United States Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C.  20240
April 9, 2004


To:                   Bureau Equal Opportunity Officers

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

Subject:            Retrieval of Complaint Files from EEOC Field and District Offices

As you are aware, most EEOC Field and District Offices are retaining complaint files and then destroying files after 60 days in order to contain administrative costs.  The Administrative Judge generally gives the Agency an opportunity to request the return of the files.  However, this has not proven to be an effective way for us to respond to the AJ’s decision and EEOC Appeals.  Therefore, I believe it to be prudent to send a postage paid, self-addressed envelope, jiffy bag or mailing box to the EEOC Field and District Offices when transmitting files for a hearing.  This will eliminate the need for us to ask you for either an account number or a requisition form authorizing us to duplicate the files.  This will not only save costs but also time, and will facilitate us to issue timely decisions.

Effective immediately, Bureaus are to automatically request the return of files to the Department upon completion of the EEOC hearing.   Your transmittal letters forwarding complaints to EEOC Field and District Offices for a hearing must contain language that states in part…”upon completion of the hearing, please return the complaint files to the Department…along with the AJ’s decision…a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope is enclosed for your use.”

Should you have any questions, please contact Melinda Hayden of my staff at (202) 208-5998 (TDD) or e-mail her at Melinda_Hayden@ios.doi.gov.

Distribution:      All Bureau/Office Equal Opportunity Officers

Inquiries:           Melinda Hayden – (202) 208-5998 (TDD); Melinda_Hayden@ios.doi.gov

Expiration:        When Superseded