United States Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C.  20240


August 21, 2003


TO:                  Bureau and Office Equal Opportunity Officers

FROM:            E. Melodee Stith, Director, Office for Equal Opportunity

SUBJECT:       Equal Employment Opportunity Counselors

Effective immediately, this EOD rescinds EOD-2001-01, dated October 28, 1999, which restricted counseling activities to only those employees or applicants for employment within your respective Bureaus and/or Offices.

The Equal Opportunity Program has limited resources from which to utilize trained EEO Counselors available t conduct informal inquiries and participate in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).  It has come to my attention that some EEO Counselors are declining to provide counseling to aggrieved individuals outside their bureaus/offices, based on EOD-2001-01.

I encourage aggrieved individuals to contact EEO Counselors within their respective Bureaus and Offices in order to resolve complaints.  In instances where contacting an EEO Counselor is not feasible because doing so would present a conflict of interest for an employee or applicant to be counseled within their own organization, Bureau/Office EEO Managers are to be notified.  The EEO Manager will make the appropriate arrangements with another Bureau to provide the needed counseling service.

Please ensure that this information is distributed to your employees, EEO staff, and regional and field EEO offices.

Distribution:      Bureau and Office Equal Employment Opportunity Officers

Inquiries:           Melinda Hayden, EO Specialist, 202-208-5998 (TDD) or Melinda_Hayden@ios.doi.gov

Expiration:        When Superseded