DLMS 2 – ADMINISTRATION
Chapter 500, Section 600 - Building Facilities and Services
Date: November 28, 1986
|MANUAL TRANSMITTAL ___
|Chapter Reference: DLMS 2 - Chapter 500, Section 600 - Building Facilities and Services
|Nature of Revisions:
|Approval for Issuance and Distribution:
Table of Contents
- 600 - DOL Program for Ensuring that Buildings & Facilities are Accessible to & Usable by Handicapped Persons
- 601 - Purpose
- 602 - Scope
- 603 - Background
- 604 - Authority, Policy, and Responsibilities
- 605 - System Overview
- 606 - Criteria for Coverage
600 DOL Program for Ensuring that Buildings & Facilities are Accessible to & Usable by Handicapped Persons
601 Purpose. Section 600 describes the Department's program for ensuring that buildings and facilities are accessible to and usable by handicapped persons; highlights the Department's policy and commitment to an environment free of architectural barriers; assigns responsibilities for the implementation and ongoing operation of the Department's system for self-compliance with established standards for handicapped accessibility; establishes the procedures, processes and related DOL interagency working relationships necessary for the efficient and effective operation of this system; and provides an overview of system components.
602 Scope. The provisions of this section apply to all departmental organizational components that: (1) own or control buildings or facilities constructed, acquired or altered with Federal funds; (2) have program authority to finance, in whole or in part, construction or acquisition of buildings or facilities and the authorizing statute permits the imposition of construction terms; and/or (3) lease space directly or through the General Services Administration (GSA) or occupy (as a tenant) such space.
603 Background. The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968, as amended, stipulates that all buildings which are (1) financed with Federal funds, and (2) intended for use by the public, or which may result in employment or residence therein of physically handicapped persons, be designed and constructed in accordance with standards prescribed by the ABA to ensure that such buildings are fully accessible to and usable by handicapped individuals. The Act is enforced by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB), a Federal agency created by Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. On May 9, 1983, the Secretary of Labor and the Executive Director of the ATBCB entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) whereby the Department agreed to implement a DOL-wide accessibility compliance system. This system, which must meet certain minimum criteria set forth by the Board, is intended to ensure full compliance with applicable GSA accessibility standards issued pursuant to the ABA. In return, the Board has agreed to refrain from initiating enforcement proceedings against DOL for noncompliance with accessibility standards if its Executive Director has approved a detailed plan for removal of barriers in covered buildings or facilities.
- Authority. Section 600 is issued pursuant to Secretary's Order 7-83, and the Memorandum of Agreement between DOL and the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board wherein the Department agrees to institute a department-wide self-compliance system for complying with Federal handicapped accessibility standards. The Secretary'S Order and related MOA were issued pursuant to the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151, as amended, and Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 792, as amended. The ABA requires that certain buildings acquired with Federal funds be accessible to and usable by handicapped persons; Section 502 established the ATBCB to enforce accessibility standards issued under the ABA.
- Policy. The policy of the Department is to promote accessibility of structures, buildings, and facilities to physically handicapped individuals, and to ensure that buildings constructed, leased, altered or acquired by DOL fully comply with statutory and regulatory provisions which require the elimination of architectural, transportation and communication barriers in covered structures. In addition, the Department's commitment to accessibility and to nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap is well documented in its regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which require DOL funded programs as well as programs and activities conducted by the Department to be accessible to handicapped individuals.
- The Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management is delegated authority and assigned responsibility for:
- Developing policy, setting standards, and coordinating inveStigative and enforcement activities of component offices and administrations of the Department pursuant to the ABA, Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Memorandum of Agreement between ATBCB and DOL.
- Monitoring, investigating, and enforcing the provisions of the statutes mentioned in paragraph 604c. (1) (a) above, with respect to DOL buildings and facilities, and facilities financed in whole or in part by grants or loans which are subject to standards for design, construction or alteration issued by the Department under the laws authorizing such grants or loans, except for those facilities referred to in paragraph 604c.(3) below.
- The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, serving as the Department's Accessibility Compliance Officer (ACO), is responsible for developing, implementing, and operating a DOL accessibility self-compliance system capable of ensuring that the responsibilities detailed in paragraph 604c. (1) above are fully and effectively carried out.
- The Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training (ETA) is delegated authority and assigned responsibility, in accordance with the policies and standards established by the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, for monitoring, investigating and enforcing the laws referred to in paragraph 604c. (1) (a) with respect to buildings and facilities financed in whole or in part by ETA grants or loans which are subject to standards for design, construction or alteration under the laws authorizing such grants or loans.
- The Solicitor of Labor is responsible for providing legal advice and assistance to DOL officials and representing them in legal proceedings, as appropriate, with regard to the administration of the Acts referred to in paragraph 604c. (1) (a).
- The Director, Directorate of Civil Rights (DCR), OASAM, is responsible for recommending policy, developing and implementing operational procedures, coordinating the investigative and enforcement activities of other component offices and administrations of DOL, and- carrying out, on behalf of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, the responsibilities set forth in paragraph 604c. (1) (a) and (b) above, for purposes of:
- Instituting a clearly defined department-wide system of compliance which meets the general features -and objectives set forth in the ATBCB Guidance Manual, Federal Agency System for Self-Compliance with Accessibility Standards, and meets the needs of the Department, as well.
- Requiring from each recipient of DOL financial assistance (with regard to buildings for which the construction or alteration is paid with Federal funds), a clear commitment to prevent or eliminate physical barriers in accordance with minimum ATBCB guidelines and applicable GSA standards.
- Monitoring progress in preventing or removing barriers in covered structures occupied by the Department or constructed, or acquired with DOL financial assistance.
- Developing a system of tracking and resolving complaints which complies with the standards and timetables set forth by the ATBCB.
- Requesting each DOL agency to inventory its covered structures and obtain information necessary to maintain proper compliance.
- Surveying and inspecting selected facilities, by appropriate sampling, to evaluate progress in achieving accessibility to the extent permitted by available resources.
- Adhering to the requirements for waivers and modifications and to the procedures for initiating and resolving waiver applications, as set forth in the statutes and ATBCB regulations and interpretations.
- Maintaining an effective system of communication and information exchange among DOL agencies, and the ATBCB to ensure uniformity and effectiveness of the enforcement program (the information exchange shall include but not be limited to standards, coverage, waiver policy, and complaint procedures).
- Coordinating program activities and recommending changes as needed.
- DOL Agency Heads are responsible for:
- Designating an Agency Accessibility Compliance Officer. (This only applies to OASAM and ETA, i.e., the agencies with significant property holding authority.)
- Promoting through subordinate agency channels the policy set forth in this directive.
- Ensuring that all self-compliance system elements are implemented in accordance with the policies established by the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management pursuant to paragraph 604c. (1) above, and with the procedures outlined in paragraph 605, System Overview.
- Regional Administrators-OASAM are responsible for:
- Implementing and maintaining the policy and requirements set forth in this section in their respective regions.
- Ensuring that all newly acquired buildings and facilities are accessible to handicapped individuals. This should include, but not be limited to, the preparation of detailed space requests (SF-8) which clearly specify that acquired space be in compliance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) and participation in pre-occupancy inspections.
- Conducting periodic accessibility inspections in existing buildings and facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968.
- Ensuring that all complaints alleging noncompliance with applicable accessibility standards, that are referred for investigation and resolution are handled in a timely and effective manner.
- Coordinating the development of corrective action plans required to bring non-complying building features into compliance with provisions of applicable accessibility standards.
- The Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management is delegated authority and assigned responsibility for:
605 System Overview. as required by the MOA, DOL's self-compliance system is being implemented in accordance with the ATBCB's Guidance for Compliance System Development, 41 Fed. Reg. 27192 et seq., and the related guidance manual, Federal Agency System for Self-Compliance with Accessibility Standards, which outlines the minimum elements of an acceptable system.
- Subsystems. The DOL system utilizes a two-pronged approach (one prospective, one retrospective in nature) to ensure that all covered buildings and facilities comply with relevant access standards.
- New Building Compliance. The objective of this (prospective) approach or subsystem is to ensure that all new space acquired by the Department, whether by construction, acquisition, lease or alteration, is in compliance with the applicable accessibility standard(s) before it becomes part of DOL's inventory. Accomplishing this objective requires that present policy and related procedures and processes governing DOL's acquisition of new space be reviewed and adapted as necessary to ensure the requisite compliance.
- Existing Building Compliance. The objective of this (retrospective) approach or subsystem is to achieve accessibility compliance in the Department's existing inventory of covered buildings and facilities. Accomplishing this objective requires development of a complete inventory of covered buildings and facilities; a sample field survey program from which the nature and extent of noncomplying building features in DOL's existing building stock can be estimated; a complaint system and a periodic inspection program which identify barriers overlooked by the survey; and comprehensive plans for bringing each building into compliance.
Accessibility compliance in existing Job Corps buildings and facilities will be accomplished by designating a minimum of three accessible centers to accommodate the handicapped. Application of the field survey and periodic inspection program, as well as the preparation of detailed compliance plans, will be limited to those centers designated as handicapped accessible. ETA/Job Corps will periodically (but not less than once every five years) reassess the effectiveness of this approach. Reassessment findings will be provided to the Department's Accessibility Compliance Officer.
- Self Compliance Plan. DOL's self-compliance plan is comprised of seven interrelated elements.
Element #1: Department's Accessibility Compliance Officer.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management has been designated as the Department's Accessibility Compliance Officer (ACO) and is responsible for implementing the Department's self-compliance system, which is being operated by the Director, Directorate of Civil Rights, as well as for management oversight of DOL's on-going accessibility compliance activities (e.g., maintaining current inventories of buildings, investigating complaints and ensuring that all newly acquired buildings and facilities are accessible).
At the ACO's request, ETA and OASAM (as agencies with significant property holding authority) have designated Agency ACOs who will be responsible for ensuring that their agency's on-going accessibility compliance activities are carried out in accordance with the Department's plan and who will serve as a point of contact through which DCR can coordinate its system implementation/operation activities. Designated Agency ACOs are:
the Director for Property Management and Engineering Support, Office of Personnel and Administrative Services.
the Director, Directorate of Administrative and Procurement Programs.
Element #2: Compliance Control Over New Space.
The Department's property holding agencies must develop the capability (if not already in place) to specify the design, construction, and leasing activities necessary to ensure that newly constructed, altered, and leased space is in compliance with appropriate standards for handicapped accessibility before it becomes a part of the Department's inventory.
Element #3: Complaint System
The complaint system specifies the procedures involved in the receipt, control, investigation, and follow-up of complaints received by the Directorate of Civil Rights. Together with the field survey and inspection program and the inventory of covered buildings, it contributes to the Department's ability to-achieve compliance in its existing buildings. Complaint system procedures are outlined in Appendix A-605 of this section.
Element #4: Inventory of Buildings and Facilities Covered by the ABA
In order to support the complaint tracking system and the field survey and inspection programs, each property holding agency will (if not already in place) develop a comprehensive inventory that either: (1) lists those buildings and facilities for which the agency is responsible, and which are covered by the ABA; or (2) lists all the buildings and facilities in the agency's inventory together with the data elements needed, e.g., date of construction; acquisition or lease, to determine whether each building comes under the jurisdiction of the ABA. This inventory will include all buildings and facilities that are: directly owned and leased by the Department; owned or leased by GSA and assigned to the Department; and constructed with Federal assistance under any of the Department's grant-in-aid and loan (not loan guarantee) programs.
Element #5: Field Survey and Inspection Programs.
The field survey is the principal mechanism for determining the extent to which the Department's inventory of covered buildings and facilities is in compliance with the appropriate standards for handicapped accessibility. Compliance levels will be determined by selecting a sample of covered buildings from the Department's inventory of covered buildings, developing survey questionnaires capable of determining whether specific building features are in compliance with standard provisions, conducting sample surveys of covered buildings, and analyzing survey results to identify patterns of compliance.
An ongoing program of periodic inspections will be implemented to identify those barriers to handicapped accessibility that were either overlooked by new construction and existing building compliance "subsystems" or created subsequently through new construction, renovation and alteration projects.
The questionnaire/instruments used for conducting-field surveys and compliance checklists used for meeting the requirement for periodic inspections will focus on the accessibility of those building features which impact on a handicapped person's ability to gain entrance to and use certain buildings or facilities. Building features which will be addressed by the survey instrument and inspection checklist include, but are not limited to:
- Parking and Passenger loading Zones
- Accessible Routes
- Ground and floor surfaces
- Ramps - curb cuts
- Stairs and handrails
- Elevators and Platform lifts
- Toilet rooms, stalls, water closets, urinal mirrors and sinks
- Signs, tactile warnings and alarms
- Doors and Windows
- Drinking fountains
- Controls and operating mechanisms
Element #6: Department-wide Staff Training.
Implementation and operation of DOL's self-compliance system will require a cooperative effort involving staff from a variety of organizational subdivisions within the Department. All staff members who are expected to be involved in any way with the operation of the self-compliance system will be trained on the general purpose, policy, and procedures of the system. In addition, staff with specified responsibilities for certain system elements, such as operating the complaint tracking system, developing the inventory of covered buildings, or conducting accessibility compliance surveys, etc., will require specialized training in those areas.
Element #7: Requests for Waivers/Modifications of Standards.
Certain situations may justify a request for waiver of a required standard provision. In order to ensure consistent and equitable decisions, the Department will develop definite policies and procedures (consistent with those established by GSA) for requesting waiver and modifications.
606 Criteria for Coverage. In general, covered buildings and facilities are those constructed or altered by or on behalf of the United States, leased in whole or in part by GSA for its own use as well as for assignment to other occupying" agencies, and financed in whole or in part by grants or loans where the authorizing statute also authorizes the imposition of construction terms and conditions. The following criteria have been established to assist in deter-mining whether specific buildings and facilities are covered by the ABA.
- All direct Federal building or facility constructions, acquisitions, or alterations for which design specifications were rendered on or after September 2, 1969.
- All federally-assisted constructions, acquisitions, or alterations commencing with the rendering of design specifications on or after September 2, 1969.
- All Federal Government leased facilities, built according to government specifications (e.g., square footage, fire or safety requirements, structural specifications, etc., not related to accessibility) leased on or after September 2, 1969.
- All other facilities and space leased on or after January 1, 1977, or for which leases were renewed on or after that date.