Administrator's Statement: Strengthening and Revitalizing the EPA’s Civil Rights and Diversity Programs
Strengthening and Revitalizing the EPA’s Civil Rights and Diversity Programs
On this page:
Administrator's Statement, April 2011
Memorandum from the Deputy Administrator on Building a Model Civil Rights Program, April 13, 2012
Implementing Recommendations of the EPA's Executive Committee, April 19, 2012 (PDF) (1 pg, 507 KB)
Executive Committee Final Report, April 2012
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson is deeply committed to issues of environmental justice and civil rights and has made it very clear that protection of civil rights is the responsibility of every employee in the agency, not just a single office. Administrator Jackson has heard the concerns about the agency’s civil rights program and has worked very hard over the past two years to ensure that a model civil rights program is put in place. In 2010, EPA funded an independent in-depth evaluation of its civil rights program by the firm Deloitte Consulting LLP. Following receipt of the evaluation, the Administrator established a Civil Rights Executive Committee to review Deloitte's evaluation, and other sources of information, and make recommendations for building a model civil rights program for EPA. The Executive Committee posted its draft report for public review in February, 2012, and the Administrator approved the final report and recommendations on April 13, 2012. The Executive Committee's final report -- a product of extensive research and engagement -- outlines the agency’s commitment to strengthening equal employment opportunities and diversity in the workplace. The changes made to the program will have lasting impact on the ability to attract, develop, and retain a highly skilled, diverse work force to meet the environmental challenges of the future.
Executive Committee Final Report, April 2012 (PDF) (41pp, 850KB, About PDF)
Memorandum from the Deputy Administrator on Building a Model Civil Rights Program
SUBJECT: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Civil Rights Executive C0m;jtte,e Re~o;,/ .tI d
Lisa P. Jackson
During the past two years we have made great progress toward building a model civil-rights program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and strengthening the EPA's commitment to diversity and inclusion. The changes we have made will have a lasting impact on the EPA's ability to attract, develop and retain a highly skilled, diverse work force to meet the environmental challenges of the future. To continue and accelerate this progress, I recommend that you approve the attached report of the EPA's Civil Rights Executive Committee.
As you know, you appointed the executive committee in March 2011 and asked me to serve as chairman. You directed the committee to review Deloitte Consulting's comprehensive evaluation of the EPA's civil-rights program and other information and to provide recommendations for fundamental improvements.
The executive committee asked a group of senior career managers and advisors, also known as the deputies group, to review Deloitte's evaluation and to develop options. The deputies group listened to experts from throughout the EPA and examined the structure ofcivil-rights programs across the federal government. They conducted an exhaustive, top-to-bottom review of civil-rights activities and programs at the EPA and offered the executive committee a series of briefings on priority issues. In November 2011, several key recommendations were featured discussion topics at the EPA's Executive Management Council meeting, which involves senior career managers from all nationalprogram and region offices. The Civil Rights Executive Committee in January circulated a draft report for agency review, and the EPA's unions were briefed and invited to comment. Finally, a public availability and review concluded in February.
The attached final report is the product of extensive research and engagement from across the EPA. I am proud to recommend that you endorse the report and accept its recommendations.
Lisa P. Jackson
April 1, 2011
SUBJECT: Strengthening and Revitalizing the EPA’s Civil Rights and Diversity Programs
TO: All EPA Employees
A strong civil-rights and diversity program is essential to the success of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. From my first days as Administrator, I have worked to strengthen this agency’s commitment to civil rights, equal employment opportunity and diversity in the workplace for our employees and job applicants. The EPA must continue to attract, develop and retain a highly skilled, diverse work force to meet the demands placed on our agency each day. To do so, we must be fully committed to promoting and maintaining a workplace that ensures equality of opportunity for everyone, regardless of her or his race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, status as a parent, sexual orientation, genetic information or prior Equal Employment Opportunity activity.
I am proud of the progress we have made during the past 24 months. In December 2009, we appointed a special counsel for Title VI to help the EPA address a number of longstanding complaints and the Title VI process. Working with the Office of General Counsel, we revitalized our efforts and processed the highest number of complaints in any year. In December 2010, I appointed Rafael DeLeon as our new director for the Office of Civil Rights; he is someone I knew would bring energy and experience to the post. Under his leadership, the EPA set a record for training its employees under the No Fear Act. Earlier this year, the EPA was timely in submitting its Management Directive 715 Report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which lays the foundation for collaboration among our civil-rights, diversity and human-resources programs and provides a comprehensive framework for strengthening and addressing a number of employment and civil-rights issues. Further, we are preparing to release the agency’s first anti-harassment policy and procedures, and we also will require that all EPA supervisors and managers include Equal Employment Opportunity language in their performance standards during the upcoming mid-year performance cycle.
While we have made strides, we still have a lot of work to do. Last year, I directed the agency to conduct through an independent firm an in-depth evaluation of the EPA's Civil Rights program. That review by the consulting firm Deloitte is now complete. It identifies deficiencies in several areas and provides a range of recommendations where Deloitte has concluded that improvements are both necessary and achievable. To achieve full transparency, I have ordered that the report be made available on the Office of Civil Rights section of the EPA website. Portions of the report have been redacted where privacy issues are concerned.
We will move quickly to address the issues raised in the report and continue our effort to make the EPA home to a model civil-rights program. I have asked Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe to lead a committee comprising senior managers from headquarters and the regions to review Deloitte's report and other relevant information and to give me recommendations on next steps. I expect this committee to establish a process for robust employee and union engagement as we work together in the weeks and months ahead to strengthen and revitalize the EPA's Civil Rights program.
Our vision of One EPA can be realized only if we respect and honor the differences that every employee brings from her or his background. I am confident that, as we move forward, we all will demonstrate our steadfast commitment to protecting and advancing civil rights, equal employment opportunity and diversity at the EPA.
Lisa P. Jackson
Read the Deloitte Report (PDF) (56pp, 2.1MB), March 21, 2011