On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,[1] which states, “the Federal Government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” The Order revoked Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,[2] which prohibited agencies from presenting any training or distributing or displaying any materials related to diversity and inclusion unless the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had first determined such materials complied with the Order.

This memorandum rescinds and replaces OPM’s October 2, 2020 memorandum, Mandatory Review of Employee Training Under Executive Order 13950. Separately, related Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance – memoranda M-20-34 and M-20-37 , were made moot by Executive Order 13985’s revocation of Executive Order 13590.

Agencies are, therefore, no longer required to submit training material to OPM for approval and may also resume using training materials previously deemed “non-compliant” by OPM under Executive Order 13590. Executive Order 13985 instructs the heads of agencies to review and identify proposed and existing agency actions related to or arising from Executive Order 13950, and within 60 days, consider suspending, revising, or rescinding those actions.

Moving forward, OPM will play a critical leadership role in the Administration’s governmentwide efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) and we encourage all agencies to continue DEIA activities which include training and educating your workforce.