oversight

Health and Human Services: Hispanic Representation and Equal Employment Practices in Region VIII

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-11-20.

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

 i
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‘I
 i
-‘- GAO
              United States
              General Accounting    Office
              Washington,   D.C. 20548

              Denver    Regional     Office                                          Suite 800
                                                                                     1244 Speer Boulevard
                                                                                     Denver, CO 80204

              B-241294

              November 20,199O

              The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth
              United States Senate

              Dear Senator Wirth:

              In an October 4, 1989, letter, you expressed concerns about possible
              evidence of discriminatory hiring and promotion practices against His-
              panics by the Department of HeaIth and Human Services’ (HHS)region
              VIII, located in Denver. Region VIII, 1 of 10 HHS regional offices, encom-
              passes Colorado, IMontana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and
              Wyoming.

              Based on your letter and discussions with your office, we agreed to
              determine for selected fiscal years whether t111sregion VIII

          l employed Hispanics in representative numbers when compared with the
            regional civilian labor force (CLF);’
          l developed and implemented affirmative employment plans (AEPS) in
            accordance with federal guidelines;
          9 processed competitive vacancy announcements in accordance with fed-
            eral policies and procedures; and
          . in conjunction with 1111s headquarters, processed formal discrimination
            complaints in compliance with federal policies and procedures.

              In addition, we agreed to obtain data on certain other topics related to
              region VIII’s Hispanics, including numbers of political appointees,
              informal discrimination complaints and grievances, unfair labor prac-
              tices, adverse personnel actions, performance awards, training opportu-
              nities, and upward nobiIity.

              We performed work from October 1989 to May 1990 at IIHS region VIII
              offices in Denver and HHS headquarters in Washington, D.C. We inter-
              viewed HHS officials concerning the hiring and promotion of Hispanics,
              collected work-force profile and personnel data related to Hispanics, and
              reviewed AEPS, competitive vacancy announcements, and discrimination



              tCLF data include persons 16 years of age and over, excluding those in the Armed Forces, who are
              employed or seeking employment. These data are developed through the nation’s cellsus, which is
              conducted every 10 years. The data currently used were collected in 1980.
.                                                                                                                        1
                   B241294                                                                                               /




                   complaint procedures. Our review was done in accordance with gener-
                   ally accepted government auditing standards. Our findings are summa-
                   rized below and detailed in appendix I.


                   During fiscal years 1981, 1985, 1987, and 1989, the overall representa-
Results in Brief   tion of Hispanic employees in the region VIII work force, including
                   Indian Health Service (IHS) employees, exceeded the Hispanic represen-
                   tation in the regional civilian labor force.2 Before fiscal year 1989, HHS
                   only developed work-force data with IHS included. In fiscal year 1989,
                   for the first time, work-force data were developed for region VIII both
                   including and excluding IHS. As of September 30, 1989, region VIII’s rep-
                   resentation of Hispanics was 10.3 percent with IHS staff excluded and
                   6.0 percent with IHSstaff included. These percentages exceeded the
                   regional CLF rate of 5.5 percent for Hispanics.

                   Except for the Social Security Administration (SSA),region VIII oper-
                   ating divisions are not required to prepare regional AEPS because each
                   employs fewer than 500 staff. Instead, HHS operating divisions at the
                   national level monitor work-force data and implement equal employ-
                   ment opportunity requirements. Regional operating divisions rarely par-
                   ticipated in preparing AEPS and accomplishment reports. Except for SSA
                   officials, HHS headquarters operating division officials seldom communi-
                   cated with the region VIII operating divisions about affirmative action
                   issues.

                   Our review of 19 competitive vacancy announcements, issued from Jan-
                   uary 1987 to January 1990, showed that region VIII generally processed
                   them in accordance with federal policies and procedures and that His-
                   panic applicants fared well in the competitive selection process. Except
                   for SSA,however, the region has not compiled and analyzed race,
                   national origin, and gender data on internal job applicants (those
                   already employed by HHS). Consequently, the region did not have data to
                   determine whether Hispanics applied for positions commensurate with
                   their numbers in the regional work force. Moreover, some files were
                   incomplete regarding how applicants were chosen for the best qualified
                   list.




                   “IHS, a Public Health Service component comprising 44 percent of the region VIII work force, is
                   required by law to give hiring preferencv to American Indians. As a result, 72 percent of IHS’s
                   employees are American Indians.




                   Page 2                               GAO/HRD918       Klspanic Representation in KHS Region VUI   I
                    B-241294




                    HHS headquarters generally followed policies and procedures prescribed
                    by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in handling
                    formal discrimination complaints. Complaint processing often exceeded
                    EEOC’Srecommended time frame of 180 days; some cases took more than
                    3 years. HHS is working to expedite the processing of formal complaints.

                    Information on the other topics you requested us to review is included in
                    appendix II.


                    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires federal agencies to develop and
Background          implement affirmative action programs to eliminate the historic under-
                    representation of minorities and women in the work force. EEOC is the
                    federal agency responsible for monitoring federal affirmative employ-
                    ment programs. In 1981 and 1987, EEOC directed all federal agencies,
                    including HHS, to develop g-year AEPS that include affirmative employ-
                    ment targets, timetables, and program strategies to eliminate minority
                    underrepresentation. EEOC publishes statistics on minority availability in
                    the civilian labor force in professional, administrative, technical, cler-
                    ical, and all other job categories combined. These statistics are currently
                    based on data compiled during the 1980 census. For HHS region VIII,
                    each minority group’s rate of employment in specific employment cate-
                    gories is compared with its rate of availability in the Rocky Mountain
                    Region civilian labor force, from which region VIII recruits to fill most
                    positions.

                    HBS  region VIII employed about 3,400 employees as of September 30,
                    1989. Our work-force analysis included the 2,851 employees in the
                    region’s white collar positions at grades 1 to 15. We excluded the 242
                    staff in wage board positions because all were employed in the Public
                    Health Service. We excluded the 315 staff in the Commissioned Corps
                    and 6 Senior Executive Service staff because HHS headquarters officials
                    make these appointments.


Hispanic            As of September 30, 1989, total Hispanic representation in the HHS
                    region VIII work force exceeded total Hispanic representation in the
Representation in   Rocky Mountain civilian labor force, both including and excluding IHS.
HHS Region VIII     When broken out by gender, grade level, and occupational category, the
                    representation of Hispanics in Region VIII, with IHSincluded, was
                    slightly lower in some categories than that in the regional civilian labor
                    force. In most cases, however, hiring or promoting a few more Hispanics
                    wouId have eliminated the underrepresentation.


                    Page 3                     GAO/lfRD9lS   HLqxmic   Representation   in HHS Re@on VIII
                        B-241294




                        For Hispanics overall as of September 30,1989, no underrepresentation
                        by gender or occupational category existed when work-force data from
                        IHS were excluded. The only pocket of underrepresentation    we noted
                        when IHS data were excluded involved Hispanic women in grade band
                        13-15 professional positions. In this case if two Hispanic women were
                        hired or promoted, the underrepresentation problem would have been
                        resolved.                                                             ,

                        Although region VIII’s Hispanic representation compared favorably
                        with that of the civilian labor force according to 1980 census data, we
                        caution that this information is dated. EEOC plans to publish work-force
                        data based on the 1990 census in 1992.

                        Region VIII’s Hispanic representation exceeded that of the civilian labor
                        force for the 4 fiscal years we reviewed. From 1981 to 1987, the per-
                        centage of Hispanics in the region increased from 6.2 to 6.7. However,
                        Hispanics’ representation declined between 1987 and 1989, to 6.0 per-
                        cent. According to regional officials, this decrease resulted from hiring
                        freezes, budget constraints, and personnel ceilings.

                        When broken out by occupational category (professional, administra-
                        tive, technical, clerical, and other), the representation of Hispanics in
                        region VIII in fiscal year 1989, excluding IHS, exceeded that of the
                        regional civilian labor force in all categories. When IHSwas included, the
                        representation of Hispanics for the 4 fiscal years covered in our review
                        exceeded that of the regional civilian labor force in all but one category.
                        In 198 1, 1987, and 1989, the region’s Hispanic representation in the
                        technical job category (e.g., contact representative and claims examiner
                        positions) was slightly less than in the civilian labor force. In fiscal year
                        1989, the CLF for technical positions was 4.5 percent, while the region
                        VIII technical position work-force percentage was 4.22. As with the
                        overall work force, the region’s Hispanic representation declined
                        between 1987 and 1989 in all job categories. (See pp. 15-20.)


                        Except for %%, HHS region VIII’s operating divisions are not required to
Af f k-native           prepare AEPS because they have fewer than 500 employees. EEOC
JZmployrnentPlans       requires agencies of 500 or more employees to prepare AEPS,updates,
Not Required of Most    and accomplishment reports. Region VIII operating divisions only occa-
                        sionally participated with headquarters operating divisions in preparing
Region VIII Operating   national AEFT and accomplishment reports. fro systematic method exists
Divisions               for region VIII operating divisions to participate in preparing these
                        plans and reports.


                        Page 4                      GAO/EKED918   Hispanic   &presentation   in HIIs kegion   m
                       E-241294




                       HHSheadquarters did not emphasize affirmative action and equal
                       employment opportunity in region VIII and seldom communicated with
                       regional officials about these issues. Moreover, about 3 years ago, the
                       region changed from a full-time to a part-time equal employment oppor-
                       tunity manager for the Office of the Regional Director (SS had its own
                       equal employment opportunity manager during this period). Among
                       other things, the region VIII equal employment opportunity manager is
                       responsible for advising the regional director and operating division
                       heads on equal employment opportunity policy and technical matters. In
                       June 1990, however, because the current regional director is focusing
                       more attention on affirmative action and equal employment opportu-
                       nity, the region hired a full-time manager.

                       Because of the number of employees (1,066), region VIII SSAprepared
                       regional multiyear AEPS and Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment
                       Program plans in 1982 and 1988. SSA also prepared a narrative accom-
                       plishment report on its AEP in 1989; for fiscal years 1983 through 1988,
                       it prepared statistical accomplishment reports. In the 4 fiscal years we
                       reviewed, SA’S total Hispanic representation exceeded that in the
                       civilian labor force. Through the 198Os, W’S Hispanic representation
                       ranged from 8.9 to 10.2 percent, while the civilian labor force represen-
                       tation was 5.5 percent. (See pp. 22-24.)


                       In processing competitive vacancy announcements, region VIII generally
Region VIII Met Most   complied with federal policies and procedures. To determine whether
Competitive Vacancy    the region followed applicable processing requirements, we seIected and
Announcement           analyzed 19 vacancy announcements issued from January 1987 to Jan-
                       uary 1990,3 involving 24 positions, for which at least one Hispanic
Requirements           employee had applied. Although the region complied with most require-
                       ments, not all files contained the narrative comments required of the
                       panel members who evaluated and ranked applicants to demonstrate
                       how those considered best qualified were chosen. These panel members’
                       comments are required by HHS region VIII policy as support for ratings
                       of candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities.

                       Also, except for SSA,region VIII did not compile and analyze internal
                       applicant flow data (data on applicants’ race, national origin, and sex).
                       Accordingly, regional officials did not have the data to determine
                       whether (1) Hispanic employees were applying for vacancies at rates
                       comparable with their numbers in the work force or (2) the ratios of

                       hone of these announcements were for IHS positions.



                       Page 6                             GAO/TIED-916       Hispanic   Repreeentation   in KHs I&Z&~   MI
                            E-241294




                            Hispanic employees judged best qualified and selected for vacancies
                            were commensurate with those of other minorities and nonminorities.
                            Without compiling and analyzing applicant flow data, regional officials
                            did not have data to determine whether minority groups were facing
                            barriers to receiving fair consideration at all steps in the competitive
                            selection process. (See pp. 24-26.)


Hispanics Fared Well in     On the basis of the 19 competitive vacancy announcements we reviewed,
                            Hispanic employees fared well. Of the 232 applicants for the 24 posi-
the Competitive Selection   tions we analyzed, 29 were Hispanic. Sixty-nine percent (20) of the His-
Process                     panic applicants made the best qualified list, and 24 percent (7) were
                            selected for a position. In comparison, 59 percent (120) of the non-
                            Hispanic applicants made the best qualified list, and 8 percent (17) were
                            selected for a position,

                            To respond to your concerns that Hispanics were not being selected for
                            upper-level positions, we examined the 93 grade 12 through 15 positions
                            [excluding IHSpositions) filled between January 1987 and December
                            1989. Of the 93 positions, according to HHSrecords, 8 (8.6 percent) were
                            filled by Hispanics. This is somewhat below the 10.3-percent representa-
                            tion of Hispanics in the region VIII work force (excluding MS) as of Sep-
                            tember 30, 1989, but significantly above the 5.5-percent CLFrate for
                            Hispanics. Because applicant flow data were not compiled and analyzed,
                            HHS officials could not tell us how many Hispanics applied or made the
                            best qualified lists. (See p. 26.)


                            To determine whether HHS complied with federal administrative
HHS ProcessedFormal         processing requirements for formal discrimination complaints, we
Discrimination              examined the IO official complaint files that were available out of a
Complaints as               total of 14 discrimination complaints filed between 1980 and 1989
                            involving Hispanic employees in region VIII. If an informal discrimina-
Required                    tion complaint cannot be resolved at the regional level, the complainant
                            may file a forma.l discrimination complaint, which is forwarded to HIIS
                            headquarters for investigation and processing. For the 10 complaints we
                            reviewed, HHS headquarters generally followed EEcc-prescribed policies
                            and procedures. In most cases, however, the complaint processing time
                            exceeded EEOC’S prescribed 180-day time frame; some cases took more
                            than 3 years. Because discrimination complaint processing time has been
                            a long-standing problem, HHShas two initiatives underway to reduce the
                            processing time. (See p. 27.)



                            Page 6                     GAO/HRI%9lS   Hl~panlc ~pmsentation   Ln HHS Ekgkm m
                                                                             z
-B2dli94‘                                                                    I




 We did not obtain written comments on this report. We discussed its con-    1
 tents with HHS headquarters personnel and region VIII officials and, as     1
 appropriate, incorporated their comments in the report. As arranged
 with your office, unless its contents are announced earlier, we plan no     I,
 further distribution of this report untiI30 days from its issue date. At
 that time we will send copies to interested congressional committees and    1
 subcommittees; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Set-      [
 retary of HHS; the regional director in HHS region VIII; and other inter-   !
 ested parties.                                                              1
                                                                             d
 If you have any questions about this report, please call me on
 (303) 572-7306. The major contributors to this report are listed in
 appendix III.

 Sincerely yours,




f David A. Hanna
  Regional Manager




Page 7
Letter                                                                                                              1

Appendix I                                                                                                     10
Hispanic                      Background
                              Scope and Methodology
                                                                                                               10
                                                                                                               13
Representation and            Representation of Hispanic EmpIoyees in Region VIII                              15
Equal Employment              Most Region VIII Operating Divisions Are Not Required to                         22
                                  Prepare AEPs
Practices in HHS              Region VIII Met Most Requirements for Processing                                 24
Region VIII                       Competitive Vacancy Announcements
                              HHS Processed Discrimination Complaints in Accordance                            27
                                  With Federal Policies and Procedures

Appendix II                                                                                                    28
C&her    Matters   Relating   Political Appointees                                                             28
                              Informal Discrimination Complaints                                               28
to Hispanic                   Employee Grievances                                                              29
Representation in HHS         Unfair Labor Practice and Union Grievances                                       29
Region VIII                   Adverse Personnel Actions                                                        29
                              Receipt of Performance Awards                                                    30
                              Participation in Training and Upward Mobility Program                            30

Appendix III                                                                                                   32
Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                        Table 1.1: HHS Region VIII Employees (As of Sept. 30,                            13
                                   1989)
                              Table 1.2: Hispanic Representation in HHS Region VIII and                        16
                                   the Civilian Labor Force (1981-89)
                              Table 1.3: Changes in Region VIII’s Work Force, Including                        17
                                   IHS (1981-89)
                              Table I.4: Hispanic Representation in Region VIII Work                           17
                                   Force and Regional CLF by Job Category (Fiscal
                                   Years 1981-89)
                              Table 1.5: Region VIII Total Employees and Hispanics in                          18
                                  Grades 13-15 in Fiscal Year 1989 Compared With
                                   Regional CLF Availability of Hispanics
                              Table 1.6: Region VIII Hires in 5 Fiscal Years in the 1980s                      20



                              Page 8                     GAO/HBD9lS   Hbpanlc   BepresentatIon   in Hl% R.e&m WIl
         Contents




         Table 1.7: Region VIII Promotions, Total and Hispanic,      21
              During 5 Fiscal Years in the 1980s
         Table II. 1: Hispanic Employees’ Receipt of Performance     30
             Awards (Excluding IHS) (Fiscal Years 1985,1987,
              and 1989)
         Table 11.2:Hispanic Employees’ Participation in Training    31
             (Excluding IHS) (Fiscal Years 1985, 1987, and 1989)

Figure   Figure I. 1: Region VIII Hispanic Representation by Grade
              Level (1981-89)




         Abbreviations

         AEP        affirmative employment plan
         CLF-       civilian labor force
         EEOC       Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
         F-FBRP     Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program
         GAO        General Accounting Office
         HHS        Department of Health and Human Services
         IHS        Indian Health Service
         OPM        Office of Personnel Management
         SSA        Social Security Administration


         Page 9
Appendix I

Hispanic Representation and Equal
Employment Pm&ices in HHS Region VIII

                 In an October 4, 1989, letter, Senator Timothy E. Wirth expressed con-
                 cerns about alleged discrimination against Hispanics by the Department
                 of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) region VIII, located in Denver.
                 Region VIII, 1 of 10 HHS regional offices, encompasses Colorado, Mon-
                 tana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

                 Based on that letter and later discussions with the Senator’s office, we
                 agreed to determine whether HHS region VIII

             . employs Hispanics in representative numbers, when compared with the
               regional civilian labor force (cLF);’
             . develops and implements affirmative employment plans (AEPS)in accor-
               dance with federal guidelines;
             l processes competitive vacancy announcements in accordance with fed-
               eral policies and procedures; and
             l in conjunction with HHSheadquarters, processes formal discrimination
               complaints in compliance with federal policies and procedures.

                 In addition, we agreed to obtain data on certain other topics involving
                 Hispanics, including numbers of political appointees, informal discrimi-
                 nation complaints and grievances, unfair labor practices, adverse per-
                 sonnel actions, performance awards, training opportunities, and upward
                 mobility.


                 In 1972, the Congress amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require
Background       federal agencies to develop and implement affirmative action programs
                 to ensure implementation of equal employment policies. These programs
                 are intended to overcome the lingering effects of historical discrimina-
                 tion evidenced by the underrepresentation of minorities and women in
                 specific agencies, regions, positions, and grade levels. The Equal
                 Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)is responsible for pro-
                 viding agencies with guidance on their affirmative action programs,
                 monitoring the hiring and promotion of minorities, and overseeing the
                 discrimination complaint processes. Agencies with 500 or more
                 employees are required to develop AEPS, annual accomplishment reports,
                 and updates.




                 *CLF data include persons 16 years of age and over, excluding those in the Armed Forces, who are
                 employed or seeking employment. These data are developed through the nation’s census, which is
                 conducted every 10 years. The data currently used were collecti in 1980.



                 Page 10                             GAO/HRDSlB       flispanlc   Representation   ln HHS Region VIII
-Appendix1
 Hispanic Representation   and Equal
 Employment   Practices in HHS Region VIII




In 1981, EEOC directed all federal agencies, including HHS, to (1) develop
5-year AEPS and (2) when necessary, establish both long-term and
annual hiring goals aimed at eliminating underrepresentation for each
minokity group, In June 1986, EEOCdirected HHS and other federal agen-
cies to extend 5-year AEPS for 1982-86 and to continue the related
affirmative action activities through September 30, 1987. In January
1988, EEOC required all agencies to develop and submit 5-year AEPSfor
fiscal years 1988-92. EEOC also required annual updated plans and
accomplishment reports.

Additionally, the Office of Personnel Management (oPM) required HHS to
prepare Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (F'IWRP) plans.
Through such plans, federal agencies are to improve minority represen-
tation through recruiting. For the period 1982-86, AEPSand FEORP plans
were combined into one document. Beginning with the period 1988-92,
however, FEORP plans were to be prepared and submitted separately.

At the national level, based on EEOCand OPM directives, HHS developed
guidance for its major operating divisions to follow in developing and
carrying out affirmative employment and recruitment plans. Thirty-six
HHSunits were designated to prepare the multiyear AEP and FEIORP plan
covering fiscal years 1988-92. In region VIII, only the Social Security
Administration (s&%)-because it has more than 1,000 employees-was
required to prepare an AEP and a FEORP plan.”

According to EEOC guidance, federal agencies are to use CLF data in ana-
lyzing the representation of minorities and women in their work forces
In developing the data and establishing minority work-force standards,
EEQC matched each of the approximately 420 federal job series with
comparable nonfederal job categories. EEOC weighted the census data to
reflect the job mix of the federal government, In calculating region VIII’s
minority representation, HHS is required to use the Rocky Mountain CLF
data, which cover the same states as region VIII. Minority representa-
tion is further differentiated by type of job category (professional,
administrative, technical, clerical, and other). The CLFdata are based on
the 1980 census. According to an EEOC official, CLFdata from the 1990
census will be available in 1992.




2Akhough the Indian Health Service (MS) in region VIII employed more than 500, HHS decided that
only a national plan would be required because of the preference given to American Lndians in hiring
and the wide geooe;raphicaldispersion of IHS offices and American h-&ans.



Page 11                              GAO/HED91-6      lBqan.ic   Represent&on    in HHS Begion VEI
                  Appendix1
                  Hispanic Repre&tntion       and Egual
                  Employment   Practices   in HI%3 Region VIII




                  If the percentage of minorities or women in an agency is less than the
                  percentage available in the CLF, that group is considered to be under-
                  represented. A “manifest imbalance” is said to exist when a minority
                  group in a specific occupation&l category or grade level is substantially
                  below the group’s representation in the CLF. A “conspicuous absence” is
                  said to exist when a particular minority group is nearly or totally absent
                  from an occupational category or grade level. EEOCand HHSencourage
                  numerical goals when a manifest imbalance exists and require them
                  when a conspicuous absence exists.


HHS Region VIII   HH.S, the principal federal agency responsible for furthering the health of
                  Americans and for providing human services, has 10 regional offices.
                  Region VIII encompasses Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South
                  Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. About 40 percent of the region’s popula-
                  tion resides in rural areas characterized by communities of fewer than
                  50,000 persons. There are 23 Indian reservations or portions of reserva-
                  tions within the region, with a population of about 99,000, or 12.5 per-
                  cent of the nation’s total American Indian population.

                  HHS’S major functions are performed by five operating divisions: the
                  Public Health Service, the Health Care Financing Administration, SSA,
                  the Office of Human Development Services, and the Family Support
                  Administration. All five divisions are represented in region VIII, and
                  some are composed of several components. For example, the Public
                  Health Service includes the Food and Drug Administration and IHS. For
                  programmatic functions, each regional operating division reports to
                  superiors at HHS headquarters. Region VIII’s Office of the Regional
                  Director is responsible primarily for providing support services to the
                  operating divisions. Within this office is an equal employment opportu-
                  nity manager, who advises the regional director and operating division
                  heads on affirmative employment matters. Regarding such matters, both
                  the region’s operating divisions and the Office of the Regional Director
                  report to HHS headquarters.

                  Table 1.1 shows, by division, the number of employees in region VIII, as
                  of September 30, 1989.




                  Pllge 12                             GAO/HID-916   liispanic   Bepresentation   in MIS Region VIII
                                       Appendix I
                                       Hispanic Representation   and Equal
                                       Employment   Practices in HHS Region VIII




Table 1.1: HHS Region VIII Employees
(As of Sept. 30, 1989)                                                                                                   Number of
                                       Region VIII unit                                                                 employees
                                       Family Support Administration                                                              42
                                       Health Care-I__
                                                     Financing Administration                                                   102
                                       Office of Human Development Services                                                       41
                                       Public Health Service                                                                  1,501
                                       Social Secunty Administration                                                           1,066
                                       Office of the Secretary                                                                    99
                                       Total                                                                                  2.851    I




                                       In table I. 1 and throughout this report, the region VIII staff data exclude
                                       certain types of employees: (a) Senior Executive Service staff (6) and
                                       Commissioned Corps officers (315), because the region does not have
                                       hiring authority for them; (b) temporary and stay-in-school student
                                       employees, because EEOCregulations exclude them from work-force and
                                       minority representation calculations; and (c) wage-grade employees
                                       (242), because all are in the Public Health Service.


                                       To determine region VIII’s work-force representation of Hispanics
Scopeand                               during the 198Os, we agreed to review data for fiscal years 1981, 1985,
Methodology                             1987, and 1989. For the other areas requested to be covered! we agreed
                                       to review the period 1980-89. However, because most documents and
                                       records were not required to be retained for this entire period, we often
                                       were limited to reviewing records for more recent years. Our work was
                                       performed in IIHS's region VIII office in Denver and at HHS headquarters
                                       in Washington, D.C. In performing the review, we interviewed HHS offi-
                                       cials and employees and obtained various agency documents and reports
                                       on the region’s hiring, promotion, and other personnel practices.

                                       Because region VIII is not required to compile and maintain minority
                                       work-force data, we calculated the region’s Hispanic representation by
                                       analyzing data compiled and maintained at HIIS headquarters. We
                                       obtained from headquarters computer-generated information on region
                                       VIII’s work force and composition. Except for our verification of the
                                       number of Hispanics in HHS region VIII, we did not verify the accuracy
                                       of this information. We analyzed this information to determine the
                                       nature and extent of Hispanic representation in various job categories
                                       and grades for fiscal years 1981, 1985, 1987, and 1989. For each of
                                       these 4 years, we compared information on Hispanic representation with
                                       the appropriate CIJ data, furnished by ~tzoc,to determine whether His-
                                       panics were underrepresented in the region.


                                       Page 13                           GAO/HRDSlB   Hispanic   Representation   in HHS Region VU
Appendix I
Hispanic Representation   and Equal
Employment   Practices In HHS Region VIII




Before fiscal year 1989, region VIII work-force data included all organi-
zational components. Starting in that year these data were also compiled
with IHS excluded. Excluding IHS work-force data recognizes the special
hiring preference given to American Indians by 111s.

EEOC  requires each federal agency to measure minority representation
against CLF data, which are based on the latest decennial census data
(1980). Because the data are 10 years old, we looked for more current
data. EEOC told us that CLFdata based on the 1990 census would not be
available until about 1992. We found no more recent data than the
Rocky Mountain Region CLF data.

We verified the accuracy of the HHS headquarters-reported number of
Hispanics in the region VIII work force, as of September 30, 1989.
(Records could not be reconstructed to perform similar verifications for
previous fiscal years.) To do so, we compared the Hispanic work-force
numbers and Hispanic names on region VIII’s personnel roster with the
numbers and names of Hispanic employees identified for us primarily by
region VIII Hispanic employment program managers.

We reviewed pertinent EEOC and CPM directives relating to affirmative
action (employment) planning and reporting EEOC's Management Direc-
tives 707, 707A, and 714 provided the applicable guidance on AEPS.We
used OPM guidance to evaluate FEORP plans. We also contacted EuX offi-
cials to discuss and obtain insights into affirmative employment require-
ments. We obtained available affirmative employment plans, updates,
and accomplishment reports, prepared at the national headquarters
level for each HHS operating division, for fiscal years 1982-87 and 1988-
92. We also obtained and evaluated these divisions’ national FEOHP plans,
to determine whether they included specific information on affirmative
action and recruiting activities in region VIII. From su region VIII, we
obtained its affirmative employment plans, updates, accomplishment
reports, and FEORP plans.

We obtained and reviewed HHS and region VIII policies and procedures
on processing competitive vacancy announcements and compared them
to the region’s practices. To determine whether the region’s competitive
selection process complied with applicable federal policies and proce-
dures, we selected 19 vacancy announcements (issued between Jan.
1987 and Jan. 1990) for which at least one Hispanic had applied. Kone
of these announcements were for IHS positions. We analyzed these
announcements and the accompanying documents. We also interviewed
staff in the personnel office responsible for preparing and processing


Page 14                           GAO/HRD9lB   Hispanic   Representation   in IMS Rrg.ion VIII
                        Appendix     I
                        HispanicRepresentation          and Equal
                        Employment       Practices   in HHS Region VIII




                        the announcements and the selecting officials for the positions filled                                i
                        from the selected announcements. The regional personnel office assists                                !
                        the operating divisions in preparing and processing the vacancy
                        announcements, but the divisions are responsible for determining when
                        vacancies exist and making the employee selections. Because the
                        requester was concerned about whether Hispanics were being selected
                        for positions at the upper grade levels, we focused our review on
                        announcements for positions at grades 12-l 5.

                        We obtained from HKS headquarters statistical data on the numbers of
                        formal discrimination complaints filed by Hispanics in region VIII. Of 14
                        formal complaints filed from 1980 to 1989, only 10 case files were avail-
                        able for review. We reviewed these cases to determine whether appli-
                        cable EEOC and HHS policies and procedures were followed in processing
                        them.

                        To determine numbers of Hispanics appointed to political positions
                        nationwide, we obtained a list from HWS headquarters. However, this list
                        was incomplete as records were not available on political appointees
                        who were employed and left between 1981 and 1983. Those appointed
                        in that period who left after 1983 were included. We also gathered sta-
                        tistical data on region VIII informal complaints; however, these data
                        were not complete because no requirement exists to collect and maintain
                        them. From the region’s personnel office, we obtained data covering
                        fiscal years 1985-90 on unfair labor practice and union grievances filed
                        by or on behalf of Hispanics and on adverse personnel actions taken
                        against Hispanics, To determine the extent to which Hispanics received
                        performance awards and training opportunities, we obtained lists of
                        employees given awards and training for fiscal years 1985, 1987, and
                        1989 and matched these lists with historical and current lists of His-
                        panic employees provided by mis headquarters and region VIII. From
                        records covering fiscal years 1983-89, we determined the number of His-
                        panics who participated in formal upward mobility training.

                        We conducted our work between October 1989 and May 1990 in accor-
                        dance with generally accepted government auditing standards.


                        In HHS region VIII, total Hispanic representation in the work force for
Representation of       the years we reviewed exceeded the Hispanic representation in the
Hispanic Employees in   regional CLF, both with and without IHS being included. When broken out
Region VIII             by gender and including IHS,as shown in table 1.2, (1) the representation
                        of Hispanic men was below that in the CLF for all fiscal years reviewed


                        Page IL                                 GAO/HRD914   Hlapanic   Representation   in HHS Region VIII
            _.   -.                      Appendix I
                                         Hispanic Representation   and Equal
                                         Employment   Practices in HHS Region VIII




                                         (as of Sept. 30 of each year) and (2) the representation of Hispanic
                                         women was above that in the CL.Ffor all 4 fiscal years.

                                         In fiscal year 1989 HHS began to report work-force data both with and
                                         without IHS data.3 As directed by law, IHS,a component of the Public
                                         Health Service, gives hiring preference to qualified American Indians.
                                         As of September 30, 1989, of the 1,266 IHS employees (44 percent of the
                                         region’s work force), 907 (72 percent) were Indians. When the IHS work
                                         force was excluded, Hispanic men and women were both fully repre-
                                         sented in region VIII’s work force, as compared to the regional civilian
                                         labor force.

                                         As shown in table 1.2, when IHS employees are excluded, the Hispanic
                                         representation in region VIII is much higher, for both men and women,
                                         than that in the CLF.Excluding IHS employees, the region’s 1989 Hispanic
                                         representation was 10.3 percent overall, compared to 6.0 percent
                                         including IHS employees. Hispanic male representation in 1989 was 4.7
                                         percent excluding IHS, compared with 2.8 percent including IHS. For His-
                                         panic females, representation was 5.6 percent excluding IHS, compared
                                         to 3.2 percent including IHS.

Table 1.2: Hispanic Representation  in
HHS Region VIII and the Civilian Labor                                                                  Percent of Hispanic employees
Force (1981-89)                          Fiscal year                                                    Women              Men               Total
                                         HHS region VIII
                                         --1981                .-                                  --          31              3.1             6.2
                                         1985                                                                  3.6             31              6.7
                                         1987                                                                  3.5             32              6.7
                                         1989                                                                  3.2             28              60
                                         1989(excluding     IHS)                                               5.6             47             10.3
                                         CLF
                                         1980                                                                  2.2             3.3             5.5
                                         Note: Includes IHS except as noted in fiscal year 1989.


                                         Between fiscal years 1981 and 1989, the number of Hispanic employees
                                         in region VIII decreased from 196 to 170-or 13.3 percent. During that
                                         period, the.region’s total work force decreased from 3,136 to 2,851-or
                                         9.1 percent. Changes in the region’s number of Hispanic and total


                                         3Untii January 18, 1989, IHS was part of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the
                                         Public Health Service. At that time IHS became an separate agency reporting dirwtly to HHS’s As&.-
                                         mt secretary for Health



                                         Page 16                                GAO/HRD91B          Hispanic   Repreaenbtion   in HHS Region VIII
                                                Hispanic Representation   and l&xl
                                                Employment   Practices in HHS Region VIII




                                                employees for fiscal years 1981, 1985, 1987, and 1989 are shown in
                                                table 1.3.

Table 1.3: Changes in Region VIII’s Work
Force, Including MS (1981-89)                                                                                                 Number of
                                                                                  Total number             Percent              Hispanic            Percent
                                                Fiscal year                       of employees             change            employees              change
                                                1981                                       3,136                     .                196                      .
                                                1985                                        2,890              -7.8                   193               -1.5
                                                1987                  -.                    2,800               -3.1                  188               -2.6
                                                1989                                        2,851                 1.8                 170               -9.6
                                                Net change                                  -285               -9.1                  -26              -13.3


                                                 When broken out by job category, as shown in table 1.4, region VIII’s
                                                 Hispanic representation exceeded that in the CLF in all but the technical
                                                job category in fiscal years 1981, 1987, and 1989. In those years, the
                                                employment of one to five additional Hispanics in the technical job cate-
                                                 gory would have brought the region’s representation above the CLF’S.
                                                 Also, between fiscal years 1987 and 1989, region VIII experienced
                                                decreases in Hispanic representation in each job category ranging from 4
                                                to 20 percent. Excluding IHS employees increased Hispanic representa-
                                                tion for each job category.


Table 1.4: Hispanic   Representation   in Region VIII Work Force and Regional          CLF by Job Category          (Fiscal Years 1981-89)
                                                                                    Percent Hispanics       in region VIII work forceb
Job category                                          1980 CLFb
                                                    -______--__.-~            1981           1985                 1987          1989                  1 99gc
Professional                                           -_--  2.4               3.83           4.83                 5.41           4.61                 10.73
Administrative                                       --      3.6
                                                            _----           .- 8 63           7.87                791             7.61                  9.19
Technical                                                      4.5             3.74           5.15                 4 39          4.22                  10.07
Clerical                                                       5.4             6.85           8.47                 9 34          7.47                  13.69
Other                                                          3.3              7.14            O.OOd               O.OOd            O.OOd              O.OOd
                                                                ___
Overall                                                        5.5              6.25            6.66                6.71             5.96             10.26
                                                aExcIudmg Amencan lndlans from the Rocky Mountain Regron CLF had a negligible effect on the overall
                                                CLF rates

                                                blncludes IHS except as noted

                                               ‘IHS excluded

                                               din each of these year?,, the total number of employees In this job category was lnsufftclenl   to provide
                                               meaningful statistics.


                                               According to region VIII officials, the decrease in Hispanic representa-
                                               tion with IIIS included between 1987 and 1989 was a result of hiring
                                               freezes, budgeting constraints, and personnel ceilings.


                                               Page 17                                 GAO/HRD916        Hispanic    Reprewntntion    in HI-IS Region VIII
                                               Appendix1
                                               -panicR&t&e~tation            and Equal
                                               Employment     Practicea   in HHS Region VIII




Hispanic Representation                  at    Because of concerns expressed over the representation of Hispanics at
                                               higher grade levels, we analyzed the work-force data, both including and
Upper Grade Levels                             excluding IE?+to determine Hispanic representation at grades 13 to 15,
                                               as of September 30,1989. We examined work-force data in three grade
                                               bands-l-s,    9-12, and 13-15. Overall, at grades 13 through 15, the
                                               number of Hispanics in region VIII exceeded the number of Hispanics
                                               available for these positions in the regional CLF.In the professional job
                                               category, however, no Hispanic women were employed at these grade
                                               levels. Regional CLF data called for two Hispanic women to fill grade
                                               band 13-15 professional positions. Table I.5 shows, for fiscal year 1989,
                                               the numbers of region VIII Hispanic men and women at grades 13-15 in
                                               the professional and administrative job categories (the only categories in
                                               which the region has grade 13-15 positions), compared with the esti-
                                               mated numbers of Hispanics available in the regional CLF.


Table 1.5: Region VIII Total Employees   and Hispanics      in Grades 13-15 in Fiscal Year 1989 Compared With Regional                  CLF
                                                                                                  Hispanic empfoyees
                                                                                                                                                Expected
                                            Total employees                                       Actual                                        based on
Job category                         Including IHS Excluding        IHS             Including    IHS Excluding        IHS                      1980 CLF’
Professional
Men                                             137                  87                           16                   12                                    3
Women                                            40                  20                            0                    0                                    2
Subtotal                                        165                 107                           16                   12                                    5
Administrative                                                                                     ___-.
Men                                             124                  88                            12                  12                                    5
Women                                            50                  43                            2                    2                                    2
Subtotal                                        174                 131                           14                   14                                    7
Total                                          359                  238                           30                   26                                12
                                               aDerived by mulliplyrng the regional CLF availabIlIty rate for the professlonal and admlnistrative jobcate-
                                               gories by the total number of men and women employees tn each job category (e g , 1 6 percent, the
                                               professional rate for Hlspantc men x 137 professlonal men in the region = 2.2, or rounded upward, 3).


                                               We also analyzed Hispanic representation, both including and excluding
                                               IIIS, across the three grade bands. As a percentage of total employees in
                                               each grade band, the highest Hispanic representation was in the 13-15
                                               grade band. In this grade band, the Hispanic representation exceeded
                                               the region’s overall Hispanic representation. As a percentage of total
                                               employees in the grade band, Hispanic representation in 1987 and 1989
                                               was also higher in grade band 9-12 than in band 1-8. With the decline in
                                               the number of Hispanics in the region, the percentage of Hispanics in
                                               each grade band declined from 1987 to 1989. Figure I. 1 shows the



                                               Page 18                                 GAO/HRDSlS          Hi~pmic   k-pmntation      in HI-IS kzglon VIII
                                             Appendix I
                                             Hispuic  Representation   and Equd
                                             Employment   Practicev in HHS Region VI11




                                             region’s Hispanic representation by grade band and overall in 4 fiscal
                                             years. The CLFfor all 4 fiscal years was .?..?Ipercent.


Figure 1.1: Region VIII Hispanic                     .
                                                          ,,          .      -.
Representation    by Grade Level (1981-89)
                                             15     Pwcent of Employees




                                             10




                                                  Year


                                                    0          Hispanics   In GS grades 1 to E

                                                               Hispanlcs   In GS grades 9 to 12

                                                           Hispanics       in GS grades 13 IO 15

                                             Note Data for !%l        lo 1389 Incltde IHis employees   except 3s noted




Hispanic Hires in Selected                   IIispanics were hirud ;lt r;lt~s generally lower than their representation
Years                                        in the CLF in the years WY recicwcd. This contributed to thedecrease in
                                             the region’s EIispanic reprcxrltation (from C.S to 6.0 percent) that
                                             WCUIT~A    between fiscal years 198i’-SR. According to regional officials.
                                             hiring freezes during much of the 1981k limited the region’s hiring
                                             opportunities. [[IIS headquarters offkkls pc?intod OLX that because Iiis-
                                             panics ~verc’generally ~~11rvprusttnred in region VIII during this period,
                                             they were not tx$t:tcd for- recruiting.




                                             Paye 19
                                           Appendix I
                                           Wpanic   Representation   and Equal
                                           Employment   Practices in HHS Region VIII




                                           Most of the hiring during the 1980s according to regional officials, was
                                           by IHS,which must give preference to American Indians. Although HHS
                                           did not break out IHS hires from the region’s total except for fiscal year
                                           1989, data in that year showed that, of 244 totaI hires, 158 (65 percent)
                                           were by IHS Of these 158 EE hires, 99 (63 percent) were American
                                           Indians and 1 was Hispanic. Table I.6 shows the region’s total and His-
                                           panic hires in selected years during the 1980s.

Table 1.6: Region VIII Hires in 5 Fiscal
Years in the 1980s                                                                                          Number of hires                   Percent
                                           Fiscal year                                                        Total   Hispanic               Hispanic
                                           1981a                                                                 43            0                    0.0
                                           19&b                                                                252             4                     1.6
                                           1987b                                                                178           11                    6.2
                                           1988b                                                               236             9                    3.8
                                           19894                                                               244             4                    1.6
                                           19i3gc                                                                86            3                    3.5
                                           CLF                                                                                                      5.5
                                           ‘A regional official told us he believed the 1981 data did not include hires by IHS, but he was not certain.

                                           blnctudes IHS.

                                           ‘Excludes   IHS.




Hispanic Promotions in                     HHS  data showed that Hispanics have been promoted at rates compa-
Selected Years                             rable to their representation in the region. Table I.7 shows, for selected
                                           years reviewed in the 198Os, the region’s promotions and the percentage
                                           that Hispanics received.




                                           Page 20                                 GAO/HRD914        Hispanic   Representation    in HH!S Region VIII
                                           Hispanic    Represent&i&i      and E&I
                                           Employment Practices        in HI-I!3 Region VIII




Table 1.7: Region VIII Promotions, Total
and Hispanic, During 5 Fiscal Years in                                                                              Percent of            Hispanics as
the 1980s                                                                          No. of promotions            promotions for               percent of
                                           Fiscal year                                Total      Hispanic            Hispanics               work force
                                           1981a                                         128              0                  0.0                     6.2
                                           1985b                                        471             37                   7.9                     6.7
                                           1987b                                        406             23                   5.7                     6.7
                                           1988b                                        477             32                   6.7                     6.5
                                           1989b                                        500             30                   6.0                     6.0
                                           Total                                      1,982            122                   6.2                     6.4
                                           198gc                                         282             30d                    10.6                10.3
                                           aAccordlng to a reglonal official, the 1981 informalron did not include promollons    in IHS

                                           blncludes IHS
                                           ‘Excludes   IHS

                                           dOf the 30 Hispanic promotions,     16 were in grade band l-8, 13 were in band 9-12, and 1 was in
                                           band 13-15.




Hispanic Population Has                    In the coming years the increasing Hispanic population and work force
Increased Since the 1980                   will have an important bearing on the region’s Hispanic representation.
                                           A 1988 census survey showed that the Hispanic population increased by
Census                                     34 percent since 1980, and Hispanic representation in the total U.S. pop
                                           ulation increased from 6.5 to 8.1 percent. Work-force figures for 1988
                                           showed that Hispanics represented 7.3 percent of the nation’s work
                                           force, up from 6.4 percent in 1980.

                                           Colorado had the ninth highest ratio of Hispanics in its population, with
                                           census survey estimates for 1985 showing that 11.9 percent of its popu-
                                           lation was Hispanic; the other states in the Rocky Mountain region have
                                           smaller Hispanic populations and ratios. Bureau of the Census popula-
                                           tion estimates for 1985 for these states showed Hispanic representation
                                           ranging from less than 1 percent in North and South Dakota to slightly
                                           over 5 percent in Wyoming. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed that
                                           in Colorado, the Hispanic CLFincreased by 24 percent between 1982 and
                                           1989, when it represented about 10 percent of the state’s work force.
                                           Comparable data on the work force for the other states in the Rocky
                                           Mountain Region were not available.




                                           Page 21                                   GAO/HBD914      Hispanic   lkpresentadon      in HHS Region VIII
                          Appendix I
                          Hispanic Representation   and EIqual
                          Employment   Practice9 in HHS Region VIII




Region VIII Had Three     Because concerns were expressed that HHS may overcount the number of
                          Hispanic employees in region VIII, we verified the names of employees
More Hispanic Employees   included in HHSS calculations. Through interviews with Hispanic
Than HHS Reported         Employment Program coordinators, HHS supervisors and managers, and
                          Hispanic employees in region VIII, we obtained the names of permanent
                          employees that were Hispanic. We compared these names with those
                          identified as Hispanic employees o-n region VIII’s personnel roster and
                          the number of Hispanic employees in the work-force profile obtained
                          from HHS headquarters.

                          We identified 173 Hispanic employees in region VIII-3 more than the
                          170 listed on the work-force profile. In addition, several other Hispanic
                          employees were listed in the work-force profile data whom we did not
                          attempt to verify. Region VIII officials told us these employees are
                          assigned to organizational components (such as the Office of the
                          Inspector General and the Centers for Disease Control) located within
                          the region, but are officially on the personnel rolls of other regions’ or
                          headquarters’ organizational components.

                          An HHS officia1 believed that we identified more Hispanic employees
                          than listed on the work-force profile because these employees probably
                          did not identify themselves as Hispanic when they were hired. OPM regu-
                          lations require agencies to collect these data, but the regulations also
                          provide that employee self-identification is voluntary. If employees
                          choose not to provide the data, agencies may designate the race and
                          national origin based on visual observation, as they deem appropriate.
                          According to a regional official, in region VIII (except for ~!Lx)when
                          employees choose not to provide these data, the region designates them
                          as Caucasian. Region VIII SSAprocedures provide for designation of race
                          and national origin by visual observation when an employee refuses to
                          provide these data.


                          Except for SSA,region VIII divisions are not required to prepare AEPS or
Most Region VIII          accomplishment reports (because they have fewer than 500 employees),
Operating Divisions       nor is an overall regional plan required. Similarly, except for ss~, the
Are Not Required to       region VIII operating divisions are not required to prepare FEORP pIans.
                          Instead, AEPS and FEORP plans are prepared at the national leve1 by the
Prepare AEPs              operating divisions, and an overall AEP is prepared nationally for IIHS.
                          On occasion, according to regional officials, the regional operating divi-
                          sions are requested to participate in preparing the national division
                          plans. The national plans and accomplishment reports, however, do not
                          show minority representation or hiring targets by region, Moreover, the


                          Page 22                           GAO/HRD914   Hispanic   Representation   in HHS Region VIII
                            Appendix I
                            Hispanic Representation   and Eqm.l
                            Employment   Practices in IMS Region VIII




                            region’s operating divisions do not prepare accomplishment reports or
                            regularly participate in preparing national accomplishment reports.

                            HHS  headquarters operating divisions, except SSA,have not paid much
                            attention to affirmative action in region VIII, Also, according to a region
                            VIII official, affirmative action received little emphasis within the
                            region during the early and mid-1980s. Further, about 3 years ago, the
                            region converted the equal employment opportunity manager position
                            serving the Office of the Regional Director from full to part time. The
                            region restored this position to full time in June 1990 because the cur-
                            rent regional director is focusing more attention on affirmative action
                            and equal employment opportunity, regional officials said.

                            Region VIII operating divisions, except for SSA, compiled limited data on
                            Hispanic representation. These officials generally knew how many His-
                            panic employees were employed, but they did not have the detailed
                            information to determine how their work forces compared with the CLF.
                            They also had data on Hispanics according to grade levels. They did not,
                            however, compile information on the numbers of Hispanics hired and
                            promoted. Moreover, the region’s operating divisions have no require-
                            ment to report their efforts, accomplishments, or barriers relating to
                            affirmative action. The regional director is not required to establish
                            regional targets or devise means by which to achieve them, nor are the
                            operating divisions accountabIe to the regional director for affirmative
                            action. Rather, they are accountable to the HHS headquarters operating
                            divisions. At the regional level, because reporting mechanisms and sys-
                            tematic procedures have not been implemented, little information exists
                            to show what events led to the current rate of Hispanic representation.


   SSA Prepared Multiyear   Because of the number of its employees (1,066), region VIII SG prepared
-- Plans in 1982 and 1988   regional multiyear AEPS and FEORP plans in 1982 and 1988. It also pre-
                            pared a narrative accomplishment report on its AEP in 1989; for fiscal
                            years 1983 through 1988, it prepared statistical accomplishment
                            reports.

                            In the fiscal years we reviewed, SS’S total Hispanic representation
                            exceeded that in the CLF.Through the 198Os, SSA’SHispanic representa-
                            tion ranged from 8.9 to 10.2 percent, while the CLF representation was
                            5.5 percent. SSAregion VIII’s I982 multiyear AEPand WOW plans, how-
                            ever, identified a need to increase the representation of Hispanic women
                            in the upper grade levels-grades 13 to 15-and Hispanic men at the
                            lower grade levels-grades 1 to 8-in certain occupational series.


                            Page 23                           GAO/HRD-916   Hispanic   Representation   in Hlf!S Region VIII
                       Appendix 1
                       Hispanic Representation   and JZqual
                       EmpIoyment   Practices in HHS Region VIII




                       From SSA’Sstatistical AEP accomplishment reports, which it prepared
                       annually for fiscal years 1983-88, we could not determine the actions
                       taken to improve representation in the targeted occupational series.
                       Also, the statistical reports did not break out Hispanic representation by
                       target group, but only showed the overall Hispanic representation. The
                       work-force profile data showed that SA increased the number of His-
                       panic women in grade band 13-15, from 0 in fiscal year 1981 to one in
                       fiscal year 1987.

                       SSA’S1988 &year AEP identified underrepresentation of Hispanics in the
                       same grade bands and occupational series as the 1982 AEP. The SSAplan
                       (1) identified a conspicuous absence of Hispanic women in grades 13-15
                       in the administrative job category (this means that Hispanic women are
                       nearly or totally absent from the work force), (2) established a hiring
                       goal for an 18-percent increase over 5 years for Hispanic men in the
                       contact representative job series, and (3) set a goal for a 2-percent
                       increase over 5 years for Hispanic men in the claims clerical job series.
                       SSA'S 1989 FEORP plan targeted Hispanic men in grades 4-7 in the contact
                       representative job series.

                       According to its 1989 narrative AEP accomplishment report, SSA
                       increased its number of Hispanic women in the administrative category.
                       The report did not specify whether representation of Hispanic women in
                       grades 13-15 in the administrative category had increased. However,
                       work-force profile data showed that there had been no increase in His-
                       panic women in this grade band in SA since 1985. Although SSJ,did not
                       meet its target hiring goal for Hispanic men in the contact representa-
                       tive job series for fiscal year 1989, it achieved a 2.7-percent rate,
                       according to the report. The report did not address the underrepresenta-
                       tion of Hispanic men in the claims clerical series.


                       Region VIII generally processed competitive vacancy announcements in
Region VIII Met Most   accordance with applicable policies and procedures, and Hispanic
Requirements for       employees appeared to hive been treated fairly in competing for vacan-
Processing             ties. The region did not, however, compile and analyze internal appli-
                       cant fluw data [race, sex, and national origin data from applicants
Competitive Vacancy    employed by HHS).
Announcements
                       We examined the official files of 19 region VIII competitive vacancy
                       announcements (for 24 positions) for which at least one Hispanic
                       employee had applied to determine if the region followed MIS policies
                       and the merit promotion provisions of tfus’s nonbargaining agreements


                       Page 24                           GAO/HRD916   Hispanic   Representation   in HHS Region WI
-   -.
          Appendix I
          Hispanic Representation   and Equal
          Employment   Practices in HH!S Region VLU




         and union contracts. Kane of these announcements were for an 111sposi-
         tion Of the selected vacancies, which were announced from January
         1987 to January 1990, 17 involved positions at grades 12 to 15, and the
         other 2 involved lower grades.

         In the competitive vacancy announcement process, the region generally
         complied with the provisions of the applicable nonbargaining agree-
         ments and union contracts. In 17 of the 19 vacancy announcement pack-
         ages we examined, for example, the region had specified the appropriate
         area of consideration (the area from which applicants would be consid-
         ered) and had documented, as required, the justifications for deviations
         from the standard area of consideration. Two of the announcements,
         however, cited incorrect areas of consideration: one was announced for
         SSAregionwide and should have been announced HHSregionwide; the
         other was announced for .%Anationwide and should have been
         announced for HHSnationwide. According to a regional personnel offi-
         cial, this problem of specifying the incorrect area from which candidates
         will be considered has been corrected.

         The official files generally contained the required documents supporting
         candidate ratings and selection decisions, Many files, however, did not
         include panel members’ required narrative justifications for candidate
         ratings. According to the personnel officer for region VIII, panel com-
         ments are necessary to support ratings on candidates’ knowledge, skills,
         and abilities and should always be part of the official files.

         Except for SSA!region VIII divisions did not compile or analyze applicant
         flow data at any stage of the competitive selection process, although the
         data are available for internal applicants. EEOCManagement Directive
         707, effective January 1981 through December 1987, required these
         data to be collected at each stage of the selection process-total    appIi-
         cants, eligible applicants, best qualified applicants, and selectees. This
         directive stated that the collection of applicant flow data is critical in
         identifying barriers to full employment of underrepresented groups and
         in monitoring the effectiveness of recruitment efforts. EEOCManagement
         Directive 714, which superseded this EEOCdirective in January 1988,
         does not require the coIlection of applicant flow data.

         ~11sCircular 1608-l/720-2, dated March 29, 1982, stated that HIISoper-
         ating divisions were to begin collecting applicant flow data in fiscal year
         1982, in anticipation that detailed analyses would be required in later
         years. 111~sheadquarters personnel officials in their oral comments on
         our draft report told us that this HHScircular requiring its components,


         Page 25                           GAOiHRDSlS   Hispanic   Representation   in HH!S Region VIIl
                            Appendix     I
                            Hispanic
                                 lIepresentation          and JZqual
                            Employment       Pracdcefs in HE3 Region VIII




                            including regional offices, to collect applicant flow data had expired in
                            March 1984 and additional guidance concerning the collection of these
                            data was not developed.

                            The federa form used by HHSto collect such data from external appli-
                            cants (those outside of the agency) expired in December 1983. EEOC is
                            developing a new form for collecting external applicant flow data.

                            A regional personnel official said most applicants for HHS region VIII
                            vacancies are employed in the region or elsewhere in HHS. Because the
                            region does not compile and analyze internal applicant data, information
                            is not available for regional officials to determine whether Hispanics are
                            applying for vacancies at rates comparable to their numbers in the work
                            force. Nor can they determine whether the rates and numbers of His-
                            panic employees who make the best qualified list are commensurate
                            with the rates and numbers of other minorities and nonminorities. And
                            finally, without compiling and analyzing applicant flow data, regional
                            officials cannot determine whether barriers may be preventing His-
                            panics from applying or receiving fair consideration at all steps in the
                            competitive selection process.


Hispanics Fared Well in     Hispanics generally fared well in the competitive selection process,
the Competitive Selection   based on our analysis of the 19 vacancy announcements. Of 232 appli-
Dw-w-af7C                   cants for 24 positions, 29 were Hispanic, according to HHS records. Sixty-
I I”LC33                    nine percent (20) of the Hispanic applicants made the best qualified list,
                            and 24 percent (7) were selected for positions. In comparison, 59 percent
                            (120) of the non-Hispanic applicants made the best qualified list, and 8
                            percent (17) were selected for positions.

                            We analyzed all selections (excluding IHS) made at grades 12 through 15
                            between January 1987 and December 1989. Of the 93 selections, 8 (or
                            8.6 percent) were Hispanic. Because applicant flow data are not com-
                            piled and analyzed, however, information was not available on how
                            many Hispanic employees had applied for the positions or made the best
                            quahfied lists.




                            Page 26                               GAO/HlW914   IIlspanic   hwesentation   in HHS region   VIII
                       Appendix I
                       Hispanic Representation   and Equal
                       Employment   Practicea in HHS Region VIII




HHS Processed          and procedures in processing formal discrimination complaints. The
Discrimination         processing time, however, usually exceeded EEOC’s prescribed time
Complaints in          frame, which allows agencies 1.80 days to reach an administrative deci-
                       sion on a case, after which the complainant has the right to file a civil
Accordance With        action in the courts. In some cases, more than 3 years elapsed before
Federal Policies and   they were resolved. Recognizing that lengthy processing poses a
                       problem, over the last 3 years HHS has undertaken two initiatives on a
Procedures             pilot basis in select regional offices and operating divisions to shorten
                       the processing time: (1) the early complaints resolution process and
                       (2> the negotiated discrimination complaints arbitration procedure.
                       According to HHS officials, after additional experience is gained, these
                       initiatives may be implemented throughout the Department.

                       HHS   Instruction 1613-3 implements the Code of Federal Regulations
                        (29 C.F.R. part 1613), which prescribes procedures for agencies to
                        follow in processing discrimination complaints by federal employees or
                       job applicants. Formal discrimination complaints can be filed for reasons
                        other than race and national origin discrimination; age and sex discrimi-
                        nation, for example, are also causes for complaint.

                       During fiscal years 1980 to 1989, according to HHS regional and head-
                       quarters officials, 53 formal discrimination complaints were filed by 41
                       region VIII employees. Of the 53 complaints, 14 (or 26 percent) were
                       filed by 11 Hispanic employees (27 percent of those filing). We reviewed
                       10 of those 14 complaint files. Records on the other four cases were not
                       available for review, because either they were no longer required to be
                       retained or the cases were pending resolution.




                       Page 27                            GAO/HRDOlS   fIlspanic   Representation   in HHS geglon   VfII
Appendix II

Other Matters Relating to Hispanic
Representation in HHS Region VIII

                           We were also requested to obtain information on other matters relating
                           to Hispanic employees in HHS region VIII. We obtained information on
                           the

                       . number of Hispanic political appointees,
                       9 number of informal discrimination complaints filed by Hispanics,
                       9 number of grievances filed by Hispanic employees,
                       . number of unfair labor practice and union grievances filed on behalf of
                         Hispanic employees,
                       l number of adverse personnel actions taken against Hispanic employees,
                       l extent to which Hispanic employees received performance awards, and
                       . extent of Hispanic employee participation in training opportunities and
                         upward mobility programs.

                           We were requested to obtain this information for fiscal years 1980-89.
                           However, because most records are not required to be retained for that
                           length of time, we were limited to obtaining much of the information for
                           more recent years. Also, IHSinformation is excluded from the following
                           discussion because it is not compiled or maintained centrally by HHS
                           region VIII and because gathering these data from the many, widely dis-
                           persed IHSoffices would have involved considerable time and effort.


                                region VIII has only one political appointee position, the regional
Political Appointees       HHS
                           director, and no Hispanics have held the position since 1981. From 1981
                           to 1989, 23 Hispanics received political appointments in other HHS com-
                           ponents. Twenty of these appointments were to headquarters positions,
                           and three were to regional office positions. HHS officials told us these
                           data may not be complete because HIIS records do not include the names
                           of those who were appointed and left HHS between 1981 and 1983. Per-
                           sons appointed during that period who left HHS after 1983, however,
                           were included.


                           An informal discrimination complaint is a complaint brought by an
Informal                   employee as a result of an alleged discriminatory act, Resolution is first
Discrimination             sought by discussion with a equal employment opportunity counselor,
Complaints                 who attempts to resolve the complaint informally. If an informal resolu-
                           tion cannot be reached, the employee has the right to file a formal com-
                           plaint. Informal complaints can be filed for reasons other than race and
                           national origin discrimination; age and sex discrimination for example,
                           are also causes for complaint.



                           Page 28                    GAO/HBD-914 Hispanic !tepreaentafion   in K~I~?IRegion Wit
                        Appendix II
                        Other Matters   Relating   to Hispanic
                        RepreYXntation
                                    in HHSRegionvm




                        Complete region VIII data on informal discrimination complaints were
                        not available because operating divisions are not required to compile or
                        maintain such data or to retain such files. One operating division, SSA,
                        however, records summary information on informal complaints filed.
                        These records showed that I12 informal discrimination complaints were
                        filed in fiscal years 1980 through 1989 in SSA.Of those, 16 (or 14.3 per-
                        cent) were filed by Hispanic employees. Of the 16 complaints, 8 were
                        resolved informally, 4 became formal complaints, 2 were withdrawn,
                        and no additional information was available on the remaining 2.


                        A grievance involves a problem raised by an employee relating to condi-
EknployeeGrievances     tions of employment. A grievance may involve two procedures: an
                        informal procedure (stage l), which may be resolved by written deci-
                        sion, or a formal procedure (stage 2), which may include fact finding by
                        an examiner resulting in a written decision.

                        According to a region VIII official, between 1985 and 1989,39 griev-
                        ances were filed by region VIII employees; 4 of these, or 10.3 percent,
                        were filed by Hispanics. Of these grievances, two were resolved partially
                        in favor of the employees and the others were upheld on behalf of the
                        agency, Because the region is required to retain such records for only 4
                        years, no data were available for the years before 1985.


                        Between 1985 and 1989, according to a regional official, unions repre-
Unfair Labor Practice   senting region VIII employees filed four unfair labor practice grievances,
and Union Grievances    one of which involved a Hispanic man, and three union grievances, one
                        of which was filed on behalf of a Hispanic man. The regional official
                        told us that the unfair labor practice case involving a Hispanic man was
                        filed following a court ruling and the problem was worked out between
                        the agency and the employee. In the grievance involving a Hispanic man,
                        the union request for remedy was denied by HHS. Data before 1985 were
                        not available because of the 4-year retention requirement.


Adverse Personnel       Between 1985 and 1989,40 adverse personnel actions {suspensions, dis-
                        missals, demotions, and other disciplinary actions) were taken by man-
Actions                 agement against 38 region VIII employees. Of the 40 adverse actions,
                        7 (17.5 percent) involved Hispanic employees (1 Hispanic employee was
                        involved in each of the 7 actions). The actions against Hispanic




                        Page 29
                                          Appendix II
                                          Other Matters    Relating UI Hi~ptdc
                                          Representation    in HHS Region VIII




                                          employees involved four terminations, two suspensions, and one repri-             !
                                          mand. Again, data before 1985 were not available because of the 4-year            1
                                          retention requirement.


                                          WE does not compile ethnic data on the receipt of performance awards.
Receipt of                                Accordingly, to determine the number of Hispanic employees who
Perfomame Awards                          received awards, we compared the names of recipients in fiscal years
                                          1985, 1987, and 1989 to the names of Hispanic employees listed in HHS’S
                                          data bases.

                                          As shown in table II. 1, for these 3 fiscal years Hispanic employees              Y
                                                                                                                            6
                                          received about 9 percent of the awards given to region VIII employees.            $
                                          The total number of awards increased significantly beginning in 1987,             1
                                          when the region implemented a cash awards program.                                i
                                                                                                                            II$
Table Ii.?: Hispanic Employees’ Receipt
of Performance Awards (Excluding IHS)                                               Number of awards             Percent    1
(Fiscal Years 1985,1987,and 19El9)        Fiscal year                                  Total     Hispanic     Hispanics     (
                                          1985                                           484            44            9.1   I
                                                                  -
                                          1987                                           720             70           9.7   Y
                                          1989                                         1,184            99            a.4   j
                                                                                                                            I

                                          In 1989, the portion of awards given to Hispanic employees was about 2            i
                                          percent less than the regional Hispanic representation, excluding IHS,of
                                          10.3 percent. Similar comparisons could not be made for other fiscal              b
                                          years because 1~sdata were not broken out separately.
                                                                                                                            t
                                          1111sdoes not compile data on training received by minority group mem-
Participation in                          bers. Accordingly, to determine the number of Hispanic employees who
Training and Upward                       participated in training opportunities, we compared the names of                  1


Mobility Program                          training activity participants to the names of Hispanic employees listed          i
                                          in 1111s’sdata bases. The training data included all training activities,         f
                                          regardless of the length or type.                                                 u

                                          In the 3 fiscal years we reviewed, Hispanic employees participated in             i
                                          11.5 percent of the training opportunities provided in region VIII, as            >
                                                                                                                            1
                                          shown in table 11.2. In fiscal year 1989, Hispanic participation in
                                                                                                                            1
                                          training opportunities (10.2 percent) paralleled Hispanic representation          i
                                          in the region, excluding IHS (10.3 percent).




                                          Page30
                                             Ap&ndii     ll
                                             Other Matters    Relating to Hispanic
                                             Representation    in IUFS Region VJII




Table 11.2:Hispanic Employees’
Participation  in Training (Excluding IHS)                                                             Total            Hispanic            Percent
(Fiscal Years 1985, 1987, and 1989)          Fiscal year                                      participants         participants           Hispanics
                                             1985                                                      1,112                   165               14.8
                                             1987                                                      1,084                   100                9.2
                                             1989                                                        826                    84               10.2
                                             Total                                                    3.022                   349               11.5


                                             Between 1983 and 1989,42 region VIII employees were selected to par-
                                             ticipate in the upward mobility program. Of these, five (about 12 per-
                                             cent) were Hispanic employees. According to regional officials, the
                                             region’s upward mobility program was limited by budgetary constraints
                                             during the 1980s.




                                             Page 31                                 GAO,‘KRD-916    Hispanic   Representation   in i%HS Ite@on VIII
                                                                                                          . ..“I




Appendix III
                                                              ___~                                                 II
                                                                                                                   1I
 Major Contribtitors tiYTkii.s Rep&k


                                                                                                                   3
                   Larry Horinko, Assistant Director, (202) 523-9131
Human Resources
Division,
Washington, D.C.

                   Donald C. Hahn, Evaluator-in-Charge
Denver Regional    Maria A. Durant, Site Senior
Office             Elena S. Tomorwitz, Evaluator
                   Pamela K. Tumler, Reports Analyst




(118284)           Page 32                   GAO/HRD914   Hiapank   Representation   in HHS Region b’Ul