THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Aboard Air Force One)
For Immediate Release August 11, 2000
IMPROVING ACCESS TO SERVICES FOR
PERSONS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
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 readily
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
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
August 11, 2000.
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