This is an update to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to federal agencies on compliance with Section 203, of The Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 aka No Fear Act, Public Law, 107–174. The progress has been difficult to date since several federal agencies have not responded to the FOIA request or buried the request within the agency.
However, some federal agencies have been very cooperative and compliant with the law. What comes as a surprise is the low priority cabinet level agencies have in completing the reports and the number of years the lack of compliance has existed completely unnoticed by Congress, the Justice Department, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Section 203 mandates that federal agencies file an annual report to Congress and top officials on discrimination and whistleblower retaliation cases within the federal workforce. The EEOC describes the annual report this way; “An agency must submit to Congress, EEOC, the Department of Justice, and OPM, an annual report setting forth information about the agency’s efforts to improve compliance with the employment discrimination and whistleblower protection laws and detailing the status of complaints brought against the agency under these laws.”
Further, within 180 days of the end of each fiscal year, an agency must submit its annual report to Congress, EEOC, DOJ and OPM. Among the items that must be included in the report are the following:
- the number, status, and disposition of pending or resolved Federal court cases against the agency arising under the applicable employment discrimination and whistleblower protection laws;
- the amount of money the agency was required to reimburse the Judgment Fund;
- the number of individuals the agency disciplined and the types of discipline administered for violations of the employment discrimination and whistleblower protection laws;
- a description of the agency’s policy for taking disciplinary action against employees for conduct inconsistent with employment discrimination and whistleblower protection laws;
- all the statistical data the agency is required to post on its public Web site;
- an analysis of the preceding information and any action the agency has or will take to improve its complaint and civil rights programs with the goal of eliminating employment discrimination and retaliation.”
More information on the No Fear Act is found here.
The below agencies received a FOIA request from Whistlewatch.org for the annual reports to Congress beginning in April 2012. The reports are not required to be made public, however, a few agencies may publish on their respective websites. To date the results of the the investigation reveal several agencies have violated the federal law by either not submitting a report for certain years or in some cases, no reports were produced.
One problem that surfaced in obtaining the reports apparently occurred in rule making. Several agencies believed they were not required to produce an annual report until the OPM issued the final rule in 2006. Since OPM is one of the mandated recipients of the annual reports, it calls into question their gate keeping capacity. OPM should have immediately known which agencies were in compliance and which were not within the 180 days.
We note there are few agencies refusing to comply with the FOIA request. An additional violation of federal law. Whistlewatch.org has submitted a disclosure complaint of the violations of law to the Office of Special Counsel. We are currently analyzing the data and will update this website in a timely manner when new information is available. I sincerely thank those agencies who complied with the FOIA request.
Received copies of annual reports for years 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 & 2008. Years 2004, 2006 & 2009 were not completed.
Received copies of annual report for year 2009. Years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 & 2011 were not completed.
Defense/Washington Headquarters Services
Received copies of annual report for years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011.
Received copies of annual reports for years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012.
Received copies of annual reports for years 1999-2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011.
Health and Human Services
FOIA response from the Office of the Secretary stated no annual reports submitted to Congress for any years.
Received copies of annual reports for years 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011.
Housing and Urban Development
FOIA acknowledgment dated August 20, 2012. Response from the Office of the Secretary, no annual reports found. Additional letter received dated Janaury 9, 2013, confirming no reports were filed to Congress for years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2007. There is no explanation as to why the reports were not filed or for the years missing. A copy of this notice was enclosed with the FOIA response. The letter is signed by Dolores W. Cole, Director for FOIA and Executive Correspondence, Office of the Executive Secretariat.
Received copies of annual reports for years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011.
No acknowledgment to FOIA request.
FOIA acknowledgment dated May 30, 2012. No further response received. Update on October 17, 2012. Agency searching EEOC and Office of Civil Rights.
Received copies of annual reports for years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011.
No acknowledgment to FOIA request.
Copies of annual reports may be obtained upon request or found here. Whistlewatch.org is honoring our commitment to provide these reports to the public at no cost.
Last updated on January 24, 2013.