Prince George's County officials released affirmative action statistics yesterday showing that minority employes make up 30 percent of its 3,977-person government work force and women account for 32 percent, figures they said fall short of the county's hiring goals, particularly in administrative positions.
The figures, presented at a County Council committee work session, are the first detailed findings under the county's five-year affirmative action plan that was instituted in March 1984.
County personnel officer Mary Godfrey said that the representation of women and minorities in the work force has increased since then, but she noted that both groups are "underutilized" in top-paying jobs and, for women, in the skilled craft category.
Council member Floyd E. Wilson, sponsor of a resolution calling for the creation of a task force on affirmative action, said yesterday that his intent is to find out if county hiring is discriminatory.
"I'm not sure at this point how extensive such an investigation will have to be," said Wilson, who had not seen the affirmative action statistics before.
Godfrey said that Wilson's request for quantitative evidence of discrimination is a separate issue from affirmative action efforts.
According to Godfrey's study, male representation in the county work force has declined by 1 percentage point to 68 percent during the past year, while minority and female representation have increased by 3 percentage points.
In public safety jobs, where the county has focused much of its minority recruiting effort, 12 percent of the 141 newly hired employes were women and 52 percent were minorities.
Also, the council committee voted yesterday to approve a strict package of bills that would govern the county's financial involvement with firms that conduct business with South Africa and Namibia.
William R. Brown, the county's finance director, told council members that the legislation could cost the county between $150,000 and $450,000 in lost interest income annually.
Council member James Herl, who sponsored the three bills that will now go to the full council for action, said he was not convinced that prohibitions against investments, deposits and procurements in such companies would cost the county that much. "I don't know if I want to sacrifice principle for a few dollars," he said.
In March, Brown's office sent letters to the 66 firms that make up the county government's investment portfolio asking them to state whether they had business involvement with South Africa. Deputy finance director Richard Bradley said 22 responded that they did no business with the country and 11 reported they had some involvement. Thirty-three never responded.