DATE: December 16, 2002

SUBJECT: Executive Order 13279, Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-Based and Community Organizations

SOURCE: Federal Register, December 16, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 241, page 76819

AGENCIES: The President

ACTION: Issuance of Executive Order

SYNOPSIS: On December 12, 2002, President Bush issued Executive Order (EO) 13279 to "guide federal agencies in formulating and developing policies with implications for faith-based organizations and other community organizations." This guidance applies to certain contracts issued by various departments and agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 12, 2002.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On January 29, 2001, President Bush issued EO 13198 directing the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Labor to "establish within their respective departments a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" to "coordinate department 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."

On December 12, 2002, President Bush issued EO 13279 to supplement EO 13198 by defining which "social services" are subject to the president's faith-based initiative:

  1. Child care services, protective services for children and adults, services for children and adults in foster care, adoption services, services related to the management and maintenance of the home, day care services for adults, and services to meet the special needs of children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities (including physical, mental, or emotional disabilities);

  2. Transportation services;

  3. Job training and related services, and employment services;

  4. Information, referral, and counseling services;

  5. The preparation and delivery of meals and services related to soup kitchens or food banks;

  6. Health support services;

  7. Literacy and mentoring programs;

  8. Services for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and substance abuse, services for the prevention of crime and the provision of assistance to the victims and the families of criminal offenders, and services related to intervention in, and prevention of, domestic violence; and

  9. Services related to the provision of assistance for housing under federal law.

To implement this, EO 13279 amends Section 204 of EO 11246 of September 24, 1965 (Section 202 of which mandates equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin), to read as follows:

     Section 204. The Secretary of Labor may, when the Secretary deems that special circumstances in the national interest so require, exempt a contracting agency from the requirement of including any or all of the provisions of Section 202 of this Order in any specific contract, subcontract, or purchase order.
           (b) The Secretary of Labor may, by rule or regulation, exempt certain classes of contracts, subcontracts, or purchase orders (1) whenever work is to be or has been performed outside the United States and no recruitment of workers within the limits of the United States is involved; (2) for standard commercial supplies or raw materials; (3) involving less than specified amounts of money or specified numbers of workers; or (4) to the extent that they involve subcontracts below a specified tier.
           (c) Section 202 of this Order shall not apply to a government contractor or subcontractor that is a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society, with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities. Such contractors and subcontractors are not exempted or excused from complying with the other requirements contained in this Order.
           (d) The Secretary of Labor may also provide, by rule, regulation, or order, for the exemption of facilities of a contractor that are in all respects separate and distinct from activities of the contractor related to the performance of the contract: provided, that such an exemption will not interfere with or impede the effectuation of the purposes of this Order: and provided further, that in the absence of such an exemption all facilities shall be covered by the provisions of this order.

Finally, President Bush also issued EO 13280, Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development With Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, to direct the Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development to establish Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and to comply with EO 13198 and EO 13279.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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