FR Doc 2010-15657
[Federal Register: June 28, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 123)]
[Notices]               
[Page 36646-36647]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28jn10-50]                         
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Notice of a Waiver of Section 1605 of the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) for Indian River Central School 
District, Philadelphia, New York

SUMMARY: In this notice, the Department of Education (the Department) 
announces its waiver of the Buy American requirements in section 
1605(a) of the ARRA (Buy American Requirements) for the Indian River 
Central School District in Philadelphia, New York (Indian River 
District) and the justification for this waiver. This waiver permits 
use of compatible telephones, servers, and software as well as American 
Power Conversion (APC) power supply and surge suppression equipment in 
the Indian River District's telecommunications project, which is 
supported with Impact Aid funds appropriated under the ARRA.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department provided the Indian River 
District with an Impact Aid ARRA formula grant for school construction 
activities authorized under section 8007(a) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. The Indian River District 
proposes to use these funds for a telecommunications infrastructure 
investment, but reports that the particular telecommunication and power 
supply components needed for this construction project are not produced 
in the United States.
    In accordance with section 1605(c) of the ARRA, the Department 
hereby provides notice that it is granting a waiver of the Buy American 
Requirements for the Indian River District's telecommunications 
project. This notice constitutes the detailed

[[Page 36647]]

written justification that the Department is required to publish in 
instances when it grants such a waiver pursuant to section 1605(b) of 
the ARRA.
    Section 1605(a) of the ARRA requires that none of the appropriated 
funds be used for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair 
of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and 
manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United 
States. The ARRA further provides that this requirement does not apply, 
and that a waiver may be granted, when the head of the Federal 
department or agency involved finds that: (1) Applying these 
requirements would be inconsistent with the public interest; (2) iron, 
steel, and relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United 
States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a 
satisfactory quality; or (3) inclusion of iron, steel, and relevant 
manufactured goods produced in the United States will increase the 
overall cost of the project by more than 25 percent.
    The district seeks a waiver based on the fact that the 
telecommunications upgrade will provide the necessary support to 
provide a reliable flow of products and services essential to the 
smooth functioning of government at the local level. The project would 
completely replace the current telecommunications infrastructure for 
six buildings within the school district, and make it consistent with a 
single Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system that has already been 
installed in the district's other three facilities. One problem with 
the current infrastructure is that there are four different systems 
installed in the various buildings, which has contributed to 
incompatible systems and ineffective communications. As a result, the 
district determined that it is essential that all of it buildings 
should share a single, state-of-the-art system.
    The district reported that the existing VoIP system comprises Cisco 
telephones, servers, and software as well as American Power Conversion 
(APC) power supply and surge suppression equipment. While both Cisco 
and APC are American firms that provide the bulk of the equipment and 
software in the U.S., the products themselves are manufactured in China 
and India. In order to remain technologically consistent with the 
district facilities that were updated with other resources and use 
materials of comparable satisfactory quality, the school district would 
need to use the same products in the proposed project.
    The Secretary has determined that a section 1605(b) waiver of the 
Buy American Requirements is appropriate for the Indian River 
District's telecommunications project because, based on information 
provided by the Indian River District as well the Department's own 
research, the particular telecommunications and power supply components 
needed for this project are not manufactured in the United States. The 
Department bases this determination on information provided by the 
Indian River District as well as its own research. The Indian River 
District has provided information to the Department documenting that 
there are no Cisco telephones, servers, and software or APC power 
supply and surge suppression equipment manufactured in the United 
States. In addition, based on the Department's own research (Internet 
product literature searches) and to the best of the Department's 
knowledge at the time of its review of the Indian River District's 
waiver request, there do not appear to be U.S.-manufactured Cisco 
telephones, servers, and software or APC power supply and surge 
suppression equipment available to the Indian River District for the 
ARRA-funded telecommunications project.
    Furthermore, the purpose of the ARRA is to stimulate economic 
recovery, in part, by funding current infrastructure construction, and 
not to delay projects that are ``shovel ready'' by requiring the 
revision of standards and specifications or a new bidding process. The 
imposition of the Buy American Requirements on such otherwise eligible 
projects would result in requiring the district to abandon a VoIP 
system that it already had purchased and installed in three facilities 
or requiring it to install possibly incompatible technology in the six 
remaining facilities. Either alternative is inconsistent with the 
public interest. In addition, imposing Buy American requirements for 
this project at this point would also result in an unreasonable delay, 
and to further delay construction would be in direct conflict with a 
fundamental economic purpose of the ARRA, which is to create or retain 
jobs.
    The Department has reviewed the Indian River District's waiver 
request and has determined that the supporting documentation is 
sufficient to demonstrate that a waiver is justified under section 
1605(b) of the ARRA. Having established both a proper basis to specify 
the particular goods required for this project, and that these 
compatible manufactured goods are not available from a producer in the 
United States, the Indian River District is hereby granted a waiver 
from the Buy American Requirements reflected in section 1605(a) of the 
ARRA for the installation of the telecommunication and power supply 
components of compatible telecommunications infrastructure (including 
telephones, servers, and software) in all of the district's school 
facilities using ARRA funds as specified in the Indian River District's 
request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristen Walls-Rivas, Impact Aid 
Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-1357 or via Internet: 
Kristen.Walls-Rivas@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339. Individuals 
with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format 
(e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the program contact person listed in this section.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.

    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: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.


    Authority:  Section 1605 of the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act, Public Law 111-5.

    Dated: June 23, 2010.
Arne Duncan,
Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 2010-15657 Filed 6-25-10; 8:45 am]
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