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Program Complaint of Discrimination | Civil Rights Division | NRCS

In accordance with applicable Civil Rights laws and regulations, it is NRCS’ policy to ensure that no person is subjected to prohibited discrimination in its programs and activities based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, marital status, family status, parental status, sexual orientation or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. 
 
A program complaint of discrimination is a Civil Rights complaint regarding the delivery of any federally assisted or conducted program service based on a prohibited basis.  The Program Discrimination Complaint Process is managed and administered by the USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR).  A program complaint of discrimination must be filed with the USDA, ASCR, Office of Civil Rights, OCR.
 
The NRCS, Civil Rights Division (CRD) is responsible for facilitating the Agency’s actions pertaining to program complaints of discrimination.  All program complaints of discrimination will be forwarded to the Department for processing.  The ASCR determines whether the allegations or issues received constitute a discriminatory complaint.  If accepted, the ASCR issues an acknowledgement letter to the complainant and simultaneously forwards a letter to NRCS requesting an Agency Position Statement (APS).
 
The Agency must conduct a fact finding inquiry of the issues stated within the program discrimination complaint and has 24 calendar days to prepare and submit the APS to the ASCR.  The ASCR office is responsible for the investigation and adjudication of program complaints of discrimination. 
 
If the ASCR finds that the basis and issues of the complaint are not within USDA’s jurisdiction, the ASCR forwards a letter to NRCS stating that the issues are programmatic and NRCS should handle this matter informally within the Agency.  
 
If you believe that you have been discriminated against by a program or activity that is either conducted directly by NRCS or receives Federal financial assistance from NRCS, you may file a complaint with USDA, ASCR, OCR.