Actions Taken by Federal Agencies To Implement Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Gao ID: 112097 April 15, 1980

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that no person shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Each Federal agency is responsible for determining which of its activities and programs are subject to title VI and for carrying out its title VI responsibilities. The Department of Justice is responsible for coordinating enforcement and assisting the agencies. GAO sent questionnaires to agencies to determine their perception of their title VI responsibilities and how they ensure compliance. Many of the respondents were unclear about which activities were covered by title VI. In its report, GAO recommended that the Attorney General direct Justice's Civil Rights Division to clarify criteria and cite examples for agencies to use in determining which Federal assistance activities and programs are covered by title VI and provide technical assistance to, and review the determinations of, title VI coverage of those agencies uncertain about title VI. Although the agencies are required to develop guidelines for use in implementing and enforcing their title VI responsibilities, Justice has failed to insure that these requirements are being met. Therefore, GAO recommended that the Attorney General ensure that the requirements are implemented and improve enforcement monitoring. Also, Justice regulations should be amended to (1) provide for review and approval of agencies' title VI guidelines, (2) require agencies to collect racial and ethnic data for their programs, and (3) develop criteria for agencies' use in conducting onsite compliance reviews.

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