Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Civil Rights

Ensuring equal opportunity for all businesses and personnel on our projects


Subrecipient reviews and guidance

The Minnesota Department of Transportation regularly passes federal aid received from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration to local government agencies, non-profit agencies, and private entities to carry out authorized programs and activities. Agencies and entities receiving federal aid are referred to as "subrecipients" and must comply with regulatory requirements enacted to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (see 42 U.S.C. 2000d (PDF)) and related legal authorities. As part of its oversight responsibilities, MnDOT conducts periodic reviews of subrecipients to ensure compliance with those regulatory requirements. These compliance checks are called "subrecipient reviews."

The FHWA and FTA each have different approaches to Title VI compliance. Subrecipients should know whether they are receiving only FHWA funding, only FTA funding, or both. Below is an explanation of how MnDOT approaches its subrecipient oversight for each type of funding recipient. As a practical matter, entities receiving both types of funding are strongly encouraged to review the FTA Circular 4702.1B(PDF) and adhere to those requirements to ensure compliance with both agencies.

Agencies and entities receiving FHWA funds can find several resources at the bottom of this page with more information about the review process and requirements. To ensure compliance with Title VI, subrecipients must implement a system of policies, procedures, and actions prohibiting discrimination, including:

  • Title VI/Nondiscrimination Policy Statement
  • Public Notice of Rights under Title VI (see MnDOT’s versions below)
  • Title VI/Nondiscrimination Assurances (see template below)
  • Contracts contain appropriate appendices from the Title VI Assurances
  • Title VI/Nondiscrimination Coordinator
  • Procedures for processing and tracking external discrimination complaints
  • Providing accommodations for limited English proficient persons
  • Environmental justice in minority and low-income populations
  • Nondiscrimination in the public participation process
  • Collect and analyze data to ensure nondiscrimination in programs and activities

In addition, to the above requirements, it is recommended that subrecipients create and regularly update a Title VI Plan and Title VI Annual Goals & Accomplishments Report. MnDOT is required to submit its own versions of these documents annually to the FHWA. Please see MnDOT’s versions and the templates in the resources section below as models for creating these documents.

MnDOT reserves the right to conduct a review of any subrecipient. However, generally subrecipients will be selected for reviews based on a number of factors including:

  • pre-existing areas of deficiency in its Title VI program,
  • receipt of a Title VI complaint involving the subrecipient,
  • feedback from the local community, and
  • amount of federal funding.

For a fuller explanation of how to meet the above requirements, please see the Subrecipient Review Process and Requirements Guide below.

The MnDOT Office of Transit and Active Transportation requires Title VI documentation to be submitted to their subrecipient database system (BlackCat) and updated annually. The required documentation to be submitted includes:

  • Notice to Public of Rights under Title VI
  • Complaint procedure and complaint form
  • List of current year discrimination investigations, complaints, and lawsuits
  • Public Involvement Plan
  • Language Assistance Plan
  • Demographics of non-elected boards, advisory councils, or committees
  • Evidence of training provided and received
  • Governing body Title VI Plan resolution

Every three years, all recipients of FTA funds are required to document their compliance and submit a Title VI Plan directly to the FTA for approval. For those agencies that are subrecipients, their responsibility is to submit the Title VI program assurances and documents directly to the recipient (MnDOT). All FTA recipients, including subrecipients, are strongly encouraged to review FTA Circular 4702.1B (PDF) for all requirements.

MnDOT Office of Civil Rights will determine the need for more in-depth subrecipient reviews in coordination with the Office of Transit and Active Transportation.

If you have any questions about the BlackCat system and submitting Title VI documentation, please contact Jean Meyer.