U.S. Department of Education FAIR Act Inventory

The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 (FAIR Act), Public Law 105-270, signed into law on October 19, 1998, directs Federal agencies to submit an annual inventory of commercial activities which are not inherently governmental, but which are being performed by Federal employees. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is providing the following information in accordance with the FAIR Act and guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Background | Challenges and Appeals
Questions Regarding ED's Inventory | Links to FAIR Guidance


Below are links to download the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Activities Inventory. The inventory was prepared in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 and the OMB Memo M-12-09 dated March 26, 2012, and other OMB guidance. The inventories include the number of ED Full-time Equivalent (FTE) employees performing functions that could be considered commercial in nature as well as functions that are inherently governmental for that year. After review by OMB, the Department is hereby making the inventory available to the public.

2016 Activities Inventory

The inventory is available in MS Excel format.

2017 Activities Inventory

The inventory is available in MS Excel format.


Inventory Challenges and Appeals

Under Section 3 of the FAIR Act, ED's decision to include or exclude a particular activity on or from the Commercial Activities Inventory is subject to administrative challenge and appeal by "interested parties." Section 3(b) of the FAIR Act defines an "interested party" as:

  1. A private sector source that (A) is an actual or prospective offeror for any contract or other form of agreement to perform the activity; and (B) has a direct economic interest in performing the activity that would be adversely affected by a determination not to procure the performance of the activity from a private sector source.
  2. A representative of any business or professional association that includes within its membership private sector sources referred to in 1. above.
  3. An officer or employee of an organization within an executive agency that is an actual or prospective offeror to perform the activity.
  4. The head of any labor organization referred to in section 7103(a) (4) of title 5, United States Code that includes within its membership officers or employees of an organization referred to in 3. above.

After publication of OMB's Federal Register notice stating that ED's inventories are available, an interested party shall have 30 working days to submit a written inventory challenge. The inventory challenge shall be limited to (a) the reclassification of an activity as inherently governmental or commercial, or (b) the application of reason codes. Function codes shall not be subject to the inventory challenge process. A written inventory challenge shall be submitted to agency inventory challenge authorities and shall specify the agency, agency component, agency organization, function(s), and location(s) for the activities being challenged.

Within 28 working days of receiving the inventory challenge, ED inventory challenge authorities shall (a) validate the commercial or inherently governmental categorization or reason code designation of the activity, in a written inventory challenge decision; and (b) transmit the inventory challenge decision, including the rationale for the decision, to the interested party. ED inventory challenge authorities shall include an explanation of the interested party's right to file an appeal in any adverse challenge decision.

Upon receipt of an adverse inventory challenge decision, an interested party shall have 10 working days to submit a written appeal of this decision to ED inventory appeal authorities.

Within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal, ED inventory appeal authorities shall issue and transmit a written inventory appeal decision to the interested party. This inventory appeal decision shall include the rationale for the decision.

When the inventory challenge process results in a change to ED's inventory, ED shall (a) transmit a copy of the change to OMB and Congress; (b) make these changes available to the public; and (c) publish a notice of public availability in the Federal Register.

Submit Challenges and Appeals to:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Finance and Operations
ATTN.: Strategic Acquisition Management Initiatives (SAMI)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW - Room 5B243
Washington, DC 20202

Questions Regarding ED's Inventory

For further information regarding the inventory, ED requests that questions or comments be submitted in writing. E-mail questions to the Acquisition Career Manager/Workforce mailbox: ACMW@ed.gov.

Links to FAIR Guidance

OMB FAIR Act Users Guide OMB developed this guide to assist the public in reviewing and understanding the commercial activities inventories developed by agencies under the FAIR Act. Includes the list of Activity/Function codes and explanations of Reason Codes.

FAIR Act of 1998 The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-270), provides a process for identifying the functions of the Federal Government that are not inherently governmental functions, and for other purposes.

Reason Codes for Commercial Activities Inventory:

U.S. Department of Education Contract Information Contains currently available Forecast of Contract Opportunities, FedBizOpps Link to Notices and other information for organizations wishing to do business with ED.


Last Modified: 09/06/2023