The following requirements are specifically incorporated by reference in a number of OJP awards to States made during FY 2016 and earlier fiscal years.
All State Administering Agencies (SAAs) have a responsibility to monitor their subrecipients to ensure that the subrecipients are complying with the federal civil rights laws that are applicable to recipients of federal financial assistance. In accordance with 28 C.F.R. §§ 42.105(d)(2), 42.504(a), 42.725, and 54.115, SAAs must establish and implement written Methods of Administration for ensuring their subrecipients' compliance with the prohibition against race, color, and national origin discrimination contained in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (Title VI) of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations at 28 C.F.R. pt. 42, subpt. C; the prohibition against disability discrimination contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and the DOJ regulations at 28 C.F.R. pt. 42, subpt. G; the prohibition against age discrimination contained in the Age Discrimination Act (Age Act) of 1975, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 6102, and the DOJ regulations at 28 C.F.R. pt. 42, subpt. I; and the prohibition against sex discrimination in education programs contained in Title IX of the Education Amendments (Title IX) of 1972, as amended, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, and the DOJ regulations at 28 C.F.R. pt. 54. These Methods of Administration are the reasonable assurance that SAAs provide to the DOJ that they are ensuring the civil rights compliance of their subrecipients. The Office for Civil Rights will consider an SAA's expansion of its written Methods of Administration to include the prohibitions of nondiscrimination contained in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (Safe Streets Act) of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3789d(c); the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 5672(b); the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 10604(e); the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 13925(b)(13); and the DOJ regulation on the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations (Equal Treatment Regulation), 28 C.F.R. pt. 38, as strong evidence of the SAA's fulfillment of its responsibility to ensure subrecipients' compliance with these laws. All the cited laws collectively prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation in both the delivery of services and employment practices. The Age Act also prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in the delivery of services or benefits. The Equal Treatment Regulation prohibits recipients from using federal financial assistance to engage in explicitly religious activities.
The Methods of Administration, as required under Title VI, Section 504, the Age Act, and Title IX, or as expanded to address compliance, as applicable, with the nondiscrimination provisions of the Safe Streets Act, the JJDPA, VOCA, VAWA, and the Equal Treatment Regulation, must be in writing and must contain the following elements:
I. Policy for Addressing Discrimination Complaints
A narrative description of the SAA's written policies or procedures for addressing complaints alleging discrimination from employees and clients, customers, or program participants of the SAA (as applicable) and from employees and clients, customers, or program participants of subrecipients implementing funding from the DOJ (as applicable). Each document should include the following elements:
- Designating a coordinator who is responsible for overseeing the complaint process;
- Notifying employees and subrecipients of prohibited discrimination in the SAA's programs and activities and the SAA's policy and procedures for handling discrimination complaints;
- Establishing written procedures for receiving discrimination complaints from employees and clients, customers, or program participants of the SAA (as applicable) and from employees and clients, customers, or program participants of subrecipients implementing funding from the DOJ (as applicable);
- Investigating each complaint internally, or referring each complaint to the appropriate agency for investigation and resolution, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a local or state human rights commission, or the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Justice Programs. If the complaint is referred to the OCR for investigation, the OCR will work with the SAA to resolve the complaint;
- Notifying the complainant that the complainant may also file a complaint with the OCR by submitting a written complaint to the following address: Office for Civil Rights; Office of Justice Programs; U.S. Department of Justice; 810 Seventh Street N.W.; Washington, DC 20531.
- Training SAA staff on their responsibility to refer discrimination complaints, or potential discrimination issues, to the SAA's complaint coordinator for processing as soon as the alleged discrimination comes to their attention;
- Notifying employees and clients, customers, and program participants of prohibited discrimination and the procedures for filing a complaint of discrimination, and ensuring that subrecipients do the same; and
- Ensuring that subrecipients have procedures in place for responding to discrimination complaints that employees and clients, customers, and program participants file directly with the subrecipient.
The SAA shall have on file copies of its written complaint procedures. The OCR has drafted template complaint procedures addressing prohibited discrimination under the laws that the OCR enforces, which may be found on the OCR Sample Documentation page. The SAA may find the template complaint procedures helpful as it establishes its written complaint procedures.
II. Notifying Subrecipients of Civil Rights Requirements
A narrative description of how the SAA is ensuring that its standard assurances, subgrant agreements, and other documents that are binding on DOJ-funded subrecipients are notifying subrecipients of applicable civil rights laws and nondiscrimination provisions and the DOJ implementing regulations, as outlined above.
The SAA shall have on file copies of the relevant portions of its standard assurances, subgrant agreements, Requests for Grant Applications, or other documents in which the SAA notifies DOJ-funded subrecipients of federal civil rights requirements.
III. Monitoring for Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements
A narrative explanation of the SAA's methods for monitoring whether subrecipients are complying with the applicable civil rights laws and nondiscrimination provisions and the DOJ implementing regulations.
The SAA shall have on file copies of any checklists or monitoring forms that it uses during desk audits or onsite monitoring visits along with any progress reports that inquire about a subrecipient's compliance with civil rights laws. The OCR has developed a Federal Civil Rights Compliance Checklist which monitors for compliance with the laws that the OCR enforces. The SAA may wish to utilize this checklist during desk audits or onsite monitoring visits or to incorporate these questions into any existing checklists.
IV. Training Subrecipients on Civil Rights Requirements
A narrative description of the SAA's methods for training DOJ-funded subrecipients on their obligations to comply with the applicable civil rights laws and nondiscrimination provisions and the DOJ implementing regulations. The SAA should be sure to conduct periodic training sessions for its subrecipients at a minimum of once per grant award period.
The SAA shall have on file copies of any training presentations on federal civil rights requirements that it provides to DOJ-funded subrecipients. In developing any training presentations, the SAA may wish to review presentations that the OCR has provided on the civil rights laws that it enforces and which are available upon request.
If required to develop written Methods of Administration as a condition of a grant award, a SAA shall submit the Methods of Administration to the Office of Justice Programs, Office for Civil Rights at [email protected] within 90 days of receiving the grant award.