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Limited English Proficiency

On August 11, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency." The Executive Order requires federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, to examine the programs and services they provide, to determine whether there is a need for language assistance for persons with Limited English proficiency (LEP) related to their programs and services, and to develop and implement a system to provide language assistance to LEP persons (where necessary) to ensure they have meaningful access to their programs and services. The Executive Order also requires Federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, to provide guidance to recipients of federal financial assistance regarding their obligations to ensure that people with Limited English Proficiency have meaningful access to their programs and services.

For Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance:
Pursuant to the Executive Order, the Department of Energy published policy guidance, entitled "Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)," for recipients of financial assistance from the Department. The policy guidance “clarifies how recipients of financial assistance from the Department of Energy (including the National Nuclear Security Administration) can meet their obligation to ensure that persons with limited English proficiency have meaningful and timely access to their programs and activities.”

For Departmental Elements:
The Department of Energy implemented a Limited English Proficiency Plan, entitled "Ensuring Access to Federally Conducted Programs and Activities by Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan." The LEP Plan provides general guidance to Departmental elements on developing plans that will ensure meaningful access to Department of Energy programs and services by LEP persons.

The Office of Civil Rights is responsible for providing technical assistance related to the Department’s LEP Plan and Executive Order 13166.

Related Links:

For additional information on Executive Order 13166 and federal agency LEP programs, please visit, the website of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Limited English Proficiency.