Per 29 CFR, Part 1614, federal employees may file EEO complaints aledging discrimination. The first part or Informal stage allows complainants the option of chosing the Traditional method or Alternative Dispute Resolution. Once the complaint has processed through the first part or initial phase of the EEO complaint process, the complainant may elect to continue on to the second part or phase of the EEO complaint process called the Formal complaint phase. If timelines are satisfied and the complainant files the complaint at the formal stage, and the agency accepts the complaint, the complaint must be processed within 180 days. Normally an EEO investigator is tasked to conduct a formal investigation at the formal phase to review the evidence and take testimony from witnesses. These investigators normally conduct these investigations from agencies outside the agency where the complaint is filed. This requires travel to a TDY destination and the expenses incurred to conduct the investigation. My recommendation to cut waste: The only person who can make a legal determination of discrimination is an Administrative Law Judge. Therefore it is a waste of time and money spent to the taxpayer to conduct formal investigations that always result in a non-finding because the investigator does not have the legal authority to determine a finding of discrimination. In essence, the formal EEO complaint process is non-value added and a waste of time to the parites involved and a waste of money to the taxpayer. My suggestion: Cut the EEO complain process to 2 phases - Informal phase and Litigation phase. Keep in mind, mediation is always an option that can be exercised to allow the parties to settle the complaint prior to formal litigation. But elimination of the formal complaint process will allow the taxpayers to save money and to process the complaint on to formal litigation to expedite the processing of the complaint and to get it to a person who can make a legal determination.
Idea No. 5312