How will OCR enforce compliance by recipient/covered entities with the LEP requirements of Title VI?
The requirement to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to LEP persons is enforced and implemented by OCR through the procedures identified in the Title VI implementing regulations. These procedures include conducting complaint investigations and compliance reviews, providing technical assistance, and the requirement to secure voluntary compliance whenever possible.
The Title VI regulations provide that OCR will investigate whenever it receives a complaint, report, or other information that alleges or indicates possible noncompliance with Title VI or its regulations. If the investigation results in a finding of compliance, OCR will inform the recipient in writing of this determination, including the basis for the determination. However, if a case is fully investigated and results in a finding of noncompliance, OCR must inform the recipient of the noncompliance through a Letter of Findings that sets out the areas of noncompliance and the steps that must be taken to correct the noncompliance. It must attempt to secure voluntary compliance through informal means. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, OCR may secure compliance through the termination of federal assistance after the recipient has been given an opportunity for an administrative hearing. OCR may also refer the matter to the Department of Justice to secure compliance through any other means authorized by law.
At all stages of an investigation, OCR engages in voluntary compliance efforts and provides technical assistance to recipients. During these efforts, OCR proposes reasonable timetables for achieving compliance and consults with and assists recipients in exploring ways of coming into compliance. In determining a recipient's compliance with the Title VI regulations, OCR's primary concern is to ensure that the recipient administers its programs in a manner that does not delay or deny services or benefits to eligible persons on the basis of race, color or national origin. As a result, the vast majority of all complaints have been resolved through such voluntary efforts.