FR Doc 03-2476
[Federal Register: February 4, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 23)]
[Page 5626-5627]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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[[Page 5626]]



Arbitration Panel Decision Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act

AGENCY: Department of Education.

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


SUMMARY: The Department gives notice that on February 20, 2002, an 
arbitration panel rendered a decision in the matter of Arthur Stevenson 
v. Oregon Commission for the Blind (Docket No. R-S/01-08). This panel 
was convened by the U.S. Department of Education under 20 U.S.C. 107d-
1(a), after the Department received a complaint filed by petitioner, 
Arthur Stevenson.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 6(c) of the Randolph-Sheppard 
Act (the 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 


    This dispute alleged that the Oregon Commission for the Blind, the 
State licensing agency (SLA), denied Mr. Arthur Stevenson, complainant, 
due process by refusing to grant him a State fair hearing concerning 
the operation and administration of the Oregon Randolph-Sheppard 
vending facility program in violation of the Act (20 U.S.C. 107 et 
seq.) and the implementing regulations in 34 CFR part 395.
    A summary of the facts is as follows: Since 1986, complainant 
operated vending facilities in the Oregon Randolph-Sheppard vending 
facility program. In 1998, he was selected to operate a vending 
facility route in Multnomah County, Oregon. The vending route was 
comprised of vending machines that dispensed sodas and other beverages 
located in county buildings.
    Later, after complainant began managing the Multnomah County 
vending route, he requested that the SLA place snack machines in the 
county buildings on his route. The complainant alleged that the SLA 
denied his request due to lack of funds to purchase the snack machines. 
Then, complainant alleged that he asked for, and the SLA agreed to pay 
him, a monthly amount as ``fair minimum return'' to assist in 
increasing his income. The SLA denied his request when complainant 
asked that the monthly amount be retroactive to April 1998, the date of 
his initial request for a ``fair minimum return.''
    Next, the complainant asked that the SLA add vending machines at 
the Sheridan Federal Prison to his vending route. This request was also 
denied. On August 9, 1999, the complainant requested that the SLA 
provide him with a State fair hearing on the denial of adding vending 
machines at the Sheridan Federal Prison. On June 13, 2000, the SLA 
responded to the complainant by denying his request for a fair hearing 
on the basis that the issue of facility assignment was the sole 
discretion of the SLA.
    In November 2000, the SLA added the snack machines to complainant's 
vending route, and, in December 2000, the SLA submitted the 
complainant's August 1999 complaint to the State's hearing office. The 
hearing officer ruled that, according to Oregon Law, a nonattorney 
could not represent complainant at the State fair hearing.
    Subsequently, complainant filed for a Federal arbitration hearing 
alleging that the SLA failed to provide due process to him regarding 
his grievance as provided by the Act and implementing regulations. A 
hearing on this matter was held on December 3, 4, and 5, 2001.

Arbitration Panel Decision

    The issues heard by the panel were--(1) whether the SLA prevented 
the complainant from exercising his right to administrative remedy by 
refusing to proceed with a State fair hearing; and (2) whether the SLA 
failed to administer properly the Randolph-Sheppard vending facility 
program by denying the complainant's request to add vending machines 
from the Sheridan Federal Prison and other locations to his vending 
route. For his remedy, the complainant requested $59,800 in damages for 
loss of income and an additional $2000 per month for every month a 
resolution of his grievance was not attained.
    Following the December 2001 Federal arbitration hearings, the 
parties entered into discussions on possible settlement options. 
Subsequently, both the complainant and the SLA signed a settlement 
agreement in January 2002.
    The terms of the settlement agreement were-- (1) the SLA would pay 
the complainant a money settlement in the amount of $22,500 for damages 
and costs; (2) the SLA agreed to secure additional vending routes for 
complainant; and (3) the SLA agreed to make all reasonable and diligent 
efforts to formalize existing permit agreements or secure new permit 
agreements for additional vending machines to be operated by 
    After reviewing all of the evidence and hearing testimony, the 
panel found that the SLA had acknowledged financial responsibility to 
complainant for not securing additional vending routes for him. Also, 
the panel found that the SLA failed to exercise its best efforts to 
obtain additional permits for the operation of vending machines by 
    Concerning the settlement agreement, the panel determined that two 
of the original issues brought by the complainant were moot as the 
result of both parties signing the settlement agreement. The issues 
were--(1) the adding of vending machines at the Sheridan Federal Prison 
to complainant's vending route; and (2) the complainant's allegation 
that the SLA had prevented him from exercising his right to 
administrative remedy by refusing him a State fair hearing because he 
was represented by a nonattorney.
    Finally, the panel ruled that the settlement agreement was 
reasonable and fair and that both parties had entered into the 
settlement agreement in good faith. Therefore, the panel adopted the 
settlement agreement as the panel's final opinion and award.
    The views and opinions expressed by the panel do not necessarily 
represent the views and opinions of the U.S. Department of Education.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You may obtain a copy of the full text 
of the arbitration panel decision from Suzette E. Haynes, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3232, Mary E. 
Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2738. Telephone: (202) 205-8536. 
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call 
the TDD number at (202) 205-8298.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative 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 the following site:
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using 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 5627]]

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

    Dated: January 29, 2003.
Loretta Petty Chittum,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
[FR Doc. 03-2476 Filed 2-3-03; 8:45 am]