facilitylV. -- The third bulleted sentence dealing with “staff who smoke but do not work in designated areas where smoking is permitted... I1 lends itself to too broad an interpretation. The policy should snecifically state that smoking at secretaries' desks and at personal computers located in corridors or aisles (where both secretaries and evaluators can spend a great deal of time) is prohibited. It is unfortunate that A operations improvement Page 22 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued secretaries' desks are generally located in aisles and that some computer workstations are in similar places, but non-smokers must be protected from smoke filtering from these areas into cubicles and offices. The Council hopes that our comments will be useful to you. If WAC can provide any further assistance on this issue, please contact me on 366-1791. Page 23 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued United States GAO General Aecoullting Once Memorandum Date: April 25, 1989 To: Director of Personnel - Felix R. Brandon Thru: President, Women's Advisory Council - From: Co-Chair, WAC Personnel Committee - Subj: Temporary Leave Transfer Program After reviewing the Temporary Leave Program Notice, the Council has a few questions. These questions pertain mainly to the limitation on the donation of annual leave. It appears that paragraph 5(b) of the notice is stating that a leave donor who has use or lose annual leave may only donate that number of hours he or she will work for the remainder of the year (subject, of course, to the other restrictions). Is this interpretation correct? If it is, why does this restriction apply? It would seem that a person who has use or lose annual leave should be able to donate all such leave regardless of the number of hours that employee will work, as long as the number of donated hours do not exceed the 50 percent mark as noted in paragraph 5a. The Council urges that should our interpretation be correct and no legal rationale exists for the restriction, that the restriction be lifted. Because the popularity of the leave program appears to be growing, the Council would also suggest that Personnel provide the program information in a use-friendly format such as the question and answer pamphlet issued on maternity/paternity benefits issued by WAC in 1986. Such a format would provide interested employees with readily discernable information, which could increase their willingness to participate. The Council would, of course, assist you in such an endeavor should you so desire. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 452-2528. Page 24 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Appendix1 MemorandaIssued United Stales GAO -“ General Accounting Offrce Memorandum Date: June 22, 1989 To: Director, Office of Affirmation Action Plans - Lowell Dodge JddL~ ad- Thru: President, Women's Advisory Council - Susan A. Sacco J6&.ui*a cl* &iw From: Co-Chairs, WAC Personnel Committee - Patricia Zemple and Linda Johnson Subject: Request for Information from Monitoring Systems The Women's Advisory Council is requesting that it be provided on a regular and continuing basis statistical reports relating to the representation of women in GAO. WAC is interested in any information which affects the advancement and quality of work life of women in GAO. Our concern about how job assignments and performance of women in GAO translate into promotions and rewards in comparison to their male colleagues is highlighted even more by the change to pay-for-performance. WAC is interested in an analysis of the hiring, promotion, award, and job assignment patterns for women in the agency as a whole and for each organizational unit. We would like these gender analyses to be provided for all occupational series, including the evaluator, non-evaluator, and clerical job series. It is our understanding that the Office of Affirmative Action Plans (OAAP) currently collects certain data by gender which can be provided to us. Therefore, we request we be provided an analysis by gender, for GAO as a whole, if available, and for each organizational unit, for the years 1986-1988 of the following: 1. goals set and met: 2. year-end and quarterly profile data: and 3. distribution of job roles in the evaluator and evaluator-related occupational series. Page25 GAO/wAC1989Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued If OAPP does not have the staff to prepare these analyses, the WAC Personnel Committee is willing to work with your office in determining the level of assistance on a part-time basis it could provide to this effort. In addition, if data is not currently being collected by gender, we request OAAP begin compiling data on performance appraisals and awards for women in GAO. With the move to pay-for-performance, we are even more interested in having statistics compiled on the number of women receiving bonuses and permanent pay increases as well as the dollar amount they receive in comparison to their male counterparts. We understand that currently there are not plans to capture by gender the number and amount of PFP bonuses and permanent pay increases. We urgently request that OAPP take action to correct this oversight. We are also concerned that data by gender be collected beyond the evaluator population since women in the agency appear to occuPYI in disproportionate numbers, the lower paying clerical occupations. We know there is an effort under way to develop a PFP system for this group, but our interest lies in obtaining a snapshot of GAO's hiring, promotion, and awards profile at the present to help with future analyses. It is our understanding that the Employee Promotion Review Panel (EPRP) will focus solely on race. We request that a review by gender also be considered. In particular, we would like to know if an analysis has been made to determine if a disparity exists for women. Have statistics been compiled or are they being captured on the rates at which women in GAO are certified as "best-qualified" or selected for promotion to determine if rates for women are significantly less than comparable for males? We are available to discuss any of the information we have requested in this memorandum. We would like to obtain your insight on the kinds and manner in which statistics on women in GAO may be compiled which would assist us in advancing the interests of women in the agency. If you have any questions, please call Patricia Zemple at 272-3076, or Linda Johnson at 275-9419. Page 26 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued UnitedStates GAO GeneralAccountingOliice Memorandum Date: May 22, 1989 To: Executive Assistant to the Assistant n Comptroller General for Operations Thru: President, Women's Advisory Council - Susan Sacco From: Chair, WAC, Special Projects Committ Subject: Suggested Service Facilities in the GAO Building The Women's Advisory Council canvassed our constituents for suggestions of service facilities which they felt should be considered for the renovated GAO Headquarters building. Following are the ustrong10 suggestions received: -- Money Machine (e.g., MOST, Cashflow, etc.) -- Cleaners/Seamstress -- Shoe Repair/Shine -- Post Service (full service) -- Pharmacy (for simple drugs and cards) -- Florist -- Barber/Beauty Shop -- Newsstand (e.g., books, magazines, periodicals) -- More Permanent/Temporary Parking Spaces in the Garage We hope these suggestions will be helpful in the renovation plans for GAO. Page 27 GAO/WAC 1989 Report Appendix1 MemorandaIssued United States GAO General Accounting Office Memorandum Date: January 23, 1989 To: The Comptroller General of the United States %d!La,Q~m Thru: President, Women's Advisory Council - Susan A. Sacco From: WAC Special Projects Committee - Eileen Regen Larence Subject: Survey on Employee Satisfaction with GAO's Child Care Information and Referral Service The Women's Advisory Council has conducted a telephone survey of a random sample of GAO employees who used the agency's child care information and referral service provided by the Partnership Group/Child Care Systems, Incorporated. Our major findings indicate that most employees called the Partnership Group to obtain child care referrals. Requesting printed materials was the second most common reason for calling the Partnership Group. Most employees rated the Partnership Group as excellent or good. We also determined that although few employees attended a workshop provided by the Partnership Group, most employees said they were likely to attend a future workshop if it was near their worksite and on a topic of interest to them. Details of our results follow, as well as our recommendations to you. Appendix I includes‘s more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology. Appendix II is a copy of the telephone survey instrument annotated with the results of our survey including sampling errors. Appendix III lists the Council members who participated in this project. Objective The Council decided to conduct a survey of GAO's child care information and referral service because of your interest in such a project. GAO has offered this benefit to employees for about two years and will be renewing a contract with the Partnership Group in early 1989. In addition, the issue is of great interest to the Council's constituency group within the agency. Our objective was to determine the satisfaction of a A Operatmns Improvement Page28 GAO/wAC1989Report Appendix I Memoranda Issued random sample of GAO employees who had used the services provided by the Partnership Group. Methodolosy We completed a telephone survey instrument for a random sample of GAO employees using the Partnership Group service between April 1987 and July 1988. Our completed surveys are representative of 147 (216) of the 206 individuals who called the child care information and referral service provided by the Partnership Group between April 1987 and July 1988. Because we reviewed a statistical sample of callers, each estimate developed from the sample has a measurable precision, or sampling error. The sampling error is the maximum amount by which the estimate obtained from a statistical sample can be expected to differ from the true universe characteristic (value) we are estimating. Sampling errors are stated at a certain confidence level--in this case, 95 percent. This means that the chances are 19 out of 20 that, if we called all employees using the Partnership Group, the results of those calls would differ from the estimates obtained from our sample by less than the sampling errors of such estimates. We have included the sampling errors at the 95-percent confidence level for specific estimates presented in this memo in parentheses following the estimate. We presented them in either of two ways, depending on the sampling error calculation: "23 (+7) percent," for example, means that the chances are 19 out of 20 that the true value could be as low as 16 percent --23 minus 7--or as high as 30 percent--23 plus 7. This same information could also be presented as “23 (16 to 30) percent." Results The Partnership Gruup staff: -- provides information over the telephone about a variety of child care concerns, including licensing regulations and desired number of children per care giver: -- distributes printed materials: and -- gives referral information by sending lists of child care providers and brief descriptions of their services, fees, locations, etc. The two main reasons for employees calling the Partnership Group were (1) to obtain referral information--70 (29) percent, and (2) to request printed materials--25 (+9) percent. Only 5 (+5) percent of the employees we contacted cited obtaining information over the telephone as the main reasons for calling the Partnership Group. 2 Page 29 GAO/W’ 1989 Report Appendix1 MemorandaIssued r General information Of the employees who obtained information over the telephone from the Partnership Group, 77 (+12) percent were at least somewhat satisfied with the information they obtained. A few employees indicated they would have preferred more specific solutions to their child care concerns. Printed materials Of the employees who were sent printed materials by the Partnership Group, 80 (+9) percent were at lease somewhat satisfied with the information received. Some employees commented that the information provided was too general or incomplete. Referrals The majority of employees calling the Partnership Groups were primarily interested in obtaining referral information--70 (29) percent. If callers are included who obtained referral information even though that was not the main reason for their calls, this figure is increased to 74 (+9) percent. Of all employees obtaining referral information, 88 (+8) percent said some or all of the referral information they received was new to them. Of the employees who obtained referral information, 68 (512) percent followed-up on the Partnership Group's information. Most of these follow-up calls or visits found the Partnership Group's information to be at least somewhat accurate--75 (513) percent. Of the employees receiving referral information, 29 (+ll) percent placed children with one of the referrals provided. Workshoos Few employees--9 (+6) percent attended any of the workshops provided by the Partnership Group under GAO's original contract. In contrast, 74 (29) percent of the employees said they would be likely to attend a workshop held in the future near their worksite on a topic of interest to them. Some informal comments by employees indicate that the workshops were not adequately publicized. Gualitv of service In terms of overall satisfaction with the services provided, 96 (+4) percent of the employees said that the Partnership Group staff showed a least moderate concern and interest in their requests for assistance. A majority of employees--83 (28) percent --said that the Partnership Group staff always or almost always returned their calls. Of the employees represented by our survey, 84 (+7) percent were at least 3 - Page30 GAO/WAC1989Report Appendix1 MemorandaIssued somewhat satisfiabd with the service, and 84 (27) percent gave the Partnership Group an overall rating of excellent or good. Only 9 (+6) percent rated the Partnership Group as fair, and 7 (+5) percent ratecP it as poor. Limitationsi We note that our survey projections represent only 147 (+16) employees using thtr Partnership Group's services between April 1987 and July 1988.. In 1987, GAO had a staff of about 5,100 at headquarters and1 in regional and foreign offices. We do not know how many cjf these employees had or planned families that would make thesm possible users of the Partnership Group's services. We do not know why some possible users did not avail themselves of the services of the Partnership Group or if they would have used the services of another company. We also do not know if Iusers of the Partnership Group's sevices in some other period of time would differ from our universe of GAO callers. Recommendations Based on the results tof our survey, the Women's Advisory Council recommends th& the Comptroller General: (1)consider extending the contract with the Partnership group to provide child care information and referral services to GAO employees. (2) investigate further the feasibility and desirability of contracting with the Partnership Group to provide child care workshops for GAO employees throughout the organization on topics of interest to employees. This might include gauging employee interest in selected topics or popular locations. (3)assure that if workshops are to be offered, the Partnership Group thoroughly publicizes the workshops well in advance ofI the scheduled date(s). Also, any workshops could bE: included in the Office of Counseling and Career Development's (OOCD) Lunchtime Seminar brochure. cc: Mr. Goldstein (AcG-OPER) Ms. McCabe (ACG-OPER) Page31 GAO/WAC1989Report
Women's Advisory Council 1989 Annual Report
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-06-01.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)