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March 23, 1996

JOHN DALTON, Secretary, Department of the Navy, Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY


 Before the Court is an employment discrimination case brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. The plaintiff alleges that she was denied a promotion by the Department of the Navy's Navy Regional Data Automation Center ("NARDAC") because of her race and/or sex. *fn1" The defendant, the Secretary of the Navy, sued in his official capacity, denies this allegation and asserts rather that the persons selected for the position at issue were better qualified for the position than the plaintiff.

 A bench trial was held before the Court on March 6-7, 1996. Pursuant to Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court herein sets forth its findings of fact and conclusions of law, and shall enter a final judgment for the defendant based thereon.

 The plaintiff is a black female, who was employed as a GS-334-13 Computer Programmer assigned to NARDAC, located at the Navy Yard in the District of Columbia. The plaintiff began employment with the defendant as a mathematician in 1962, after graduating with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics in 1960. She worked for the federal government until she retired on December 3, 1995 under the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.

 At the time of the selection for the position at issue, Mr. Edward St. Claire Buckler, III, was the Director of the facility where the plaintiff was employed. Buckler testified that, just prior to the vacancy announcement, it had been determined that the newly created Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station should focus its efforts on the development, implementation, and maintenance of advanced telecommunications/network systems through which the Navy's computers can communicate and exchange information with computers, operating systems, system software, and applications around the world, in order to keep pace with the technological advancements of computers and their use in the field of telecommunications, and in order to upgrade the use of computers to efficiently and safely transfer information over wide areas around the world. Def. Exh. 28. Consistent with this new focus, Buckler authorized Mr. Harry B. Towne, a Division Head and plaintiff's first line supervisor, to recruit and advertise for a GM-334-14 Supervisory Computer Programmer position. Def. Exh. 3.

 Towne testified that he established the factors to be used for consideration of applicants for the position with the support of the Human Resources Office ("HRO"). Def. Exh. 30. Towne then submitted to HRO a Standard Form 52, Request to Recruit, and a Crediting Plan setting forth the duties, responsibilities, and qualification requirements of the position, pursuant to Merit Promotion Procedures. Def. Exh. 3, 4, and 13.

 On January 9, 1991, NARDAC issued Merit Staffing Vacancy Announcement Number 110-13 for the position of Supervisory Computer System Programmer, GM-334-14, with a closing date of January 30, 1991. Def. Exh. 6. Along with their SF-171s and most recent annual performance appraisals, applicants were required to submit a narrative statement addressing the following evaluation factors:

1. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
2. Ability to supervise and coordinate ADP [automated data processing] technical personnel efforts to acquire, develop, implement and maintain telecommunications/network systems.
3. Knowledge and experience in the analysis, design, development, and implementation of data communications systems.
4. Knowledge of modern techniques and procedures to design telecommunications architectures, implement telecommunications/network systems interfacing with operating systems and system software.
5. Ability to administer and support the equal employment opportunity (EEO) objectives of the federal government.

 Id. Additionally, the position description listed supervisory and administrative duties consistent with those in the Vacancy Announcement, and stated that the incumbent would function as an authority, advisor, and consultant, providing technical assistance and expertise on system and telecommunications software to a number of Naval offices. Id.

 Eighteen individuals applied for the position at issue. Def. Exh. 17. The applicants consisted of nine white males, three white females, two black males, two black females, one Asian female, and one male of unspecified race. Id. Among the applicants were the Mr. Charles Powell and Mr. ...

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