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Executive Order 13166


Related topics: Title VI Guidance for Recipients | Language Access PlanningCommonly Asked Questions


Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency," (English | Español ) was signed on August 11, 2000 and requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.  It is expected that agency plans will provide for such meaningful access consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency.  The Executive Order also requires that the Federal agencies work to ensure that recipients of Federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries.

To assist Federal agencies in carrying out these responsibilities, the U.S. 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" (2002 LEP Guidance). This LEP Guidance sets forth the compliance standards that recipients of Federal financial assistance must follow to ensure that their programs and activities normally provided in English are accessible to LEP persons and thus do not discriminate on the basis of national origin in violation of Title VI's prohibition against national origin discrimination.

General Information

Department of Justice Issues EO 13166 Accomplishments Report "Advancing Meaningful Access for Limited English Proficient Persons" - December 18, 2015

Language Access Assessment and Planning Tool for Federally Conducted and Federally Assisted Programs - May 9, 2011, Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Common Language Access Questions, Technical Assistance, and Guidance for Federally Conducted and Federally Assisted Programs (PDF), August 15, 2011

Background and Questions and Answers Regarding the October 26, 2001 DOJ Clarifying Memorandum Regarding Limited English Proficiency and Executive Order 13166, October 31, 2001

District Court Upholds Suspension of Bankruptcy Trustee for Failing to Comply with Agency's Language Access Plan, Memorandum and Order, Pereira v. U.S. Department of Justice, 16 CIV 2599 (S.D.N.Y.,May 11, 2016)

For Recipients

Assistant Attorney General Boyd letter to recipients of DOJ assistance offering assistance in implementing LEP guidance, December 13, 2002

Department of Justice Final Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, June 18, 2002

Civil Rights Division Communication to State Courts Regarding Language Access, August 16, 2010 | Press Release

For Federal Agencies

Memorandum to Federal Agencies from Attorney Merrick B. Garland to Strengthen Access for People with LEP- November 21, 2022

Memorandum to Federal Agencies from Attorney General Eric Holder Reaffirming the Mandates of Executive Order 13166, February 17, 2011