FR Doc E7-12143
[Federal Register: June 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 120)]
[Page 34458-34459]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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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 of Education (Department) gives notice that on 
October 2, 2006, an arbitration panel rendered a decision in the matter 
of Michael Benson v. Georgia Department of Labor, Division of 
Rehabilitation Services (Case No. R-S/04-2). This panel was convened by 
the Department under 20 U.S.C. 107d-1(a), after the Department received 
a complaint filed by the petitioner, Michael Benson.

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 5022, Potomac 
Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7374. If 
you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call 
the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
    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 under FOR FURTHER 

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 concerned alleged violations of the Act, the 
implementing regulations in 34 CFR part 395, and State rules and 
regulations by the Georgia Department of Labor, Division of 
Rehabilitation Services, the State licensing agency (SLA), regarding 
Michael Benson's (complainant) placement as the licensed manager of a 
cafeteria operated under contract at the Federal Law Enforcement 
Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia.


    In 1999, the SLA was awarded a contract to operate the FLETC 
cafeteria. In March 1999, the SLA, through its nominee agency Georgia 
Cooperative Services for the Blind, contracted with Southern Food 
Service Management

[[Page 34459]]

(SFM), a private company to act as a teaming partner with the licensed 
blind vendor selected to operate the FLETC cafeteria.
    In mid 1999, complainant responded to the SLA's bid announcement to 
manage the FLETC cafeteria. In July 1999, complainant was selected as 
the licensed manager for the FLETC cafeteria and began work in February 
2000. In the beginning, complainant felt that there were several 
problems, i.e., his office was not completed, he was unable to access 
certain computer documents, and he was not provided training.
    Additionally, complainant alleged that he had no involvement in the 
selection of SFM and that the terms of the teaming agreement required 
that he receive a fixed salary with no right to share in the profits. 
Further the complainant alleged that the teaming agreement negotiated 
between the SLA and SFM left him with no staff support to carry out his 
duties as the cafeteria contract manager. On October 11, 2002, 
complainant filed a grievance against the SLA on this matter. A fair 
hearing on the grievance was held on January 16, 2003, and 
complainant's grievance was denied. On May 15, 2003, complainant filed 
an appeal. On September 18, 2003, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) 
issued an order denying the appeal and any relief to the complainant. 
The SLA adopted the ALJ's decision as final agency action. Complainant 
sought review by a Federal arbitration panel of that decision.

Arbitration Panel Decision

    The issue heard by the panel was whether the actions taken by the 
Georgia Department of Labor, Division of Rehabilitation Services 
violated the Act, 20 U.S.C. 107 et seq., the implementing regulations 
in 34 CFR part 395, and its own rules and regulations concerning the 
administration of a cafeteria contract at FLETC and the selection of 
complainant to manage this facility.
    After reviewing all of the records and hearing testimony of 
witnesses, the majority of the panel ruled that the SLA followed the 
provisions of the Act, and implementing regulations in the 
administration of the FLETC cafeteria contract. Therefore, the panel 
denied complainant's grievance. One panel member dissented.
    The views and opinions expressed by the panel do not necessarily 
represent the views and opinions of the Department.

Electronic Access to This Document

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    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
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official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at:

    Dated: June 14, 2007.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. E7-12143 Filed 6-21-07; 8:45 am]