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Digital Modernization

USDA Launching Civil Rights Management System to Handle Discrimination Complaints

Complaints management

USDA Launching Civil Rights Management System to Handle Discrimination Complaints

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the impending launch of a new information technology system that will help in the management of civil rights and discrimination complaints directed at agency programs and partners. The new system also contains a set of apps to help officials manage the complaint and review process, Nextgov reported Monday.

In a Federal Register notice, the USDA said the Civil Rights Management System will store all discrimination complaints made against any of the programs or activities that it has conducted or assisted. The new system will replace the agency’s old Program Complaints Management System.

The complaint management system is on an agency-owned cloud designed to integrate with every USDA extension office. The system also provides a means of reporting out to official organizations, such as the Department of Justice and the National Archives and Records Administration. It serves the needs of agency heads who are mandated to enforce agency compliance with civil rights laws and regulations, the notice further stated.

The USDA said the CRMS will collect information on a wide segment of people working with or for the agency, including contractors, witnesses, investigators, third parties, administrative judges, legal representatives, applicants and those who either formally or informally made allegations of discrimination within the department’s scope of influence.

The department assured would-be complainants and the general public that the data contained within the new system is adequately protected. All of the data is being protected with a set of physical and digital safeguards including physical access controls, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and system auditing to prevent unauthorized access, the USDA notice added.

The USDA is seeking the input of stakeholders and the public at large on its introduction of the CRMS.

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