EEOC Wants a Quality Check For Its Data and Automation Strategy

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s inspector general wants an independent third party to look over the agency’s Digital Process Transformation and Automation strategy.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—charged with ensuring U.S. businesses follow anti-discrimination laws—wants to use more data to support its mission but needs to know if the current strategy sets the commission up for success.

By mandate and preference, the EEOC is engaged in several efforts to increase and improve the agency’s use of data and automation processes that can speed its enforcement efforts and provide better quality assurance. But digitizing bad processes just automates bad outcomes. So, before the commission gets too far along, the agency inspector general is looking for a contractor to evaluate its Digital Process Transformation and Automation, or DPTA, strategy.

“The overall purpose of the evaluation is to assess the EEOC’s culture, strategy, and management of data transformation and associated automation, providing the chair, [Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics], [Office of Information Technology] and other offices who may perform those activities, with useful recommendations for improvement in strategy, management, and implementation of DPTA,” according to a solicitation posted to SAM.gov.

The commission has a number of digitization efforts underway, including a $4 million loan from the Technology Modernization Fund to update the 18-year-old Integrated Mission System.

That and other modernization initiatives will need to continue apace if EEOC wants to take advantage of emerging technologies. For example, the agency currently engages in “small data modeling efforts” but “has not yet undertaken machine learning activities,” according to the performance work statement.

“Based on initial analysis of EEOC information technology activities, EEOC is at a stage where digital transformation is needed for the agency to embark on major machine learning and artificial intelligence projects,” the PWS states. However, “While EEOC has made some strides regarding digital transformation, the agency’s efforts are siloed and lack formal structure or guidance.”

The commission is also set up with new IT-focused leadership, including a chief data officer—a position held concurrently by the director of the Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics—and a new chief technology officer in the Office of Information Technology.

But the IG is looking for an independent assessment on the direction and quality of the current culture and strategy.

The strategy evaluation must answer five key questions for the IG:

  • What are EEOC’s DPTA plans, capabilities and culture?
  • How best can EEOC address the requirements and guidance contained in federal guidance regarding system modernization, data transformation and associated automation?
  • Is the current effort to transform the agency’s major mission system effective and efficient?
  • What digital transformation and automation efforts will yield the best returns on investment for the agency?
  • How can EEOC improve its processes for developing DPTA strategies and tactics?

The IG plans to make an award before September, with the contract set to run from Sept. 1 through June 2022, for a total of 280 calendar days.

Bids are due by 3 p.m. Aug. 13.

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