oversight

U.S. Postal Service: Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-02-26.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States General Accounting Office

GAO             Report to the
                Honorable Danny K. Davis
                House of Representatives


February 1999
                U.S. POSTAL
                SERVICE
                Diversity in High-Level
                EAS Positions




GAO/GGD-99-26
GAO   United States
      General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      General Government Division



      B-281375

      February 26, 1999

      The Honorable Danny K. Davis
      House of Representatives

      Dear Mr. Davis:

      This report supplements our previous letter to you in response to your
      request for information related to the promotion of women and minorities
      to high-level Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) management
                                                                              1
      positions (EAS 17 and above) in the U.S. Postal Service (the Service). As
      you requested, this report provides (1) information about the overall
      extent to which women and minorities have been promoted to or are
      represented in EAS 17 and above positions in the Service; (2) our
      observations on the methodology used by a private contractor, Aguirre
                                                                 2
      International, to study workforce diversity at the Service; (3) the status of
      the Service’s efforts to address the recommendations contained in the
      Aguirre report; and (4) our analysis of whether the Service could better
      capture and use data to achieve its diversity objectives.

      We obtained and analyzed certain Service data—employees’ EAS
      positions, promotions, and equal employment opportunity (EEO) groups
      identified on the basis of gender and race/national origin—that were
                                                       3
      related primarily to the cluster-level workforce. We compared the
      representation of specific EEO groups at the cluster level at the end of
                      4
      fiscal year 1997 with civilian labor force (CLF) data from the 1990
                         5
      decennial census. According to Equal Employment Opportunity
      Commission standards, the percentage rate at which an EEO group is
      represented in an agency’s workforce compared to the rate at which the
      group is represented in the CLF, as identified in the most recent census,

      1
      See U.S. Postal Service: Information About Selected Promotions of Women and Minorities to EAS
      Management–Level Positions (GAO/GGD-98-200R, Sept. 21, 1998).
      2
      It’s Good Business—A Study of Diversity in the United States Postal Service, Aguirre International,
      Oct. 27, 1997.
      3
       A performance cluster is 1 of 85 Postal Service geographic service areas. Service employees working
      at performance clusters accounted for over 732,000, or about 96 percent, of the Service’s almost
      765,000 career-level employees at the end of fiscal year 1997. The remainder was headquarters
      employees (about 10,700, or about 1 percent) and area office employees (21,900, or about 3 percent).
      4
       The Postal Service’s fiscal year 1997 ended on Sept. 12, 1997, and conforms to the Service’s 13-period
      accounting year. Our use of the term “fiscal year” in this report refers to the Service fiscal year.
      5
       The CLF represents persons aged 16 years or more, excluding those in the armed forces, who are
      employed or seeking employment.




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                   determines whether underrepresentation exists for the EEO group in that
                   workforce. We compared the representation of women and minorities at
                   the cluster level in EAS 17 and above positions in fiscal year 1993 with
                   their representation in fiscal year 1997 to show any progression in terms of
                   their representation between the 2 fiscal years. We also compared the
                   representation of specific EEO groups among employees promoted to EAS
                   17 and above positions in fiscal year 1997 with their representation in
                   those EAS positions in fiscal year 1997 before the promotions to show how
                   the promotions reflected the comparative workforce. In addition, we
                   compared the fiscal year 1997 representation of these EEO groups in EAS
                   17 and above positions with their representation in EAS 11 through 16
                   positions because employees in positions below EAS 16 represent the pool
                   from which promotions to EAS 17 and above positions would most likely
                   come.

                   At the end of fiscal year 1997, black and Asian men and women and
Results in Brief   Hispanic men were fully represented while Hispanic women, Native
                   American men and women, and white women were underrepresented in
                   the Service at the cluster level when compared with the CLF.
                   Representation of women and minorities at the cluster level in EAS 17 and
                   above positions increased between fiscal years 1993 and 1997, with the
                   exception of black men whose representation decreased. In fiscal year
                   1997, women and all minority groups, except Asian women, at the cluster
                   level were promoted to EAS 17 and above positions at higher rates than
                   women and minority groups were represented in those EAS positions.
                   Despite this progress, the overall representation of women and minorities
                   at the cluster level in EAS 17 and above positions was almost 20 percent
                   lower than their representation in EAS 11 through 16 positions at the end
                   of fiscal year 1997. Similar comparisons at the headquarters and area office
                   workforce levels showed some variations regarding the representation of
                   specific EEO groups.

                   Based on our own standards for the design of studies and development of
                   methodologies to evaluate programs, we believe that the methodologies
                   used by Aguirre International were generally reasonable, appropriate, and
                   relevant given the parameters established for the study and the
                   complexities surrounding the sensitive issue of diversity in such a large
                   organization. However, we believe Aguirre’s finding of a “glass ceiling”
                   beginning at EAS 17 positions could be misleading. Aguirre based this
                   finding primarily on a comparison of the different EEO groups’
                   representation in various EAS levels or positions with each group’s
                   representation in the overall CLF. Since CLF data are not broken down
                   into an appropriate pool for comparison (i.e., similar positions or levels or



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             individuals with relevant qualifications), we do not believe such a
             comparison is appropriate. Also, Aguirre did not explicitly define the term
             glass ceiling. We interpreted the term in the general sense—that is, an
             upper limit beyond which few or no women and minorities could
             advance—and to us no such ceiling existed based on the overall data we
             examined. Women and minorities were generally represented in and had
             been promoted to EAS 17 and above cluster-level positions for the period
             we reviewed.

             The Service reviewed the Aguirre report and developed 23 initiatives that it
             believed addressed the report’s major issues and recommendations. The
             Service found that several of the recommendations seemed to be
             duplicative. The Service noted that some statements in the report were
             confusing because it was unclear whether they should be interpreted as
             recommendations and that other statements appeared either to call for
             actions already under way or not to be justified by supporting rationale.
             Nevertheless, the Service believes its 23 initiatives will significantly
             strengthen its diversity program and address most of Aguirre’s concerns.
             In addition, the Service believes that it is generally on or ahead of its
             schedule for implementing these initiatives. By the spring of 1999, the
             Service plans to create an ongoing monitoring process to ensure full
             implementation of its initiatives, which may result in revised scopes,
             completion dates, and implementation status for some of the initiatives.

             The Service has recently developed broad goals and objectives for its
             diversity program, but it has not yet established specific targets and
             measures for determining its progress toward meeting its diversity goals
             and objectives. Service officials said that specific targets and measures
             would be established no later than March 30, 1999. In addition, the Service
             has not fully captured and used data to achieve its diversity objectives.
             Although the Service has a computer system in place to capture applicant-
             flow data—that is, data showing how specific EEO groups progress
             through its promotion process—the system has not been effectively
             implemented and used because not all Service units have consistently
             entered the data into the system. We believe that the lack of this type of
             systemic data showing how applicants comprising specific EEO groups
             progress through the promotion process hinders the identification of any
             barriers that might impede the progress of those groups.

             The Postal Service, the nation’s largest civilian employer, had about
Background   765,000 career employees at the end of fiscal year 1997. Service employees




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                                                            6
include craft employees, the largest group; EAS; the Postal Career
Executive Service (PCES); and others, such as inspectors for the Postal
Inspection Service. The Service structure includes headquarters, 11 areas,
and 85 performance clusters, with cluster-level employees making up
about 96 percent of the Service workforce. For the purposes of this review,
we focused on the cluster-level EAS workforce.

The EAS workforce consists primarily of employees in EAS 11 through 26
          7
positions. EAS management-level positions begin at EAS 16 and include
such positions as postmaster, manager of customer services, and manager
of postal operations. At the end of fiscal year 1997, EAS positions totaled
80,238, or about 10 percent of total Service career-level employees. PCES,
established in 1979, includes Service senior-level officers and executives in
positions such as area vice presidents. At the end of fiscal year 1997, the
Service had about 900 employees in PCES positions. We did not include
employees in PCES positions in our analyses for this report.

According to the Service, one of its corporate goals is a commitment to
employees, which includes an effort to provide equal employment
opportunities to all employees, take advantage of its diverse workforce,
and compete effectively in the communications marketplace. To that end,
the Service created its Diversity Development Department in headquarters
in 1992, which was to foster an all-inclusive business environment. The
head of the Department reports directly to the Deputy Postmaster General.
The Department is responsible for, among other things, actively supporting
the recruitment, retention, and upward mobility of women and minorities.
In addition, the Service’s 1999 Annual Performance Plan includes
                                                   8
achieving a diverse workforce as one of its goals.

To determine the effectiveness of the Service’s diversity development
program, the Postal Service Board of Governors commissioned Aguirre
International, a contractor, to undertake a 6-month study (May 2, 1997, to
Nov. 2, 1997) of workforce diversity at the Postal Service. The study
addressed Service personnel and supplier diversity and was issued in
October 1997. The report stated that the Service was a leader in meeting
affirmative action goals as well as striving for parity between its workforce

6
    Craft employees make up the bulk of Postal Service career employees, about 89 percent.
7
 Before the Service’s restructuring in 1992, the EAS workforce consisted of EAS 11 through 30
positions. After the restructuring, EAS 27 through 30 positions were reclassified and included in EAS 1
through 26 positions. However, about four EAS employees were still classified in EAS 27 through 30
positions.
8
    USPS Annual Performance Plan, Fiscal Year 1999.




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                           and the CLF. It also stated, among other things, that women and minorities
                           appeared to be experiencing problems advancing to management jobs at
                           EAS 17 and above positions. The Board of Governors subsequently
                           directed the Service to develop an action plan for dealing with the diversity
                           issues raised by Aguirre. The Service developed an action plan and briefed
                           the Board on the plan in April 1998.
                                                  9
                           In our previous letter, we reviewed promotions to EAS 16 and above
                           positions at four selected performance clusters. Documentation in the
                           promotion files and our discussions with Service officials provided
                           evidence that the Service’s required promotion procedures we reviewed
                           were followed for the 127 fiscal year 1997 promotions at these 4 sites. In
                           addition, for 117 of these promotions, we provided statistical data on the
                           distribution of the specific EEO groups throughout the promotion process
                           stages—applications received, applicants considered best qualified, and
                           applicants promoted. The specific EEO groups discussed in this report
                           include white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American men and
                           women.

                           We did our work from July 1998 through January 1999 in accordance with
                           generally accepted government auditing standards. We requested
                           comments on a draft of this report from the Postmaster General and from
                           Aguirre International’s Director of Operations. The Postal Service’s oral
                           comments and Aguirre’s written comments are discussed near the end of
                           this letter. Further details about the scope and methodology of our review
                           can be found in appendix I.

Postal Service Positions   The analyses that follow show how the representation of cluster-level
Representation and         women and minority groups (1) compared with their representation in the
Promotion of Women         1990 CLF; (2) changed between fiscal years 1993 and 1997 in EAS 17 and
and Minorities in EAS      above positions; (3) among those promoted to EAS 17 and above positions
                           in fiscal year 1997, compared with their representation in EAS 17 and
17 and Above Positions     above positions in fiscal year 1997 (before the promotions); and (4) in EAS
at the Cluster Level       17 and above positions, compared with their representation in EAS 11
                           through 16 positions in fiscal year 1997. We also made similar comparisons
                           for women and minorities involving the remainder of the Postal Service
                           workforce located at the headquarters and area office levels, as detailed in
                           appendix II.




                           9
                               GAO/GGD-98-200R.




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Cluster-Level Women and                  Table 1 shows that when we compared fiscal year 1997 data for the
                                         Service’s cluster-level workforce with CLF data from the 1990 decennial
Minority Workforce                       census, black and Asian men and women and Hispanic men were fully
Representation in Fiscal                 represented, while Hispanic women, Native American men and women,
Year 1997 Compared With                  and white women were underrepresented. Specifically, black men and
the 1990 CLF                             women comprised 11.3 and 9.6 percent, respectively, of the cluster
                                         workforce compared with their respective 5.0 and 5.5 percent
                                         representation in the CLF; Asian men and women comprised 3.5 and 1.9
                                         percent, respectively, of the workforce compared with their respective 1.5
                                         and 1.3 percent representation in the CLF. However, white and Hispanic
                                         women were underrepresented, comprising 22.1 percent and 2.0 percent,
                                         respectively, of the workforce compared with their respective 35.3 percent
                                         and 3.4 percent CLF representation. White men were represented in the
                                         workforce similarly to their level of representation in the CLF.


Table 1: Comparison of Service Cluster Workforce in Fiscal Year 1997 With the 1990 CLF
                                                                                                                   Native   Native
                White      White       Black       Black      Hispanic      Hispanic          Asian        Asian American American
Workforce        men      women         men       women           men        women             men        women      men   women

Cluster        44.34%     22.09%     11.34%         9.58%        4.82%          2.00%        3.46%          1.87%         0.29%         0.22%

CLF            42.64       35.30       4.95         5.45          4.77          3.35          1.51          1.32          0.35          0.30
      a
Ratio           1.04        0.63       2.29         1.76          1.01          0.60          2.29          1.42          0.83          0.73
                                         Legend: Bold indicates a ratio of 0.99 or lower.
                                         a
                                          Ratios (comparison group percentage divided by base group percentage) as used in this table show
                                         the relative percentage of each EEO group within the Service clusters to the percentage of those EEO
                                         groups represented in the CLF. For example, a ratio of 1.00 indicates that the EEO group’s
                                         representation in the clusters equaled the group’s representation in the CLF. A ratio of 1.01 or higher
                                         indicates that the representation of the EEO group in the clusters was greater than the EEO group’s
                                         representation in the CLF, and a ratio of 0.99 or lower indicates that the EEO group’s representation
                                         was lower in the clusters than it was in the CLF.

                                         Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal year 1997 data and 1990 CLF data.



                                         In addition to the cluster-level workforce data presented in table 1, we
                                         analyzed similar data for the Service’s headquarters-level and area office-
                                         level workforces. Table II.1 in appendix II shows that white and Hispanic
                                         women and Native American men were underrepresented among the three
                                         workforce levels. Native American women were underrepresented among
                                         cluster employees and headquarters employees, but not among area office
                                         employees. Hispanic men were underrepresented among headquarters and
                                         area office employees, while white men were underrepresented among
                                         area office employees. Black and Asian men and women were fully
                                         represented in all three workforce levels.




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Women and Minorities in                  Figure 1 shows our analysis of the representation of women and minorities
                                         at the cluster level in EAS 17 and above positions in fiscal year 1993
EAS 17 and Above Positions               compared with fiscal year 1997. As the figure shows, generally, the
in Fiscal Year 1993                      representation of women and minorities increased over this period; black
Compared With Fiscal Year                men’s representation decreased 0.6 percent over this period. Also, white
1997, at the Cluster Level               men’s representation decreased over this period by about 2.0 percent.



Figure 1: Comparison of Cluster-Level Representation of Women and Minorities at EAS 17 and Above Positions in Fiscal Year
1993 With Fiscal Year 1997




                                         Note: See appendix II, table II.2, for more detailed information.


                                         Source: GAO analysis of Service data for fiscal years 1993 and 1997 for the cluster level.




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                             Table II.2 in appendix II shows this same type of comparison between the
                             2 fiscal years for women and minorities in EAS 17 and above positions at
                             the headquarters and area office levels. At the headquarters level, in
                             addition to the slight decrease in representation of black and white men as
                             happened at the cluster level, representation of Native American men also
                             showed a slight decrease. At the area office level, the representation of
                             black men, Asian men, and Native American men all generally decreased.
                             Also, at the headquarters and area office levels, the representation of white
                             men decreased.

Women and Minorities         As shown in figure 2, we compared the representation of each EEO group
                             at the cluster level promoted to EAS 17 and above positions in fiscal year
Promoted to EAS 17 and       1997 with their representation in EAS 17 and above positions at the cluster
Above Positions Compared     level in fiscal year 1997 before the promotions. Our analysis showed that
With Their Representation    the representation of women and all minority groups among those
in Those Positions for the   promoted was higher than the representation of women and minority
                             groups in EAS 17 and above positions, with the exception of Asian women.
Cluster Workforce, Fiscal    Also, the representation of white males in promotions to these higher EAS
Year 1997                    positions was lower than their representation in the cluster-level
                             workforce.

                             Table II.3 in appendix II shows the same type of information for the same
                             period for the headquarters and area office workforce levels. At the
                             headquarters level, representation of women and all minority groups
                             among those promoted was higher than their representation in EAS 17 and
                             above positions, with the exception of Asian women and black and Native
                             American men. However, at the area office level, representation of white
                             women; Hispanic men and women; and Native American men and women
                             was lower than their representation in EAS 17 and above positions. Also,
                             white men were promoted at a rate lower than their representation at the
                             headquarters and area office levels.




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Figure 2: Comparison of the Cluster-Level Representation of Women and Minorities Promoted to EAS 17 and Above With
Their Representation in Those Positions (before the promotions), Fiscal Year 1997




                                        Note: See appendix II, table II.3, for more detailed information.


                                        Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal year 1997 data for the cluster level.




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Women and Minority                        Table 2 shows our last comparison, the fiscal year 1997 representation of
                                          women and minorities in EAS 17 and above positions with their
Representation at EAS 17                  representation in EAS 11 through 16 positions. We made this comparison
and Above Positions                       because employees in EAS 11 through 16 positions represent the
Compared With Their                       workforce pool from which selections for promotion to EAS 17 and above
Representation in EAS 11                  positions would likely be made.
Through 16 Positions, Fiscal
Year 1997

Table 2: Comparison of Cluster-Level Representation of Women and Minorities in EAS 17 and Above Positions With Their
Representation in EAS 11 Through 16 Positions, Fiscal Year 1997
                                                        EEO group

Cluster-level                                                                                      Native   Native        Percentage
EAS              White    White   Black    Black Hispanic         Hispanic       Asian     Asian American American         of women/
position          men    women     men    women      men           women          men     women      men   women           minorities

EAS 11-16       39.13%   34.29% 8.74%      9.85%       3.20%         1.79%      1.31%       0.93%    0.33%       0.43%          61%

EAS 17-30       57.70    17.69    8.81      7.72        4.40          1.27       1.18       0.48      0.54        0.23          42
                                          Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal year 1997 data.



                                          Our analyses in table 2 show that among cluster-level employees, the
                                          overall representation of women and minorities in EAS 17 and above
                                          positions was lower than it was in EAS 11 through 16 positions in fiscal
                                          year 1997—42 percent compared to 61 percent. Table II.4 in appendix II
                                          shows variation in the representation of women and minorities in the
                                          higher EAS positions at the headquarters and area office levels compared
                                          with their representation in EAS 11 through 16 positions.

                                          Based on our own standards for designing studies and developing
Observations on                           methodologies to evaluate programs, we believe that the methodologies
Methodologies Used in                     used by Aguirre International were generally reasonable, appropriate, and
Aguirre Study                             relevant given the established study parameters, including the 6-month
                                          time frame in which the study was to be completed and the complexities
                                          associated with addressing the sensitive issue of diversity in an
                                          organization as large as the Postal Service. In addition, limitations
                                          resulting from the study’s parameters, as well as cautions regarding the
                                          study’s findings, were noted throughout the report. However, in our review
                                          of the Aguirre report, we noted one area of concern: The report stated that
                                          it appeared that a glass ceiling impeded the progression of women and
                                          minorities to EAS 17 and above positions, but in our opinion, the report did




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                              not explicitly define the term glass ceiling or present convincing
                              supporting evidence.

Study Methodologies Were      At the direction of the Postal Service Board of Governors, the Service
                              contracted with Aguirre International to study the Service’s diversity
Generally Appropriate, With   program. The Board was specifically interested in the Service’s progress in
Limitations and Cautions      meeting its goal of creating a Service workforce as diverse as the CLF. The
Noted                         Board asked Aguirre to look at several areas, including hiring, promoting,
                              training and development, and contracting. Aguirre was to complete the
                              study within a 6-month period—May 2, 1997, through November 2, 1997.
                              The Aguirre report stated that the study was designed to assess the
                              effectiveness of the Service’s diversity program in eight research areas,
                              which are listed in appendix III of this report.

Methodological Approach Had   The approach to the study taken by Aguirre researchers involved the use
Many Strengths                of multiple research methods to research the eight questions (see app. III).
                              Aguirre’s report indicated that it had performed numerous data analyses,
                              reviewed written policies and practices, validated a Service database,
                              visited 10 postal sites, and conducted a survey and interviews. Such an
                              approach allowed the issues presented in the report to be discussed from
                              several perspectives, which in our opinion and based on our standards for
                              performing studies and evaluations, was an acceptable methodological
                              approach. For example, Aguirre made what we believe were appropriate
                              adjustments to the 1990 Census CLF data to arrive at compatible postal
                              districts for comparisons. Aguirre staff developed models and adjusted the
                              models to allow for Service hiring requirements and restrictions, such as
                              English language proficiency and veteran’s preference. Using these data,
                              they made numerous comparisons of the Postal workforce to the CLF.

                              In addition, the report indicated that Aguirre staff gathered data from
                              various organizational levels in the Service. It indicated that the staff spoke
                              with Service officials at headquarters and selected sites, a number of
                              Service employees, potential Service employees, and contractors to obtain
                              their perspectives on diversity-related issues in the Service. Aguirre staff
                              also visited selected Service sites and conducted employee surveys and
                              interviews. They arranged focus group discussions with community
                              residents who were viewed as potential employees to gather information
                              about, among other things, their views on barriers to diversity at the
                              Service. They also held focus groups with and interviewed potential
                              contractors to explore the extent to which any known barriers might
                              impede contractors, especially minority-owned contractors, from
                              obtaining Service business. In addition, the Aguirre report referred to




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                                   organizations with success in the area of diversity and used internal
                                   benchmarking to report “promising practices” within the Service.

Parameters of Study Resulted in    Certain study parameters set by the Board of Governors, such as the time
Limitations to Interpretation of   frame for the study and the preselection of certain sites, resulted in
Its Findings                       numerous study limitations. The Aguirre report clearly noted these
                                   limitations in appropriate sections, citing appropriate cautions for readers
                                   regarding the study’s findings.

                                   According to the Aguirre Project Director, the 6-month period for the study
                                   that was set by the Board of Governors affected the manner in which the
                                   study was implemented in a number of ways. She said Aguirre wanted to
                                   further analyze the data but ran out of time. She also said that interviews
                                   and discussions with Service employees, potential employees, and
                                   potential contractors were limited in that Aguirre staff spoke only with
                                   individuals located near the sites they visited. Thus, the views of these
                                   individuals may not represent the views of similar individuals at other
                                   Service sites.

                                   Finally, the Aguirre report recognizes the information obtained from
                                   Aguirre’s visits to postal sites may not be typical of Service sites
                                   throughout the country. The Board selected the first 5 of the 10 sites
                                   visited because these sites had known diversity problems or were of
                                   special interest to particular Board members. This resulted in a highly
                                   urban sample of sites. Aguirre attempted to balance these sites by
                                   selecting five others based on demographics that were more rural and,
                                   according to Aguirre and Service officials, that had achieved some success
                                   in the area of diversity. However, even this larger sample of 10 sites had
                                   African-American representation that was twice that of the other 75
                                   performance clusters that were not selected for review. Indeed, the report
                                   cautioned readers that the views of individuals at these sites could not be
                                   generalized to the Service as a whole. As a result, the findings from the site
                                   visits may be more indicative of specific sites selected rather than the
                                   status of the Service overall.

Report’s Glass Ceiling Finding     Aguirre stated in its report that it appeared that a glass ceiling existed at
Could Be Misleading                positions beginning at EAS 17 for women and minorities. Aguirre did not
                                   explicitly define the term glass ceiling. Further, Aguirre officials told us
                                   that Aguirre based its finding of the glass ceiling primarily on its analyses
                                   of fiscal year 1996 data and comparisons of that data with the CLF and
                                   secondarily on discussions it had with Service employees. Specifically,
                                   Aguirre compared the level of women and minority representation at the
                                   various levels or positions within the EAS with their representation in the



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CLF. Because the representation of women and minorities in positions
beginning at EAS 17 was less than their representation in the CLF, Aguirre
stated that it appeared that a glass ceiling began at EAS 17 positions.

In addition, the Project Leader for the Aguirre study told us that although
Aguirre’s finding of a glass ceiling was supported primarily by its analyses
and comparisons of data, the finding was also supported by the views of
postal workers, many of whom perceived that barriers existed to the
promotion of women and minorities to higher EAS and PCES positions.
She said that the views of the Service employees Aguirre interviewed were
consistent—that is, barriers, such as a perceived “old boy network,”
prevented women and minorities from progressing to EAS 17 and above
positions. However, she acknowledged, as did the Aguirre report, that the
views expressed by these individuals at these sites could not be
generalized to the entire Service workforce.

We do not believe that it is appropriate to compare the EEO group
representation in specific EAS positions or levels in the Service with the
CLF because CLF data are not, nor were they intended to be, broken down
into an appropriate pool of employees for such a comparison (i.e., similar
positions or levels, as well as individuals with appropriate qualifications
for those positions). Both the Aguirre Project Director and Project Leader
for the study told us that Aguirre used the comparison with the CLF
because the Service asked them to. Nevertheless, the Service also
disagreed with Aguirre’s glass-ceiling finding on the basis of its
comparison of women and minorities in specific EAS positions with the
general CLF.

Further, we believe that the use of the term glass ceiling in the Aguirre
report could be misleading, particularly if the term were to be interpreted
by readers in a general sense—that is, an upper limit beyond which few or
no women and minorities could pass. Under this definition, and according
to our review of workforce and promotion data for EAS 17 and above
cluster-level employees in fiscal year 1997, no glass ceiling existed. For
example, as shown in table 3, we found that for the cluster level, women
and minorities were present in all positions and had been promoted to
most of those positions. In addition, the percentage of women and
minorities being promoted into these higher EAS positions was generally
greater than was their representation in the same positions in fiscal year
1997 (before the promotions). For example, for EAS 17 positions, women
and minorities comprised about 54 percent of the positions and received
about 58 percent of the promotions. However, both our analyses and
Aguirre’s suggest that opportunity may exist for the Service to increase the



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                                         B-281375




                                         diversity of its workforce in the higher EAS positions, even though a glass
                                         ceiling does not appear to exist. For example, women and minorities were
                                         often less represented in the EAS 17 and above positions than they were in
                                         the EAS 11 to 16 positions.

Table 3: Women and Minority
Workforce and Promotion                                                 Percentage of      Number of    Percentage of
Representation at EAS 17 and Above                         Number of women/minorities      employees women/minorities
Positions for Cluster-Level Employees,   EAS             employees in  represented in promoted to EAS  promotions to
Fiscal Year 1997                         position        EAS position    EAS position        position    EAS position
                                         17                     3,820         53.51%               160        57.50%
                                         18                     6,090         40.49                250        54.40
                                         19                     2,036         47.25                135        50.37
                                         20                     3,510         35.93                120        48.33
                                         21                     2,435         36.83                 93        53.76
                                         22                     1,636         38.02                 38        50.00
                                         23                       437         32.95                 11        54.55
                                         24                       739         49.66                 22        36.36
                                         25                       283         40.99                 10        30.00
                                            a
                                         26                        64         40.62                N/A          N/A
                                         Legend: N/A = Not applicable; no promotions were made in fiscal year 1997.
                                         a
                                         Table does not include data for the four employees still classified in EAS 27 through 30 positions
                                         after the Service’s restructuring in 1992 (see footnote 7).
                                         Source: GAO analysis of Service end of fiscal year 1997 data.


Aguirre’s Perspective on the             Service officials stated that the Aguirre report was intended to provide an
Service     Progress in
“Glass Ceiling”                          impression of the overall state of diversity in the Postal Service. In that
Implementing Aguirre’s                   context, Service officials said that they have accepted the report’s basic
Diversity Program                        message that the Service needs to strengthen its diversity program and
                                         have developed and begun implementing a plan to do so. They said that
Recommendations                          although it was difficult to determine the exact number of
                                         recommendations contained in the Aguirre report, they believe the actions
                                         they have under way or planned will address the major issues, concerns,
                                         and recommendations Aguirre reported. Service officials also said that
                                         their initiatives would result in ongoing changes in the way that the Service
                                         incorporates diversity into its operations.

Service Developed 23                     The Service developed 23 initiatives designed to improve its diversity
                                         program and address what it believed to be the Aguirre report’s major
Initiatives to Address                   issues, concerns, and recommendations. As of December 1998, the Service
Aguirre Report’s Major                   reported that it had completed implementation of nine of the initiatives
Issues and                               and was on schedule for completing the remaining initiatives, with the
Recommendations                          exception of two initiatives for which completion would be delayed. We
                                         did not verify the accuracy of the Service’s estimate of the completion
                                         status of initiatives in process nor did we evaluate whether any of the
                                         initiatives would resolve the concerns raised by Aguirre. When Service



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B-281375




officials reported that a new policy or process had been established to
partially or fully address 1 of its 23 initiatives, we obtained available
documentation confirming the new policy or process.

The Service organized its 23 diversity initiatives into 6 functional groups.
Table 4 shows these six groups, the specific initiatives established within
each group, Service estimates of the status of its efforts to implement the
initiatives, and target completion dates for implementing the initiatives.
The projected completion dates shown in the table are those initially
established by the Service. As of December 1998, the Service reported that
it was progressing in its implementation of the 23 initiatives. The Service
reported that nine initiatives had been completed, and seven were 90 to 99
percent complete. Of the remaining inititiatives, three were estimated to be
80 percent complete, and four ranged from 30 percent to 50 percent
complete. Service officials said that initiative 22—using supplier diversity
data to measure the success of the Supplier Diversity Program—will be
partially delayed because of the need to focus resources on resolving the
Year 2000 computer system issue. Also, initiative 23—establishing
accountability for complying with the Supplier Diversity Program for all
Service employees making purchases—will require more time than initially
established so that discussions with buyers on issues associated with
accountability for supplier diversity can occur.

According to Service Diversity Development officials, their statement that
initiatives were 100-percent complete indicated that, in some cases, a
policy, process, procedure, or plan had been developed and approved but
that the relevant actions covered by the policy, process, procedure, or plan
were still ongoing. However, for other completed initiatives, no further
actions were to be taken. For example, for initiative 1, after a new
Diversity Development policy statement was issued, no further actions to
implement this initiative were considered necessary. This was also the
case for initiatives 2 and 3—revising the Diversity Business Plan and
establishing a Diversity Oversight Group. However, for initiatives 4
(evaluating the current Diversity Development Organization and staff and
establishing appropriate headquarters and field staffing), 6 (establishing an
economic incentive for attaining diversity targets), 16 (expanding Supplier
Diversity Program communications), 18 (linking local buying to the
commitment for the Supplier Diversity Program), and 20 (making it easier
for suppliers to participate more effectively in the postal purchasing
process), actions associated with these initiatives were still under way.
Likewise, some other initiatives may involve additional action after the
Service designates them 100-percent complete.




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                                              Service Diversity Development officials said that they plan to monitor the
                                              implementation of new policies, processes, procedures, or plans covered
                                              by the 23 initiatives, at least on a quarterly basis, until they become
                                              standard operating procedures. Service officials also told us that they
                                              expected the monitoring process to be operational by the spring of 1999
                                              and that, consequently, the scopes, completion dates, and implementation
                                              status for some of the initiatives could change.


Table 4: Implementation Status of Postal Service Initiatives as of December 31, 1998
                                                                                                                              Projected
Initiative                                                                                                       Status of   completion
number       Description of group/initiative                                                               implementation          date
             Group 1 – Policy, Structure, and Staffing
1            Issue a new Diversity Development corporate policy statement clearly defining diversity and            100%       7/31/98
             referencing supplier diversity and explaining how diversity can support achievement of
             CustomerPerfect! goals
2            Revise the Diversity Business Plan (May 1997) to incorporate the new diversity policy                   100       7/31/98
             statement and integrate it with CustomerPerfect! goals
3            Establish a Diversity Oversight Group to review recommendations and check that goals are                100       6/30/98
             progressing
4            Evaluate the current Diversity Development Organization and staff and establish appropriate             100       11/1/98
             headquarters and field staffing to meet goals based on the new policy
             statement
             Group 2 - Goal Setting and Accountability
5            Mainstream the management of diversity under CustomerPerfect! umbrella                                   80        4/1/99
6            Establish an economic incentive for attaining diversity targets                                         100        4/1/99
             Group 3 – Recruitment and Outreach
7            Promote the Service as an equal opportunity employer and a good company for employment                   98       6/30/99
8            Develop a job applicant database to access and track data pertaining to underrepresented                 98        2/1/99
             groups
9            Develop a comprehensive recruitment process for local implementation that is focused on                  90       12/1/98
             underrepresented groups
10           Improve support for new employees during probationary periods to increase retention                     100      12/31/98
             success (Pub. 42 revision)
             Group 4 – Promotion and Outreach
11           Expand the Executive and Corporate Succession Planning process to promote entrance and                   80      12/31/98
             continued advancement in PCES for underrepresented groups
12           Establish a Career Management Program to promote advancement from initial- to mid-level                  95      12/31/98
             EAS positions
13           Create a greater diversity focus in selection processes, including promotions, task force                90       10/1/98
             participation, temporary assignments, and review boards
             Group 5 – Education and Communications
14           Evaluate current Postal Service training and develop diversity modules to be integrated in               30        6/1/99
             selected training curricula
15           Develop a strong and effective communication plan to promote and disseminate a clear                     95      12/31/98
             diversity message to all levels of the Postal Service using available internal media
             Group 6 – Purchasing and Supplier Diversity
16           Expand Supplier Diversity Program communications                                                        100      12/31/98
17           Expand Purchasing and Materials Supplier Diversity Operating Plan (fiscal years 1998-                    98      12/31/98
             2002) and continue implementation




                                              Page 16                             GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
                                               B-281375




                                                                                                                                    Projected
Initiative                                                                                                          Status of      completion
number       Description of group/initiative                                                                  implementation             date
18           Link local buying (e.g., credit cards and local service contracts) to the commitment for the               100         12/31/98
             Supplier Diversity Program
19           Improve subcontracting participation to include more women and minorities                                     35          5/1/99
20           Make it easier for suppliers to participate more effectively in the postal purchasing process                100         9/30/98
21           Provide supplier diversity training to Purchasing and Materials personnel and other                           47          5/1/99
             employees participating in local buying
22           Use supplier diversity data to measure the success of the Supplier Diversity Program                           50         5/1/99
23           Establish accountability for complying with the Supplier Diversity Program for all employees                   80        3/31/99
             making purchases for the Postal Service
                                               Source: GAO analysis of data provided by the Service’s Manager of Diversity Development and Vice
                                               President of Diversity Development.



Aguirre Recommendations                        Service officials said that the Board of Governors did not request that they
                                               address all of Aguirre’s recommendations. Rather, they were asked to
Sometimes Difficult to                         develop initiatives that they believed would help improve diversity at the
Discern                                        Service and result in improvements in the way that the Service
                                               incorporated diversity in its operations, thereby improving Service
                                               diversity overall. They said that they believed their initiatives have
                                               addressed Aguirre’s major issues, concerns, and recommendations.
                                               Service officials noted that determining the exact number of Aguirre’s
                                               recommendations was difficult because recommendations were noted in
                                               several locations in the report and many of them appeared to be
                                               duplicative. Service officials also noted that it was sometimes unclear as to
                                               whether Aguirre’s statements were intended as recommendations or just
                                               observations.

                                               We also found it difficult to determine with precision the number of
                                               specific Aguirre recommendations for the same reasons the Service cited.
                                               For example, in chapter 5 of its report, Aguirre stated that the Service may
                                               want to do further study of the employees it classifies as American
                                               Indian/Alaskan Native since many of the employees in this category
                                               consider themselves to be something else. It is not clear whether Aguirre
                                               intended this statement to be a recommendation or an action the Service
                                               could consider. Also, the Service’s initiative 1 as shown in table 4 was
                                               designed to address five different Aguirre recommendations, all of which
                                               seemed to be directed at the same concern—developing and issuing a clear
                                               corporate policy on diversity. Service officials said that other
                                               recommendations by Aguirre called for actions that the Service was
                                               already taking or planned to take. For example, Aguirre recommended that
                                               the Service define the attrition rate that can be predicted using age and
                                               past performance for trainers and EEO experts. The Service said that this
                                               information would be available from its New Workforce Planning Model,
                                               which was already in the design phase of development.


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                           B-281375




                           Service officials said that several of Aguirre’s recommendations seemed to
                           be based on inaccuracies or misstatements about current Service policies
                           and procedures. For example, Aguirre reported that the Service usually
                           selects bidders with the lowest price. Aguirre recommended that bidder
                           selection should consider other criteria, such as quality of the processes
                           and products, as well as price. Service officials told us that they did not
                           accept this recommendation because it is already their general policy to
                           make awards based on “best value” not lowest price. Further, Service
                           officials said that for some of Aguirre’s recommendations, they found no
                           basis or rationale and did not plan to implement them at this time. For
                           example, Aguirre recommended that a minimum of 7 percent of the
                           Service’s total contract dollars be awarded to minority suppliers. Service
                           officials said that they did not find any supporting rationale for this
                           recommendation, and they believed that the Service’s current goal of 6
                           percent of total contract dollars to be awarded to minority businesses by
                           2002 was appropriate.

                           The Service collects a variety of diversity-related data and has a number of
Capture and Better         initiatives under way in response to the Aguirre report that are designed to
Use of Data to Achieve     improve its data collection methods and use as well as to enhance its
Diversity Goals            ability to meet its diversity goals and objectives. The Service is also in the
                           process of establishing targets and measures to use in assessing its
                           progress toward meeting its diversity goals and objectives. However, the
                           Service does not have reliable data on the flow of applicants through its
                           promotion processes that would help it to identify and remove any barriers
                           to the promotion of women and minorities.

Service Initiatives to     The Service collects a wide variety of diversity data that are primarily
                           related to its program areas, such as Purchasing and Materials. Managers
Improve Data Collection    of these program areas, in coordination with the Service’s Diversity
and Usage in Response to   Development Department, are to use these data to help achieve program
Aguirre Report             goals and Service diversity goals. For example, the Purchasing and
Recommendations            Materials Department is to collect data on the dollar size and number of
                           contracts awarded to women and minority-owned businesses. The Aguirre
                           report, while acknowledging that the Service collects a substantial amount
                           of diversity-related data, made a number of comments, observations, and
                           recommendations to the Service related to gathering, using, and
                           monitoring such data. At least 5 of the Service’s 23 initiatives (initiatives 5,
                           6, 8, 18, and 22) involve some of the issues raised by Aguirre about
                           gathering and using diversity-related data. For example, Aguirre observed
                           that the Service did not systematically track credit card purchases by
                           gender or EEO group and thus data on the differential impact of the credit
                           card program on women and minority contractors are not available. The



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                         B-281375




                         Service plans to address this issue through initiative 18, which is aimed at
                         improving supplier diversity.

Establishing Diversity   In November 1998, the Service released its 1999 Annual Performance Plan
                         related to its performance goals, objectives, and associated measures as
Targets and Measures     part of its implementation of the Government Performance and Results
                         Act of 1993 (Results Act). Within the plan, the Service identified a goal of
                         improving employee and organizational effectiveness. The plan also stated
                         that one of the subcomponents of that goal was the strategy to “manage
                         and develop human capital.” Under that strategy, the plan identified the
                         need to “achieve a diverse workforce.” Further, the Annual Performance
                         Plan stated that based on the Aguirre study’s findings and
                         recommendations, the Service had prepared a diversity development
                                      10
                         action plan to promote the hiring of women and minorities, improve
                         recruitment hiring and promotion activities, and develop indicators to
                         measure progress linked to this strategy.

                         In addition, the Service’s Diversity Business Plan, dated December 3, 1998,
                                                                11
                         supports the Service’s strategic plan. The business plan contains four
                         principal diversity objectives, which, according to Diversity Development
                         officials, are to be used in partnership with other organizational functions
                         to develop programs and initiatives that will help achieve Service diversity
                         goals. The four objectives are (1) articulate a clear diversity message; (2)
                         ensure the representation of all employee groups in all levels of Postal
                         Service employment; (3) create a work environment that is free from
                         discrimination and sexual harassment; and (4) establish and maintain a
                         strong, competitive, and diverse supplier base.

                         According to the Manager of Diversity Policy and Planning, now that the
                         business plan has been approved, the Service is in the beginning stages of
                         developing specific targets and measures that would help the Service track
                         its progress in meeting its diversity goals and objectives. According to the
                         Service, methods to evaluate and measure success will be completed no
                         later than March 30, 1999. Along with the establishment of diversity goals
                         and objectives, the establishment of specific targets and measures will
                         help the Service to focus the efforts of its numerous organizational units,
                         achieve accountability, gauge progress, and meet goals.




                         10
                              Postal Service’s Diversity Improvement Opportunity, Suggested Courses of Action, Mar. 12, 1998.
                         11
                              Diversity Development, The Diversity Business Plan, Dec. 3, 1998.




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Requirement to Capture and   Although the Service has had a requirement for many years that its
                             managers are to collect applicant data for EAS promotions and enter that
Use Promotion Applicant-     data into a central electronic database, according to the Service, most
Flow Data Was Not            locations have fallen behind in entering these data into the system. Thus,
Enforced                     the Service has not been in the best position to analyze data on women and
                             minorities as they move, or do not move, through the Service’s promotion
                             process or to determine if and for what reason impediments or barriers
                             exist to the promotion of women and minorities to higher levels of
                             responsibility in the Service, generally, and within the EAS, specifically.

                             The Vice President of Human Resources, in February 1997, sent a
                             memorandum to area and district human resource managers reminding
                             them that the requirement to collect applicant-flow data was still effective.
                             She noted that such information was critical to Service efforts to examine
                             the promotion process for continuous improvement. Although recognizing
                             that managers were facing various priorities, she asked that managers
                             develop a plan for collecting and entering past applicant data into the
                             Promotion Report System. She also noted that this automated system was
                             the source of data for the Applicant Flow Tracking System (AFTS), a
                             system vital to the Diversity Development Department’s responsibility for
                             reporting promotion demographics.

                             According to a manager in the Service’s Human Resources Department,
                             the Service has had a centralized, computer-based tracking system in place
                             for the last 10 years—the AFTS—which is to track diversity data related to
                             promotions within the Service. He acknowledged, however, that
                             participation in this system varies across Service units. Some units have
                             consistently entered the data into the AFTS as required, while others have
                             never entered the data. Another manager in Human Resources said that
                             this inconsistent use of the AFTS and subsequent incomplete data in the
                             system have occurred because unit managers have few incentives to see
                             that the data are entered into the system because the system is not tied to
                             any essential information system, such as accounting and payroll or the
                             employee master file. In addition, he said that there have been few or no
                             consequences to these managers for not doing so.

                             Because of the unreliability of the AFTS database, the Service has to use
                             the Employee Master File and a separate personnel action database to
                             obtain race, ethnicity, and gender data for those applicants who are
                             promoted; the Service cannot readily compile and use this information on
                             applicants seeking promotion. A reliable and complete database on all
                             applicants would (1) provide an essential baseline against which to assess
                             the promotion progress of specific EEO groups and (2) help the Service



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              B-281375




              identify and remove or reduce the impact of barriers to the promotion of
              women and minorities. For example, during our initial review in response
              to your request, we noted that there were no Hispanic women applicants
              for promotion to EAS levels 17 and above in the Service’s Atlanta
                                                       12
              performance cluster in fiscal year 1997. The Service could use this type of
              information to (1) determine whether any problems or barriers existed in
              the cluster that had caused this situation, and if so, (2) take appropriate
              corrective action.

              In fiscal year 1997, overall women and minority representation in the
Conclusions   Service’s cluster-level workforce did not parallel that of the 1990 CLF.
              Relative to their representation in the CLF, several specific EEO groups
              were fully represented, while others were underrepresented. Also, in fiscal
              year 1997, women and minorities were generally promoted to EAS 17 and
              above positions in percentages higher than or close to their workforce
              representation in the three workforce levels—cluster, headquarters, and
              area offices. As of September 1997, women and minorities were present in
              all EAS 17 and above positions and generally had been promoted to EAS 17
              and above positions during 1997 in the three workforce levels.
              Nonetheless, as of September 1997, women and minority representation
              was generally lower in EAS 17 and above positions than it was in EAS 11
              through 16 positions.

              Overall, given the short time frame and preselection of sites that resulted
              in certain study limitations, we believe that the multiple methodologies
              Aguirre used for its study were reasonable, relevant, and appropriate.
              However, Aguirre’s finding that a glass ceiling appeared to exist at
              positions beginning at EAS 17 could be misleading. Evidence that Aguirre
              cited to support this finding was not convincing, and according to our
              analysis, women and minorities were generally represented in and were
              being promoted to EAS 17 and above positions, albeit at varying
              percentages, for the period we reviewed.

              Neither the Service nor we could determine the exact number of
              recommendations made by Aguirre. Nevertheless, the Service is making
              progress in implementing the 23 initiatives it developed in response to the
              Aguirre report, which are aimed at strengthening its diversity program. We
              believe that the Service’s ongoing plan to continue monitoring the
              implementation of policies, processes, procedures, and plans covered by
              its 23 initiatives is especially important given the Service’s designation of
              some initiatives as being completed when such policies, processes,
              12
                   GAO/GGD-98-200R.




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                   B-281375




                   procedures, and plans have been developed and approved although
                   specific actions required by some of these initiatives may still be ongoing.

                   Service initiatives to better capture and use data in response to the Aguirre
                   study appear reasonable. However, the Service has not yet (1) established
                   and implemented targets and measures for tracking the Service’s progress
                   in meeting its diversity goals and objectives or (2) fully captured or used
                   EEO data on applicants as they progress, or do not progress, through the
                   Service’s promotion process. The Service has developed diversity goals
                   and objectives, and now that its Diversity Business Plan has been
                   approved, is in the process of developing specific targets and measures for
                   assessing its progress in meeting its goals and objectives. However, the
                   Service is not capturing reliable EEO data on promotion applicants’
                   progress through the promotion process. Although we recognize that
                   collecting and using EEO data on promotion applicants will require
                   additional effort, such data are important for identifying problems and
                   barriers affecting women and minorities in the promotion process.

                   We recommend that the Postmaster General ensure that appropriate
Recommendation     Service officials capture EEO group data in the AFTS and use these data to
                   help improve the Service’s diversity program, including the identification
                   of any barriers that might impede promotions to high-level EAS positions.

                   On February 4, 1999, we were informed by the Postal Service that the Vice
Comments and Our   President of Diversity Development and the Vice President of Human
Evaluation         Resources concurred with the information provided in the draft report. In
                   addition, the Vice President of Human Resources stated that, in response
                   to our recommendation, she would reemphasize to the field the need to
                   enter data into the Promotion Report System, which is the source of the
                   data for the AFTS. Also she stated that once the data are complete and
                   reliable, they can be used as a tool to identify the point that impedes the
                   promotions of applicants to high-level EAS positions.

                   On January 28, 1999, Aguirre provided written comments stating that it
                   found our report to be instructive and informative. Aguirre noted the
                   conditions under which its study was done, such as a charged atmosphere
                   at the Service and the short time frame for the study. Aguirre also noted
                   differences between the scope of its study and ours, such as its (1) use of
                   fiscal year 1996 data compared to our use of fiscal year 1997 data and (2)
                   inclusion of PCES data while our review did not. Aguirre also pointed out
                   that it found clear distinctions in perceptions about the types of positions
                   within the EAS levels, and that to do a thorough analysis, one should look
                   at these differences. For example, Aguirre said it found that women were



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overrepresented in the attorney area and in rural postmaster jobs and
underrepresented in more “power and influence” positions. We believe
that Aguirre was suggesting that these differences in scope could account
for differences between the results of its study and ours.

We used fiscal year 1997 data in our analysis because it was the latest
period for which complete data were available. We did not include PCES
positions in our analysis because we were asked to analyze the Service’s
EAS workforce. An analysis of any perceived or actual differences in
representation of women and minorities among types of EAS positions
was beyond the scope of our review. Nevertheless, even with these
differences in scope, we do not believe that there were significant
differences between the results of our work and Aguirre’s study results in
those areas that we both addressed. Both reports point out that women
and minorities were less represented in higher EAS positions than they
were in lower EAS positions. In addition, our report does not take issue
with Aguirre’s view that barriers may exist to the promotion of women and
minorities to high-level EAS positions.

Aguirre further stated that it stood behind its conclusion that there seemed
to be a drop in the numbers of women and minorities somewhere around
the EAS 17 through 22 level based on data presented in its report. Aguirre
said that these data were coupled with the views of Service employees it
interviewed who believed that a barrier, or “in their terms, a glass ceiling”
existed near or around this EAS level. However, our concern is that
Aguirre’s use of the term glass ceiling in its report could be misleading
because (1) Aguirre did not define the term glass ceiling in its report; (2)
the data in its report did not, in our view, support the existence of a glass
ceiling as defined in the general sense, that is, an upper limit beyond which
few or no women and minorities could advance; and (3) data in both
Aguirre’s report and in our report showed that women and minorities were
represented in and were promoted to levels above EAS 17, showing the
advancement of women and minorities. The Postal Service raised a similar
concern about Aguirre’s use of the term glass ceiling. Nevertheless, we
agree with Aguirre that opportunity may exist for the Service to increase
diversity at higher EAS levels, and our report recommends that the Service
ensure that appropriate EEO group data are captured and used so that any
barriers impeding the promotion of women and minorities to high-level
EAS positions can be identified.

Aguirre said that our report lacked a discussion of the “feeder flow” from
which Postal employees move into higher level EAS positions. We believe,
however, that our report addressed this issue, at least in part, through our



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analysis of the diversity of the Service’s EAS 11 through 16 workforce,
which forms the pool from which promotions to EAS 17 and above
positions would likely come.

Finally, Aguirre provided several technical comments, which we
considered and included in our report as appropriate.

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairman and Ranking Minority
Member of the Subcommittee on the Postal Service, House Committee on
Government Reform; the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the
Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal
Services, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs; the Postmaster
General; and Aguirre International. We will also make copies available to
others on request.

If you have any questions concerning this report, please call me on (202)
512-8387. Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix IV.

Sincerely yours,




Bernard L. Ungar
Director, Government Business
  Operations Issues




Page 24                        GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Page 25   GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Contents



Letter                                                                                                 1


Appendix I                                                                                            28

Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology
Appendix II                                                                                           32
                         Women and Minority Representation at the Service’s                           32
Women and Minority        Three Workforce Levels
Representation in the
Cluster, Headquarters,
and Area Office
Workforces
Appendix III                                                                                          36

Aguirre Study's
Methodological
Approach
Appendix IV                                                                                           38

Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                   Table 1: Comparison of Service Cluster Workforce in                           6
                           Fiscal Year 1997 With the 1990 CLF
                         Table 2: Comparison of Cluster-Level Representation of                       10
                           Women and Minorities in EAS 17 and Above Positions
                           With Their Representation in EAS 11 Through 16
                           Positions, Fiscal Year 1997
                         Table 3: Women and Minority Workforce and Promotion                          14
                           Representation at EAS 17 and Above Positions for
                           Cluster-Level Employees, Fiscal Year 1997
                         Table 4: Implementation Status of Postal Service                             16
                           Initiatives as of December 31, 1998




                         Page 26                      GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
          Contents




          Table II.1: Comparison of Service Cluster, Headquarters,                        32
            and Area Office Workforces With the 1990 CLF, by
            EEO Group, as of the End of Fiscal Year 1997
          Table II.2: Comparison of Change in Representation of                           33
            Women and Minorities at EAS 17+ Positions at the
            Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office Levels, by EEO
            Group, Fiscal Year 1993 and Fiscal Year 1997
          Table II.3: Comparison of the Representation of Women                           34
            and Minorities Promoted to EAS 17+ Positions (During
            Fiscal Year 1997) With Their Representation in the
            Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office Workforces, as
            of the end of Fiscal Year 1997
          Table II.4: Comparison of Representation of Women and                           35
            Minorities in EAS 17 and Above Positions With Their
            Representation in EAS 11 Through 16 Positions, as of
            the end of Fiscal Year 1997
          Table III.1: Aguirre Study’s Eight Research Areas and the                       36
            Methodological Approach Taken


Figures   Figure 1: Comparison of Cluster-Level Representation of                          7
            Women and Minorities at EAS 17 and Above Positions
            in Fiscal Year 1993 With Fiscal Year 1997
          Figure 2: Comparison of the Cluster-Level                                        9
            Representation of Women and Minorities Promoted to
            EAS 17 and Above With Their Representation in Those
            Positions (before the promotions), Fiscal Year 1997




          Abbreviations

          AFTS          Application Flow Tracking System
          CLF           Civilian Labor Force
          EAS           Executive and Administrative Schedule
          EEO           equal employment opportunity
          PCES          Postal Career Executive Service




          Page 27                         GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix I

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


              This report, which follows our previous letter on selected promotions of
              women and minorities to Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS)
                                             1
              management-level positions, provides (1) information about the overall
              extent to which women and minorities have been promoted to or are
              represented in EAS management-level positions in the Postal Service; (2)
              our observations on the methodology used by a private contractor, Aguirre
              International, to study workforce diversity at the U.S. Postal Service; (3)
              the status of the Service’s efforts to address the recommendations in the
              Aguirre report; and (4) our analysis of whether the Service could better
              capture and use data to achieve its diversity objectives.

              To determine the overall extent to which women and minorities have been
              promoted to or are represented in EAS management-level jobs, we
              obtained Service workforce statistics from the its Diversity Development
              Department and annual promotion statistics for career-level employees,
              with the exception of the Postal Career Executive Service (PCES), from
              the Human Resources Information Systems Office. The Diversity
              Development Department, in conjunction with the Service’s Minneapolis
              Data Center, provided us with data tapes containing information related to
              the equal employment opportunity (EEO) composition of the Service
              career-level workforce for Service fiscal years 1993 through 1997. We
              chose to focus our analysis on these years since major downsizing and
              other changes occurred in the Service in 1992 because of an extensive
              reorganization. Data from fiscal year 1998 were not available at the time of
              our analysis. The data we used included EAS level; race, national origin,
              and gender; location of employee; number of employees by EEO group;
              and civilian labor force (CLF) statistics for each EEO group. We did not
              verify these data by comparing them to original source documents.

              We obtained information on promotions from the Service’s Human
              Resource Information Office; this information was compiled from the
              Employee Master and Payroll Accounting files. Using the “nature of action”
              code from Forms 50, Notice of Personnel Action, we identified career-level
              employees who had been promoted, by EAS level, throughout the Service.
              We used this information to assess the extent of promotions to specific
              EAS positions by EEO groups in the Service. Our limited verification of
                                                                                     2
              this promotion data against the promotions reviewed at the three areas
              reported on in our previous letter showed it to be accurate.

              1
                  GAO/GGD-98-200R.
              2
              See GAO/GGD-98-200R, in which we reported on the promotion process and EEO status of a selected
              number of employees applying for promotions to EAS management-level positions in Atlanta, GA; Fort
              Worth, TX; and Van Nuys, CA.




              Page 28                                 GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




We used this information to construct a workforce profile by EEO group at
three workforce levels—headquarters, area offices, and performance
clusters. In our analysis, we included all career-level employees from each
performance cluster; employees reporting to area offices, whether they
were located in an area office or a cluster facility; and headquarters’
employees, including employees physically housed at L’Enfant Plaza in
Washington, D.C., as well as those reporting to headquarters but located
elsewhere. We analyzed data provided by the Service for the three groups
of employees: (1) cluster-level employees, who represented 732,112 (or
95.7 percent) of the about 765,000 career-level employees at the Service at
the end of fiscal year 1997; (2) area office employees, who represented
21,864 (2.9 percent) of the career-level employees; and (3) headquarters’
employees, who represented 10,707 (1.4 percent) of the career-level
employees. We looked at employees in the three workforce levels because
responsibility and authority for diversity is separated into these three
levels.

To provide some context for the results of our analysis, we first compared
the 1997 Service data with CLF data from the 1990 decennial census
separately for the three workforce levels of employees. We used figures
from the 1990 census because this was the comparative baseline used by
the Service and by Aguirre International in its study. We recognize there
are more recent estimates that would have accounted for the changes in
the population, especially in the Hispanic and Asian subpopulations in
certain areas. However, these estimates are not broken down into a
geographic level that is comparable to Service performance clusters.

Regarding promotions to women and minorities as well as the Aguirre
report’s finding of a glass ceiling at EAS 17 and above positions, we did
several analyses: First, we considered how the representation of each of
the 10 EEO groups in EAS 17 and above positions had changed between
fiscal years 1993 and 1997. Second, we considered whether the percentage
of employees in each of the 10 EEO groups (i.e., white, black, Hispanic,
Asian, and Native American men and women) that were promoted to EAS
17 and above positions during fiscal year 1997 were greater or less than the
percentages of employees in each of the 10 EEO groups that were
employed in those positions at the beginning of fiscal year 1997 (before the
promotions). We computed a ratio statistic to express the percentage of
employees in each of the 10 EEO groups that were promoted to EAS 17
and above positions during fiscal year 1997 compared with the percentage
of employees in each group already employed in EAS 17 and above
positions before the promotions. The positive ratio of 1.23 for black men,
for example, was the percentage of all promotions going to black men



Page 29                              GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




(10.85 percent) divided by the percentage of the cluster-level workforce,
which was black men at EAS 17 and above (8.81 percent) at the beginning
of fiscal year 1997. These same comparisons and ratios were done
separately for cluster, headquarters, and area office employees. Finally, we
considered how the representation of the various groups of women and
minorities in higher level EAS positions (17 through 30) compared with
their representation in the lower level EAS positions (11 through 16).

To provide observations on the methodology used by Aguirre International
in its study of workforce diversity at the Service, we reviewed the Aguirre
report and the methodologies used in relation to the study’s objectives,
limitations, and findings. In addition, we reviewed both the comments
from the Advisory Diversity Team on Aguirre’s draft report and Aguirre’s
response to Service questions. We also interviewed the Project Director for
the Aguirre study. We reviewed a copy of the contract and statement of
work between the Service and Aguirre International, and discussed the
report with the two secretaries to the Board of Governors. We also looked
at the Aguirre study’s methodology in relation to the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance and our previous work
on diversity-related issues.

To provide information on the status of the Service’s efforts to address the
Aguirre report’s recommendations, we reviewed the Service’s response to
the study as well as several status reports prepared by the Diversity
Oversight Committee, which is a Servicewide committee established to
oversee the implementation of the Service’s response to the Aguirre report.
We also interviewed the Vice President of Diversity Development as well
as the manager in charge of the Supplier Development and Diversity
program in the Purchasing and Materials Department concerning the
Aguirre report’s recommendations, among other things. We reviewed the
Service’s action plan, which laid out 23 initiatives and was prepared in
response to the Aguirre report. We limited our verification of the
implementation status of the 23 initiatives to obtaining and reviewing
available relevant documents, such as plans and directives, prepared by
the Service.

To determine whether the Service could improve its capture and use of
diversity-related data, we reviewed (1) diversity-related data historically
collected and used by the Service; (2) Aguirre’s recommendations related
to data collection and the Service’s response to them; (3) Service
documents prepared in response to the Results Act; and (4) Service
documents related to the AFTS. In addition, we interviewed
knowledgeable Service officials and Aguirre’s Project Director.



Page 30                              GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




We did our work from July 1998 through January 1999 in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. We requested
comments on a draft of this report from the Postmaster General and
Aguirre International’s Director of Operations. The Postal Service’s oral
comments and Aguirre’s written comments are discussed near the end of
the letter.




Page 31                              GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix II

Women and Minority Representation in the
Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office
Workforces
                                          The following tables present information on women and minority
Women and Minority                        representation at the three Service workforce levels—the cluster,
Representation at the                     headquarters, and area office levels—and includes the following
Service’s Three                           comparisons for women and minorities:
Workforce Levels                       • representation at the three workforce levels as of the end of fiscal year
                                         1997 compared with their representation in the 1990 CLF (table II.1);
                                       • changes in women and minority representation at EAS 17 and above
                                         positions at the three workforce levels for fiscal years 1993 and 1997
                                         (table II.2);
                                       • promotions to EAS 17 and above positions as of the end of fiscal year 1997
                                         compared with women and minority representation in those positions at
                                         all three workforce levels during fiscal year 1997 before the promotions
                                         (table II.3); and
                                       • women and minority representation in EAS 17 and above positions
                                         compared with their representation in EAS 11 through 16 positions (table
                                         II.4).

Women and Minority                        Table II.1 shows that when comparing Service data as of the end of fiscal
                                          year 1997 with CLF data from the 1990 decennial census, black and Asian
Workforce Representation                  men and women were fully represented, while white and Hispanic women
in Fiscal Year 1997                       and Native American men were underrepresented at headquarters, in the
Compared With Their                       area offices, and among cluster-level employees. Native American women
Representation in the                     were also underrepresented among the large group of cluster employees as
                                          well as among headquarters personnel. In addition, white men were
1990 CLF                                  underrepresented among area office employees, while Hispanic men were
                                          underrepresented at the headquarters and area office levels.


Table II.1: Comparison of Service Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office Workforces With the 1990 CLF, by EEO Group, as of
the End of Fiscal Year 1997
                                                                                                            Native    Native
Workforce           White      White       Black     Black Hispanic Hispanic          Asian       Asian American American
level                men     women          men    women          men     women        men      women         men    women
Cluster           44.34%     22.09%      11.34%      9.58%      4.82%      2.00%     3.46%       1.87%      0.29%     0.22%
HQ                 47.64      20.81       11.06     10.90       2.90       1.49       2.83        1.83       0.32      0.21
Area office        30.72      22.26       18.01     16.37       4.03       2.49       3.29        2.17       0.27      0.38
CLF                42.64      35.30        4.95      5.45       4.77       3.35       1.51        1.32       0.35      0.30
Ratio
  Cluster           1.04       0.63        2.29      1.76       1.01       0.60       2.29        1.42       0.83      0.73
  HQ                1.12       0.59        2.23      2.00       0.61       0.44       1.87        1.39       0.91      0.70
  Area office       0.72       0.63        3.64      3.00       0.84       0.74       2.18        1.64       0.77      1.27
                                          Note: Ratio, in this instance, is a method used to compare the relationships between the
                                          representation of each EEO group within the Service’s cluster, headquarters, and area office levels
                                          relative to the CLF.
                                          Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal year 1997 data and 1990 CLF data.




                                          Page 32                                   GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
                                        Appendix II
                                        Women and Minority Representation in the Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office
                                        Workforces




Women and Minority                      As shown in table II.2, we determined how the representation of the 10
                                        EEO groups in the higher EAS positions had changed between fiscal years
Workforce Representation                1993 and 1997. White and black men were the only EEO groups that
at EAS 17 and Above                     decreased in their representation among all three workforce levels at EAS
Positions in Fiscal Years               17 and above positions during this period. Native American men also
1993 and 1997                           decreased in their representation among employees at high-level EAS
                                        positions at headquarters and area offices, and Asian men decreased
                                        slightly in their representation among employees at high-level EAS
                                        positions at the area offices.


Table II.2: Comparison of Change in Representation of Women and Minorities at EAS 17+ Positions at the Cluster,
Headquarters, and Area Office Levels, by EEO Group, Fiscal Year 1993 and Fiscal Year 1997
Workforce                                                                                                 Native  Native
level/             White      White       Black     Black Hispanic Hispanic           Asian    Asian American American
Fiscal year         men     women          men    women          men    women          men   women           men women
Cluster
  1993           59.59%     16.10%       9.39%     7.36%      4.21%       1.11%      1.12%    0.45%        0.47%  0.20%
  1997            57.70      17.69        8.81      7.72       4.40       1.27        1.18     0.48        0.54    0.23
  Ratio
  1997:1993        0.97       1.10        0.94      1.05       1.05       1.14        1.05     1.07        1.15    1.15

Headquarters
 1993            62.40      16.36      7.31         5.59         2.24         0.96         2.95           1.65   0.42        0.11
 1997            59.21      18.18      7.12         6.16         2.76         1.09         3.12           1.82   0.41        0.15
 Ratio
 1997:1993        0.95       1.11      0.97         1.10         1.23         1.14         1.06           1.10   0.98        1.36

Area office
 1993            53.87      16.02     12.00        9.44          3.25         1.24         2.17           1.16   0.62        0.23
 1997            50.35      18.05     11.48       11.01          3.46         1.44         2.08           1.33   0.46        0.35
 Ratio
 1997:1993        0.93       1.13      0.96         1.17         1.06         1.16         0.96           1.15   0.74        1.52
                                        Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal years1993 and 1997 data.




                                        Page 33                                 GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
                                           Appendix II
                                           Women and Minority Representation in the Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office
                                           Workforces




Women and Minority                         As shown in table II.3, we determined whether the percentages of
                                           employees in each of the 10 EEO groups that were promoted to EAS 17
Promotions to EAS 17 and                   and above positions during fiscal year 1997 were greater or less than the
Above Positions Compared                   percentages of employees in each of the 10 EEO groups employed at those
With Their Workforce                       levels at the beginning of fiscal year 1997 (before the promotions).
Representation, During
                                           Asian women were the only group other than white men, among cluster-
Fiscal Year 1997                           level employees, who were not promoted during fiscal year 1997 to EAS 17
                                           and above positions in numbers that would have been sufficient to
                                           increase their representation in those higher EAS positions. This was also
                                           true for black men, Asian women, and Native American men among
                                           headquarters’ employees. Among area office employees, the percentages
                                           of white women and Hispanic and Native American men and women
                                           promoted to EAS 17 and above positions were not as large as the
                                           percentages employed at those higher levels. White men were the only
                                           group for which percentages of promotions to 17 and above positions were
                                           lower than the percentages of white men already employed in those
                                           positions across all three workforce levels.


Table II.3: Comparison of the Representation of Women and Minorities Promoted to EAS 17+ Positions (During Fiscal Year
1997) With Their Representation in the Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office Workforces, as of the end of Fiscal Year 1997
                                                                                                              Native     Native
Workforce        White       White      Black       Black Hispanic Hispanic           Asian       Asian American American
level              men      women         men      women         men     women         men       women          men     women
Cluster
  Workforce     57.70%      17.69%      8.81%       7.72%      4.40%       1.27%     1.18%        0.48%       0.54%       0.23%
  Promotions    47.56       19.55      10.85       11.32        5.13       2.26       2.15        0.36         0.60       0.24
  Ratio           0.82        1.11       1.23       1.47        1.17       1.78       1.82        0.75         1.11       1.04

Headquarters
 Workforce     59.21%      18.18%       7.12%        6.16%        2.76%         1.09%         3.12%     1.82%       0.41%       0.15%
 Promotions    46.59       22.95        6.14         7.73         7.27          2.95          4.32      1.59        0.23        0.23
 Ratio          0.79        1.26        0.86         1.25         2.63          2.71          1.38      0.87        0.56        1.53

Area office
 Workforce     50.35%      18.05%      11.48%        11.01%       3.46%         1.44%         2.08%     1.33%       0.46%       0.35%
 Promotions    48.89       17.78       13.33         13.33        2.22          0.00          2.22      2.22        0.00        0.00
 Ratio          0.97        0.99        1.16          1.21        0.64          0.00          1.07      1.67        0.00        0.00
                                           Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal year 1997 data.




                                           Page 34                                  GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
                                           Appendix II
                                           Women and Minority Representation in the Cluster, Headquarters, and Area Office
                                           Workforces




Women and Minority                         As shown in table II.4, we determined whether, as of the end of fiscal year
                                           1997, the representation of various EEO groups of minority men and
Representation at EAS 17                   women employed in EAS 17 and above positions resembled their
and Above Positions                        representation in EAS 11 through 16 positions. Among cluster-level
Compared With That at EAS                  employees and headquarters employees, all EEO groups of women—but
11 Through 16 Positions,                   none of the groups of men, except black men at headquarters and Asian
                                           men at the cluster level—were less well represented in EAS 17 through 30
Fiscal Year 1997                           positions than they were in EAS 11 through 16 positions. Among area
                                           office employees, Hispanic men and Asian and Native American men and
                                           women fared better while black men, similar to black and Hispanic
                                           women, were less well represented in EAS 17 and above positions
                                           compared with the EAS 11 through 16 positions.


Table II.4: Comparison of Representation of Women and Minorities in EAS 17 and Above Positions With Their Representation in
EAS 11 Through 16 Positions, as of the end of Fiscal Year 1997
                                                           EEO group
                                                                                              Native    Native Percentage
Workforce/        White     White     Black     Black Hispanic Hispanic     Asian   Asian American American of women/
EAS level           men women          men women           men women         men women          men    women minorities
Cluster
11 to 16        39.13%   34.29%     8.74%       9.85%       3.20%      1.79%       1.31%       0.93%    0.33%      0.43%          61%
17 to 30        57.70    17.69      8.81        7.72        4.40       1.27        1.18        0.48     0.54       0.23           42
 Ratio
 17+:11-16       1.47      0.52     1.01        0.78        1.38        0.71        0.90        0.52     1.64       0.53

Headquarters
11 to 16        17.15%   39.00%     7.28%     25.75%        1.37%      3.44%       2.28%       3.19%    0.05%      0.51%          83%
17 to 30        59.21    18.18      7.12       6.16         2.76       1.09        3.12        1.82     0.41       0.15           41
 Ratio
 17+:11-16       3.45      0.47     0.98        0.24        2.01        0.32        1.37        0.57     8.20       0.29

Area office
11 to 16        35.20%   19.52%    18.77%     18.43%        2.59%      2.50%       1.33%       1.17%    0.33%      0.17%          65%
17 to 30        50.35    18.05     11.48      11.01         3.46       1.44        2.08        1.33     0.46       0.35           50
 Ratio
 17+:11-16       1.43      0.92     0.61        0.60        1.34        0.58        1.56        1.14     1.39       2.06
                                           Source: GAO analysis of Service fiscal year 1997 data.




                                           Page 35                                  GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix III

Aguirre Study's Methodological Approach


                                               Table III.1 provides the details of the primary methodologies used by
                                               Aguirre researchers to develop answers to the eight research questions on
                                               which the study was based. As shown in the table, Aguirre researchers
                                               used multiple methods to research the questions, including extensive data
                                               analysis.


Table III.1: Aguirre Study’s Eight Research Areas and the Methodological Approach Taken
Eight research areas                                 Methodologies used by Aguirre researchers
(1) How does the composition of the postal workforce • Developed statistical analysis of (1) Census CLF dataa and (2) Service workforce
by race/national origin and gender compare to the    data at national and local levels
population nationally and locally?                   • Created models for mapping Census data into race and national origin
                                                     categories
                                                     • Did Service workforce trend analysis

(2) Does the hiring process address local                • Reviewed Service written policies and practices for hiring
population profiles?                                     • Interviewed Service national and local staff
                                                         • Analyzed Service workforce data
                                                         • Compared local Service workforce data with CLF data
                                                         • Interviewed potential employees

(3) Does the Diversity Reporting System provide          • Reviewed written Service policies and practices in assigning employees to
accurate information on the race and national            race/national origin categories; also interviewed relevant Service staff at national
origin of Service employees?                             and local levels
                                                         • Analyzed two data files: Active Employee Reference file and Personnel Actions
                                                         file, extracted from Notice of Personnel Action, Form 50
                                                         • Surveyed sample of employees selected from Diversity Reporting System to
                                                         verify race and national origin

(4) Do promotion policies and practices result in        • Reviewed Service’s written policies and practices for promotions
promotions that are proportionate to the number          • Interviewed Service staff at national and local levels
of minority groups represented in the workforce,         • Analyzed Service workforce data for distribution of annual promotions by level,
nationally and locally?                                  EEO group, and compared the data with CLF data

(5) How well do Training and Development Programs • Interviewed training and diversity staff in each of the 10 sites as well as in
address diversity needs?                          headquarters
                                                  • Interviewed Service employees

(6) How effectively does Postal Service contracting      • Reviewed Service’s written policies and practices for contracting
and subcontracting with minority-owned business          • Interviewed Service staff at national and local levels
support diversity goals, nationally and locally?         • Analyzed Service Supplier Diversity data
                                                         • Held focus groups with potential vendors at six sites
                                                         • Conducted six in-depth interviews with potential vendors in Dallas




                                               Page 36                                 GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
                                                Appendix III
                                                Aguirre Study's Methodological Approach




Eight research areas                                      Methodologies used by Aguirre researchers
(7) How does the Postal Service Diversity Program         • Compared Service’s diversity program in the area of contracting with that of
compare with those of other large organizations?          other mail carriers
                                                          • Compared Service’s diversity program with those of other companies that have
                                                          achieved success with diversity (e.g., Motorola, Allstate, and Harvard Pilgrim
                                                          Health Care)
(8) What strategic direction should the Diversity         • Identified best practices used by other organizations in the private sector
Program take?                                             reported to have successful diversity programs
                                                          • Identified promising practices used in Service’s Diversity program
                                                          • Identified certain organizations’ diversity programs/objectives as models against
                                                          which the Service can compare its strategies, etc.

                                                Note: Aguirre researchers visited Service facilities at the following 10 selected sites: Los Angeles;
                                                Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Dallas; Miami; Jackson, MS; Hartford, CT; Seattle; and Albuquerque;
                                                New Orleans was a pilot site. Due to union and other logistical issues, Aguirre researchers were
                                                unable to survey a random sample of employees at each target site; but they did, with support from
                                                informal networks and Service professional organizations, survey a judgmental sample of employees.
                                                a
                                                Aguirre used 1970, 1980, and 1990 CLF Census data for comparisons with the 1996 and 1997
                                                Service workforce.
                                                Source: GAO analysis of It’s Good Business—A Study of Diversity in the United States Postal
                                                Service, Aguirre International, Oct. 27, 1997.




                                                Page 37                                  GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Appendix IV

Major Contributors to This Report


                        William R. Chatlos, Senior Social Science Analyst
General Government      Douglas Sloane, Senior Social Science Analyst
Division, Washington,   Hazel Bailey, Evaluator (Communications Analyst)
D.C.

                        Victor B. Goddard, Staff Attorney
Office of the General
Counsel
Dallas Field Office     Sherrill H. Johnson, Assistant Director
Dallas Field Office     Billy W. Scott, Evaluator-in-Charge




                        Page 38                        GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Page 39   GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
Page 40   GAO/GGD-99-26 Diversity in High-Level EAS Positions
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