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May 5 -- President Biden has directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in partnership with the heads of federal agencies, to identify, by July 2021, effective methods for assessing whether agency policies and actions (e.g., programs, services, processes, and operations) equitably serve all eligible individuals and communities, particularly those that are currently and historically underserved. Agencies are directed to 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, and to evaluate opportunities, as allowable, to increase coordination, communication, and engagement with community-based and civil rights organizations. Through this request for information (RFI), OMB seeks input, information, and recommendations from a broad array of stakeholders in the public, private, advocacy, not-for-profit, and philanthropic sectors, including State, local, Tribal, and territorial areas, on available methods, approaches, and tools that could assist in this effort. Responses to this RFI should be received by July 6, 2021.

OMB seeks input in the following areas:

1. Equity Assessments and Strategies. Approaches and methods for holistic and program- or policy-specific assessments of equity for public sector entities, including but not limited to the development of public policy strategies that advance equity and the use of data to inform equitable public policy strategies.

2. Barrier and Burden Reduction. Approaches and methods for assessing and remedying barriers, burden, and inequities in public service delivery and access.

3. Procurement and Contracting. Approaches and methods for assessing equity in agency procurement and contracting processes.

4. Financial Assistance. Approaches and methods for assessing equity in the administration of agency grant programs and other forms of financial assistance.

5. Stakeholder and Community Engagement. Approaches and methods for accessible and meaningful agency engagement with underserved communities.

Federal Register notice RFI: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/05/05/2021-09109/methods-and-leading-practices-for-advancing-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through  

Department of Labor: "The Department’s Role in Advancing Racial Equity and Supporting Underserved Communities" https://blog.dol.gov/2021/05/03/the-departments-role-in-advancing-racial-equity-and-supporting-underserved-communities
Janelle Jones is the chief economist and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is the deputy assistant secretary for research and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Labor

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