Ten-Year Check-Up: Have Federal Agencies Responded to Civil Rights Recommendations?
Volume I: A Blueprint for Civil Rights Enforcement
Letter of Transmittal
The President of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Representatives
Pursuant to Public Law 103-419, the United States Commission on Civil Rights transmits this report, Ten-Year Check-Up: Have Federal Agencies Responded to Civil Rights Recommendations? Volume I: A Blueprint for Civil Rights Enforcement. This report examines the civil rights implementation, compliance, and enforcement programs of federal agencies from the 1990s to the present. Volume I catalogs and summarizes Commission recommendations to federal agencies on a wide range of civil rights issues, including nondiscrimination and equality of opportunity in employment, education, housing, health care, and transportation in federally assisted programs. This volume presents the strategies and elements the Commission believes are necessary for an effective civil rights program. Succeeding volumes will use the criteria established here to evaluate the performance of specific agencies.
This study reveals that in the last decade most agencies were failing to meet their civil rights obligations. Only a handful of agencies were adequately meeting their full civil rights duties, while a few more were only partially satisfying obligations. Inadequate funding for civil rights at all levels, insufficient staff, and increased workloads were the primary reasons for the poor performance of agencies.
The Commission recommends that federal agencies be provided adequate funding for their civil rights duties. Increases in the statutory authority of agencies, in the number of complaints they receive and process, and in the number of federal funding recipients that they oversee, without commensurate budget increases, have essentially ensured that agencies fail to meet their civil rights obligations. Increased funding and adoption of the strategies and elements for a successful civil rights program cited in this study, will pave the way for improvement in the area of federal civil rights enforcement.
For the Commissioners,
Mary Frances Berry