Health Care:

Agencies' Service to Non-English Speaking Customers

GGD-95-147R: Published: Apr 21, 1995. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed four agencies' services to nonEnglish speaking customers. GAO noted that: (1) there is no evidence that the agencies cannot meet the needs of their nonEnglish-speaking customers; (2) although there is a shortage of bilingual staff at certain agency offices, these agencies can obtain bilingual services from their communities as needed; (3) the Social Security Administration's strategic plan specifically addresses the need for bilingual services, while two of the other agencies include foreign language needs in their customer service standards; and (4) the agencies believe that they have sufficient numbers of bilingual staff to meet their nonEnglish-speaking customers' needs.

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