U.S. Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C.  20240

 October 21, 2003

Equal Opportunity Directive 2004-03

To:                   Bureau and Office Equal Opportunity Officers

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

Subject:            Data Collection for No Fear Act

As you know, the No Fear Act, Public Law 107-174, became effective October 1, 2003.  Title II of the Act calls for Federal agencies to report and post on the agency’s web site statistical data regarding employment discrimination complaints.  While much of the requested data is currently collected for the annual statistical submission to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Form 462, the No Fear Act calls for some data that we do not typically collect and, in some cases, in a manner different from the current procedures.  Therefore, this Equal Opportunity Directive advises each Bureau to revise their data collection systems and processes to collect the following information beginning October 1, 2003.

  • Collect EEO Counseling data to include the number of counseling sessions, the number of individuals counseled, and the average processing time of the counseling period.  Currently, Form 462 tracks the number of counseling, the number of individuals counseled, and the number of counseling occurring within 30 days, within 31 to 90 days, and beyond 90 days.  The “average processing time” indicates that we now track the specific number of days for each counseling period and calculate the average time of counseling.  This tracking period should begin with the initial contact with an Equal Opportunity Official or receipt of a request for counseling (not the date of the initial interview), and the date the Notice of Final Interview was issued, or if the complaint was resolved by a  written settlement agreement and no NOFI was issued, the date of the settlement agreement.

  • Collect EEO data by stage.  While most Bureaus track the processing time by stages, the No Fear Act identifies that specific stages and clarifies the start/stop times.  There are five (5) stages to track:  1) counseling; 2) investigations; 3) hearings; 4) final actions; and 5) appeals.  The EEOC will be tracking the hearing and appeals.  Therefore, we will not need to report on these two stages.  As indicated above, we will need to track the counseling stage a little differently than before.  In reference to the investigation and final action stages, the start/stop times are as follows:

    • Investigations:  from filing date (postmarked, hand-delivered, e-mailed, or faxed) to date the Report of Investigation is issued pursuant to 1614.108(f).  

    • Final actions:  from the Report of Investigation is issued to date the final action  is issued.  This is also aggregated by cases that went to an Administrative Judge and those that came in for final action without a hearing.  When forwarding cases to the Department for final action without a hearing, please include or otherwise advise why the complaint is referred for final action, e.g., complainant requested a final action without a hearing; complainant failed to respond to the election notice within 30 days; the complaint is a mixed-case and the final action requires final action within 45 days.

As we receive more direction and guidance from the EEOC and the Office of Personnel Management, we will advise you.  In the meantime, please track all necessary data required by the No Fear Act.  The first report is due for posting on the Department of the Interior web site by January 30, 2004, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2004.  Therefore, we will require each Bureau to submit their report to the Department no later than January 15, 2004.  In addition, the No Fear Act requires the posting of complaint data for the last five years (1999 through 2003), by January 31, 2004.  We will be working with each Bureau to ensure the accuracy of the data and the posting of the report as required by the Act.

We will be discussing the No Fear Act requirements at the next monthly Complaints Technical Meeting on November 13, 2003.  If at any time you have questions, please contact us.  We are available to assist you.

If you have regional Equal Opportunity Staff collecting data, please advise them as soon as possible of the No Fear Act requirements.  We will continue our efforts to procure an automated system that will alleviate our need for manual tracking and reporting.  This will make all of our lives much easier.

Distribution:      All Bureau and Office Equal Opportunity Officers

Inquiries:           E. Melodee Stith, Director, Office for Equal Opportunity, Office of the Secretary, at (202) 208-5693 or melodee_stith@ios.doi.gov