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Speeches, Statements & Testimonies

Statement by Martin J. Gruenberg, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Proposal to Establish FDIC Office of Professional Conduct and FDIC Office of Equal Employment Opportunity

The FDIC Board is today considering a proposal to establish two new Offices at the FDIC – an Office of Professional Conduct and an Office of Equal Employment Opportunity. Each Office will be led by a Director who will be an Officer of the FDIC appointed by the Board.   

When reports of harassment, other interpersonal misconduct, and discrimination surfaced last year, the FDIC acted to gain a deeper understanding and develop recommendations to improve our workplace culture.   

The FDIC created its own “Action Plan for a Safe, Fair, and Inclusive Work Environment” that is being carried out with support from staff, managers, executives, and the NTEU.   

The FDIC also engaged the help of an independent third party reviewer overseen by a Special Review Committee of the Board that produced a report with significant recommendations. 

The FDIC is proceeding expeditiously to implement the recommendations from the Action Plan and the third party review.   

The report from the third party review recommended fundamental change to the FDIC’s structure and procedures for receiving and investigating complaints, and taking disciplinary action against interpersonal misconduct.   

The FDIC is moving to accomplish this with the establishment of an independent Office of Professional Conduct, separate from the other Divisions and Offices that make up the organizational structure of the agency, reporting directly to the FDIC Board of Directors.   

The Office of Professional Conduct will be charged with fulfilling these intake, investigation, and discipline responsibilities, including through the support of independent third parties to conduct investigations.   

In addition, the FDIC is acting to establish a new Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, which also will report directly to the Board of Directors.   

That new office will receive, investigate, and report on claims of discrimination under the various laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  

The objective is to establish a new framework of accountability for sexual harassment, discrimination, or other misconduct at the FDIC, reporting directly to the Board, to assure employees of fair treatment if they experience abuse. 

The third party review also recommended that the FDIC engage an independent third party expert to advise and assist with our workplace culture efforts, as well as an independent monitor to audit implementation of recommendations.   

We have begun the process of engaging the expert and the independent monitor. We will rely on the expert for advice on the structure, policies, and procedures of these two new Offices, and on the monitor to report on our progress.  

Our employees are extraordinarily dedicated to the FDIC and its mission.   

The work they do day-in and day-out is critical to maintaining stability and confidence in our banking system.  

They deserve to have a workplace where all feel safe, valued, and respected.   

The creation of these two new Offices will be an important step forward to deliver on that commitment to improve the FDIC’s workplace culture. 

I strongly support this proposal. 

Last Updated: June 21, 2024