Mayor's Office LEP Assessment and Plan

As part of the City of Boise’s Limited English Proficiency Assessments (LEP), the Mayor’s Office has developed the following plan to provide meaningful access to its services for LEP populations. The plan will be updated on a biennial basis.

Four Factor Analysis

  1. The number or proportion of LEP persons served or encountered in the eligible service population. The number or proportion of LEP persons encountered is the same as that in the general population of the City of Boise.
  2. The frequency with which LEP individuals come in contact with the program. Over the past year, employees of the Mayor’s Office who were surveyed have reported two inquiries by phone or in person to have an interpreter assist a patron and no inquiries by phone or in person to have documents translated. The City Clerk reports that there have been no requests for either an interpreter or translated documents at City Council meetings. In each case of a request for interpreter, the request came from a Spanish speaking LEP person. Spanish language interpreters were provided in both cases. Employees of the Mayor’s Office are most likely to encounter LEP individuals through office visits, telephone conversations, attendance at outreach events and City Council meetings.
  3. The nature and importance of the program, activity or service provided by the recipient to people’s lives. The services provided by the Mayor’s Office are important to individuals, as the services focus on the governance of the constituents of the City of Boise. As such, public participation in the process is extremely important. The Mayor’s Office also houses an economic development team, and a community engagement manager.
  4. The resources available to the recipient and the costs.
    The Mayor’s Office assessed its available resources used to provide language assistance. This included identifying bilingual staff, reviewing the existing Mayor’s Office services for interpretation and translation-service providers, determining which documents should be translated, and deciding what level of staff training is needed.

    The Mayor’s Office will provide specific outreach on programs to organizations supporting persons with Limited English Proficiency. The Mayor’s Office will ensure that information regarding public meetings is disseminated to organizations supporting persons with Limited English Proficiency and disseminate public notices that have language assistance instructions. Among the recommendations that are being pursued is the broad based need for expansion of qualified interpreter and translator services and the development of training programs and establishment of standards for quality control.

    The Mayor’s Office will provide Census Bureau “I Speak” cards at public meetings, and utilize the telephone interpreter service Language Line Services (http://www.languageline.com) when interpreter services are required. The Mayor’s Office will also use ERS Language Services, Inc., when the services for an interpreter are needed for a meeting or hearing.

    The Mayor’s Office continues to determine what documents to translate into languages other than English by conducting an assessment consistent with the four-factor analysis contained in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Guidance. Specifically, the Mayor’s Office analyzes the number of LEP persons that would utilize the material, the frequency with which LEP individuals would come into contact with the material, the nature and importance of the material, and the resources available to translate the materials. When staff prepares a document or schedules a meeting for which the target audience is expected to include LEP individuals, documents, meeting notices, flyers and agendas will be printed in an alternative language based on the known LEP population. Based on the Hispanic and Latino population in the City of Boise, many of the written materials and all of the vital documents are being translated into Spanish.

Department Plan

Identify Individuals Who Need Assistance

To better identify those persons who
need language assistance and to better anticipate those persons who may need language assistance in the future, the Mayor’s Office will take the following steps:
• Document requests for language assistance form past meetings and events to anticipate the possible need for assistance at upcoming meetings.
• Have “I Speak” cards at City Council meetings. While staff may not be able to provide translation service at that particular meeting, staff will be able to provide translation assistance at future meetings for that individual.
• Frequently survey first line staff and other city staff regarding any direct or indirect contact with LEP individuals.

Language Assistance Measures

The Mayor’s Office will continue to locate “I Speak” cards at the front desk and at public meetings. Google Translate has been installed on the Mayor’s Office website. Front desk staff will also have access Google Translate on the front office computer where LEP individuals may be encountered. Public meeting notices will include language assistance instruction and the front desk will include a notice in Spanish that language assistance is available. Educate employees about the existence of bilingual and trilingual employees in City Hall. Staff will also have access to the Police Department’s Contract Interpreter list. When an interpreter is needed and staff has exhausted all other options, the Mayor’s Office will use the language line for interpretation services.

Training Staff

In addition to the training provided by the city, Legal will ensure that its staff understands its Title VI LEP responsibilities. Staff will also receive specific training on what language assistance services the City of Boise offers and specific procedures to be followed when encountering LEP persons. Staff will also be instructed on how to use Google Translate, the Language Line, and the Contract Interpreter list.

Providing Assistance to LEP Persons

Mayor’s Office employees will provide notice to LEP persons that language assistance measures are available in several ways. It will provide a notice on the Mayor’s Office website that language assistance is available and that vital documents are available in both Spanish and English. It will continue to include a notice on City Council agendas that language assistance is available. It will expand this practice to include other public meeting agendas.

Monitoring and Updating the LEP Plan

The Mayor’s Office will monitor and update this plan on a regular basis, but not less than annually. At minimum, the Mayor’s Office will examine how many LEP persons were encountered and determine if their needs were met. The Mayor’s Office will also continue to review its documents to determine if any of them should be translated into other languages and to determine if more program-specific outreach should be undertaken. It will also look at any complaints received and learn how to better serve the LEP population through those complaints.

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