The U.S. Attorney General has issued a memorandum reaffirming once again the Department of Justice’s commitment to implement Executive Order 13166 interpreting Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, ensuring language access in all federally funded programs and activities and in all public contact activities of the federal government itself.  

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This latest memorandum is the second issued by Attorney General Eric Holder and continues the consistent, bipartisan, commitment to language access by the Clinton, Bush and now Obama Administrations.  The Attorney General had previously issued a memorandum in June 2010, reaffirming Executive Order 13166 and announcing the creation of a Department of Justice Language Access Working Group.  

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This latest memorandum references the 2010 General Accountability Office report, which found a lack of consistency in language access policies across federal agencies (the report focused primarily on the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration).  

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This latest Attorney General memorandum now calls upon each federal agency to fully comply with Executive Order 13166, create a Language Access Working Group in each agency, submit updated agency language access plans to the Department of Justice within the next six months, and do more to publicly post and otherwise communicate agency language access policies to the public.

Comprehensive resources on language access  can be found on a dedicated federal government website, www.lep.gov.

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