Federal Diary: Interior faces investigation on workforce diversity
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has some explaining to do.

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, informed Salazar by letter Tuesday that the panel "is investigating the standards, practices, and policies employed by Interior to achieve a diverse workforce and maintain accountability for violations of anti-discrimination laws."

The investigation flows from an Aug. 26 Federal Diary, cited by Towns, which reported on an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report on Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service.

That report covered a case of a white supervisor who called his African American subordinates "monkeys." An EEOC letter to the agency said that it "lacks an effective strategy to build and retain a diverse workforce."

Kendra Barkoff, an Interior spokeswoman, said that "Salazar has put diversity front and center for the Department of the Interior's agenda, because he believes that the department needs to better reflect the diversity within our country. "

Towns told Salazar to provide documents and other information, including the racial and ethnic breakdown of major agencies in the department, a detailed description of the Fish and Wildlife Service's equal employment opportunity program and an explanation of Interior efforts to increase diversity.

The chairman said that he was "extremely disappointed" to hear about the manager's behavior. "

Get the Story:
Federal Diary by Joe Davidson: Interior investigation [2nd item] (The Washington Post 9/23)

Related Stories:
Federal Diary: Interior still has a long way to go on diversity plan (8/26)
Federal Eye: Salazar launches Interior Department diversity plan (8/17)