Federal Register, Volume 76 Issue 41 (Wednesday, March 2, 2011)
[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 41 (Wednesday, March 2, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11434-11435]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4668]

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Arbitration Panel Decision Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) gives notice that, on 
September 28, 2010, an arbitration panel rendered a decision in the 
matter of Calvette Brown v. Illinois Department of Human Services, 
Division of Rehabilitative Services, Case no. R-S/09-3. 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, Calvette 
Brown.

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), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

Background

    Calvette Brown (Complainant) alleged violations by the Illinois 
Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitative Services, the 
State licensing agency (SLA), under the Act and implementing 
regulations in 34 CFR part 395. Specifically, Complainant alleged that 
the SLA improperly administered the transfer and promotion policies and 
procedures of the Illinois Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program 
in violation of the Act, implementing regulations under the Act, and 
State rules and regulations in Complainant's bid to manage the vending 
machine facility at the United States Postal Service facility (USPS 
facility) on Northwest Highway in Palatine, Illinois.
    On January 28, 2009, Complainant participated in an interview 
process with the SLA concerning the USPS facility. On February 10, 
2009, Complainant was selected as the successful bidder and awarded a 
vending contract at the USPS facility.

[[Page 11435]]

On February 20, 2009, another vendor in the selection process filed a 
grievance with the SLA contesting the Complainant's award of the USPS 
facility contract. On the same date, the SLA notified Complainant that 
the implementation of her vending contract at the USPS facility was 
being suspended pending the outcome of the other vendor's grievance.
    On May 14, 2009, the SLA held a state fair hearing for the vendor 
contesting Complainant's award of the USPS facility. On June 4, 2009, 
the hearing officer ruled that the January 28, 2009 interview process, 
in which Complainant participated, was not impartial or objective. 
Thus, the hearing officer ordered that the January 28, 2009 interview 
process be invalidated and that another interview process be held.
    On June 9, 2009, Complainant filed a grievance with the SLA of the 
hearing officer's decision in the other vendor's state fair hearing. 
Complainant participated in the new interview process on July 2, 2009. 
However, she was not awarded the USPS facility contract.
    On July 22, 2009, Complainant filed a grievance with the SLA 
challenging the SLA's decision to award the contract for the USPS 
facility to the other vendor after the conclusion of the new interview 
process. On July 24, 2009, the SLA filed a motion with the hearing 
officer to dismiss Complainant's grievance. On July 27, 2009, 
Complainant filed a written objection to the SLA's motion.
    On August 12, 2009, a state fair hearing was held on the award of 
the contract to another vendor. The hearing officer directed both the 
Complainant and the SLA to submit briefs regarding the SLA's Motion to 
Dismiss. On September 23, 2009, the hearing officer issued a Memorandum 
recommending that the SLA's motion be granted, ruling that the 
Complainant did not have the right to appeal a decision to award a 
contract to another vendor. However, the hearing officer noted that 
Complainant had the right to challenge the SLA's decision to terminate 
her contract at the USPS facility in a separate process under the SLA's 
administrative rules.
    On September 25, 2009, the SLA director issued a decision as final 
agency action adopting the hearing officer's recommendation and 
dismissed Complainant's grievance on the grounds that she sought to 
appeal a non-appealable issue--namely, the final decision in the 
grievance of another vendor in violation of the SLA's administrative 
rules. Complainant sought review by a federal arbitration panel of the 
SLA's final decision. On July 21, 2010, a federal arbitration panel 
heard this complaint. According to the arbitration panel, the central 
issue was whether the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division 
of Rehabilitative Services wrongfully dismissed the attempt by the 
Complainant to appeal a decision rendered in another blind vendor's 
state fair hearing.

Arbitration Panel Decision

    After hearing testimony and reviewing all of the evidence, the 
panel ruled to uphold the state fair hearing officer's decision to 
summarily dismiss the Complainant's appeal of another vendor's state 
fair hearing decision. Specifically, the panel relied on the Illinois 
Administrative Code (IAC) Title 89; Social Services, Chapter IV, 
Department of Human Services, Subchapter a: General Program Provisions, 
Part 510, Appeals and Hearings Sections 510.20 and 510.l30 which states 
that a vendor cannot appeal another vendor's decision.
    However, the panel noted that the IAC does allow Complainant to 
file her own grievance in opposition to the other vendor being awarded 
the USPS facility contract. The panel further denied Complainant's 
request for costs and attorneys' fees concluding that these expenses 
were incurred by the Complainant when she pursued the wrong course of 
action instead of filing her own grievance regarding the decision to 
award the other vendor the contract for the USPS facility.
    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 can 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: 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.


    Dated: February 25, 2011.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-4668 Filed 3-1-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P