FR Doc E7-12146
[Federal Register: June 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 120)]
[Page 34459-34460]
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 
August 21, 2006, an arbitration panel rendered a decision in the matter 
of David Stewart v. Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (Case 
No. R-S/04-1). 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, David Stewart.

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 Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the 
State licensing agency (SLA), regarding David Stewart's (complainant) 
termination as manager of the military dining facility at the Redstone 
Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.


    On November 13, 2002, the SLA issued a bid announcement for the 
military dining hall facility at Redstone Arsenal. Among other details 
in the announcement, the SLA specifically indicated that the contract 
was a joint venture and that the licensed blind vendor selected would 
be required to team with an outside military dining hall contractor 
known as KCA, Inc.
    On January 7, 2003, the SLA informed complainant that he had been 
selected as the licensed manager for the military dining hall at 
Redstone Arsenal and complainant accepted on January 8, 2003.
    On February 4, 2003, the complainant met with SLA staff members, 
KCA, Inc. staff and other interested parties. At the meeting, 
complainant explained that his wife would not be able to assume the 
administrative roles, i.e., payroll assistant, driving, and other 
duties as the previous blind vendor's wife. Therefore, complainant 
proposed that one-half of the general and administrative costs normally 
passed on to KCA, Inc. be allocated to him since complainant would have 
to hire additional staff to perform those duties.
    Subsequently, complainant alleged that a member of KCA, Inc. 
informed him that a proposed joint venture agreement would be sent to 
complainant to consider. On February 13, 2003, the SLA wrote the 
complainant stating that he must execute a joint venture and operating 
agreement by February 21, 2003 or the military dining hall facility at 
Redstone Arsenal would be awarded to the next highest-scoring blind 
    Previously, complainant had hired an attorney to assist him in 
reviewing the joint venture agreement. Upon receipt of the February 13, 
2003 letter from the SLA, complainant's attorney and the

[[Page 34460]]

SLA staff exchanged a number of letters regarding this matter. 
Complainant also alleged that his attorney received information that 
KCA, Inc. was unwilling to enter into a joint venture agreement with 
    On February 19, 2003, SLA staff wrote to complainant's attorney 
reiterating its position that complainant and KCA, Inc. must enter into 
a joint venture agreement and execute a signed document by February 21, 
2003. On February 26, 2003, SLA staff wrote complainant's attorney 
explaining that the SLA had to award the military dining hall facility 
at Redstone Arsenal to another vendor because complainant failed to 
execute the joint venture agreement with KCA, Inc.
    On April 2, 2003, complainant requested a hearing. A fair hearing 
on this matter was held on August 5, 2003. On September 5, 2003, the 
hearing officer issued an order denying complainant's grievance. 
Subsequently, the SLA adopted the hearing officer'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 Alabama Department 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 in the alleged improper termination of complainant from 
managing the military dining facility at Redstone Arsenal.
    After reviewing all of the records and hearing testimony of 
witnesses, the majority of the panel ruled that the SLA acted properly 
and in full and fair compliance with the Act, implementing regulations, 
and State rules and regulations. 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

    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 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: June 14, 2007.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. E7-12146 Filed 6-21-07; 8:45 am]