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e-CFR data is current as of September 23, 2020

Title 22Chapter ISubchapter OPart 147 → Subpart B


Title 22: Foreign Relations
PART 147—INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY


Subpart B—Complaint Procedures


Contents
§147.7   Filing a Section 508 complaint.
§147.8   Final agency action.
§147.9   Intimidation and retaliation prohibited.

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§147.7   Filing a Section 508 complaint.

(a) An individual with a disability who alleges that Department's ICT does not allow him or her to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to access and use by individuals without disabilities, or that the alternative means of access provided by the Department does not allow the individual to use the information and data, may file a complaint with the Department's Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR).

(b) Employees, applicants for employment, or members of the general public are encouraged to contact personnel in the Department office that uses or maintains a system that is believed not to be compliant with Section 508 or 36 CFR part 1194.1 to attempt to have their issues addressed. Nothing in this complaint process is intended to prevent Department personnel from addressing any alleged compliance issues when made aware of such requests directly or indirectly.

(c) A Section 508 complaint must be filed not later than 180 calendar days after the complainant knew, or should have known, of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the Department. A Section 508 complaint must be submitted in writing by fax, email, mail, or hand delivery to the S/OCR office, using the Form DS-4282, Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be downloaded at: https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds4282.PDF.

(d) Once a Section 508 complaint has been received, S/OCR will conduct an investigation into the allegation(s) and render a decision as to whether a Section 508 violation has occurred. Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint under this part, the Secretary shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing—

(1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(2) A description of a remedy for each violation found; and

(3) A notice of the right to appeal.

Upon request of the complainant, the decision will be provided in an alternate format, such as an electronic format, braille, or large print.

(e) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 90 days of receipt from the Department of the notice required by §147.7(d). The Department may extend this time for good cause.

(f) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the Department.

(g) The Secretary shall notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal. If the Secretary determines that additional information is needed from the complainant, the Secretary shall have 60 days from the date of receipt of the additional information to make his or her determination on the appeal.

(h) Individuals who submit a complaint must keep S/OCR updated at all times with current contact information, to include address, phone number, and working email address. If the Department needs additional information and is unable, after reasonable attempts for 30 days, to contact a complainant using his or her contact information, it may consider the complaint abandoned, and may close the complaint without action. A complainant may re-submit a complaint that was closed due to the inability of the Department to contact the complainant.

(i) A Department employee who receives a Section 508 complaint or a communication that raises an issue that might reasonably be considered a Section 508 complaint, should forward such communication to S/OCR.

[81 FR 32646, May 24, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 34853, July 27, 2017; 84 FR 37578, Aug. 1, 2019]

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§147.8   Final agency action.

Either a decision by the Secretary on the merits of a complaint, or no notification in writing from the Secretary within 180 days of filing the complaint, will a constitute a final agency action and exhaustion of the complainant's administrative remedies for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 701, et seq.

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§147.9   Intimidation and retaliation prohibited.

No person may discharge, intimidate, retaliate, threaten, coerce or otherwise discriminate against any person because such person has filed a complaint, furnished information, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, review, hearing or any other activity related to the administration of, or exercise of authority under, or privilege secured by Section 508 and the regulations in this part.

[84 FR 37578, Aug. 1, 2019]

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