8:19 pm, May 25, 2015

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  • Time to transfer the Hispanic Employment Program back to the OPM....
    All federal officials including SESrs are responsible for carrying out public policies and all laws including EEO by maintaining affirmative programs to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies and conducting a continuing campaign to eradicate every form of prejudice or discrimination from the agency’s personnel policies, practices, why have they allowed the underrepresentation of Hispanics to continue? Hispanic under representation did not happen overnight! Where’s the leadership? The reality is HR shares and tells top agency officials what they want this top agency officials to know. Few if any top agency officials have the savvy or technical resources to oversee any HR practices relying and depending upon HR to “keep them informed.” If you want a diversified workforce – diversify your HR staffs. MSPB reported Hispanics are as qualified as other applicants and can/have compete(d) successfully under fair competitive processes. Hispanics are well represented in comparable occupations in the private sector but are inexplicably underrepresented in the same occupations in federal agencies! Hispanics for example are employed in white collar and highly technical blue collar occupations throughout California’s Central Valley which includes Fresno but are puzzlingly underrepresented in the same occupations in federal agencies located across the street, across town and throughout this valley! MSPB also reported 57% of new federal hires reported they had been recruited, assisted & coached into federal employment by relatives or friends already in the govt! That’s why we have many relatives working in the same federal agencies and throughout the federal government. Other than being personally assisted, coached and prepped by their relatives and friends and friends of friends, these relatives and friends of friends who were/are being hired are not any more qualified than Hispanics. In addition, selecting officials in most agencies and sub agencies tend to recruit from their alma maters for their Student Career Experience Program (SCEPs). For these reasons, most SCEP hires by agencies are from a handful of colleges and universities. In regional and field offices SCEPs are more apt to be from just one or two schools! The absence of such a network of friends and relatives providing personal outreach to Hispanics is a contributing factor to underrepresentation - access. The same is true of other developmental programs such as the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program which in some agencies such as at the Interior did not have ANY Hispanics among their PMFs ! In an article two weeks ago, the Center for American Progress and Carol Bonasaro were identified as suggesting that agencies focus on college grads which would preclude latinos who lacked college degrees. The problem with this is that it would exclude consideration of groups of otherwise qualified individuals (as in being able to perform the work successfully AND the work does NOT require four years of academic training) not pursuing 4yr degrees which according to the U.S. Census would exclude 80% of America’s women & minorities! What Bonasaro and apparently many others are not aware of is the fact that ONLY 80% of all federal positions require a 4yr college degree! In addition, according to the MSPB, focusing/favoring 4yr grads would create the appearance of preferential treatment to certain groups of individuals would violate the open and fair competitive principles of the merit system. Furthermore, 7.5% of current SESrs are not 4yr grads and 60-65% of current SESrs are in administrative & technical occupations that DO NOT require 4yr degrees! EEOC could and should be conducting hiring reviews to include names of schools of hires by hiring authorities along with the RNOG, disability status and veteran status of ALL hires especially ALL noncompetitive hire by agency, sub agency, by locations and by occupation for apprising and training HEP Coordinators, HEP Councils, Hispanic community organizations and top agency officials on these hiring trends and patterns. EEOC however, is not doing this despite the fact that they have full access to this data readily available at their fingertips! Notably, the EEOC declined the use of the specialized software I offered them that would produce these end-user final profiles involving 1.7 million employees (excluding USPS) within 48 to 72 hours (including separations) on an ongoing basis in which EEOC could have used to assess agencies, train EEO staffs, etc. etc. in support of federal AEP. But EEOC speaking for the OFO opted not to use this software. Even EEOC’s IG Office issued a report viewable at EEOC’s website criticizing the Office of Personnel Operations (OFO) for failing to use available technology further federal AEP programs. After 31 years of assuming the Hispanic Employment Program from the U.S. Civil Service Commission (now known as the OPM) EEOC’s best and brightest minds have been unable to provide the necessary technical and program leadership to fulfill the promises of the HEP program. Today 31 years later, growing Hispanic communities still remain underserved and the only underrepresented minority group in the federal government. The state of today’s HEP is in dire need of being revitalized into a national, proactive and comprehensive results oriented program. Such was the HEP under the then U.S. Civil Service Commission (renamed the OPM by the CSRA of 1978) when it was robust, visible and a highly interactive program government wide. It’s time now for a change and transferring the leadership for the HEP back to the OPM As a disabled veteran, I also want to remind all of you that Hispanics in uniform are proudly and bravely defending our nation half way around the world suffering mortality rate higher than any nonHispanic group and in relative terms is almost three times the CLF rate for Hispanics. In fact, the top five counties in the U.S. with the highest absolute and relative losses in the Iraq war all have significant levels of Hispanics of 30 to 60 percent. This is important to know because despite the high mortality rates among Hispanics in uniform there is little to no use of derivative veteran preference by their spouses, widows, widowers, or mothers of deceased or disabled Hispanic veterans compared to members of other groups using derivative preference for appointment to federal jobs. What office is providing this level of information and oversight to ensure eligible Hispanic family members are cognizant of leveraging derivative preference to get a federal job? We know EEOC is not engaged in these types of reviews and neither are the other two agencies with overlapping responsibilities for ensuring merit, EEO, etc. in all federal personnel practices, etc. – the MSPB and OPM.
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  • OPM initiative on Hispanic employment
    Several years back, GAO issued two excellent analytical reports (GAO-06-832, dated 8/17/06, and GAO-07-493R, dated 5/18/07) dealing with the issue of Hispanic representation in the Federal workforce and various relevant factors affecting this. These cut through much of the uniformed hype on this topic. One key point is that while Hispanics make up, as the artcle states, 15% of the American workforce, 30-40% of Hispanics in the U.S. lack citizenship, effectively ruling them ineligible for the vast majority of Federal jobs. OPM studiously ignores the tedious facts underlying the reasons for Hispanic "underrepresentation," which are addressed factually and dispassionately in the GAO reports cited. Maybe the zealots at OPM are unaware of these; if so, shame on them.
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