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Program overview - introduction
The Iowa DOT is a recipient of federal financial assistance. All recipients are required to comply with various nondiscrimination laws and regulations, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act forbids discrimination against anyone in the United States because of race, color or national origin by any agency receiving federal funds. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 added the requirement that there be no discrimination on the grounds of sex. Additionally, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 defined the word "program" to make clear that discrimination is prohibited throughout an entire agency, if any part of the agency receives federal financial assistance.
The Iowa DOT must ensure that none of its activities or programs result in the treatment of any part of the community differently than another. The Iowa DOT expects every manager, supervisor, employee and subrecipient of federal-aid funds administered by the department to be aware of and apply the intent of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in performing assigned duties.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) require recipients of federal-aid funds to prepare a plan to clarify roles, responsibilities and procedures established to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Iowa DOT’s Title VI Program focuses on functional areas with significant public contact responsibilities and provides policy direction necessary to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
See Attachment A for the Iowa DOT's Title VI Nondiscrimination Policy Statement.
Authorities and assurances
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color of national origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (please refer to 23 CFR 200.9 and 49 CFR 21).
The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 broadened the scope of Title VI coverage by expanding the definition of terms “programs or activities” to include all programs or activities of federal-aid recipients, subrecipients and contractors, regardless of whether such programs and activities are federally assisted (Public Law 100259 [S. 557] March 22, 1988).
Additional authorities and citations
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d to 2000-4; 42 U.S.C.4601 to 4655; 23 U.S.C. 109(h); 23 U.S.C. 324; U.S. Department of Transportation Order 1050.2; Executive Order (EO) 12250; EO 12898; 28 C FR 50.3 (Page 73).
Revised Title VI Assurance Agreement, dated May 31, 2011, and signed by Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino III
Organization and staffing
The director of the Iowa DOT is responsible for ensuring implementation of the department's Title VI Program.
The Iowa DOT’s civil rights coordinator (hereafter referred to as "coordinator") is designated by the Iowa DOT director and responsible for overall management of the Title VI Program. The coordinator is under the supervision of the director of the Office of Employee Services (see Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2).
The Iowa DOT’s district engineers and division directors of the Highway; Planning, Programming and Modal; Operations and Finance; and Motor Vehicle divisions have appointed Title VI liaisons for their respective areas.
The Title VI coordinator is responsible for implementing, monitoring and ensuring the department's compliance with Title VI regulations. Responsibilities include:
- Consultation with and informing the director of nondiscrimination program activities.
- Disposition of Title VI complaints received by the department, with assistance from program area officials.
- Collection of statistical data (race, color, sex and national origin) of participants in, and beneficiaries of state highway programs (i.e., persons relocated as a result of property acquisition, impacted citizens and affected communities).
- Review of environmental impact statements for Title VI and environmental justice compliance.
- Conducting Title VI reviews of cities, counties, consultant contractors, suppliers, universities, colleges, planning agencies and other recipients of federal-aid highway funds.
- Review of state program directives in coordination with Title VI liaisons for special emphasis program areas; and, where applicable, inclusion of Title VI language and related requirements.
- Conducting training programs on Title VI and related statutes for state program officers, civil rights officials and federal-aid subrecipients.
- Preparation of the annual Title VI report presenting accomplishments of the past year and goals for the upcoming year.
- Development of Title VI information for dissemination to the public, where languages other than English are required.
- Conducting post-grant approval reviews of state programs and applicants for compliance with Title VI requirements (i.e., highway location, design and relocation; and persons seeking contracts with the state).
- Identification, investigation and elimination of discrimination when found to exist.
- Establishment of procedures for promptly resolving deficiency status and development of a written remedial action plan, as necessary, within a period not to exceed 90 days.
- Provision of technical assistance to subrecipients in the development of their Title VI plan and assurances.
The Title VI specialist is responsible for coordinating and providing technical assistance for all Title VI and Title II programs, and preparing required reports. Duties include:
- Coordination of Title VI Program development and implementation with affected program areas.
- Provision of technical assistance and advice on Title VI matters to Title VI liaisons and program area officials.
- Conducting internal Title VI reviews of the department’s offices’ program activities, when necessary, to cover aspects not covered through the routine monitoring.
- Participation, with program area staff, in reviews of section program activities that include Title IV issues.
- Conducting Title VI reviews of consultants, universities, metropolitan planning organization, regional planning organizations and other subrecipients to ensure Title VI compliance.
- Review of Iowa DOT program manuals, contracts and policy documents to determine whether Title VI is appropriately covered.
- Promptly investigating and resolving Title VI complaints of discrimination. Investigations shall be completed and reports of findings submitted to FHWA within 60 days from the date the complaint was received.
- Working with program areas to correct identified Title VI problems, including discriminatory practices or policies.
- Conducting Title VI training for Title VI liaisons, Iowa DOT staff and federal-aid subrecipients.
- Assisting in the preparation of annual reports of Title VI activities and accomplishments.
- Assisting in updating the Title VI plan as necessary to reflect organizational, policy or implementation changes.
Each office within the Iowa DOT that administers a federal-aid program has certain Title VI responsibilities and shall have a designated Title VI liaison or committee. The liaison or committee shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with Title VI, also program monitoring, reporting and education in relationship to their respective programs. All liaisons are responsible for:
- Identifying applications of Title VI nondiscrimination laws and regulations in their program areas; and incorporating these requirements into program area policies, procedures, directives and manuals.
- Leading the development and implementation of the Title VI Program in their program area.
- Collecting and reviewing Title VI data from federal-aid subrecipients.
- Conducting compliance reviews of subrecipients.
- Collecting, maintaining and analyzing data related to Title VI nondiscrimination efforts.
- Preparing documentation for inclusion in the Iowa DOT’s Title VI annual report; and preparing other reports and summaries, as needed.
- Supporting and cooperating with the Title VI coordinator in developing and implementing the department's Title VI Program.
- Assisting in Title VI compliance reviews and complaint investigations.
Program administration — general
Complete program administration
Iowa DOT’s offices with Title VI responsibilities
The following Iowa DOT offices shall ensure an equitable enforcement of specifications and policies for all contractors regardless of protected class.
- Review the contract administration responsibilities of consultants for compliance.
- Provide opportunities for female and minority consultants.
The Office of Contracts is responsible for conducting contract bid lettings for the Iowa DOT’s highway construction projects, as well as federally assisted highway projects for local governmental jurisdictions. The office monitors contractor compliance with equal employment opportunity/affirmative action (EEO/AA) and administers the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.Assurance
- Develop and implement the DBE Program in compliance with federal regulations.
- Include required contract provisions (FHWA-1273) related to letting and awarding of contract documents. Ensure contractors adhere to those provisions.
- Investigate complaints against a contractor's compliance with nondiscrimination contract requirements.
- Ensure bidding and contract award procedures are consistent with nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements.
- Ensure DBE policy statements and appendixes (A, B and C) are included in all contracts.
- Ensure contractor compliance with on-the-job training (OJT) requirements.
- Conduct EEO and Title VI pre- and post-reviews.
- Ensure that environmental justice considerations are addressed during route and project selection.
- Ensure full and fair participation of minority, low income, elderly and disabled people in public involvement activities for project development activities.
- Demonstrate a consistent application of design standards to eliminate, minimize or mitigate adverse impacts among affected groups; and to provide equitable levels of service to those groups.
- Provide opportunities for DBE firms on consultant contracts.
- Ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
District personnel take a lead role in project development, starting with an initial project concept, continuing through design and construction phases, and finally with ongoing maintenance following completion of the project. As facilitators of highway development and maintenance, district personnel make every effort to coordinate with local agencies, the public and private sector.
- Ensure, through coordination with other Iowa DOT offices, that all people have an opportunity to participate fairly in the project development process. District personnel, based on their knowledge and familiarity with the local communities, shall take steps to ensure that low-income, elderly and minority groups impacted by projects are identified and that disproportionate adverse impacts to their health or environment are avoided, minimized or mitigated.
- Utilize the local governmental agency, MPO or regional planning authority (RPA) review tool to monitor and review these agencies for compliance with Title VI in respect to their transportation systems and programs (Attachment F and Attachment G).
- Document instances where Title VI issues were identified and discrimination was prevented or corrective actions taken.
- Assist in compliance with limited-English proficiency requirements to improve access and understanding of all construction projects. ( On August 11, 2000, the President signed Executive Order 13166, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency" HTML or PDF)
- Provide notice of public consultation forums in minority newspapers and newsletters, when applicable; and in languages other than English, when needed.
- Administer transportation-related construction contracts on behalf of the State of Iowa.
- Work with other offices to ensure that all aspects of a project's location selection process comply with Title VI nondiscrimination requirements.
- Ensure that facilities are designed in accordance with current ADA accessibility requirements.
- Provide opportunities for female and minority consultants.
- Make efforts to balance programmed projects so all affected groups have an opportunity to benefit from the transportation system without disparate impacts.
- Support other department staff with implementation of Title VI requirements with respect to local governmental jurisdictions.
- Ensure that nondiscrimination requirements are properly addressed in policies, procedures, reference materials and agreements produced for local governmental jurisdictions.
This office is also responsible for location and prelocation studies on large projects, as well as coordinating and managing public involvement activities during the development phase. Staff members work with the State of Iowa’s Native American liaison, Department of Natural Resources, State Historical Preservation Office, and other state and federal agencies in carrying out their duties.
- Work, in collaboration with other offices, during the selection of project alternatives to identify impacts to low-income and minority populations; address disproportionately high impacts in the final project design; and record these efforts in the environmental document.
- Ensure that environmental justice considerations are addressed during highway route and project selection.
- Ensure full and fair participation of minority, low-income, elderly, disabled, hearing impaired and limited-English proficient individuals in public involvement activities during project development.
- Provide opportunities for minority and female consultants, and address DBE goals on consultant contracts.
- Provide appropriate level of service based on established policy and procedure regardless of the nature of the population being served by any particular roadway.
- Ensure that all people have an opportunity to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program.
- Consistently administer the utility and access policies independent of race, color or national origin of the applicant.
- Ensure consistent administration of testing and specifications, regardless of race, color, national origin or gender. Do not discriminate in the selection of material suppliers and sources.
- Encourage opportunities for females and minorities in research activities by external sources (consultants or universities).
The Motor Vehicle Division provides services, administers programs and enforces regulations pertaining to the operation of motor vehicles in the State of Iowa. It is comprised of four offices:
- The Office of Driver Services conducts testing and issues licenses for all drivers, maintains driver and accident data, and conducts driver safety training. This office also suspends, revokes and reinstates driving privileges, as provided by law.
- The Office of Motor Carrier Services administers fuel tax and registration programs for commercial motor carriers based in Iowa. The office also issues operational permits and designates routes for over-dimensional loads on the interstate and Primary Highway System.
- The Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement conducts commercial motor vehicle enforcement and investigative activities. This includes commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections; industry educational outreach; and enforcement of size, weight, travel authority, fuel and registration laws. The office investigates driver license and title fraud, and odometer tampering.
- The Office of Vehicle Services oversees licensing and registration of motor vehicles in Iowa, including the registration of noninterstate and governmental vehicles by the county treasurers. The office also regulates motor vehicle dealers and recyclers; and issues registrations for vehicles with special or personalized plates.
- Ensure that the motor vehicle licensing and permitting processes are available to all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin or gender. Motor vehicle licensing and permit station locations and hours shall be provided on an equitable basis for the affected persons. Efforts will be made to accommodate limited-English proficient applicants, as needed.
- Enforcement and investigative functions shall be performed equitably to all persons.
- Ensure that minority and female contractors and suppliers have opportunities to work with the department, and processes and procedures are implemented without discrimination.
- Ensure applicable nondiscrimination language and appendixes are included in contracts and agreements.
- Address DBE goals on consultant contracts.
- Encourage minority and female student participation on projects performed at universities.
- Include Title VI language in all research contracts.
- Consider utilization of minority institutes of higher education, and historically black colleges and universities.
- Conduct federal-aid subrecipient reviews of universities most frequently involved in research projects with the Iowa DOT.
- Establish goals for employment of minority and female students on university research projects.
- Include language in contracts requiring universities to demonstrate good faith efforts to employ minority and female faculty and students on Iowa DOT research projects.
- Monitor contract compliance with respect to Title VI requirements.
- Make every reasonable effort to ensure clear communication when engaging in transactions with limited-English proficient, and visually or hearing impaired persons. This includes the use of interpreters, when necessary.
- Identify, through cooperation with other Iowa DOT offices, low-income, elderly and minority populations; and take steps to appropriately address disproportionately high adverse affects to their health and environment.
- Ensure equitable treatment of all affected property owners, egardless of race, color, national origin or gender. This includes, among other impacts, appraisal values, relocation assistance and opportunities for purchase of excess property.
- Provide opportunities for minority and female consultants.
- Monitor and review the right-of-way activities of cities and counties to verify compliance with Title VI in their right-of-way processes.
- Ensure applicable nondiscrimination language and appendixes are included in contracts and agreements.
- Make continued progress on agency-wide affirmative action goals and encourage diversity with respect to protected classes in each of the pertinent program areas.
- Review policies, procedures, department directives and proposed legislation for Title VI issues.
- Contracts, agreements and other legal instruments shall be reviewed for appropriate Title VI language.
- Conduct periodic Title VI training for district engineers, division directors and Title VI committee members.
- Publications and other information disseminated to the public should include Title VI policy reference.
- Public involvement activities should take into account Title VI requirements.
- Determine DBE goals and monitor accomplishments on contracts involving Federal Aviation Administration funding.
- Review and update publications to ensure clear communications with limited-English proficient persons.
- Assure that environmental justice and Title VI impacts are addressed in airport improvement projects. .
The distribution of funds is critical to ensuring an opportunity for all to receive benefits of federal transportation dollars. That is especially evident in project selection and programming.
- Take positive steps to encourage full and fair participation by all affected groups in development of the Five-Year Transportation Improvement Program and STIP.
- Ensure that the project selection and programming process results in a program that provides opportunities for minority, low-income, disabled and elderly populations to receive benefits and avoid disparate impacts from individual projects.
- Monitor and review the programming activities of subrecipients to verify that Title VI environmental justice is being properly addressed.
Title VI must be considered throughout the planning process to ensure adequate public involvement, and that potential impacts to the human environment are identified and addressed.
- Ensure full and fair participation in the planning process from minority, elderly, disabled and low-income residents.
- Ensure that the project selection process functions so that minority, low income, disabled and elderly populations are not subject to disparate impacts from the individual projects. Avoid, minimize or mitigate disproportionately high adverse impacts.
- Consider both positive and negative effects of various transportation system alternatives on impacted groups.
- Review grant agreements to ensure required nondiscrimination language is included.
- Review grant selection criteria for compliance with Title VI requirements.
Because the Iowa DOT does not directly operate any of these transit systems, Title VI responsibilities will be focused on monitoring the operation of urban or regional transit agencies. It should be noted that urban transit systems serving areas with populations greater than 50,000 work directly with, and are monitored by, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), although the Office of Public Transit does provide guidance.
- Verify, through periodic compliance reviews of regional and urban transit agencies serving populations of less than 50,000, that no person is denied access and that transit systems comply with Title VI regulations.
- Ensure that the public is made aware of their rights and of the transit systems' responsibilities under Title VI.
- Verify that information, such as fare and route schedules, is available in formats to communicate with limited-English proficient individuals.
- Include limited-English proficiency analysis requirement in the Passenger Transportation Plan.
- Ensure that contracting opportunities are available for minorities and females.
- Determine, with transit agency input, DBE goals and monitor accomplishments on contracts involving FTA funding.
The Iowa DOT monitors and provides information to its subrecipients of Federal funding assistance in order to help them comply with Title VI. The following resources are for use by subrecipients in developing and documenting their own Title VI program.
I.M. 1.070, Title VI and Nondiscrimination Requirements This Instructional Memorandum (I.M.) provides additional guidance and instructions for subrecipients to comply with Title VI, including further information about the Title VI Plan, Agreement, and Standard Assurance and other documents referenced below.
Title VI Plan Template | WordDoc — Subrecipients with a population of 250,000 or more are required to develop and implement a Title VI Plan. This document is provided to subrecipients as a guide in developing their own Title VI Plan.
Title VI Non-Discrimination Agreement | PDF — Subrecipients with a population less than 250,000 are required to execute a Title VI Non-Discrimination Agreement with the Iowa DOT.
Standard Iowa DOT Title VI Assurance | PDF — All subrecipients must provide a signed Title VI Assurance, including all appendices, to the Iowa DOT as part of their Title VI Plan or Title VI Agreement. This template document shall not be modified except as indicated. To facilitate including the referenced appendices in the subrecipients contracts, agreements, deeds, licenses, permits, and other documents as applicable, each appendix is provided separately below:
Site Review Tools and Checklists The Iowa DOT has developed several review tools and checklists to assist subrecipients in assessing their own compliance with Title VI. These documents are also used by the Iowa DOT when conducting post-grant compliance reviews of subrecipients.
- Title VI Site Compliance Review Tool for Local Public Agencies
- Title VI Compliance Questionnaire for Local Public Agencies
- Title VI Site Compliance Review Tool for RPAs and MPOs
- Title VI Compliance Questionnaire for RPAs and MPOs
Title VI attachments
- Attachment A – Title VI Nondiscrimination Policy Statement
- Attachment B – Iowa DOT Title VI Assurances
- Attachment C – Format for Annual Accomplishments Report
- Attachment D – Compliance Site Review Tool
- Attachment E – Title VI Compliance Questionnaire for Local Agencies
- Attachment F – Title VI Site Review Tool for Planning Agencies
- Attachment G – Title VI Compliance Questions for MPO/RPA Subrecipient Reviews
- Attachment H – Action Plan for Increasing Minority Fee Appraiser Participation
- Attachment I – Techniques for Involving Minority and Low Income Populations in Planning and Project Development
- Attachment J – Compliance with Environmental Justice
- Attachment K – Discrimination Complaint Process
- Attachment L – Title VI Program PPM 300.05
- Attachment M – Environmental Data Sheet
- Attachment N – Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement
- Attachment O – Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action PPM 230.03
- Attachment P – Title VI Requirements for Local Public Agencies
- Attachment Q – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Participation PPM 300.18
- Attachment R – Data Collection and Records Plan
- Attachment T – Public Involvement Plan