[Federal Register: December 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 238)]
[Page 69516-69517]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Intent to Compromise Claim Against the Puerto Rico Department of 

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of intent to compromise claim.


SUMMARY: The United States Department of Education (Department) intends 
to compromise a claim against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
Department of Education (Puerto Rico) now pending before the Office of 
Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), Docket No. 97-170-R (20 U.S.C. 

DATES: Interested persons may comment on the proposed action by 
submitting written data, views, or arguments on or before January 27, 

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to John R. Mason, Esq., Office 
of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., Room 6E112, Washington, DC 20202.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John R. Mason, Esq., Telephone 401-
8292. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The claim in question arose when the 
Department's Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education 
(Assistant Secretary) issued a program determination letter (PDL) on 
September 30, 1997. The PDL demanded a refund of $671,373 of funds 
provided Puerto Rico for Federal Fiscal Years 1990-1994 under the Adult 
Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1201 et seq. (1990 and 1991). The refund 
related to Puerto Rico's alleged failure spend the amounts of funds 
that the Act required to be set aside for special populations and 
purposes. Puerto Rico filed a timely request for review of the PDL with 
the OALJ. The Administrative Law Judge assigned to the appeal then 
granted the parties' joint motion to stay proceedings pending 
settlement negotiations.
    During settlement discussions, the parties stipulated that $53,736 
in 1990 funds are barred by the appliable statue of limitations. 
Therefore, only $617,637 of the $671,373 in the PDL are still at issue. 
Puerto Rico also submitted substantial documentation purporting to show 
that it, in fact, spend enough to meet a portion of the set asides out 
of State funds. After conducting a thorough review of this 
documentation and re-examining the documentation upon which the PDL was 
based, the Assistant Secretary has decided to accept Puerto Rico's 
documentation as to $218,283 and reduce the claim to $399,354. The 
Department proposes to compromise the remaining $399,354 for 230,755.
    Based on the amount that would be repaid by Puerto Rico under the 
proposed settlement agreement, the documentation Puerto Rico submitted 
during settlement discussions, and the litigation risks and costs of 
proceeding through the administrative and,

[[Page 69517]]

possibly, court process for this appeal, the Department has determined 
that it would not be practical or in the public interest to continue 
this proceeding. Rather, under the authority in 20 U.S.C. 1234a(j), the 
Department has determined that compromise of this claim for $230,755 is 
    The public is invited to comment on the Department's intent to 
compromise this claim. Additional information may be obtained by 
calling or writing to John R. Mason, Esq. at the telephone number and 
address listed at the beginning of this notice.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1234a(j).

    Dated: December 7, 1999.
Thomas Skelly,
Acting Chief Financial Officer.
[FR Doc. 99-32167 Filed 12-10-99; 8:45 am]