Federal officials monitoring government hiring of women and minorities have decided to include only one ethnic group -- Hispanics -- on the questionnaires job-seekers must fill out when applying for civil service positions.
On Dec. 7, The Washington Post reported that President Carter had approved a Civil Service Commission plan to ask U.S. job-seekers to state their race, sex and ethnic background on separate forms when applying for certain federal jobs. That program now is in effect for seven of the government's career entry job programs and will be expanded to include applicants for most other jobs sometime this year.
Federal officials said the collection of race, sex and ethnic data for new job applicants is part of a program to increase opportunities for women and minorities in government. The material, which officials say will be kept separate from regular hiring records, also will be used to track the progress of minorities in federal agencies after they are hired.
Officials consistently have denied charges that the government is endorsing a covern quota system for women or minorities. The Civil Service Commission has approved a program that gives agencies special authority to hire women, veterans, minorities and others for certain jobs in government where they are now under-represented.
Representatives of various ethnic groups, and the American Jewish Congress, have attacked the racial and ethnic identification program either on grounds that it could lead to discrimination, or because it fails to recognize groups like Italian-Americans or Polish-Americans.
The new voluntary federal rece-sex-ethnic background form is being used for applicants trying out for jobs in the Foreign Service, for professional and administrative jobs, positions in the mid-level of government and in the big clerical examination the government uses.
CSC Chairman Alan K. Campbell said it will be extended to most other federal job examinations. "Obviously, we can't know whether affirmative action programs are working as intended unless we have adequate data," Campbell said after the Dec. 7 Washington Post story appeared.
The new form, CSC Form 1289-A, requires applicants for many federal jobs to check whether their race is, American Indian or Alaska native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Black, White or "other." Sex, of course, is male or female. Under the "Ethnicity" line, only two choices are given, either "Hispanic Origin," or "Not of
Hispanic, under the government definition, is a "person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race."
Blacks, under the government job form, are persons "having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa," and whites are persons "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East."
Applicants filling out the forms are told that they are to provide data to "assure that any selection procedures used as a basis for employment decisions. . . are not affected by discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin." Applicants are assured that the material "will not be disclosed for any purpose" and that persons who don't wish to fill it out will not be penalized or denied a job on those grounds.
Tackle The Chairman: Civil Service Chairman Alan K. Campbell will be on Joseph McCafferey's radio show Wednesday, beginning at 7:35 p.m. After talking about the state of the government, Campbell will answer phone-in calls on reorganization, pay or whatever. That's 63 on your AM radio dial. The telephone number for questions is 432-WMAL.
Hold It! Various Bethesda community groups have filed a suit in U.S. District Court for the District of columbia, seeking to block the transfer of more than 700 workers from Suit-land to the Defense Mapping Agency in Brookmont, Md. Defense notified Congress on Jan. 3 that it would proceed with the cross-beltway transfer, which is opposed by a substantial number of people both in Suitland and at the Bethesda site.
The suit, which seeks to block further action until an environmental impact study has been made, and public hearings held, was brought by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, four civic groups from the Brookmont area, the American Federation of Government Employees and two private citizens in the Brookmont area, Mr. and Mrs. Howard K. Smith. He is the wellknown ABC-TV newsman. In addition, more than 500 of the 700 employees slated for the transfer have signed a petition opposing it.