Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
From: E. Melodee Stith, Director, Office for Equal Opportunity
Subject: Retention of Records
EEOC recently issued a finding of an adverse inference in a Department of the Interior EEO case in which Agency officials failed to retain records relevant to the EEO complaint.
Federal regulations require a Federal Agency to maintain all records relevant to an EEO complaint until after final resolution of that complaint. See GSA Federal Property Management Regulations, 101.11.4, General Records Schedule I, Item 26. The EEOC's regulations at 29 C.F.R. 1602.14(a) also make clear that the Agency must maintain all pertinent information relevant to an EEO complaint.
In the instant case, the Administrative Judge was not persuaded by the argument that the adverse inference should not be imposed because personnel officials were not aware of the complaint when the records were destroyed. The Administrative Judge found that the Complainant was affected by the destruction of the records, and, because the records no longer existed, the Complainant was denied a full and fair opportunity to demonstrate that the Agency's reasons for not filling the position was retaliatory.
Effective immediately, all bureaus and offices are to notify all offices with a "need to know" of their responsibilities to retain all records that are pertinent to an EEO complaint. We have provided you with a form notification letter to be used to inform offices that records must be retained until the resolution or disposition of an EEO complaint.
Inquiries: Mercedes Flores, Chief of Staff, Office for Equal Opportunity, (202) 208-6120