[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 14 (Monday, January 25, 2021)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 7009-7013]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-01753]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 86 , No. 14 / Monday, January 25, 2021 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 7009]]

                Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021

Advancing Racial Equity and Support for 
                Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, it is hereby ordered:

                Section 1. Policy. Equal opportunity is the bedrock of 
                American democracy, and our diversity is one of our 
                country's greatest strengths. But for too many, the 
                American Dream remains out of reach. Entrenched 
                disparities in our laws and public policies, and in our 
                public and private institutions, have often denied that 
                equal opportunity to individuals and communities. Our 
                country faces converging economic, health, and climate 
                crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, 
                while a historic movement for justice has highlighted 
                the unbearable human costs of systemic racism. Our 
                Nation deserves an ambitious whole-of-government equity 
                agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and 
                challenges that we face.

                It is therefore the policy of my Administration that 
                the Federal Government should pursue a comprehensive 
                approach to advancing equity for all, including people 
                of color and others who have been historically 
                underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by 
                persistent poverty and inequality. Affirmatively 
                advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and 
                equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of 
                our Government. Because advancing equity requires a 
                systematic approach to embedding fairness in decision-
                making processes, executive departments and agencies 
                (agencies) must recognize and work to redress 
                inequities in their policies and programs that serve as 
                barriers to equal opportunity.

                By advancing equity across the Federal Government, we 
                can create opportunities for the improvement of 
                communities that have been historically underserved, 
                which benefits everyone. For example, an analysis shows 
                that closing racial gaps in wages, housing credit, 
                lending opportunities, and access to higher education 
                would amount to an additional $5 trillion in gross 
                domestic product in the American economy over the next 
                5 years. The Federal Government's goal in advancing 
                equity is to provide everyone with the opportunity to 
                reach their full potential. Consistent with these aims, 
                each agency must assess whether, and to what extent, 
                its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers 
                to opportunities and benefits for people of color and 
                other underserved groups. Such assessments will better 
                equip agencies to develop policies and programs that 
                deliver resources and benefits equitably to all.

                Sec. 2. Definitions. For purposes of this order: (a) 
                The term ``equity'' means the consistent and systematic 
                fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, 
                including individuals who belong to underserved 
                communities that have been denied such treatment, such 
                as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American 
                persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and 
                other persons of color; members of religious 
                minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and 
                queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; 
                persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise 
                adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

                    (b) The term ``underserved communities'' refers to 
                populations sharing a particular characteristic, as 
                well as geographic communities, that have been 
                systematically denied a full opportunity to participate 
                in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as 
                exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of 

[[Page 7010]]

                Sec. 3. Role of the Domestic Policy Council. The role 
                of the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) is to 
                coordinate the formulation and implementation of my 
                Administration's domestic policy objectives. Consistent 
                with this role, the DPC will coordinate efforts to 
                embed equity principles, policies, and approaches 
                across the Federal Government. This will include 
                efforts to remove systemic barriers to and provide 
                equal access to opportunities and benefits, identify 
                communities the Federal Government has underserved, and 
                develop policies designed to advance equity for those 
                communities. The DPC-led interagency process will 
                ensure that these efforts are made in coordination with 
                the directors of the National Security Council and the 
                National Economic Council.

                Sec. 4. Identifying Methods to Assess Equity. (a) The 
                Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
                shall, in partnership with the heads of agencies, study 
                methods for assessing whether agency policies and 
                actions create or exacerbate barriers to full and equal 
                participation by all eligible individuals. The study 
                should aim to identify the best methods, consistent 
                with applicable law, to assist agencies in assessing 
                equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, 
                income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, 
                and disability.

                    (b) As part of this study, the Director of OMB 
                shall consider whether to recommend that agencies 
                employ pilot programs to test model assessment tools 
                and assist agencies in doing so.
                    (c) Within 6 months of the date of this order, the 
                Director of OMB shall deliver a report to the President 
                describing the best practices identified by the study 
                and, as appropriate, recommending approaches to expand 
                use of those methods across the Federal Government.

                Sec. 5. Conducting an Equity Assessment in Federal 
                Agencies. The head of each agency, or designee, shall, 
                in consultation with the Director of OMB, select 
                certain of the agency's programs and policies for a 
                review that will assess whether underserved communities 
                and their members face systemic barriers in accessing 
                benefits and opportunities available pursuant to those 
                policies and programs. The head of each agency, or 
                designee, shall conduct such review and within 200 days 
                of the date of this order provide a report to the 
                Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (APDP) 
                reflecting findings on the following:

                    (a) Potential barriers that underserved communities 
                and individuals may face to enrollment in and access to 
                benefits and services in Federal programs;
                    (b) Potential barriers that underserved communities 
                and individuals may face in taking advantage of agency 
                procurement and contracting opportunities;
                    (c) Whether new policies, regulations, or guidance 
                documents may be necessary to advance equity in agency 
                actions and programs; and
                    (d) The operational status and level of 
                institutional resources available to offices or 
                divisions within the agency that are responsible for 
                advancing civil rights or whose mandates specifically 
                include serving underrepresented or disadvantaged 

                Sec. 6. Allocating Federal Resources to Advance 
                Fairness and Opportunity. The Federal Government 
                should, consistent with applicable law, allocate 
                resources to address the historic failure to invest 
                sufficiently, justly, and equally in underserved 
                communities, as well as individuals from those 
                communities. To this end:

                    (a) The Director of OMB shall identify 
                opportunities to promote equity in the budget that the 
                President submits to the Congress.
                    (b) The Director of OMB shall, in coordination with 
                the heads of agencies, study strategies, consistent 
                with applicable law, for allocating Federal resources 
                in a manner that increases investment in underserved 
                communities, as well as individuals from those 
                communities. The Director of OMB shall report the 
                findings of this study to the President.

[[Page 7011]]

                Sec. 7. Promoting Equitable Delivery of Government 
                Benefits and Equitable Opportunities. Government 
                programs are designed to serve all eligible 
                individuals. And Government contracting and procurement 
                opportunities should be available on an equal basis to 
                all eligible providers of goods and services. To meet 
                these objectives and to enhance compliance with 
                existing civil rights laws:

                    (a) Within 1 year of the date of this order, the 
                head of each agency shall consult with the APDP and the 
                Director of OMB to produce a plan for addressing:

(i) any barriers to full and equal participation in programs identified 
pursuant to section 5(a) of this order; and

(ii) any barriers to full and equal participation in agency procurement and 
contracting opportunities identified pursuant to section 5(b) of this 

                    (b) The Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service, 
                the United States Chief Technology Officer, the Chief 
                Information Officer of the United States, and the heads 
                of other agencies, or their designees, shall take 
                necessary actions, consistent with applicable law, to 
                support agencies in developing such plans.

                Sec. 8. Engagement with Members of Underserved 
                Communities. In carrying out this order, agencies shall 
                consult with members of communities that have been 
                historically underrepresented in the Federal Government 
                and underserved by, or subject to discrimination in, 
                Federal policies and programs. The head of each agency 
                shall evaluate opportunities, consistent with 
                applicable law, to increase coordination, 
                communication, and engagement with community-based 
                organizations and civil rights organizations.

                Sec. 9. Establishing an Equitable Data Working Group. 
                Many Federal datasets are not disaggregated by race, 
                ethnicity, gender, disability, income, veteran status, 
                or other key demographic variables. This lack of data 
                has cascading effects and impedes efforts to measure 
                and advance equity. A first step to promoting equity in 
                Government action is to gather the data necessary to 
                inform that effort.

                    (a) Establishment. There is hereby established an 
                Interagency Working Group on Equitable Data (Data 
                Working Group).
                    (b) Membership.

(i) The Chief Statistician of the United States and the United States Chief 
Technology Officer shall serve as Co-Chairs of the Data Working Group and 
coordinate its work. The Data Working Group shall include representatives 
of agencies as determined by the Co-Chairs to be necessary to complete the 
work of the Data Working Group, but at a minimum shall include the 
following officials, or their designees:

  (A) the Director of OMB;

  (B) the Secretary of Commerce, through the Director of the U.S. Census 

  (C) the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers;

  (D) the Chief Information Officer of the United States;

  (E) the Secretary of the Treasury, through the Assistant Secretary of the 
Treasury for Tax Policy;

  (F) the Chief Data Scientist of the United States; and

  (G) the Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service.

(ii) The DPC shall work closely with the Co-Chairs of the Data Working 
Group and assist in the Data Working Group's interagency coordination 

(iii) The Data Working Group shall consult with agencies to facilitate the 
sharing of information and best practices, consistent with applicable law.

                    (c) Functions. The Data Working Group shall:

[[Page 7012]]

(i) through consultation with agencies, study and provide recommendations 
to the APDP identifying inadequacies in existing Federal data collection 
programs, policies, and infrastructure across agencies, and strategies for 
addressing any deficiencies identified; and

(ii) support agencies in implementing actions, consistent with applicable 
law and privacy interests, that expand and refine the data available to the 
Federal Government to measure equity and capture the diversity of the 
American people.

                    (d) OMB shall provide administrative support for 
                the Data Working Group, consistent with applicable law.

                Sec. 10. Revocation. (a) Executive Order 13950 of 
                September 22, 2020 (Combating Race and Sex 
                Stereotyping), is hereby revoked.

                    (b) The heads of agencies covered by Executive 
                Order 13950 shall review and identify proposed and 
                existing agency actions related to or arising from 
                Executive Order 13950. The head of each agency shall, 
                within 60 days of the date of this order, consider 
                suspending, revising, or rescinding any such actions, 
                including all agency actions to terminate or restrict 
                contracts or grants pursuant to Executive Order 13950, 
                as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.
                    (c) Executive Order 13958 of November 2, 2020 
                (Establishing the President's Advisory 1776 
                Commission), is hereby revoked.

                Sec. 11. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order 
                shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or 
the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with 
                applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                    (c) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to 
                comply with the provisions of this order.

[[Page 7013]]

                    (d) This order is not intended to, and does not, 
                create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law or in equity by any party against 
                the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
                entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any 
                other person.
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    January 20, 2021.

[FR Doc. 2021-01753
Filed 1-22-21; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3295-F1-P