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Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development With Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to help the Federal Government coordinate a national effort to expand opportunities for faith-based and other community organizations and to strengthen their capacity to better meet social needs in America's communities, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment of Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development. (a) The Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development shall each establish within their respective agencies a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (Center).
(b) Each of these Centers shall be supervised by a Director, appointed by the agency head in consultation with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (White House OFBCI).
(c) Each agency shall provide its Center with appropriate staff, administrative support, and other resources to meet its responsibilities under this order.
(d) Each Center shall begin operations no later than 45 days from the date of this order.
Sec. 2. Purpose of Executive Branch Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The purpose of the agency Centers will be to coordinate agency efforts to eliminate regulatory, contracting, and other programmatic obstacles to the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the provision of social services.
Sec. 3. Responsibilities of the Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Each Center shall, to the extent permitted by law:
(a) conduct, in coordination with the White House OFBCI, an agency-wide audit to identify all existing barriers to the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the delivery of social services by the agency, including but not limited to regulations, rules, orders, procurement, and other internal policies and practices, and outreach activities that either facially discriminate against or otherwise discourage or disadvantage the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in Federal programs;
(b) coordinate a comprehensive agency effort to incorporate faith-based and other community organizations in agency programs and initiatives to the greatest extent possible;
(c) propose initiatives to remove barriers identified pursuant to section 3(a) of this order, including but not limited to reform of regulations, procurement, and other internal policies and practices, and outreach activities;
(d) propose the development of innovative pilot and demonstration programs to increase the participation of faith- based and other community organizations in Federal as well as State and local initiatives; andStart Printed Page 77146
(e) develop and coordinate agency outreach efforts to disseminate information more effectively to faith-based and other community organizations with respect to programming changes, contracting opportunities, and other agency initiatives, including but not limited to Web and Internet resources.
Sec. 4. Reporting Requirements.
(a) Report. Not later than 180 days from the date of this order and annually thereafter, each of the two Centers described in section 1 of this order shall prepare and submit a report to the White House OFBCI.
(b) Contents. The report shall include a description of the agency's efforts in carrying out its responsibilities under this order, including but not limited to:
(i) a comprehensive analysis of the barriers to the full participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the delivery of social services identified pursuant to section 3(a) of this order and the proposed strategies to eliminate those barriers; and
(ii) a summary of the technical assistance and other information that will be available to faith-based and other community organizations regarding the program activities of the agency and the preparation of applications or proposals for grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and procurement.
(c) Performance Indicators. The first report, filed 180 days after the date of this order, shall include annual performance indicators and measurable objectives for agency action. Each report filed thereafter shall measure the agency's performance against the objectives set forth in the initial report.
Sec. 5. Responsibilities of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development. The Secretary and the Administrator shall:
(a) designate an employee within their respective agencies to serve as the liaison and point of contact with the White House OFBCI; and
(b) cooperate with the White House OFBCI and provide such information, support, and assistance to the White House OFBCI as it may request, to the extent permitted by law.
Sec. 6. Administration and Judicial Review. (a) The agency actions directed by this executive order shall be carried out subject to the availability of appropriations and to the extent permitted by law.
(b) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, or entities, its officers, employees or agents, or any other person.B THE WHITE HOUSE, December 12, 2002. Filed 12-12-02; 12:09 pm]
[FR Doc. 02-31832
Billing code 3195-01-P