IMPROVING ACCESS TO SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH LIMITED
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States of America, and to improve access
to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities
for persons who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their
English proficiency (LEP), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Goals.
The Federal Government provides and funds an array of services that
can be made accessible to otherwise eligible persons who are not proficient
in the English language. The Federal Government is committed to improving
the accessibility of these services to eligible LEP persons, a goal
that reinforces its equally important commitment to promoting programs
and activities designed to help individuals learn English. To this end,
each Federal agency shall examine the services it provides and develop
and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully access
those services consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental
mission of the agency. Each Federal agency shall also work to ensure
that recipients of Federal financial assistance (recipients) provide
meaningful access to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries. To assist
the agencies with this endeavor, the Department of Justice has today
issued a general guidance document (LEP Guidance), which sets forth
the compliance standards that recipients must follow to ensure that
the programs and activities they normally provide in English are accessible
to LEP persons and thus do not discriminate on the basis of national
origin in violation of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as
amended, and its implementing regulations.
As described in the LEP Guidance, recipients must take
reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities
by LEP persons.
Sec. 2. Federally Conducted Programs and Activities.
Each Federal agency shall prepare a plan to improve access to its federally
conducted programs and activities by eligible LEP persons. Each plan
shall be consistent with the standards set forth in the LEP Guidance,
and shall include the steps the agency will take to ensure that eligible
LEP persons can meaningfully access the agency?s programs and activities.
Agencies shall develop and begin to implement these plans within 120
days of the date of this order, and shall send copies of their plans
to the Department of Justice, which shall serve as the central repository
of the agencies' plans.
Sec. 3. Federally Assisted Programs and Activities.
Each agency providing Federal financial assistance shall draft title
VI guidance specifically tailored to its recipients that is consistent
with the LEP Guidance issued by the Department of Justice. This agency-specific
guidance shall detail how the general standards established in the LEP
Guidance will be applied to the agency?s recipients. The agency-specific
guidance shall take into account the types of services provided by the
recipients, the individuals served by the recipients, and other factors
set out in the LEP Guidance. Agencies that already have developed title
VI guidance that the Department of Justice determines is consistent
with the LEP Guidance shall examine their existing guidance, as well
as their programs and activities, to determine if additional guidance
is necessary to comply with this order. The Department of Justice shall
consult with the agencies in creating their guidance and, within 120
days of the date of this order, each agency shall submit its specific
guidance to the Department of Justice for review and approval. Following
approval by the Department of Justice, each agency shall publish its
guidance document in the Federal Register for public comment.
Sec. 4. Consultations.
In carrying out this order, agencies shall ensure that stakeholders,
such as LEP persons and their representative organizations, recipients,
and other appropriate individuals or entities, have an adequate opportunity
to provide input. Agencies will evaluate the particular needs of the
LEP persons they and their recipients serve and the burdens of compliance
on the agency and its recipients. This input from stakeholders will
assist the agencies in developing an approach to ensuring meaningful
access by LEP persons that is practical and effective, fiscally responsible,
responsive to the particular circumstances of each agency, and can be
Sec. 5. Judicial Review.
This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the
executive branch and does not create any right or benefit, substantive
or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United
States, its agencies, its officers or employees, or any person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
August 11, 2000.