Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies
The purpose of this Memorandum is to underscore the applicability of Executive Order 11478, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 (P.L. 92261); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended by P.L. 92-269; and pursuant regulations to all Federal personnel actions, including those which involve overseas assignment of employees of Federal agencies to foreign countries which have adopted exclusionary policies based on a person's race, color, religion, national origin, sex or age.
In making selections for overseas assignment, the possible exclusionary policies of the country to which an applicant or employee is to be assigned must not be a factor in any part of the selection process of a Federal agency. United States law must be observed and not the policy of the foreign nation. Individuals, therefore, must be considered and selected solely on the basis of merit factors without reference to race, color, religion, national origin, sex or age. Persons must not be "selected out" at any stage of the selection process because their race, color, religion, national origin, sex or age does not conform to any formal or informal requirements set by a foreign nation. No agency may list in its job description circulars that the host country has an exclusionary entrance policy or that a visa is required.
If a host country refuses, on the basis of exclusionary policies related to race, color, religion, national origin, sex or age, to grant a visa to an employee who has been selected by a Federal agency for an overseas assignment, the employing agency should advise the Department of State of this act. The Department will take appropriate action through diplomatic channels to attempt to gain entry for the individual.
The Civil Service Commission shall have the responsibility for insuring compliance with this Memorandum. In order to ensure that selections for overseas assignments are made in compliance with law, Executive Order, and merit system requirements, each agency having positions overseas must:
(1) review its process for selection of persons for overseas assignments to assure that it conforms in all respects with law, Executive Order, and merit system requirements; and
(2) within 60 days of the date of this Memorandum, issue appropriate internal policy guidance so that all selecting officials will understand clearly their legal obligation in this regard. The guidance must make clear that exclusionary policies of foreign countries based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex or age must not be considerations in the selection process for Federal positions. A copy of each agency's guidance in this regard should be sent to the Assistant Executive Director, U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, D.C. 20415.
GERALD R. FORD