- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled hundreds of strategies across several federal agencies aimed at addressing what it says is racial and gender inequity in the federal government.

A senior administration official said the initiative is the first major assessment of how government policies have allowed “inequality to fester,” including ways they said the government has blocked underserved communities from government services.

“This is about getting under the hood in every agency,” the official said.

The plan outlines more than 300 different strategies and commitments by more than 90 federal agencies, including the Justice, Defense, Energy and Labor departments.

For example, the Justice Department will offer more language-accessible programs to help individuals with limited English proficiency better report crimes and access its services. The Transportation Department will increase its investments in underserved communities to reduce barriers to accessing public transportation. And the Department of Defense will partner with Historically Black College and Universities to reduce bias in algorithms in its computer programs.

The plan also includes plans for the administration to reach out to communities that it said have been historically excluded from government services by addressing discrepancies in dolling out grants and federal contracts.

The efforts stem from an executive order President Biden signed on his first day in office aimed at advancing racial equity and improving support for underserved communities across the government.

After a year-long review, the government adopted specific proposals for its agencies. The program will include metrics to ensure that agencies are achieving their goals of improving access to federal government resources among the underserved communities.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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