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Executive Order 13166

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 implemented.

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.   


WILLIAM J. CLINTON

THE WHITE HOUSE,

August 11, 2000.

 


Executive Order