« PreviousContinue »
ASPER - A Case Study
ASPER, a small, specialized organization, occupies
a very influential position within the Department but
had no minority professionals as of July 7, 1971.
this reason, the Task Force decided to make a case study
of the office by interviewing all of its employees.
During the interviews, conducted between March 15 and
June 8, 1971, employees were asked their impressions of
ASPER's past and present recruitment policy for minori
ties, and to present ideas for a more effective policy.
Clerical employees were also asked about the amount of
training opportunities available to them.
mote the welfare of all workers", and it serves as "the .
focal point of responsibility for initiating policy plan
ning and research and for forwarding recommendations to
cretary 1/. The office began operations with a
staff of several people in 1957 as the Office of Research
and Development under then Deputy Assistant Secretary
In 1963, it became the Office of Policy,
Planning and Research with Daniel P. Moynihan as the Dir
At that time, the staff had only about five pro
fessionals and did not grow in size significantly until
1969 when this number increased from approximately ten to
twenty-two and the office assumed its present name.
should be noted that most of this recruitment was done in
ternally but that no affirmative action was taken to
identify qualified and interested minorities.
1/ United States Government Organization Manual ; 1969-70, Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, GSA, p. 299.
Two major constraints in recruiting for ASPER are
1) the smallness of the office which limits the number
of available new slots, and 2) the lack of entry-level
professional positions, GS 5
GS 5 - 9.
Since the expansion
in 1969, ASPER has recruited only five professionals
and now has a total of twenty-five.
have left the organization in the past year but three
of them retired, and no present employee is due to re
tire in the near future.
In addition, very few people
have left ASPER over the years to work elsewhere.
The office, however, is not limited in its recruit
ment effort by the need for any specific background.
Present employees represent a diversity of backgrounds,
which include law, teaching and economics.
The type of
work done in ASPER requires the ability to write, to be
creative and to work without supervision, but does not
statement, Standard Form 171, and 4) a personal inter
view by at least one staff member.
Summary of Interviews
The Task Force encountered a wide range of reactions
to ASPER'S EEO Action Plan and to the subject of minority
original Action Plan, submitted in February of 1971, and
not much happier with the revised plan of April, 1971.
The revised plan reserves "either one or two positions
for minority persons" out of a total of seven, but does
not specify whether these reserved positions are profes
sional or nonprofessional.
This distinction is important
because five of ASPER'S nine secretaries were minorities
as of July 7, 1971, so that reserving a nonprofessional
position for a minority would be unnecessary for EEO pur
Others regarded the new plan as a step in the right
direction and felt that ASPER would begin to hire minor
ity professionals in the near future.
Even though the
Action Plan does not specifically set aside a professional position for a minority, 2 an unsuccessful attempt was
made to fill a position in the Office of Evaluation with
a minority before the end of fiscal year 1971.
biguity with regards to filling this professional posi
tion is symptomatic of the entire plan (see Appendix D-1).
"We are prepared to reserve one professional position to be filled by a minority employee before the end of this fiscal year". FY •71 EEO Action Plan for ASPER, P.:2.