Powerful new federal boards that will pick people for $50,000 a year exacutive level career jobs have been urged to include their own agency's equal employment opportunity officer as a permanent advisor.
Each week about 30 top-paying federal jobs open. Under the president's new civil service reform system, most of the government's top paying career and political jobs are in the SES (Senator Executive Service), Candidates for those jobs, from inside and outside government, will be recruited, screened and passed or rejected by Executive Resources Boards in each agency. The boards will have tremendous power over who gets picked for top career federal jobs, and who gets asked to apply for them.
In most agencies the scramble has begun as thousands of Grade 15 level career people get in the running for the limited number of SES jobs. People picked for the SES can get big bonuses and/or one-shot financial merit rankings if they please their leaders. Under the SES system it will be virtually impossible for an ambitious bureaucrat to climb to the top of the career ladder without becoming an SESer, accepting the high-risks along with the high-rewards.
For reasons that are legel, moral and political, the Carter administration is serious to boost the numbers of women and minorities in SES-level jobs. Since few minorities are in the mid-levels that would normally feed into the SES, agencies will go "outside" in many cases seeking people for SES-level jobs. By putting the director of equal employment opportunity on each agency executive review board, the thought is that women and minorities will have a permanent friend in court each time groups are considering for top jobs.
Federal officials insist there are no quotas for women and minorities in the SES. However, they have told agencies to give "special emphasis" to recruiting sources that would alert more women, blacks, Hispanics and other minorities to executive job openings.
On Jan. 9 Alan K. Campbell, one of the architects of the president's civil service reforms, wrote agencies noting that the executive selection time is a hand. "To this end, it would be helpful to give the director of equal employment opportunity in your agency as an advisory to the Executive Resources Board to make sure affirmative action concerns are adequately addressed." Campbell is director of the Office of Personnel Management, which is overseeing -- for the president -- agency compliance with the newly installed guidance system for the federal bureauracy.