[Federal Register: June 16, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 115)]
[Page 32220-32221]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Arbitration Panel Decision Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act

AGENCY: Department of Education

ACTION: Notice of arbitration panel decision under the Randolph-
Sheppard Act


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that on July 31, 1998, an arbitration 
panel rendered a decision in the matter of Brent Davidson v. Texas 
Commission for the Blind (Docket No. R-S/97-15). This panel was 
convened by the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 
107d-1(a), upon receipt of a complaint filed by petitioner, Brent 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: A copy of the full text of the arbitration 
panel decision may be obtained from George F. Arsnow, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3230, Mary E. Switzer 
Building, Washington DC 20202-2738. Telephone: (202) 205-9317. 
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-8298.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at either of the 
following sites:


To use the PDF you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, 
area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal

[[Page 32221]]

Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the 
Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on 
GPO Access at:


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 
U.S.C. 107d-2(c)), the Secretary publishes in the Federal Register a 
synopsis of each arbitration panel decision affecting the 
administration of vending facilities on Federal and other property.


    This dispute concerns the alleged improper suspension by the Texas 
Commission for the Blind, the State licensing agency (SLA), of Brent 
Davidson's vendor's license for 90 days. A summary of the facts is as 
follows: Complainant Brent Davidson signed an agreement to operate a 
vending facility located at the Texas Department of Transportation 
(TDOT) on October 17, 1996. The facility opened for business on October 
21, 1996. Problems arose from almost the moment the facility opened. 
Those problems were: (1) Sales at this facility were only half the 
anticipated level on the first day and never improved. (2) The TDOT 
never enforced a coffee agreement and, therefore, complainant's 
facility never benefitted from the anticipated coffee revenue. (3) The 
complainant and the SLA disagreed about pricing, equipment, the type of 
food offered, the number of employees, complainant's attendance, and 
the hours of operation.
    The SLA alleged that Mr. Davidson did not comply with the 
operator's agreement he signed on October 17, 1996, and the Business 
Enterprise Program Manual. The SLA alleged further that complainant 
continued to operate the vending facility in non-compliance with the 
operator's agreement, the manual, and the State rules and regulations 
governing the Texas vending facility program. In January 1997, the SLA 
placed Mr. Davidson on probation for a period of 90 days for violation 
of the operator's agreement and the manual.
    Mr. Davidson requested and received a State evidentiary fair 
hearing on May 20, 1997. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in her 
decision dated May 27, 1997, affirmed the SLA's decision to place Mr. 
Davidson's license on probationary status for 90 days. The SLA adopted 
the ALJ's decision as final agency action, and it is this decision that 
Mr. Davidson sought to have reviewed by a Federal arbitration panel. A 
Federal arbitration hearing of this matter was held on April 3, 1998.

Arbitration Panel Decision

    The issue before the arbitration panel was whether the Texas 
Commission for the Blind acted properly and within the scope of its 
authority under the Randolph-Sheppard Act and implementing regulations 
in placing Brent Davidson on probation for a period of 90 days.
    Because of the illness and non-attendance at the hearing of the 
panel member appointed by Mr. Davidson, the parties stipulated that the 
decision and award would be made solely by the neutral Panel Chair.
    The Panel Chair concluded that the evidence presented fully 
supported the decision of the SLA to place Mr. Davidson on probation 
for 90 days. Specifically, the Panel Chair noted a letter dated January 
29, 1997, sent to complainant by the director of the Texas Business 
Enterprise Program placing Mr. Davidson on probation for 90 days and 
outlining the areas of non-compliance with the operator's agreement, 
the manual, and the State rules and regulations. The Panel Chair 
further noted from the record complainant's acknowledgment of his 
actions as well as his receipt of the January 29th letter from the SLA 
and the fact that Mr. Davidson made no attempt to take corrective 
    The Panel Chair ruled that the SLA's decision to place 
complainant's license on a 90-day probationary status was the most 
lenient of any alternative available to the SLA. If Mr. Davidson had 
chosen to comply, the decision provided ample opportunity for 
complainant to correct by agreement the matters concerning non-
compliance of which the SLA complained.
    The views and opinions expressed by the panel do not necessarily 
represent the views and opinions of the U.S. Department of Education.

    Dated: June 10, 1999.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 99-15326 Filed 6-15-99; 8:45 am]