Purpose of the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
The Civil Rights Divisions Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
operates a comprehensive, governmentwide program of technical and legal assistance,
training, interagency coordination, and regulatory, policy, and program review, to assure
that federal agencies consistently and effectively enforce various landmark civil rights
statutes and related Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination in federally assisted
programs and in the federal governments own programs and activities.
Executive Order 12250
Under Executive Order 12250, the Section coordinates the enforcement
by Federal agencies of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in federally assisted
programs; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on
the basis of sex in federally assisted education programs; and other similar statutes that
prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion in
federally assisted programs. (The Disability Rights Section coordinates the enforcement of
disability-related statutes.) Thirty federal agencies that administer federally
assisted programs are subject to Title VI, Title IX, and similarly worded provisions of
other program statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national
origin, sex, or religion.
The Section develops model regulations, policies, and enforcement
standards and procedures, and reviews and approves similar products developed by
individual federal agencies. The Section reviews plans and data submitted by federal
agencies that describe their civil rights enforcement priorities, activities, and
achievements. The Section also conducts Technical Assistance Reviews of Title VI
The Section provides technical assistance and training to improve
the compliance and enforcement programs of individual agencies. The Sections Title
VI training course, which combines classroom study of legal requirements, theories of
discrimination, and investigative techniques, and culminates in the hands-on workshop
"investigation" of a mock complaint, continues to be fully subscribed and
receives high marks from participants. A similar Title IX training course was developed and also has been well received. Two major documents produced by the Section, a
Title VI Legal Manual and an Investigation Procedures Manual, are essential
building blocks for the development of an agencys Title VI compliance program. The
Section also publishes a quarterly newsletter, the Civil Rights Forum.
The Section developed the Title IX common rule that was published on
August 30, 2000, by 21 agencies (including the Department of Justice) that, until that
time, did not have Title IX regulations. The Section also consulted with federal agencies,
consistent with the President's directive, as they developed their Title IX enforcement
plans, and coordinated the development of the Department's own Title IX enforcement plan.
The Section also serves as a governmentwide clearinghouse for policy
and program issues, and for complaints that address discrimination on the basis of race,
color, national origin, sex, and religion in programs of Federal financial assistance. The
Section makes programmatic and complaint referrals to the appropriate agencies, makes
determinations as to likely jurisdiction in cases that include multiple issues or
agencies, and coordinates policy development when multiple agencies or cross-cutting
issues are involved.
Executive Order 13166
The Section also has been assigned major governmentwide coordination
responsibilities with respect to two other Executive Orders. On August 11, 2000, the
President issued Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons
with Limited English Proficiency." At the same time, the Department of Justice issued
a Policy Guidance Document, "Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
National Origin Discrimination Against Persons with Limited English
Proficiency" (LEP Guidance). The purpose of the Executive Order and the LEP Guidance
is to eliminate to the maximum extent possible limited English proficiency as an
artificial barrier to full and meaningful participation by beneficiaries in all federally
assisted and federally conducted programs and activities.
The Section serves as the federal repository for the internal
implementation plans that each federal agency is required to develop, to ensure meaningful
access to its own federally conducted programs and activities, and it also reviews and
approves each funding agencys external LEP guidance for its recipients. As the
Department of Justice prepared its own plan, the Section reviewed and approved each
components submission. Further, the Section developed the
Departments external guidance for its own recipients.
The Section has initiated an aggressive program of intra- and
inter-agency consultations and actively solicits comments and suggestions from
representatives of recipient and LEP individuals on how to identify and address the needs
of LEP individuals under Executive Order 13166 in an effective and cost-effective manner.
Executive Order 13160
The Section also has an interagency coordination role with respect
to the implementation of Executive Order 13160, which was issued in June 2000. This
Executive Order prohibits discrimination in federally conducted education and training
programs on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age,
sexual orientation, or status as a parent. The Executive Order applies to the federally
conducted education and programs of almost 100 federal agencies, thereby extending the
existing prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national
origin, disability, and age that apply to the education and training programs of
recipients of federal financial assistance.
The Section developed a Guidance Document designed to facilitate
implementation of the Executive Order 13160. Published on January 18, 2001, it
addresses issues such as the scope of covered programs and activities, examples of
discriminatory conduct, applicable legal principles, enforcement procedures, remedies, and
agency reporting requirements.
Investigation of complaints of discrimination by recipients
of funds from the Department of Justice
The Department of Justice is a major provider of
assistance. Under agreements reached with several Department of Justice funding
components, Section investigators and attorneys conduct administrative investigations of
selected complaints of discrimination by their recipients. Complaints are
investigated, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the nondiscrimination
provision of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act. These recipients
include state and local law enforcement agencies, courts, corrections systems, juvenile
justice systems, and a variety of non-governmental entities.
The Section seeks case resolutions through the use of alternative
dispute resolution techniques, if appropriate, in lieu of full field investigations. In
other cases, investigations may result in the issuance of formal findings of compliance or
non-compliance. If voluntary compliance cannot be achieved where non-compliance is found,
the Section refers the case to the appropriate Division Section for litigation or, in
cooperation with the appropriate funding component within the Department, seeks to
terminate the federal financial assistance through an administrative hearing.