U. S. Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary

Washington, D.C. 20240

November 27, 2001


To: Bureau Equal Opportunity Officers

From: Director, Office for Equal Opportunity

Subject: USPS Mail and Timeliness of Complaints Processing

As many of you know, Interior's buildings which are located in Washington, D.C. have not received mail through the United States Postal Service since October 19, 2001, due to Anthrax contamination at USPS facilities located in the District and other postal facilities located throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.. Field installations may or may not be affected by this delay, but some EEO correspondence goes through the Main Interior building to the Field.

The USPS resumed mail delivery to Interior's mail room on November 20, 2001. However, mail delivery to the Department's Office for Equal Opportunity, to date, has been limited to bulk mail, such as magazines, newspapers, mail solicitation. It may take some time until OEO receives official correspondence, files, and other documents related to complaints processing.

In the meantime, in efforts to assure timeliness in complaints processing, we are asking you to use other methods of transmitting time sensitive complaints correspondence, i.e., filing of complaints (Form DI-1892), Administrative Judges Decisions, Notice of Appeal (Appendix O, MD-110) with briefs in support of appeals, Report of Investigations, files, hearing transcripts, Equal Employment Opportunity Orders and other documentation as appropriate through faxes, electronic mail, FEDEX, UPS, and courier. Also, it would serve the Agency to be lenient to complainants, regarding time frames used for Notices of Final Interviews, Election Notices, etc., when they have been inadvertently affected by this delay in mailing, as well as, making appropriate dismissal reviews considering the delay.

Further, if you are aware of any AJ decision or appeals filed since October 19, 2001, please notify us and/or send us a copy of the AJ's decision or appeal by facsimile immediately.

We also ask you to communicate this EOD to complainants and other individuals involved in complaints processing, including EEO staff, bureau EEO counselors, and attorneys. This EOD will remain in effect until this Office ceases to be affected by the mail delay and voids this guidance.

Distribution: All Bureau/Office Equal Opportunity Officers

Inquiries: Mercedes Flores, Chief of Staff, Office for Equal Opportunity, (202) 208-6120

Expiration: When superseded