oversight

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)

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