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Title 34 – Education–Volume 1

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Title 34 – Education–Volume 1


Part


SUBTITLE A – Office of the Secretary, Department of Education

3


SUBTITLE B – Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education


chapter I – Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education

100


chapter II – Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education

200


Subtitle A – Office of the Secretary, Department of Education

PARTS 1-2 [RESERVED]

PART 3 – OFFICIAL SEAL


Authority:20 U.S.C. 3472 and 3485, unless otherwise noted.


Source:45 FR 86491, Dec. 31, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

§ 3.1 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part:


(a) ED means all organizational units of the Department of Education.


(b) Embossing Seal means a display of the form and content of the Official Seal made on a die so that the Seal can be embossed on paper or other media.


(c) Official Seal means the original(s) of the Seal showing the exact form, content, and colors.


(d) Replica means a copy of the Official Seal displaying the identical form, content, and colors.


(e) Reproduction means a copy of the Official Seal displaying the form and content, reproduced in only one color.


(f) Secretary means the Secretary of Education.


§ 3.2 Description.

The Official Seal of the Department of Education is described as follows: Standing upon a mound, an oak tree with black trunk and limbs and green foliage in front of a gold rising sun, issuing gold rays on a light blue disc, enclosed by a dark blue border with gold edges bearing the inscription “DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION” above a star at either side of the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” in smaller letters in the base; letters and stars in white. The Offical Seal of the Department is modified when used in reproductions in black and white and when embossed. As so modified, it appears below.



§ 3.3 Authority to affix seal.

The Secretary and the Secretary’s designees are authorized to affix the Official Seal, replicas, reproductions, and embossing seals to appropriate documents, certifications, and other material for all purposes as authorized by this section.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 3.4 Use of the seal.

(a) Use by any person or organization outside of the Department may be made only with the Department’s prior written approval.


(b) Requests by any person or organization outside of the Department for permission to use the Seal must be made in writing to Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202, and must specify, in detail, the exact use to be made. Any permission granted applies only to the specific use for which it was granted and is not to be construed as permission for any other use.


(c) In regard to internal use, replicas may be used only:


(1) For display in or adjacent to ED facilities, in Departmental auditoriums, presentation rooms, hearing rooms, lobbies, and public document rooms;


(2) In offices of senior officials;


(3) For official awards, certificates, medals, and plaques;


(4) For electronic media, motion picture film, video tape and other audiovisual media prepared by or for ED and attributed thereto;


(5) On official publications which represent the achievements or mission of ED;


(6) In non-ED facilities in connection with events and displays sponsored by ED, and public appearances of the Secretary or other senior ED officials; and


(7) For other internal purposes as determined by the Director for Management;


(d) In regard to internal use, reproductions may be used only –


(1) On ED letterhead stationery;


(2) On official ED identification cards, security, and other approved credentials;


(3) On business cards for ED employees;


(4) On official ED signs;


(5) On official publications or graphics issued by and attributed to ED, or joint statements of ED with one or more other Federal agencies, State or local governments, or foreign governments;


(6) On official awards, certificates, and medals;


(7) On electronic media, motion picture film, video tape, and other audiovisual media prepared by or for ED and attributed thereto; and


(8) For other internal purposes as determined by the Director for Management.


(e) Embossing seals may be used only internally –


(1) On ED legal documents, including interagency or intergovernmental agreements, agreements with State or local governments, foreign patent applications, certification(s) of true copies, and similar documents;


(2) On official awards and certificates; and


(3) For other purposes as determined by the General Counsel or the Director for Management.


(f) Falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, mutilating, or altering the Official Seal, replicas, reproductions, or embossing seals, or knowingly using or possessing with fraudulent intent and altered official seal, replica, reproduction or embossing seal is punishable under 18 U.S.C. 506.


(g) Any person using the Official Seal, replicas, reproductions, or embossing seals in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of this part is subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1017, which states penalties for the wrongful use of an Official Seal, and to other provisions of law as applicable.


[45 FR 86491, Dec. 31, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 4620, Feb. 17, 1988; 56 FR 65388, Dec. 16, 1991; 65 FR 57286, Sept. 22, 2000]


PART 4 – SERVICE OF PROCESS

§ 4.1 Service of process required to be served on or delivered to Secretary.

Summons, complaints, subpoenas, and other process which are required to be served on or delivered to the Secretary of Education shall be delivered to the General Counsel or a Deputy General Counsel, by mail at 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202 or by personal service at that address. The persons above designated are authorized to accept service of such process.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301)

[47 FR 16780, Apr. 20, 1982]


PART 5 – AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552, 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, and 20 U.S.C. 3474.



Source:75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 5.1 Purpose.

This part contains the regulations that the United States Department of Education follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552. These regulations must be read in conjunction with the FOIA, including its exemptions to disclosure, and, when appropriate, in conjunction with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and its implementing regulations in 34 CFR part 5b.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 5.2 Definitions.

As used in this part:


(a) Act or FOIA means the Freedom of Information Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552.


(b) Department means the United States Department of Education.


(c) Component means each separate bureau, office, board, division, commission, service, administration, or other organizational entity of the Department.


(d) FOIA request means a written request for agency records that reasonably describes the agency records sought, made by any person, including a member of the public (U.S. or foreign citizen/entity), partnership, corporation, association, and foreign or domestic governments (excluding Federal agencies).


(e)(1) Agency records are documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics that –


(i) Are either created or obtained by the Department; and


(ii) Are under the Department’s control at the time it receives a FOIA request.


(2) Agency records include –


(i) Records created, stored, and retrievable in electronic format;


(ii) Records maintained for the Department by a private entity under a records management contract with the Federal Government; and


(iii) Documentary materials preserved by the Department as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the Department or because of the informational value of data contained therein.


(3) Agency records do not include tangible, evidentiary objects or equipment; library or museum materials made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference; stocks of publications; and personal records created for the convenience of an individual and not used to conduct Department business or incorporated into the Department’s record keeping system or files.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


Subpart B – Agency Records Available to the Public

§ 5.10 Public reading room.

(a) Electronic inspection. (1) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), the Department makes available for public inspection in an electronic format the following records created on or after November 1, 1996:


(i) Final opinions and orders in adjudications;


(ii) Statements of policy and interpretations adopted by the Department and not published in the Federal Register;


(iii) Administrative staff manuals and instructions affecting the public; and


(iv) Copies of all agency records regardless of form or format released to the public pursuant to a FOIA request that the Department determines are likely to be the subject of future FOIA requests or have been requested three or more times.


(2) The Department currently makes the agency records described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section available for public inspection in an electronic format through its electronic reading room located on the Department’s FOIA website at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/readingroom.html.


(b) Public reading room. The Department may maintain a public reading room containing the agency records described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The Department’s public reading room is currently located at the National Library of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Plaza Level (Level B), Washington, DC 20202-0008. To visit the public reading room, members of the public can contact the Department’s FOIA Service Center via email at [email protected]


(c) Hard copies. For any agency records that are not made available for public inspection in the Federal Register or pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the Department will, upon request, provide hard copies in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3).


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67867, Dec. 12, 2019]


§ 5.11 Business information.

(a) General. The Department discloses business information it obtains from a submitter under the Act in accordance with this section.


(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:


(1) Business information means commercial or financial information obtained by the Department from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) (Exemption 4 of the Act).


(2) Submitter means any person or entity (including corporations; State, local, and tribal governments; and foreign governments) from whom the Department obtains business information.


(c) Designation of business information.


(1) A submitter must use good faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portion of its submission that it considers to be business information protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Act.


(2) A submitter’s designations are not binding on the Department and will expire 10 years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests, and provides justification for, a longer designation period.


(3) A blanket designation on each page of a submission that all information contained on the page is protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 presumptively will not be considered a good faith effort.


(d) Notice to submitters. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, the Department promptly notifies a submitter whenever a FOIA request or administrative appeal is made under the Act seeking disclosure of the information the submitter has designated in good faith as business information protected from disclosure under paragraph (c) of this section, or the Department otherwise has reason to believe that it may be required to disclose information sought to be designated by the submitter as business information protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Act. This notice includes either a description of the business information requested or copies of the requested agency records or portions of agency records containing the requested business information as well as a time period, consistent with § 5.21(c), within which the submitter can object to the disclosure pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section.


(e) Opportunity to object to disclosure.


(1) If a submitter objects to disclosure, it must submit to the Department a detailed written statement specifying all grounds under Exemption 4 of the Act for denying access to the information, or a portion of the information sought.


(2) A submitter’s failure to object to the disclosure by the deadline established by the Department in the notice provided under paragraph (d) of this section constitutes a waiver of the submitter’s right to object to disclosure under paragraph (e) of this section.


(3) A submitter’s response to a notice from the Department under paragraph (d) of this section may itself be subject to disclosure under the Act.


(f) Notice of intent to disclose. The Department considers a submitter’s objections and submissions made in support thereof in deciding whether to disclose business information sought to be protected by the submitter. Whenever the Department decides to disclose information over a submitter’s objection, the Department gives the submitter written notice, which includes:


(1) A statement of the reasons why the submitter’s objections to disclosure were not sustained.


(2) A description of the information to be disclosed.


(3) A specified disclosure date that is a reasonable time subsequent to the notice.


(g) Exceptions to notice requirements. The notice requirements of paragraph (d) of this section do not apply if –


(1) The Department does not disclose the business information of the submitter;


(2) The Department has previously lawfully published the information;


(3) The information has been made available to the public by the requester or by third parties;


(4) Disclosure of the information is required by statute (other than the Act) or regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 (52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235); or


(5) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (c) of this section appears obviously frivolous, except that, in such case, the Department must provide the submitter with written notice of any final administrative disclosure determination in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section.


(h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of a submitter’s business information, the Department promptly notifies the submitter.


(i) Corresponding notice to requester. The Department notifies the requester whenever it notifies a submitter of its opportunity to object to disclosure, of the Department’s intent to disclose requested information designated as business information by the submitter, or of the filing of a lawsuit.


(j) Notice of reverse FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of the submitter’s information, the Department promptly notifies the requester, and advises the requester that its request will be held in abeyance until the lawsuit initiated by the submitter is resolved.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 5.12 Creation of agency records not required.

In response to a FOIA request, the Department produces only those agency records that are not already publicly available and that are in existence at the time it receives a request. The Department does not create new agency records in response to a FOIA request by, for example, extrapolating information from existing agency records, reformatting available information, preparing new electronic programs or databases, or creating data through calculations of ratios, proportions, percentages, trends, frequency distributions, correlations, or comparisons.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 5.13 Preservation of agency records.

The Department does not destroy agency records that are the subject of a pending FOIA request, appeal, or lawsuit.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


Subpart C – Procedures for Requesting Access to Agency Records and Disclosure of Agency Records

§ 5.20 Requirements for making FOIA requests.

(a) Making a FOIA request. Any FOIA request for an agency record must be in writing, must include a valid electronic mail or physical address, and must be transmitted to the Department as indicated on the Department’s website. See www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/request_foia.html.


(b) Description of agency records sought. A FOIA request must reasonably describe the agency record sought, to enable Department personnel to locate the agency record or records with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, a FOIA request should describe the type of agency record requested, the subject matter of the agency record, the date, if known, or general time period when it was created, and the person or office that created it. Requesters who have detailed information that would assist in identifying and locating the agency records sought are urged to provide this information to the Department to expedite the handling of a FOIA request.


(c) FOIA request deemed insufficient. If the Department determines that a FOIA request does not reasonably describe the agency record or records sought, the FOIA request will be deemed insufficient under the Act. In that case, the Department informs the requester of the reason the FOIA request is insufficient and, at the Department’s option, either administratively closes the FOIA request as insufficient without determining whether to grant the FOIA request or provides the requester an opportunity to modify the FOIA request to meet the requirements of this section.


(d) Verification of identity. In compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, FOIA requests for agency records pertaining to the requester, a minor, or an individual who is legally incompetent must include verification of the requester’s identity pursuant to 34 CFR 5b.5.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67868, Dec. 12, 2019]


§ 5.21 Procedures for processing FOIA requests.

(a) Acknowledgements of FOIA requests. The Department promptly notifies the requester when it receives a FOIA request.


(b) Consultation and referrals. When the Department receives a FOIA request for a record or records created by or otherwise received from another agency of the Federal Government, it either responds to the FOIA request after consultation with the other agency, or refers the FOIA request to the other agency for processing. When the Department refers a FOIA request to another agency for processing, the Department will so notify the requester.


(c) Decisions on FOIA requests. The Department determines whether to comply with a FOIA request within 20 working days after the appropriate component of the Department first receives the request. This time period commences on the date that the request is received by the appropriate component of the Department, but commences no later than 10 calendar days after the request is received by the component of the Department designated pursuant to § 5.20(a) to receive FOIA requests for agency records. The Department’s failure to comply with these time limits constitutes exhaustion of the requester’s administrative remedies for the purposes of judicial action to compel disclosure.


(d) Requests for additional information. The Department may make one request for additional information from the requester and toll the 20-day period while awaiting receipt of the additional information.


(e) Extension of time period for processing a FOIA request. The Department may extend the time period for processing a FOIA request only in unusual circumstances, as described in paragraphs (e)(1) through (3) of this section, in which case the Department notifies the requester of the extension in writing. For extensions of more than 10 additional working days, the Department must also notify the requester, in writing, of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. A notice of extension affords the requester the opportunity either to modify its FOIA request so that it may be processed within the 20-day time limit, or to arrange with the Department an alternative time period within which the FOIA request will be processed. For the purposes of this section, unusual circumstances include:


(1) The need to search for and collect the requested agency records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request.


(2) The need to search for, collect, and review and process voluminous agency records responsive to the FOIA request.


(3) The need to consult with another agency or two or more agency components having a substantial interest in the determination on the FOIA request.


(f) FOIA Public Liaison and FOIA Requester Service Center. The Department’s FOIA Public Liaison assists in the resolution of disputes between the requester and the Department. The Department provides information about the status of a FOIA request to the requester through the Department’s FOIA Requester Service Center. Contact information for the Department’s FOIA Public Liaison and FOIA Requester Service Center may be found at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/contacts.html.


(g) Notification of determination. Once the Department makes a determination to grant a FOIA request in whole or in part, it notifies the requester in writing of its decision and of the right to seek assistance from the Department’s FOIA Public Liaison.


(h) Denials of FOIA requests.


(1) Only Departmental officers or employees delegated the authority to deny a FOIA request may deny a FOIA request on behalf of the Department.


(2)(i) The Department notifies the requester in writing of any decision to deny a FOIA request in whole or in part. Denials under this paragraph can include the following: A determination to deny access in whole or in part to any agency record responsive to a request; a determination that a requested agency record does not exist or cannot be located in the Department’s records; a determination that a requested agency record is not readily retrievable or reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester; a determination that what has been requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; a determination on any disputed fee matter, including a denial of a request for a fee waiver; and a denial of a request for expedited processing.


(ii) All determinations denying a FOIA request in whole or in part are signed by an officer or employee designated under paragraph (h)(1) of this section, and include:


(A) The name and title or position of the denying officer or employee.


(B) A brief statement of the reason or reasons for the denial, including any exemptions applicable under the Act.


(C) An estimate of the volume of agency records or information denied, by number of pages or other reasonable estimate (except where the volume of agency records or information denied is apparent from deletions made on agency records disclosed in part, or providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption under the Act).


(D) Where an agency record has been disclosed only in part, an indication of the exemption under the Act justifying the redaction in the agency record (unless providing this information would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption under the Act).


(E) A statement notifying the requester of the right to seek assistance from the Department’s FOIA Public Liaison.


(F) A statement notifying the requester of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Department’s FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services.


(G) A statement of appeal rights and a list of requirements for filing an appeal under § 5.40.


(i) Timing of responses to FOIA requests.


(1) Multitrack processing.


The Department may use two or more processing tracks to distinguish between simple and more complex FOIA requests based on one or more of the following: the time and work necessary to process the FOIA request, the volume of agency records responsive to the FOIA request, and whether the FOIA request qualifies for expedited processing as described in paragraph (i)(2) of this section.


(2) Expedited processing.


(i) The Department gives expedited treatment to FOIA requests and appeals whenever the Department determines that a FOIA request involves one or more of the following:


(A) A circumstance in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual.


(B) The urgent need of a person primarily engaged in disseminating information to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal Government activity; or


(C) Other circumstances that the Department determines demonstrate a compelling need for expedited processing.


(ii) A requester may ask for expedited processing at the time of the initial FOIA request or at any time thereafter.


(iii) A request for expedited processing must contain a detailed explanation of the basis for the request, and must be accompanied by a statement certifying the truth of the circumstances alleged or other evidence of the requester’s compelling need acceptable to the Department.


(iv) The Department makes a determination whether to grant or deny a request for expedited processing within 10 calendar days of its receipt by the component of the Department designated pursuant to § 5.20(a) to receive FOIA requests for agency records, and processes FOIA requests accepted for expedited processing as soon as practicable and on a priority basis.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67868, Dec. 12, 2019]


Subpart D – Fees

§ 5.30 Fees generally.

The Department assesses fees for processing FOIA requests in accordance with § 5.32(a), except where fees are limited under § 5.32(b) or where a waiver or reduction of fees is granted under § 5.33. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Education, and must include the FOIA request number on the check or money order. The Department retains full discretion to limit or adjust fees.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 5.31 Fee definitions.

(a) Commercial use request means a request from or on behalf of a FOIA requester seeking information for a use or purpose that furthers the requester’s commercial, trade, or profit interests, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. For the purpose of assessing fees under the Act, the Department determines, whenever reasonably possible, the use to which a requester will put the requested agency records.


(b) Direct costs mean those expenses that an agency actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use FOIA requests, reviewing) agency records to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs include, for example, the pro rata salary of the employee(s) performing the work (i.e., basic rate of pay plus 16 percent) and the cost of operating duplication machinery. The Department’s other overhead expenses are not included in direct costs.


(c) Duplication means making a copy of the agency record, or of the information in it, as necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can be made in several forms and formats, including paper and electronic records. The Department honors a requester’s specified preference as to form or format of disclosure, provided that the agency record is readily reproducible with reasonable effort in the requested form or format.


(d) Educational institution means a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education, that operates a program of scholarly research. To qualify as an educational institution under this part, a requester must demonstrate that an educational institution authorized the request and that the agency records are not sought for individual or commercial use, but are instead sought to further scholarly research. A request for agency records for the purpose of affecting a requester’s application for, or prospect of obtaining, new or additional grants, contracts, or similar funding is presumptively a commercial use request.


(e) Noncommercial scientific institution means an institution that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. A noncommercial scientific institution does not operate for a “commercial use”, as the term is defined in paragraph (a) of this section. To qualify as a noncommercial scientific institution under this part, a requester must demonstrate that a noncommercial scientific institution authorized the request and that the agency records are sought to further scientific research and not for a commercial use. A request for agency records for the purpose of affecting a requester’s application for, or prospect of obtaining, new or additional grants, contracts, or similar funding is presumptively a commercial use request.


(f) Representative of the news media, or news media requester, means any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. For the purposes of this section, the term “news” means information about current events or information that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that qualify as disseminators of news and make their products available for purchase by, subscription by, or free distribution to the general public. To be regarded as a representative of the news media, a “freelance” journalist must demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication, such as a publication contract or a past publication record. For inclusion in this category, a requester must not be seeking the requested agency records for a commercial use.


(g) Review means the examination of an agency record located in response to a FOIA request to determine whether any portion of the record is exempt from disclosure under the Act. Reviewing the record includes processing the agency record for disclosure and making redactions and other preparations for disclosure. Review costs are recoverable even if an agency record ultimately is not disclosed. Review time includes time spent considering any formal objection to disclosure but does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions under the Act.


(h) Search means the process of looking for and retrieving agency records or information responsive to a FOIA request. Searching includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within agency records and reasonable efforts to locate and retrieve information from agency records maintained in electronic form or format, provided that such efforts do not significantly interfere with the operation of the Department’s automated information systems.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 5.32 Assessment of fees.

(a) Fees. In responding to FOIA requests, the Department charges the following fees (in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s “Uniform FOIA Fee Schedule and Guidelines,” 52 FR 10012 (March 27, 1987)), unless it has granted a waiver or reduction of fees under § 5.33 and subject to the limitations set forth in paragraph (b) of this section:


(1) Search. The Department charges search fees, subject to the limitations of paragraph (b) of this section. Search time includes time spent searching, regardless of whether the search results in the location of responsive agency records and, if so, whether such agency records are released to the requester under the Act. The requester will be charged the direct costs, as defined in § 5.31(b), of the search. In the case of computer searches for agency records, the Department charges the requester for the direct cost of conducting the search, subject to the limitations set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.


(2) Review. (i) The Department charges fees for initial agency record review at the same rate as for searches, subject to the limitations set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.


(ii) No fees are charged for review at the administrative appeal level except in connection with –


(A) The review of agency records other than agency records identified as responsive to the FOIA request in the initial decision; and


(B) The Department’s decision regarding whether to assert that an exemption exists under the Act that was not cited in the decision on the initial FOIA request.


(iii) Review fees are not assessed for FOIA requests other than those made for a “commercial use,” as the term is defined in § 5.31(a).


(3) Duplication. The Department charges duplication fees at the rate of $0.20 per page for paper photocopies of agency records, $3.00 per CD for documents recorded on CD, and at the direct cost for duplication for electronic copies and other forms of duplication, subject to the limitations of paragraph (b) of this section.


(b) Limitations on fees.


(1) Fees are limited to charges for document duplication when agency records are not sought for commercial use and the request is made by –


(i) An educational or noncommercial scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research; or


(ii) A representative of the news media.


(2) For FOIA requests other than commercial use FOIA requests, the Department provides the first 100 pages of agency records released (or the cost equivalent) and the first two hours of search (or the cost equivalent) without charge, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(iv)(II).


(3) Whenever the Department calculates that the fees assessable for a FOIA request under paragraph (a) of this section total $25.00 or less, the Department processes the FOIA request without charge to the requester.


(4) If the Department has failed to comply with any time limit in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(viii)(I), the Department may not assess search fees, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. If the Department has determined that unusual circumstances (as described in § 5.21(e)) apply, it may assess search fees (or, for requesters with preferred fee status, it may assess duplication fees) if the Department gives the requester timely written notice under § 5.21(e) and responds to the FOIA request within 10 additional working days. If unusual circumstances apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, the Department may assess search fees (or, for requesters with preferred fee status, duplication fees) if the Department gives the requester timely written notice under § 5.21(e) and the Department discussed with the requester via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than three good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request.


(c) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25. When the Department estimates or determines that the fees for processing a FOIA request will total more than $25 and the requester has not stated a willingness to pay such fees, the Department notifies the requester of the anticipated amount of fees before processing the FOIA request. If the Department can readily anticipate fees for processing only a portion of a request, the Department advises the requester that the anticipated fee is for processing only a portion of the request. When the Department has notified a requester of anticipated fees greater than $25, the Department does not further process the request until the requester agrees in writing to pay the anticipated total fee.


(d) Charges for other services. When the Department chooses as a matter of administrative discretion to provide a special service, such as certification of agency records, it charges the requester the direct cost of providing the service.


(e) Charging interest. The Department charges interest on any unpaid bill assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717. In charging interest, the Department follows the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, as amended (Pub. L. 97-365), and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.


(f) Aggregating FOIA requests. When the Department reasonably believes that a requester, or a group of requesters acting together, is attempting to divide a FOIA request into a series of FOIA requests for the purpose of avoiding or reducing otherwise applicable fees, the Department may aggregate such FOIA requests for the purpose of assessing fees. The Department does not aggregate multiple FOIA requests involving unrelated matters.


(g) Advance payments.


(1) For FOIA requests other than those described in paragraphs (g)(2) and (g)(3) of this section, the Department does not require the requester to pay fees in advance.


(2) Where the Department estimates or determines that fees for processing a FOIA request will total more than $250, it may require the requester to pay the fees in advance, except where the Department receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment of FOIA fees.


(3) The Department may require a requester who has previously failed to pay a properly assessed FOIA fee within 30 calendar days of the billing date to pay in advance the full amount of estimated or actual fees before it further processes a new or pending FOIA request from that requester.


(4) When the Department requires advance payment of estimated or assessed fees, it does not consider the FOIA request received and does not further process the FOIA request until payment is received.


(h) Tolling. When necessary for the Department to clarify issues regarding fee assessment with the FOIA requester, the time limit for responding to the FOIA request is tolled until the Department resolves such issues with the requester.


(i) Other statutory requirements. The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires an agency to set and collect fees for producing particular types of agency records.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67868, Dec. 12, 2019]


§ 5.33 Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees.

(a) The Department processes a FOIA request for agency records without charge or at a charge less than that established under § 5.32(a) when the Department determines that –


(1) Disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government; and


(2) Disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.


(b) To determine whether a FOIA request is eligible for waiver or reduction of fees pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Department considers the following factors:


(1) Whether the subject of the request specifically concerns identifiable operations or activities of the government.


(2) Whether the disclosable portions of the requested information will be meaningfully informative in relation to the subject matter of the request.


(3) The disclosure’s contribution to public understanding of government operations, i.e., the understanding of the public at large, as opposed to an individual or a narrow segment of interested persons (including whether the requester has expertise in the subject area of the FOIA request as well as the intention and demonstrated ability to disseminate the information to the public).


(4) The significance of the disclosure’s contribution to public understanding of government operations or activities, i.e., the public’s understanding of the subject matter existing prior to the disclosure must be likely to be enhanced significantly by the disclosure.


(c) To determine whether a FOIA request is eligible for waiver or reduction of fees pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the Department considers the following factors:


(1) The existence of the requester’s commercial interest, i.e., whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure.


(2) If a commercial interest is identified, whether the commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.


(d) When the fee waiver requirements are met only with respect to a portion of a FOIA request, the Department waives or reduces fees only for that portion of the request.


(e) A requester seeking a waiver or reduction of fees must submit evidence demonstrating that the FOIA request meets all the criteria listed in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section.


(f) A requester must seek a fee waiver for each FOIA request for which a waiver is sought. The Department does not grant standing fee waivers but considers each fee waiver request independently on its merits.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A), 20 U.S.C. 3474)


Subpart E – Administrative Review

§ 5.40 Appeals of adverse determinations.

(a) In general. A requester may seek an administrative review of an adverse determination on the FOIA request made by the requester by submitting an appeal of the determination to the Department. Adverse determinations include denials of access to agency records, in whole or in part; “no agency records” responses; and adverse fee decisions, including denials of requests for fee waivers, and all aspects of fee assessments.


(b) Appeal requirements. A requester must submit an appeal within 90 calendar days of the date on the adverse determination letter issued by the Department or, where the requester has received no determination, at any time after the due date for such determination. An appeal must be in writing and must include a detailed statement of all legal and factual bases for the appeal. The requester’s failure to comply with time limits set forth in this section constitutes exhaustion of the requester’s administrative remedies for the purposes of initiating judicial action to compel disclosure.


(c) Determination on appeal. (1) The Department makes a written determination on an administrative appeal within 20 working days after receiving the appeal. The time limit may be extended in accordance with § 5.21(c) through (e). The Department’s failure to comply with time limits set forth in this section constitutes exhaustion of the requester’s administrative remedies for the purposes of initiating judicial action to compel disclosure.


(2) The Department’s determination on an appeal constitutes the Department’s final action on the FOIA request. Any Department determination denying an appeal in whole or in part includes the reasons for the denial, including any exemptions asserted under the Act, and notice of the requester’s right to seek judicial review of the determination in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4). Where the Department makes a determination to grant an appeal in whole or in part, it processes the FOIA request subject to the appeal in accordance with the determination on appeal.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6), 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67868, Dec. 12, 2019]


PART 5b – PRIVACY ACT REGULATIONS


Authority:5 U.S.C. 301, 5 U.S.C. 552a.


Source:45 FR 30808, May 9, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

§ 5b.1 Definitions.

As used in this part:


(a) Access means availability of a record to a subject individual.


(b) Agency means the Department of Education.


(c) Department means the Department of Education.


(d) Disclosure means the availability or release of a record to anyone other than the subject individual.


(e) Individual means a living person who is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. It does not include persons such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, or corporations. A business firm which is identified by the name of one or more persons is not an individual within the meaning of this part.


(f) Maintain means to maintain, collect, use, or disseminate when used in connection with the term “record”; and, to have control over or responsibility for a system of records when used in connection with the term “system of records.”


(g) Notification means communication to an individual whether he is a subject individual.


(h) Record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by the Department, including but not limited to the individual’s education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains his name, or an identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or a photograph. When used in this part, record means only a record which is in a system of records.


(i) Responsible Department official means that officer who is listed in a notice of a system of records as the system manager for a given system of records or another individual listed in the notice of a system of records to whom requests may be made, or the designee of either such officer or individual.


(j) Routine use means the disclosure of a record outside the Department, without the consent of the subject individual, for a purpose which is compatible with the purpose for which the record was collected. It includes disclosures required to be made by statute other than the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552. It does not include disclosures which are permitted to be made without the consent of the subject individual which are not compatible with the purpose for which it was collected such as disclosures to the Bureau of the Census, the General Accounting Office, or to Congress.


(k) Secretary means the Secretary of Education.


(l) Statistical record means a record maintained for statistical research or reporting purposes only and not maintained to make determinations about a particular subject individual.


(m) Subject individual means that individual to whom a record pertains.


(n) System of records means any group of records under the control of the Department from which a record is retrieved by personal identifier such as the name of the individual, number, symbol or other unique retriever assigned to the individual. Single records or groups of records which are not retrieved by a personal identifier are not part of a system of records. Papers maintained by individual employees of the Department which are prepared, maintained, or discarded at the discretion of the employee and which are not subject to the Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2901, are not part of a system of records; Provided, That such personal papers are not used by the employee or the Department to determine any rights, benefits, or privileges of individuals.


[45 FR 30808, May 9, 1980; 45 FR 37426, June 3, 1980]


§ 5b.2 Purpose and scope.

(a) This part implements section 3 of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a (hereinafter referred to as the Act), by establishing agency policies and procedures for the maintenance of records. This part also establishes agency policies and procedures under which a subject individual may be given notification of or access to a record pertaining to him and policies and procedures under which a subject individual may have his record corrected or amended if he believes that his record is not accurate, timely, complete, or relevant or necessary to accomplish a Department function.


(b) All components of the Department are governed by the provisions of this part. Also governed by the provisions of this part are advisory committees and councils within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee Act which provide advice to (1) any official or component of the Department or (2) the President and for which the Department has been delegated responsibility for providing services.


(c) Employees of the Department governed by this part include all regular and special government employees of the Department; experts and consultants whose temporary (not in excess of 1 year) or intermittent services have been procured by the Department by contract pursuant to 3109 of title 5, United States Code; volunteers where acceptance of their services are authorized by law; those individuals performing gratuitous services as permitted under conditions prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management; and, participants in work-study or training programs.


(d) This part does not:


(1) Make available to a subject individual records which are not retrieved by that individual’s name or other personal identifier.


(2) Make available to the general public records which are retrieved by a subject individual’s name or other personal identifier or make available to the general public records which would otherwise not be available to the general public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and part 5 of this title.


(3) Govern the maintenance or disclosure of, notification of or access to, records in the possession of the Department which are subject to regulations of another agency, such as personnel records subject to the regulations of the Office of Personnel Management.


(4) Apply to grantees, including State and local governments or subdivisions thereof, administering federally funded programs.


(5) Make available records compiled by the Department in reasonable anticipation of court litigation or formal administrative proceedings. The availability of such records to the general public or to any subject individual or party to such litigation or proceedings shall be governed by applicable constitutional principles, rules of discovery, and applicable regulations of the Department.


§ 5b.3 Policy.

It is the policy of the Department to protect the privacy of individuals to the fullest extent possible while nonetheless permitting the exchange of records required to fulfill the administrative and program responsibilities of the Department, and responsibilities of the Department for disclosing records which the general public is entitled to have under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and part 5 of this title.


§ 5b.4 Maintenance of records.

(a) No record will be maintained by the Department unless:


(1) It is relevant and necessary to accomplish a Department function required to be accomplished by statute or Executive Order;


(2) It is acquired to the greatest extent practicable from the subject individual when maintenance of the record may result in a determination about the subject individual’s rights, benefits or privileges under Federal programs;


(3) The individual providing the record is informed of the authority for providing the record (including whether the providing of the record is mandatory or voluntary, the principal purpose for maintaining the record, the routine uses for the record, what effect his refusal to provide the record may have on him), and if the record is not required by statute or Executive Order to be provided by the individual, he agrees to provide the record.


(b) No record will be maintained by the Department which describes how an individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized (1) by statute, or (2) by the subject individual, or (3) unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.


§ 5b.5 Notification of or access to records.

(a) Times, places, and manner of requesting notification of or access to a record. (1) Any individual may request notification of a record. He may at the same time request access to any record pertaining to him. An individual may be accompanied by another individual of his choice when he requests access to a record in person; Provided, That he affirmatively authorizes the presence of such other individual during any discussion of a record to which access is requested.


(2) An individual making a request for notification of or access to a record shall address his request to the responsible Department official and shall verify his identity when required in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section. At the time the request is made, the individual shall specify which systems of records he wishes to have searched and the records to which he wishes to have access. He may also request that copies be made of all or any such records. An individual shall also provide the responsible Department official with sufficient particulars to enable such official to distinguish between records on subject individuals with the same name. The necessary particulars are set forth in the notices of systems of records.


(3) An individual who makes a request in person may leave with any responsible Department official a request for notification of or access to a record under the control of another responsible Department official; Provided, That the request is addressed in writing to the appropriate responsible Department official.


(b) Verification of identity – (1) When required. Unless an individual, who is making a request for notification of or access to a record in person, is personally known to the responsible Department official, he shall be required to verify his identity in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section if:


(i) He makes a request for notification of a record and the responsible Department official determines that the mere disclosure of the existence of the record would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy if disclosed to someone other than the subject individual; or,


(ii) He makes a request for access to a record which is not required to be disclosed to the general public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and part 5 of this title.


(2) Manner of verifying identity. (i) An individual who makes a request in person shall provide to the responsible Department official at least one piece of tangible identification such as a driver’s license, passport, alien or voter registration card, or union card to verify his identity. If an individual does not have identification papers to verify his identity, he shall certify in writing that he is the individual who he claims to be and that he understands that the knowing and willful request for or acquisition of a record pertaining to an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense under the Act subject to a $5,000 fine.


(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section, an individual who does not make a request in person shall submit a notarized request to the responsible Department official to verify his identity or shall certify in his request that he is the individual who he claims to be and that he understands that the knowing and willful request for or acquisition of a record pertaining to an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense under the Act subject to a $5,000 fine.


(iii) An individual who makes a request on behalf of a minor or legal incompetent as authorized under § 5b.10 of this part shall verify his relationship to the minor or legal incompetent, in addition to verifying his own identity, by providing a copy of the minor’s birth certificate, a court order, or other competent evidence of guardianship to the responsible Department official; except that, an individual is not required to verify his relationship to the minor or legal incompetent when he is not required to verify his own identity or when evidence of his relationship to the minor or legal incompetent has been previously given to the responsible Department official.


(iv) An individual shall further verify his identity if he is requesting notification of or access to sensitive records. Any further verification shall parallel the record to which notification or access is being sought. Such further verification may include such particulars as the individual’s years of attendance at a particular educational institution, rank attained in the uniformed services, date or place of birth, names of parents, or an occupation.


(v) An individual who makes a request by telephone shall verify his identity by providing to the responsible Department official identifying particulars which parallel the record to which notification or access is being sought. If the responsible Department official determines that the particulars provided by telephone are insufficient, the requester will be required to submit the request in writing or in person. Telephone requests will not be accepted where an individual is requesting notification of or access to sensitive records.


(c) Granting notification of or access to a record. (1) Subject to the provisions governing exempt systems in § 5b.11 of this part, a responsible Department official, who receives a request for notification of or access to a record and, if required, verification of an individual’s identity, will review the request and grant notification or access to a record, if the individual requesting access to the record is the subject individual.


(2) If the responsible Department official determines that there will be a delay in responding to a request because of the number of requests being processed, a breakdown of equipment, shortage of personnel, storage of records in other locations, etc., he will so inform the individual and indicate when notification or access will be granted.


(3) Prior to granting notification of or access to a record, the responsible Department official may at his discretion require an individual making a request in person to reduce his request to writing if the individual has not already done so at the time the request is made.


§ 5b.7 Procedures for correction or amendment of records.

(a) Any subject individual may request that his record be corrected or amended if he believes that the record is not accurate, timely, complete, or relevant or necessary to accomplish a Department function. A subject individual making a request to amend or correct his record shall address his request to the responsible Department official in writing; except that, the request need not be in writing if the subject individual makes his request in person and the responsible Department official corrects or amends the record at that time. The subject individual shall specify in each request:


(1) The system of records from which the record is retrieved;


(2) The particular record which he is seeking to correct or amend;


(3) Whether he is seeking an addition to or a deletion or substitution of the record; and,


(4) His reasons for requesting correction or amendment of the record.


(b) A request for correction or amendment of a record will be acknowledged within 10 working days of its receipt unless the request can be processed and the subject individual informed of the responsible Department official’s decision on the request within that 10 day period.


(c) If the responsible Department official agrees that the record is not accurate, timely, or complete based on a preponderance of the evidence, the record will be corrected or amended. The record will be deleted without regard to its accuracy, if the record is not relevant or necessary to accomplish the Department function for which the record was provided or is maintained. In either case, the subject individual will be informed in writing of the correction, amendment, or deletion and, if accounting was made of prior disclosures of the record, all previous recipients of the record will be informed of the corrective action taken.


(d) If the responsible Department official does not agree that the record should be corrected or amended, the subject individual will be informed in writing of the refusal to correct or amend the record. He will also be informed that he may appeal the refusal to correct or amend his record § 5b.8 of this part.


(e) Requests to correct or amend a record governed by the regulation of another government agency, e.g., Office of Personnel Management, Federal Bureau of Investigation, will be forwarded to such government agency for processing and the subject individual will be informed in writing of the referral.


§ 5b.8 Appeals of refusals to correct or amend records.

(a) Processing the appeal. (1) A subject individual who disagrees with a refusal to correct or amend his record may appeal the refusal in writing. All appeals shall be made to the Secretary.


(2) An appeal will be completed within 30 working days from its receipt by the appeal authority; except that, the appeal authority may for good cause extend this period for an additional 30 days. Should the appeal period be extended, the subject individual appealing the refusal to correct or amend the record will be informed in writing of the extension and the circumstances of the delay. The subject individual’s request to amend or correct the record, the responsible Department official’s refusal to correct or amend, and any other pertinent material relating to the appeal will be reviewed. No hearing will be held.


(3) If the appeal authority agrees that the record subject to the appeal should be corrected or amended, the record will be amended and the subject individual will be informed in writing of the correction or amendment. Where an accounting was made of prior disclosures of the record, all previous recipients of the record will be informed of the corrective action taken.


(4) If the appeal is denied, the subject individual will be informed in writing:


(i) Of the denial and the reasons for the denial;


(ii) That he has a right to seek judicial review of the denial; and,


(iii) That he may submit to the responsible Department official a concise statement of disagreement to be associated with the disputed record and disclosed whenever the record is disclosed.


(b) Notation and disclosure of disputed records. Whenever a subject individual submits a statement of disagreement to the responsible Department official in accordance with paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section, the record will be noted to indicate that it is disputed. In any subsequent disclosure, a copy of the subject individual’s statement of disagreement, will be disclosed with the record. If the responsible Department official deems it appropriate, a concise statement of the appeal authority’s reasons for denying the subject individual’s appeal may also be disclosed with the record. While the subject individual will have access to this statement of reasons, such statement will not be subject to correction or amendment. Where an accounting was made of prior disclosures of the record, all previous recipients of the record will be provided a copy of the subject individual’s statement of disagreement, as well as the statement, if any, of the appeal authority’s reasons for denying the subject individual’s appeal.


§ 5b.9 Disclosure of records.

(a) Consent to disclosure by a subject individual. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section authorizing disclosures of records without consent, no disclosure of a record will be made without the consent of the subject individual. In each case the consent, whether obtained from the subject individual at the request of the Department or whether provided to the Department by the subject individual on his own initiative, shall be in writing. The consent shall specify the individual, organizational unit or class of individuals or organizational units to whom the record may be disclosed, which record may be disclosed and, where applicable, during which time frame the record may be disclosed (e.g., during the school year, while the subject individual is out of the country, whenever the subject individual is receiving specific services). A blanket consent to disclose all of a subject individual’s records to unspecified individuals or organizational units will not be honored. The subject individual’s identity and, where applicable (e.g., where a subject individual gives consent to disclosure of a record to a specific individual), the identity of the individual to whom the record is to be disclosed shall be verified.


(2) A parent or guardian of any minor is not authorized to give consent to a disclosure of the minor’s medical record.


(b) Disclosures without the consent of the subject individual. The disclosures listed in this paragraph may be made without the consent of the subject individual. Such disclosures are:


(1) To those officers and employees of the Department who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties. The responsible Department official may upon request of any officer or employee, or on his own initiative, determine what constitutes legitimate need.


(2) Required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and part 5 of this title.


(3) For a routine use as defined in paragraph (j) of § 5b.1. Routine uses will be listed in any notice of a system of records. Routine uses published in appendix B are applicable to more than one system of records. Where applicable, notices of systems of records may contain references to the routine uses listed in appendix B. appendix B will be published with any compendium of notices of systems of records.


(4) To the Bureau of the Census for purposes of planning or carrying out a census or survey or related activity pursuant to the provisions of title 13 U.S.C.


(5) To a recipient who has provided the agency with advance written assurance that the record will be used solely as a statistical research or reporting record; Provided, That, the record is transferred in a form that does not identify the subject individual.


(6) To the National Archives of the United States as a record which has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the United States Government, or for evaluation by the Administrator of General Services or his designee to determine whether the record has such value.


(7) To another government agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of such government agency or instrumentality has submitted a written request to the Department specifying the record desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought.


(8) To an individual pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of any individual if a notice of the disclosure is transmitted to the last known address of the subject individual.


(9) To either House of Congress, or to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any committee or subcommittee thereof, any joint committee of Congress or subcommittee of any such joint committee.


(10) To the Comptroller General, or any of the Comptroller General’s authorized representatives, in the course of the performance of the duties of the General Accounting Office.


(11) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.


(c) Accounting of disclosures. (1) An accounting of all disclosures of a record will be made and maintained by the Department for 5 years or for the life of the record, whichever is longer; except that, such an accounting will not be made:


(i) For disclosures under paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this section; and,


(ii) For disclosures made with the written consent of the subject individual.


(2) The accounting will include:


(i) The date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure; and


(ii) The name and address of the person or entity to whom the disclosure is made.


(3) Any subject individual may request access to an accounting of disclosures of a record. The subject individual shall make a request for access to an accounting in accordance with the procedures in § 5b.5 of this part. A subject individual will be granted access to an accounting of the disclosures of a record in accordance with the procedures of this part which govern access to the related record. Access to an accounting of a disclosure of a record made under paragraph (b)(7) of this section may be granted at the discretion of the responsible Department official.


§ 5b.10 Parents and guardians.

For the purpose of this part, a parent or guardian of any minor or the legal guardian or any individual who has been declared incompetent due to physical or mental incapacity or age by a court of competent jurisdiction is authorized to act on behalf of an individual or a subject individual. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of § 5b.5, of this part governing procedures for verifying an individual’s identity, an individual authorized to act on behalf of a minor or legal incompetent will be viewed as if he were the individual or subject individual.


§ 5b.11 Exempt systems.

(a) General policy. The Act permits an agency to exempt certain types of systems of records from some of the Act’s requirements. It is the policy of the Department to exercise authority to exempt systems of records only in compelling cases.


(b) Specific systems of records exempted under (j)(2). The Department exempts the Investigative Files of the Inspector General ED/OIG (18-10-01) and the Hotline Complaint Files of the Inspector General ED/OIG (18-10-04) systems of records from the following provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a and this part:


(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and § 5b.9(a)(1) and (c)(3) of this part, regarding access to an accounting of disclosures of a record.


(2) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(4) and §§ 5b.7(c) and 5b.8(b) of this part, regarding notification to outside parties and agencies of correction or notation of dispute made in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).


(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) (1) through (4) and (f) and §§ 5b.5(a)(1) and (c), 5b.7, and 5b.8 of this part, regarding notification or access to records and correction or amendment of records.


(4) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) and § 5b.4(a)(1) of this part, regarding maintaining only relevant and necessary information.


(5) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(2) and § 5b.4(a)(2) of this part, regarding collection of information from the subject individual.


(6) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(3) and § 5b.4(a)(3) of this part, regarding notice to individuals asked to provide information to the Department.


(7) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (G), (H), and (I), regarding inclusion of information in the system notice about procedures for notification, access, correction, and source of records.


(8) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(5), regarding maintaining records with requisite accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness.


(9) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(8), regarding service of notice on subject individual if a record is made available under compulsory legal process if that process becomes a matter of public record.


(10) 5 U.S.C. 552a(g), regarding civil remedies for violation of the Privacy Act.


(c) Specific systems of records exempted under (k)(2). (1) The Department exempts the Investigative Files of the Inspector General ED/OIG (18-10-01), the Hotline Complaint Files of the Inspector General ED/OIG (18-10-04), and the Office of Inspector General Data Analytics System (ODAS) (18-10-02) from the following provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a and this part to the extent that these systems of records consist of investigatory material and complaints that may be included in investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes:


(i) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and § 5b.9(c)(3) of this part, regarding access to an accounting of disclosures of records.


(ii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) (1) through (4) and (f) and §§ 5b.5(a)(1) and (c), 5b.7, and 5b.8 of this part, regarding notification of and access to records and correction or amendment of records.


(iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) and § 5b.4(a)(1) of this part, regarding the requirement to maintain only relevant and necessary information.


(iv) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (G), (H), and (I), regarding inclusion of information in the system notice about procedures for notification, access, correction, and source of records.


(2) The Department exempts the Complaint Files and Log, Office for Civil Rights (18-08-01) from the following provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a and this part:


(i) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and § 5b.9(c)(3) of this part, regarding access to an accounting of disclosures of records.


(ii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) (1) through (4) and (f) and §§ 5b.5(a)(1) and (c), 5b.7, and 5b.8 of this part, regarding notification of and access to records and correction or amendment of records.


(iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (G) and (H), regarding inclusion of information in the system notice about procedures for notification, access, and correction of records.


(d) Specific systems of records exempted under (k)(5). The Department exempts the Investigatory Material Compiled for Personnel Security and Suitability Purposes (18-05-17) system of records from the following provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a and this part:


(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and § 5b.9(c)(3) of this part, regarding access to an accounting of disclosures of records.


(2) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) (1) through (4) and (f) and §§ 5b.5(a)(1) and (c), 5b.7, and 5b.8 of this part, regarding notification of and access to records and correction or amendment of records.


(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (G) and (H), regarding inclusion of information in the system notice about procedures for notification, access, and correction of records.


(e) Basis for exemptions taken under (j)(2), (k)(2), and (k)(5). The reason the Department took each exemption described in this section is stated in the preamble for the final rulemaking document under which the exemption was promulgated. These final rulemaking documents were published in the Federal Register and may be obtained from the Department of Education by mailing a request to the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Privacy Act Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Regulatory Information Management Group, Washington, DC 20202-4651.


(f) Notification of or access to records in exempt systems of records. (1) If a system of records is exempt under this section, an individual may nonetheless request notification of or access to a record in that system. An individual shall make requests for notification of or access to a record in an exempt system or records in accordance with the procedures of § 5b.5 of this part.


(2) An individual will be granted notification of or access to a record in an exempt system but only to the extent that notification or access would not reveal the identity of a source who furnished the record to the Department under an express promise, and, prior to September 27, 1975, an implied promise, that his identity would be held in confidence if –


(i) The record is in a system of records or that portion of a system of records that is exempt under subsection (k)(2), but not under subsection (j)(2), of the Act and the individual has been, as a result of the maintenance of the record, denied a right, privilege, or benefit to which he or she would otherwise be eligible; or


(ii) The record is in a system of records that is exempt under subsection (k)(5) of the Act.


(3) If an individual is not granted notification of or access to a record in a system of records exempt under subsections (k)(2) (but not under subsection (j)(2)) and (k)(5) of the Act in accordance with this paragraph, he or she will be informed that the identity of a confidential source would be revealed if notification of or access to the record were granted to the individual.


(g) Discretionary actions by the responsible Department official. Unless disclosure of a record to the general public is otherwise prohibited by law, the responsible Department official may, in his or her discretion, grant notification of or access to a record in a system of records that is exempt under this section. Discretionary notification of or access to a record in accordance with this paragraph will not be a precedent for discretionary notification of or access to a similar or related record and will not obligate the responsible Department official to exercise his or her discretion to grant notification of or access to any other record in a system of records that is exempt under this section.


[58 FR 44424, Aug. 20, 1993, as amended at 64 FR 31066, June 9, 1999; 69 FR 12246, Mar. 15, 2004; 73 FR 61355, Oct. 16, 2008]


§ 5b.12 Contractors.

(a) All contracts entered into on or after September 27, 1975 which require a contractor to maintain or on behalf of the Department to maintain, a system of records to accomplish a Department function must contain a provision requiring the contractor to comply with the Act and this part.


(b) All unexpired contracts entered into prior to September 27, 1975 which require the contractor to maintain or on behalf of the Department to maintain, a system of records to accomplish a Department function will be amended as soon as practicable to include a provision requiring the contractor to comply with the Act and this part. All such contracts must be so amended by July 1, 1976 unless for good cause the appeal authority identified in § 5b.8 of this part authorizes the continuation of the contract without amendment beyond that date.


(c) A contractor and any employee of such contractor shall be considered employees of the Department only for the purposes of the criminal penalties of the Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(i), and the employee standards of conduct listed in appendix A of this part where the contract contains a provision requiring the contractor to comply with the Act and this part.


(d) This section does not apply to systems of records maintained by a contractor as a result of his management discretion, e.g., the contractor’s personnel records.


§ 5b.13 Fees.

(a) Policy. Where applicable, fees for copying records will be charged in accordance with the schedule set forth in this section. Fees may only be charged where an individual requests that a copy be made of the record to which he is granted access. No fee may be charged for making a search of the system of records whether the search is manual, mechanical, or electronic. Where a copy of the record must be made in order to provide access to the record (e.g., computer printout where no screen reading is available), the copy will be made available to the individual without cost.


(b) Fee schedule. The fee schedule for the Department is as follows:


(1) Copying of records susceptible to photocopying – $.10 per page.


(2) Copying records not susceptible to photocopying (e.g., punch cards or magnetic tapes) – at actual cost to be determined on a case-by-case basis.


(3) No charge will be made if the total amount of copying does not exceed $25.


Appendix A to Part 5b – Employee Standards of Conduct

(a) General. All employees are required to be aware of their responsibilities under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a. Regulations implementing the Act are set forth in 34 CFR 5b. Instruction on the requirements of the Act and regulation shall be provided to all new employees of the Department. In addition, supervisors shall be responsible for assuring that employees who are working with systems of records or who undertake new duties which require the use of systems of records are informed of their responsibilities. Supervisors shall also be responsible for assuring that all employees who work with such systems of records are periodically reminded of the requirements of the Act and are advised of any new provisions or interpretations of the Act.


(b) Penalties. (1) All employees must guard against improper disclosure of records which are governed by the Act. Because of the serious consequences of improper invasions of personal privacy, employees may be subject to disciplinary action and criminal prosecution for knowing and willful violations of the Act and regulation. In addition, employees may also be subject to disciplinary action for unknowing or unwillful violations, where the employee had notice of the provisions of the Act and regulations and failed to inform himself sufficiently or to conduct himself in accordance with the requirements to avoid violations.


(2) The Department may be subjected to civil liability for the following actions undertaken by its employees:


(a) Making a determination under the Act and §§ 5b.7 and 5b.8 of the regulation not to amend an individual’s record in accordance with his request, or failing to make such review in conformity with those provisions;


(b) Refusing to comply with an individual’s request for notification of or access to a record pertaining to him;


(c) Failing to maintain any record pertaining to any individual with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is necessary to assure fairness in any determination relating to the qualifications, character, rights, or opportunities of, or benefits to the individual that may be made on the basis of such a record, and consequently a determination is made which is adverse to the individual; or


(d) Failing to comply with any other provision of the Act or any rule promulgated thereunder, in such a way as to have an adverse effect on an individual.


(3) “An employee may be personally subject to criminal liability as set forth below and in 5 U.S.C. 552a (i):


(a) Any officer or employee of an agency, who by virtue of his employment or official position, has possession of, or access to, agency records which contain individually identifiable information the disclosure of which is prohibited by the Act or by rules or regulations established thereunder, and who, knowing that disclosure of the specific material is so prohibited, willfully discloses the material in any manner to any person or agency not entitled to receive it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000.”


(b) “Any officer or employee of any agency who willfully maintains a system of records without meeting the notice requirements [of the Act] shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000.”


(c) Rules Governing Employees Not Working With Systems of Records. Employees whose duties do not involve working with systems of records will not generally disclose to any one, without specific authorization from their supervisors, records pertaining to employees or other individuals which by reason of their official duties are available to them. Notwithstanding the above, the following records concerning Federal employees are a matter of public record and no further authorization is necessary for disclosure:


(1) Name and title of individual.


(2) Grade classification or equivalent and annual rate of salary.


(3) Position description.


(4) Location of duty station, including room number and telephone number.


In addition, employees shall disclose records which are listed in the Department’s Freedom of Information Regulation as being available to the public. Requests for other records will be referred to the responsible Department official. This does not preclude employees from discussing matters which are known to them personally, and without resort to a record, to official investigators of Federal agencies for official purposes such as suitability checks, Equal Employment Opportunity investigations, adverse action proceedings, grievance proceedings, etc.

(d) Rules governing employees whose duties require use or reference to systems of records. Employees whose official duties require that they refer to, maintain, service, or otherwise deal with systems of records (hereinafter referred to as “Systems Employees”) are governed by the general provisions. In addition, extra precautions are required and systems employees are held to higher standards of conduct.


(1) Systems Employees shall:


(a) Be informed with respect to their responsibilities under the Act;


(b) Be alert to possible misuses of the system and report to their supervisors any potential or actual use of the system which they believe is not in compliance with the Act and regulation;


(c) Make a disclosure of records within the Department only to an employee who has a legitimate need to know the record in the course of his official duties;


(d) Maintain records as accurately as practicable.


(e) Consult with a supervisor prior to taking any action where they are in doubt whether such action is in conformance with the Act and regulation.


(2) Systems Employees shall not:


(a) Disclose in any form records from a system of records except (1) with the consent or at the request of the subject individual; or (2) where its disclosure is permitted under § 5b.9 of the regulation.


(b) Permit unauthorized individuals to be present in controlled areas. Any unauthorized individuals observed in controlled areas shall be reported to a supervisor or to the guard force.


(c) Knowingly or willfully take action which might subject the Department to civil liability.


(d) Make any arrangements for the design development, or operation of any system of records without making reasonable effort to provide that the system can be maintained in accordance with the Act and regulation.


(e) Contracting officers. In addition to any applicable provisions set forth above, those employees whose official duties involve entering into contracts on behalf of the Department shall also be governed by the following provisions:


(1) Contracts for design, or development of systems and equipment. No contract for the design or development of a system of records, or for equipment to store, service or maintain a system of records shall be entered into unless the contracting officer has made reasonable effort to ensure that the product to be purchased is capable of being used without violation of the Act or regulation. Special attention shall be given to provision of physical safeguards.


(2) Contracts for the operation of systems and equipment. No contract for the design or development of a system of whom he feels appropriate, of all proposed contracts providing for the operation of systems of records shall be made prior to execution of the contracts to determine whether operation of the system of records is for the purpose of accomplishing a Department function. If a determination is made that the operation of the system is to accomplish a Department function, the contracting officer shall be responsible for including in the contract appropriate provisions to apply the provisions of the Act and regulation to the system, including prohibitions against improper release by the contractor, his employees, agents, or subcontractors.


(3) Other service contracts. Contracting officers entering into general service contracts shall be responsible for determining the appropriateness of including provisions in the contract to prevent potential misuse (inadvertent or otherwise) by employees, agents, or subcontractors of the contractor.


(f) Rules Governing Responsible Department Officials. In addition to the requirements for Systems Employees, responsible Department officials shall:


(1) Respond to all requests for notification of or access, disclosure, or amendment of records in a timely fashion in accordance with the Act and regulation;


(2) Make any amendment of records accurately and in a timely fashion;


(3) Inform all persons whom the accounting records show have received copies of the record prior to the amendments of the correction; and


(4) Associate any statement of disagreement with the disputed record, and


(a) Transmit a copy of the statement to all persons whom the accounting records show have received a copy of the disputed record, and


(b) Transmit that statement with any future disclosure.


Appendix B to Part 5b – Routine Uses Applicable to More Than One System of Records Maintained by ED

(1) In the event that a system of records maintained by this agency to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the appropriate agency, whether federal, or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, or rule, regulation or order issued pursuant thereto.


(2) Referrals may be made of assignments of research investigators and project monitors to specific research projects to the Smithsonian Institution to contribute to the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange, Inc.


(3) In the event the Department deems it desirable or necessary, in determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice for the purpose of obtaining its advice.


(4) A record from this system of records may be disclosed as a “routine use” to a federal, state or local agency maintaining civil, criminal or other relevant enforcement records or other pertinent records, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain a record relevant to an agency decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit.


A record from this system of records may be disclosed to a federal agency, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency’s decision on the matter.

(5) In the event that a system of records maintained by this agency to carry out its function indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the appropriate agency, whether state or local charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, or rule, regulation or order issued pursuant thereto.


(6) Where federal agencies having the power to subpoena other federal agencies’ records, such as the Internal Revenue Service or the Civil Rights Commission, issue a subpoena to the Department for records in this system of records, the Department will make such records available.


(7) Where a contract between a component of the Department and a labor organization recognized under E.O. 11491 provides that the agency will disclose personal records relevant to the organization’s mission, records in this system of records may be disclosed to such organization.


(8) Where the appropriate official of the Department, pursuant to the Department’s Freedom of Information Regulation determines that it is in the public interest to disclose a record which is otherwise exempt from mandatory disclosure, disclosure may be made from this system of records.


(9) The Department contemplates that it will contract with a private firm for the purpose of collating, analyzing, aggregating or otherwise refining records in this system. Relevant records will be disclosed to such a contractor. The contractor shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.


(10) To individuals and organizations, deemed qualified by the Secretary to carry out specific research solely for the purpose of carrying out such research.


(11) Disclosures in the course of employee discipline or competence determination proceedings.


[45 FR 30808, May 9, 1980; 45 FR 37426, June 3, 1980]


PART 6 – INVENTIONS AND PATENTS (GENERAL)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 301.


Source:45 FR 30814, May 9, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

§ 6.0 General policy.

Inventions developed through the resources and activities of the Department are a potential resource of great value to the public. It is the policy of the Department:


(a) To safeguard the public interest in inventions developed by Department employees, contractors and grantees with the aid of public funds and facilities;


(b) To encourage and recognize individual and cooperative achievement in research and investigations; and


(c) To establish a procedure, consistent with pertinent statutes, Executive orders and general Government regulations, for the determination of rights and obligations relating to the patenting of inventions.


§ 6.1 Publication or patenting of inventions.

It is the general policy of the Department that the results of Department research should be made widely, promptly and freely available to other research workers and to the public. This availability can generally be adequately preserved by the dedication of a Government-owned invention to the public. Determinations to file a domestic patent application on inventions in which the Department has an interest will be made where the circumstances indicate that this is desirable in the public interest, and if it is practicable to do so. Department determinations not to apply for a domestic patent on employee inventions are subject to review and approval by the Commissioner of Patents. Except where deemed necessary for protecting the patent claim, the fact that a patent application has been or may be filed will not require any departure from normal policy regarding the dissemination of the results of Department research.


§ 6.3 Licensing of Government-owned patents.

(a) Licenses to practice inventions covered by patents and pending patent applications owned by the U.S. Government as represented by this Department will generally be royalty free, revocable and nonexclusive. They will normally be issued to all applicants and will generally contain no limitations or standards relating to the quality or testing of the products to be manufactured, sold, or distributed thereunder.


(b) Where it appears however that the public interest will be served under the circumstances of the particular case by licenses which impose conditions, such as those relating to quality or testing of products, requirement of payment of royalties to the Government, etc., or by the issuance of limited exclusive licenses by the Secretary after notice and opportunity for hearing thereon, such licenses may be issued.


§ 6.4 Central records; confidentiality.

Central files and records shall be maintained of all inventions, patents, and licenses in which the Department has an interest, together with a record of all licenses issued by the Department under such patents. Invention reports required from employees or others for the purpose of obtaining determinations of ownership, and documents and information obtained for the purpose of prosecuting patent applications shall be confidential and shall be disclosed only as required for official purposes or with the consent of the inventor.


PART 7 – EMPLOYEE INVENTIONS


Authority:E.O. 10096, 15 FR 391; 3 CFR 1950 Supp.; E.O. 10930, 26 FR 2583; 3 CFR 1961 Supp.


Source:45 FR 30814, May 9, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

§ 7.0 Who are employees.

As used in this part, the term Government employee means any officer or employee, civilian or military, except such part-time employees or part-time consultants as may be excluded therefrom by a determination made in writing by the head of the employee’s office or constituent organization, pursuant to an exemption approved by the Commissioner of Patents that to include him or them would be impracticable or inequitable, given the reasons therefor. A person shall not be considered to be a part-time employee or part-time consultant for this purpose unless the terms of his employment contemplate that he shall work for less than the minimum number of hours per day, or less than a minimum number of days per week, or less than the minimum number of weeks per year, regularly required of full-time employees of his class.


§ 7.1 Duty of employee to report inventions.

Every Department employee is required to report to the Secretary in accordance with the procedures established therefor, every invention made by him (whether or not jointly with others) which bears any relation to his official duties or which was made in whole or in any part during working hours, or with any contribution of Government facilities, equipment, material, funds, or information, or of time or services of other Government employees on official duty.


§ 7.3 Determination as to domestic rights.

The determination of the ownership of the domestic right, title, and interest in and to an invention which is or may be patentable, made by a Government employee while under the administrative jurisdiction of the Department, will be made in writing by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 10096 and Government-wide regulations issued thereunder by the Commissioner of Patents as follows:


(a) The Government as represented by the Secretary shall obtain the entire domestic right, title and interest in and to all inventions made by any Government employee (1) during working hours, or (2) with a contribution by the Government of facilities, equipment, materials, funds, or information, or of time or services of other Government employees on official duty, or (3) which bear a direct relation to or are made in consequence of the official duties of the inventor.


(b) In any case where the contribution of the Government, as measured by any one or more of the criteria set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, to the invention is insufficient equitably to justify a requirement of assignment to the Government of the entire domestic right, title and interest in and to such invention, or in any case where the Government has insufficient interest in an invention to obtain the entire domestic right, title, and interest therein (although the Government could obtain same under paragraph (a) of this section), the Department, subject to the approval of the Commissioner, shall leave title to such invention in the employee, subject, however, to the reservation to the Government of a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes, such reservation to appear, where practicable, in any patent, domestic or foreign, which may issue on such invention.


(c) In applying the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, to the facts and circumstances relating to the making of any particular invention, it shall be presumed that an invention made by an employee who is employed or assigned (1) to invent or improve or perfect any art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, (2) to conduct or perform research, development work, or both, (3) to supervise, direct, coordinate, or review Government financed or conducted research, development work, or both, or (4) to act in a liaison capacity among governmental or nongovernmental agencies or individuals engaged in such work, falls within the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, and it shall be presumed that any invention made by any other employee falls within the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section. Either presumption may be rebutted by a showing of the facts and circumstances and shall not preclude a determination that these facts and circumstances justify leaving the entire right, title and interest in and to the invention in the Government employee, subject to law.


(d) In any case wherein the Government neither (1) obtains the entire domestic right, title and interest in and to an invention pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, nor (2) reserves a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in the invention, with power to grant licenses for all governmental purposes, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, the Government shall leave the entire right, title and interest in and to the invention in the Government employee, subject to law.


§ 7.4 Option to acquire foreign rights.

In any case where it is determined that all domestic rights should be assigned to the Government, it shall further be determined, pursuant to Executive Order 9865 and Government-wide regulations issued thereunder, that the Government shall reserve an option to require the assignment of such rights in all or in any specified foreign countries. In case where the inventor is not required to assign the patent rights in any foreign country or countries to the Government or the Government fails to exercise its option within such period of time as may be provided by regulations issued by the Commissioner of Patents, any application for a patent which may be filed in such country or countries by the inventor or his assignee shall nevertheless be subject to a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the Government for all governmental purposes, including the power to issue sublicenses for use in behalf of the Government and/or in furtherance of the foreign policies of the Government.


§ 7.7 Notice to employee of determination.

The employee-inventor shall be notified in writing of the Department’s determination of the rights to his invention and of his right of appeal, if any. Notice need not be given if the employee stated in writing that he would agree to the determination of ownership which was in fact made.


§ 7.8 Employee’s right of appeal.

An employee who is aggrieved by a determination of the Department may appeal to the Commissioner of Patents, pursuant to section 4(d) of Executive Order 10096, as amended by Executive Order 10930, and regulations issued thereunder, by filing a written appeal with the Commissioner, in duplicate, and a copy of the appeal with the Secretary within 30 days (or such longer period as the Commissioner may, for good cause, fix in any case) after receiving written notice of such determination.


PART 8 – DEMANDS FOR TESTIMONY OR RECORDS IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS


Authority:5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C. 552; 20 U.S.C. 3474, unless otherwise noted.


Source:57 FR 34646, Aug. 5, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

§ 8.1 What is the scope and applicability of this part?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, this part establishes the procedures to be followed when the Department or any employee of the Department receives a demand for –


(1) Testimony by an employee concerning –


(i) Records contained in the files of the Department;


(ii) Information relating to records contained in the files of the Department; or


(iii) Information or records acquired or produced by the employee in the course of his or her official duties or because of the employee’s official status; or


(2) The production or disclosure of any information or records referred to in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.


(b) This part does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any person against the Department.


(c) This part does not apply to –


(1) Any proceeding in which the United States is a party before an adjudicative authority;


(2) A demand for testimony or records made by either House of Congress or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any committee or subcommittee of Congress; or


(3) An appearance by an employee in his or her private capacity in a legal proceeding in which the employee’s testimony does not relate to the mission or functions of the Department.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[57 FR 34646, Aug. 5, 1992, as amended at 73 FR 27748, May 14, 2008]


§ 8.2 What definitions apply?

The following definitions apply to this part:


Adjudicative authority includes, but is not limited to –


(1) A court of law or other judicial forums; and


(2) Mediation, arbitration, or other forums for dispute resolution.


Demand includes a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, request, order, or other notice for testimony or records arising in a legal proceeding.


Department means the U.S. Department of Education.


Employee means a current or former employee or official of the Department or of an advisory committee of the Department, including a special government employee, unless specifically provided otherwise in this part.


Legal proceeding means –


(1) A proceeding before an adjudicative authority;


(2) A legislative proceeding, except for a proceeding before either House of Congress or before any committee or subcommittee of Congress, to the extent of matter within the committee’s or subcommittee’s jurisdiction; or


(3) An administrative proceeding.


Secretary means the Secretary of Education or an official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.


Testimony means statements made in connection with a legal proceeding, including but not limited to statements in court or other forums, depositions, declarations, affidavits, or responses to interrogatories.


United States means the Federal Government of the United States and any of its agencies or instrumentalities.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[57 FR 34646, Aug. 5, 1992, as amended at 73 FR 27748, May 14, 2008]


§ 8.3 What are the requirements for submitting a demand for testimony or records?

(a) A demand for testimony of an employee or a demand for records issued pursuant to the rules governing the legal proceeding in which the demand arises –


(1) Must be in writing; and


(2) Must state the nature of the requested testimony or records, why the information sought is unavailable by any other means, and the reason why the release of the information would not be contrary to an interest of the Department or the United States”.


(b) Service of a demand for testimony of an employee must be made on the employee whose testimony is demanded, with a copy simultaneously delivered to the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6E300, Lyndon Baines Johnson Building, Washington, DC 20202-2100.


(c) Service of a demand for records, as described in § 8.5(a)(1), must be made on an employee who has custody of the records, with a copy simultaneously delivered to the General Counsel at the address listed in paragraph (b) of this section. For assistance in identifying the custodian of the specific records demanded, contact the Records Officer, Information Policy and Standards Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of Management, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 9161, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-4753.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 20 U.S.C. 3474)

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1801-0002)

[57 FR 34646, Aug. 5, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 7860, Feb. 9, 1993; 73 FR 27748, May 14, 2008]


§ 8.4 What procedures are followed in response to a demand for testimony?

(a) After an employee receives a demand for testimony, the employee shall immediately notify the Secretary and request instructions.


(b) An employee may not give testimony without the prior written authorization of the Secretary.


(c)(1) The Secretary may allow an employee to testify if the Secretary determines that the demand satisfies the requirements of § 8.3 and that granting permission –


(i) Would be appropriate under the rules of procedure governing the matter in which the demand arises and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; and


(ii) Would not be contrary to an interest of the United States, which includes furthering a public interest of the Department and protecting the human and financial resources of the United States.


(2) The Secretary may establish conditions under which the employee may testify.


(d) If a response to a demand for testimony is required before the Secretary determines whether to allow an employee to testify, the employee or counsel for the employee shall –


(1) Inform the court or other authority of the regulations in this part; and


(2) Request that the demand be stayed pending the employee’s receipt of the Secretary’s instructions.


(e) If the court or other authority declines the request for a stay, or rules that the employee must comply with the demand regardless of the Secretary’s instructions, the employee or counsel for the employee shall respectfully decline to comply with the demand, citing United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951), and the regulations in this part.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 20 U.S.C. 3474)


§ 8.5 What procedures are followed in response to a demand for records?

(a)(1) After an employee receives a demand for records issued pursuant to the rules governing the legal proceeding in which the demand arises, the employee shall immediately notify the Secretary and request instructions.


(2) If an employee receives any other demand for records, the Department –


(i) Considers the demand to be a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act; and


(ii) Handles the demand under rules governing public disclosure, as established in 34 CFR part 5.


(b) An employee may not produce records in response to a demand as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section without the prior written authorization of the Secretary.


(c) The Secretary may make these records available if the Secretary determines that the demand satisfies the requirements of § 8.3 and that disclosure –


(1) Would be appropriate under the rules of procedure governing the matter in which the demand arises and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; and


(2) Would not be contrary to an interest of the United States, which includes furthering a public interest of the Department and protecting the human and financial resources of the United States.


(d) If a response to a demand for records as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section is required before the Secretary determines whether to allow an employee to produce those records, the employee or counsel for the employee shall –


(1) Inform the court or other authority of the regulations in this part; and


(2) Request that the demand be stayed pending the employee’s receipt of the Secretary’s instructions.


(e) If the court or other authority declines the request for a stay, or rules that the employee must comply with the demand regardless of the Secretary’s instructions, the employee or counsel for the employee shall respectfully decline to comply with the demand, citing United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951), and the regulations in this part.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C. 552; 20 U.S.C. 3474)


PART 12 – DISPOSAL AND UTILIZATION OF SURPLUS FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES


Authority:40 U.S.C. 471-488; 20 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2000d (1) et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 794 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 4332.


Source:57 FR 60394, Dec. 18, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General

§ 12.1 What is the scope of this part?

This part is applicable to surplus Federal real property located within any State that is appropriate for assignment to, or that has been assigned to, the Secretary by the Administrator for transfer for educational purposes, as provided for in section 203(k) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, 63 Stat. 377 (40 U.S.C. 471 et seq.).


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k))


§ 12.2 What definitions apply?

(a) Definitions in the Act. The following terms used in this part are defined in section 472 of the Act:



Administrator

Surplus property

(b) Definitions in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). The following terms used in this part are defined in 34 CFR 77.1:



Department

Secretary

State

(c) Other definitions: The following definitions also apply to this part:


Abrogation means the procedure the Secretary may use to release the transferee of surplus Federal real property from the covenants, conditions, reservations, and restrictions contained in the conveyance instrument before the term of the instrument expires.


Act means the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, 63 Stat. 377 (40 U.S.C. 471 et seq.).


Applicant means an eligible entity as described in § 12.5 that formally applies to be a transferee or lessee of surplus Federal real property, using a public benefit allowance (PBA) under the Act.


Lessee, except as used in § 12.14(a)(5), means an entity that is given temporary possession, but not title, to surplus Federal real property by the Secretary for educational purposes.


Nonprofit institution means any institution, organization, or association, whether incorporated or unincorporated –


(1) The net earnings of which do not inure or may not lawfully inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual; and


(2) That has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of title 26.


Off-site property means surplus buildings and improvements – including any related personal property – that are capable of being removed from the underlying land and that are transferred by the Secretary without transferring the underlying real property.


On-site property means surplus Federal real property, including any related personal property – other than off-site property.


Period of restriction means that period during which the surplus Federal real property transferred for educational purposes must be used by the transferee or lessee in accordance with covenants, conditions, and any other restrictions contained in the conveyance instrument.


Program and plan of use means the educational activities to be conducted by the transferee or lessee using the surplus Federal real property, as described in the application for that property.


Public benefit allowance (“PBA”) means the credit, calculated in accordance with appendix A to this part, given to a transferee or lessee which is applied against the fair market value of the surplus Federal real property at the time of the transfer or lease of such property in exchange for the proposed educational use of the property by the transferee or lessee.


Related personal property means any personal property –


(1) That is located on and is an integral part of, or incidental to the operation of, the surplus Federal real property; or


(2) That is determined by the Administrator to be otherwise related to the surplus Federal real property.


Surplus Federal real property means the property assigned or suitable for assignment to the Secretary by the Administrator for disposal under the Act.


Transfer means to sell and convey title to surplus Federal real property for educational purposes as described in this part.


Transferee means that entity which has purchased and acquired title to the surplus Federal real property for educational purposes pursuant to section 203(k) of the Act.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 472 and 20 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.)


§ 12.3 What other regulations apply to this program?

The following regulations apply to this program:


(a) 34 CFR parts 100, 104, and 106.


(b) 41 CFR part 101-47.


(c) 34 CFR part 85.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k); 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 794 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; Executive Order 12549; and 20 U.S.C. 3474)


Subpart B – Distribution of Surplus Federal Real Property

§ 12.4 How does the Secretary provide notice of availability of surplus Federal real property?

The Secretary notifies potential applicants of the availability of surplus Federal real property for transfer for educational uses in accordance with 41 CFR 101-47.308-4.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(1))


§ 12.5 Who may apply for surplus Federal real property?

The following entities may apply for surplus Federal real property:


(a) A State.


(b) A political subdivision or instrumentality of a State.


(c) A tax-supported institution.


(d) A nonprofit institution.


(e) Any combination of these entities.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(1)(A))


§ 12.6 What must an application for surplus Federal real property contain?

An application for surplus Federal real property must –


(a) Contain a program and plan of use;


(b) Contain a certification from the applicant that the proposed program is not in conflict with State or local zoning restrictions, building codes, or similar limitations;


(c) Demonstrate that the proposed program and plan of use of the surplus Federal real property is for a purpose that the applicant is authorized to carry out;


(d) Demonstrate that the applicant is able, willing, and authorized to assume immediate custody, use, care, and maintenance of the surplus Federal real property;


(e) Demonstrate that the applicant is able, willing, and authorized to pay the administrative expenses incident to the transfer or lease;


(f) Demonstrate that the applicant has the necessary funds, or the ability to obtain those funds immediately upon transfer or lease, to carry out the proposed program and plan of use for the surplus Federal real property;


(g) Demonstrate that the applicant has an immediate need and ability to use all of the surplus Federal real property for which it is applying;


(h) Demonstrate that the surplus Federal real property is needed for educational purposes at the time of application and that it is so needed for the duration of the period of restriction;


(i) Demonstrate that the surplus Federal real property is suitable or adaptable to the proposed program and plan of use; and


(j) Provide information requested by the Secretary in the notice of availability, including information of the effect of the proposed program and plan of use on the environment.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0524)

(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k))


§ 12.7 How is surplus Federal real property disposed of when there is more than one applicant?

(a) If there is more than one applicant for the same surplus Federal real property, the Secretary transfers or leases the property to the applicant whose proposed program and plan of use the Secretary determines provides the greatest public benefit, using the criteria contained in appendix A to this part that broadly address the weight given to each type of entity applying and its proposed program and plan of use. (See example in § 12.10(d)).


(b) If, after applying the criteria described in paragraph (a) of this section, two or more applicants are rated equally, the Secretary transfers or leases the property to one of the applicants after –


(1) Determining the need for each applicant’s proposed educational use at the site of the surplus Federal real property;


(2) Considering the quality of each applicant’s proposed program and plan of use; and


(3) Considering each applicant’s ability to carry out its proposed program and plan of use.


(c) If the Secretary determines that the surplus Federal real property is capable of serving more than one applicant, the Secretary may apportion it to fit the needs of as many applicants as is practicable.


(d)(1) The Secretary generally transfers surplus Federal real property to a selected applicant that meets the requirements of this part.


(2) Alternatively, the Secretary may lease surplus Federal real property to a selected applicant that meets the requirements of this part if the Secretary determines that a lease will promote the most effective use of the property consistent with the purposes of this part or if having a lease is otherwise in the best interest of the United States, as determined by the Secretary.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k))


§ 12.8 What transfer or lease instruments does the Secretary use?

(a) The Secretary transfers or leases surplus Federal real property using transfer or lease instruments that the Secretary prescribes.


(b) The transfer or lease instrument contains the applicable terms and conditions described in this part and any other terms and conditions the Secretary or Administrator determines are appropriate or necessary.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(c))


§ 12.9 What warranties does the Secretary give?

The Secretary transfers or leases surplus Federal real property on an “as is, where is,” basis without warranty of any kind.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(1))


§ 12.10 How is a Public Benefit Allowance (PBA) calculated?

(a) The Secretary calculates a PBA in accordance with the provisions of appendix A to this part taking into account the nature of the applicant, and the need for, impact of, and type of program and plan of use for the property, as described in that appendix.


(b) The following are illustrative examples of how a PBA would be calculated and applied under appendix A:


(1) Entity A is a specialized school that has had a building destroyed by fire, and that has existing facilities determined by the Secretary to be between 26 and 50% inadequate. It is proposing to use the surplus Federal real property to add a new physical education program. Entity A would receive a basic PBA of 70%, a 10% hardship organization allowance, a 20% allowance for inadequacy of existing school plant facilities, and a 10% utilization allowance for introduction of new instructional programs. Entity A would have a total PBA of 110%. If Entity A is awarded the surplus Federal real property, it would not be required to pay any cash for the surplus Federal real property, since the total PBA exceeds 100%.


(2) Entity B proposes to use the surplus Federal real property for nature walks. Because this qualifies as an outdoor educational program, Entity B would receive a basic PBA of 40%. If Entity B is awarded the surplus Federal real property, it would be required to pay 60% of the fair market value of the surplus Federal real property in cash at the time of the transfer.


(3) Entity C is an accredited university, has an ROTC unit, and proposes to use the surplus Federal real property for a school health clinic and for special education of the physically handicapped. Entity C would receive a basic PBA of 50% (as a college or university), a 20% accreditation organization allowance (accredited college or university), a 10% public service training organization allowance (ROTC), a 10% student health and welfare utilization allowance (school health clinic), and a 10% service to the handicapped utilization allowance (education of the physically handicapped). Entity C would have a total PBA of 100%. If Entity C is awarded the surplus Federal real property, it would not be required to pay any cash for the surplus Federal real property, since the total PBA is 100%.


(4) Entities A, B, and C all submit applications for the same surplus Federal real property. Unless the Secretary decides to apportion it, the Secretary transfers or leases the surplus Federal real property to Entity A, since its proposed program and plan of use has the highest total PBA.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(1)(c))


Subpart C – Conditions Applicable to Transfers or Leases

§ 12.11 What statutory provisions and Executive Orders apply to transfers of surplus Federal real property?

The Secretary directs the transferee or lessee to comply with applicable provisions of the following statutes and Executive Orders prior to, or immediately upon, transfer or lease, as applicable:


(a) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332.


(b) National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 16 U.S.C. 470.


(c) National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.


(d) Floodplain Management, Exec. Order No. 11988, 42 FR 26951 (May 25, 1977).


(e) Protection of Wetlands, Exec. Order No. 11990, 42 FR 26961 (May 25, 1977).


(f) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000(d)(1) et seq.


(g) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.


(h) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794 et seq.


(i) Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.


(j) Any other applicable Federal or State laws and Executive Orders.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k))

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0524)


§ 12.12 What are the terms and conditions of transfers or leases of surplus Federal real property?

(a) General terms and conditions for transfers and leases. The following general terms and conditions apply to transfers and leases of surplus Federal real property under this part:


(1) For the period provided in the transfer or lease instrument, the transferee or lessee shall use all of the surplus Federal real property it receives solely and continuously for its approved program and plan of use, in accordance with the Act and these regulations, except that –


(i) The transferee or lessee has twelve (12) months from the date of transfer to place this surplus Federal real property into use, if the Secretary did not, at the time of transfer, approve in writing construction of major new facilities or major renovation of the property;


(ii) The transferee or lessee has thirty-six (36) months from the date of transfer to place the surplus Federal real property into use, if the transferee or lessee proposes construction of major new facilities or major renovation of the property and the Secretary approves it in writing at the time of transfer; and


(iii) The Secretary may permit use of the surplus Federal real property at any time during the period of restriction by an entity other than the transferee or lessee in accordance with § 12.13.


(2) The transferee or lessee may not modify its approved program and plan of use without the prior written consent of the Secretary.


(3) The transferee or lessee may not sell, lease or sublease, rent, mortgage, encumber, or otherwise dispose of all or a portion of the surplus Federal real property or any interest therein without the prior written consent of the Secretary.


(4) A transferee or lessee shall pay all administrative costs incidental to the transfer or lease including, but not limited to –


(i) Transfer taxes;


(ii) Surveys;


(iii) Appraisals;


(iv) Inventory costs;


(v) Legal fees;


(vi) Title search;


(vii) Certificate or abstract expenses;


(viii) Decontamination costs;


(ix) Moving costs;


(x) Recordation expenses;


(xi) Other closing costs; and


(xii) Service charges, if any, provided for by an agreement between the Secretary and the applicable State agency for Federal Property Assistance.


(5) The transferee or lessee shall protect the residual financial interest of the United States in the surplus Federal real property by insurance or such other means as the Secretary directs.


(6) The transferee or lessee shall file with the Secretary reports on its maintenance and use of the surplus Federal real property and any other reports required by the Secretary in accordance with the transfer or lease instrument.


(7) Any other term or condition that the Secretary determines appropriate or necessary.


(b) Additional terms and conditions for on-site transfers. The terms and conditions in the transfer, including those in paragraph (a) of this section, apply for a period not to exceed thirty (30) years.


(c) Additional terms and conditions for off-site transfers. (1) The terms and conditions in the transfer, including those in paragraph (a) of this section, apply for a period equivalent to the estimated economic life of the property conveyed for a transfer of off-site surplus Federal real property.


(2) In addition to the terms and conditions contained in paragraph (c) of this section, the Secretary may also require the transferee of off-site surplus Federal real property –


(i) To post performance bonds;


(ii) To post performance guarantee deposits; or


(iii) To give such other assurances as may be required by the Secretary or the holding agency to ensure adequate site clearance.


(d) Additional terms and conditions for leases. In addition to the terms and conditions contained in paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary requires, for leases of surplus Federal real property, that all terms and conditions apply to the initial lease agreement, and any renewal periods, unless specifically excluded in writing by the Secretary.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(1))

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0524)


§ 12.13 When is use of the transferred surplus Federal real property by entities other than the transferee or lessee permissible?

(a) By eligible entities. A transferee or lessee may permit the use of all or a portion of the surplus Federal real property by another eligible entity as described in § 12.5, only upon those terms and conditions the Secretary determines appropriate if –


(1) The Secretary determines that the proposed use would not substantially limit the program and plan of use by the transferee or lessee and that the use will not unduly burden the Department;


(2) The Secretary’s written consent is obtained by the transferee or lessee in advance; and


(3) The Secretary approves the use instrument in advance and in writing.


(b) By ineligible entities. A transferee or lessee may permit the use of a portion of the surplus Federal real property by an ineligible entity, one not described in § 12.5, only upon those terms and conditions the Secretary determines appropriate if –


(1) In accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary makes the required determination and approves both the use and the use instrument;


(2) The use is confined to a portion of the surplus Federal real property;


(3) The use does not interfere with the approved program and plan of use for which the surplus Federal real property was conveyed; and


(4) Any rental fees or other compensation for use are either remitted directly to the Secretary or are applied to purposes expressly approved in writing in advance by the Secretary.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(4))


Subpart D – Enforcement

§ 12.14 What are the sanctions for noncompliance with a term or condition of a transfer or lease of surplus Federal real property?

(a) General sanctions for noncompliance. The Secretary imposes any or all of the following sanctions, as applicable, to all transfers or leases of surplus Federal real property:


(1) If all or a portion of, or any interest in, the transferred or leased surplus Federal real property is not used or is sold, leased or subleased, encumbered, disposed of, or used for purposes other than those in the approved program and plan of use, without the prior written consent of the Secretary, the Secretary may require that –


(i) All revenues and the reasonable value of other benefits received by the transferee or lessee directly or indirectly from that use, as determined by the Secretary, be held in trust by the transferee or lessee for the United States subject to the direction and control of the Secretary;


(ii) Title or possession to the transferred or leased surplus Federal real property and the right to immediate possession revert to the United States;


(iii) The surplus Federal real property be transferred or leased to another eligible entity as the Secretary directs;


(iv) The transferee or lessee abrogate the conditions and restrictions in the transfer or lease instrument in accordance with the provisions of § 12.15;


(v) The transferee or lessee place the surplus Federal real property into immediate use for an approved purpose and extend the period of restriction in the transfer or lease instrument for a term equivalent to the period during which the property was not fully and solely used for an approved use; or


(vi) The transferee or lessee comply with any combination of the sanctions described in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(3) of this section.


(2) If title or possession reverts to the United States for noncompliance or is voluntarily reconveyed, the Secretary may require the transferee or lessee –


(i) To reimburse the United States for the decrease in value of the transferred or leased surplus Federal real property not due to –


(A) Reasonable wear and tear;


(B) Acts of God; or


(C) Reasonable alterations made by the transferee or lessee to adapt the surplus Federal real property to the approved program and plan of use for which it was transferred or leased;


(ii) To reimburse the United States for any costs incurred in reverting title or possession;


(iii) To forfeit any cash payments made by the transferee or lessee against the purchase or lease price of surplus Federal real property transferred;


(iv) To take any other action directed by the Secretary; or


(v) To comply with any combination of the provisions of paragraph (a)(3) of this section.


(3) If the transferee or lessee does not put the surplus Federal real property into use within the applicable time limitation in § 12.12(a), the Secretary may require the transferee or lessee to make cash payments to the Secretary equivalent to the current fair market rental value of the surplus Federal real property for each month during which the program and plan of use has not been implemented.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(4))

(4) If the Secretary determines that a lessee of a transferee or a sublessee of a lessee is not complying with a term or condition of the lease, or if the lessee voluntarily surrenders the premises, the Secretary may require termination of the lease.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(4)(A))

(b) Additional sanction for noncompliance with off-site transfer. In addition to the sanctions in paragraph (a) of this section, if the Secretary determines that a transferee is not complying with a term or condition of a transfer of off-site surplus Federal real property, the Secretary may require that the unearned PBA become immediately due and payable in cash to the United States.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(4)(A))


Subpart E – Abrogation

§ 12.15 What are the procedures for securing an abrogation of the conditions and restrictions contained in the conveyance instrument?

(a) The Secretary may, in the Secretary’s sole discretion, abrogate the conditions and restrictions in the transfer or lease instrument if –


(1) The transferee or lessee submits to the Secretary a written request that the Secretary abrogate the conditions and restrictions in the conveyance instrument as to all or any portion of the surplus Federal real property;


(2) The Secretary determines that the proposed abrogation is in the best interests of the United States;


(3) The Secretary determines the terms and conditions under which the Secretary will consent to the proposed abrogation; and


(4) The Secretary transmits the abrogation to the Administrator and there is no disapproval by the Administrator within thirty (30) days after notice to the Administrator.


(b) The Secretary abrogates the conditions and restrictions in the transfer or lease instrument upon a cash payment to the Secretary based on the formula contained in the transfer or lease instrument and any other terms and conditions the Secretary deems appropriate to protect the interest of the United States.


(Authority: 40 U.S.C. 484(k)(4)(A)(iii))


Appendix A to Part 12 – Public Benefit Allowance for Transfer of Surplus Federal Real Property for Educational Purposes
1



1 This Appendix applies to transfers of both on-site and off-site surplus property.


Classification
Percent allowed
Basic public benefit allowance
Organization allowances
Utilization allowances
Maximum public benefit allowance
4
Accreditation
Federal impact
Public service training
Hardship
Inadequacy of existing school plant facilities
Introduction of new instructional programs
Student health and welfare
Research
Service to handicapped
10-25%
26-50%
51-100%
Elementary or high schools7010101010203010101010100
Colleges or Universities5020101010203010101010100
Specialized schools70101010203010101010100
Public libraries or educational museums
2 100

2 100
School outdoor education4010
3 10
1070
Central administrative and/or service centers8080
Non-profit educational research organizations502010101010100


2 Applicable when this is the primary use to be made of the property. The public benefit allowance for the overall program is applicable when such facilities are conveyed as a minor component of other facilities.


3 This 10% may include an approvable recreation program which will be accessible to the public and entirely compatible with, but subordinate to, the educational program.


4 This column establishes the maximum discount from the fair market value for payment due from the transferee at the time of the transfer. This column does not apply for purposes of ranking applicants to determine to which applicant the property will be transferred. Competitive rankings are based on the absolute total of public benefit allowance points and are not limited to the 100% ceiling.


Description of Terms Used in This Appendix

Elementary or High School means an elementary school (including a kindergarten), high school, junior high school, junior-senior high school or elementary or secondary school system, that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under State law. However, it does not include a nursery school even though it may operate as part of a school system.


College or University means a non-profit or public university or college, including a junior college, that provides postsecondary education.


Specialized School means a vocational school, area trade school, school for the blind, or similar school.


Public Library means a public library or public library service system, not a school library or library operated by non-profit, private organizations or institutions that may be open to the general public. School libraries receive the public benefit allowance in the appropriate school classification.


Educational Museum means a museum that conducts courses on a continuing, not ad hoc, basis for students who receive credits from accredited postsecondary education institutions or school systems.


School Outdoor Education means a separate facility for outdoor education as distinguished from components of a basic school. Components of a school such as playgrounds and athletic fields receive the basic allowance applicable for that type of school. The outdoor education must be located reasonably near the school system and may be open to and used by the general public, but only if the educational program for which the property is conveyed is given priority of use. This category does not include components of the school such as playgrounds and athletic fields, that are utilized during the normal school year, and are available to all students.


Central Administrative and/or Service Center means administrative office space, equipment storage areas, and similar facilities.


Description of Allowances

Basic Public Benefit Allowance means an allowance that is earned by an applicant that satisfies the requirements of § 12.10 of this part.


Organization Allowance

Accreditation means an allowance that is earned by any postsecondary educational institution, including a vocational or trade school, that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary under 34 CFR part 602.


Federal Impact means an allowance that is earned by any local educational agency (LEA) qualifying for Federal financial assistance as the result of the impact of certain Federal activities upon a community, such as the following under Public Law 81-874 and Public Law 81-815: to any LEA charged by law with responsibility for education of children who reside on, or whose parents are employed on, Federal property, or both; to any LEA to which the Federal Government has caused a substantial and continuing financial burden as the result of the acquisition of a certain amount of Federal property since 1938; or to any LEA that urgently needs minimum school facilities due to a substantial increase in school membership as the result of new or increased Federal activities.


Public Services Training means an allowance that is earned if the applicant has cadet or ROTC units or other personnel training contracts for the Federal or State governments. This is given to a school system only if the particular school receiving the property furnishes that training.


Hardship means an allowance earned by an applicant that has suffered a significant facility loss because of fire, storm, flood, other disaster, or condemnation. This allowance is also earned if unusual conditions exist such as isolation or economic factors that require special consideration.


Inadequacies of Existing Facilities means an allowance that is earned on a percentage basis depending on the degree of inadequacy considering both public and nonpublic facilities. Overall plant requirements are determined based on the relationship between the maximum enrollment accommodated in the present facilities, excluding double and night sessions and the anticipated enrollment if the facilities are transferred. Inadequacies may be computed for a component school unit such as a school farm, athletic field, facility for home economics, round-out school site, cafeteria, auditorium, teacherages, faculty housing, etc., only if the component is required to meet State standards. In that event, the State Department of Education will be required to provide a certification of the need. Component school unit inadequacies may only be related to a particular school and not to the entire school system.


Utilization Allowances

Introduction of New Instructional Programs means an allowance that is earned if the proposed use of the property indicates that new programs will be added at a particular school. Examples of these new programs include those for vocational education, physical education, libraries, and similar programs.


Student Health and Welfare means an allowance that is earned if the proposed program and plan of use of the property provides for cafeteria, clinic, infirmary, bus loading shelters, or other uses providing for the well-being and health of students and eliminating safety and health hazards.


Research means an allowance that is earned if the proposed use of the property will be predominantly for research by faculty or graduate students under school auspices, or other primary educational research.


Service to Handicapped means an allowance that is earned if the proposed program and plan of use for the property will be for special education for the physically or mentally handicapped.


PART 15 – UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION FOR FEDERAL AND FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAMS


Authority:Section 213, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, Pub. L. 91-646, 84 Stat. 1894 (42 U.S.C. 4601) as amended by the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, Title IV of Pub. L. 100-17, 101 Stat. 246-256 (42 U.S.C. 4601 note).

§ 15.1 Uniform relocation assistance and real property acquisition.

Regulations and procedures for complying with the Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-646, 84 Stat. 1894, 42 U.S.C. 4601) as amended by the SUrface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (Title IV of Pub. L. 100-17, 101 Stat. 264-255, 42 U.S.C. 4601 note) are set forth in 49 CFR part 24.


[52 FR 48021, Dec. 17, 1987]


PART 21 – EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE


Authority:5 U.S.C. 504, unless otherwise noted.


Source:58 FR 47192, Sept. 7, 1993, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General

§ 21.1 Equal Access to Justice Act.

(a) The Equal Access to Justice Act (the Act) provides for the award of fees and other expenses to applicants that –


(1) Are prevailing parties in adversary adjudications before the Department of Education; and


(2) Meet all other conditions of eligibility contained in this part.


(b) An eligible applicant, as described in paragraph (a) of this section, is entitled to receive an award unless –


(1) The adjudicative officer, the Civil Rights Reviewing Authority (CRRA), or the Secretary on review, determines that –


(i) The Department’s position was substantially justified; or


(ii) Special circumstances make an award unjust; or


(2) The adversary adjudication is under judicial review, in which case the applicant may receive an award only as described in § 21.11.


(c) The determination under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section is based on the administrative record, as a whole, made during the adversary adjudication for which fees and other expenses are sought.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(a)(1) and (c)(1))


§ 21.2 Time period when the Act applies.

The Act applies to any adversary adjudication covered under this part pending or commenced before the Department on or after August 5, 1985.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(note))


§ 21.3 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this part:


Act means the Equal Access to Justice Act.


Adjudicative officer means the Administrative Law Judge, hearing examiner, or other deciding official who presided at the underlying adversary adjudication.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(D))

Adversary adjudication means a proceeding –


(1) Conducted by the Department for the formulation of an order or decision arising from a hearing on the record under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 554);


(2) Listed in § 21.10; and


(3) In which the position of the Department was represented by counsel or other representative who entered an appearance and participated in the proceeding.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(C))

Application subject to the jurisdiction of the CRRA means an application for fees and expenses based on an underlying proceeding conducted under 34 CFR parts 100, 101, 104, 106, or 110.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(C); 20 U.S.C. 1681; 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1 et seq. and 6101 et seq.)

CRRA means the Civil Rights Reviewing Authority, the reviewing authority established by the Secretary to consider applications under 34 CFR parts 100, 101, 104, 106, and 110.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(C); 20 U.S.C. 1681; 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1 et seq. and 6101 et seq.)

Department means the U.S. Department of Education.


Department’s counsel means counsel for the Department of Education or another Federal agency.


Employee means:


(1) A person who regularly performs services for an applicant –


(i) For remuneration; and


(ii) Under the applicant’s direction and control.


(2) A part-time or seasonal employee who performs services for an applicant –


(i) For renumeration; and


(ii) Under the applicant’s direction and control.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))

Fees and other expenses means an eligible applicant’s reasonable fees and expenses –


(1) Related to the issues on which it was the prevailing party in the adversary adjudication; and


(2) Further described in §§ 21.33 and 21.50.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and (c)(1))

Party means a “person” or a “party” as those terms are defined in the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551(3)), including an individual, partnership, corporation, association, unit of local government, or public or private organization that meets the requirements in § 21.20. The term does not include an agency of the Federal Government.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(B))

Position of the Department means, in addition to the position taken by the Department in the adversary adjudication, the action or failure to act by the Department upon which the adversary adjudication is based.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (a)(1) and (b)(1)(E))

Secretary means the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (b)(2) and (c)(1))


Subpart B – Which Adversary Adjudications Are Covered?

§ 21.10 Adversary adjudications covered by the Act.

The Act covers adversary adjudications under section 554 of title 5 of the United States Code. These include the following:


(a) Compliance proceedings under title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.).


(b) Compliance and enforcement proceedings under the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.).


(c) Compliance proceedings under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).


(d) Compliance proceedings under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794).


(e) Withholding proceedings under section 1001 of Pub. L. 100-297 (Hawkins-Stafford) (20 U.S.C. 2833).


(f) Proceedings under any of the following:


(1) Section 5(g) of Pub. L. 81-874 (Financial Assistance for Local Educational Agencies in Areas Affected by Federal Activity) (20 U.S.C. 240(g)).


(2) Sections 6(c) or 11(a) of Pub. L. 81-815 (an act relating to the construction of school facilities in areas affected by Federal activities and for other purposes) (20 U.S.C. 636(c) or 641(a)).


(3) Section 6 of Pub. L. 95-563 (Contract Disputes Act of 1978) (41 U.S.C. 605).


(4) Part E of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1234 et seq.).


(g) Other adversary adjudications that fall within the coverage of the Act.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c) and 554; 20 U.S.C. 1234(f)(2))


§ 21.11 Effect of judicial review of adversary adjudication.

If a court reviews the underlying decision of an adversary adjudication covered under this part, an award of fees and other expenses may be made only under 28 U.S.C. 2412 (awards in certain judicial proceedings).


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1); 28 U.S.C. 2412(d)(3))


Subpart C – How Is Eligibility Determined?

§ 21.20 Types of eligible applicants.

The following types of parties that prevail in adversary adjudications are eligible to apply under the Act for an award of fees and other expenses:


(a) An individual who has a net worth of not more than $2 million.


(b) Any owner of an unincorporated business who has –


(1) A net worth of not more than $7 million, including both personal and business interests; and


(2) Not more than 500 employees.


(c) A charitable or other tax-exempt organization –


(1) As described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)); and


(2) Having not more than 500 employees.


(d) A cooperative association –


(1) As defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act (12 U.S.C. 1141(a)); and


(2) Having not more than 500 employees.


(e) Any other partnership, corporation, association, unit of local government, or organization that has –


(1) A net worth of not more than $7 million; and


(2) Not more than 500 employees.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(B))


§ 21.21 Determination of net worth and number of employees.

(a) The adjudicative officer shall determine an applicant’s net worth and number of employees as of the date the adversary adjudication was initiated.


(b) In determining eligibility, the adjudicative officer shall include the net worth and number of employees of the applicant and all of the affiliates of the applicant.


(c) For the purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, the adjudicative officer shall consider the following as an affiliate:


(1) Any individual, corporation, or other entity that directly or indirectly owns or controls a majority of the voting shares or other interest of the applicant;


(2) Any corporation or other entity of which the applicant directly or indirectly owns or controls a majority of the voting shares or other interest; and


(3) Any entity with a financial relationship to the applicant that, in the determination of the adjudicative officer, constitutes an affiliation for the purposes of paragraph (b) of this section.


(d) In determining the number of employees of an applicant and its affiliates, the adjudicative officer shall count part-time employees on a proportional basis.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))


§ 21.22 Applicants representing others.

If an applicant is a party in an adversary adjudication primarily on behalf of one or more persons or entities that are ineligible under this part, then the applicant is not eligible for an award.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (b)(1)(B) and (c)(1))


Subpart D – How Does One Apply for an Award?

§ 21.30 Time for filing application.

(a) In order to be considered for an award under this part, an applicant may file its application when it prevails in an adversary adjudication – or in a significant and discrete substantive portion of an adversary adjudication – but no later than 30 days after the Department’s final disposition of the adversary adjudication.


(b) In the case of a review or reconsideration of a decision in which an applicant has prevailed or believes it has prevailed, the adjudicative officer shall stay the proceedings on the application pending final disposition of the underlying issue.


(c) For purposes of this part, final disposition of the adversary adjudication means the latest of –


(1) The date on which an initial decision or other recommended disposition of the merits of the proceeding by an adjudicative officer becomes administratively final;


(2) The date of an order disposing of any petitions for reconsideration of the final order in the adversary adjudication;


(3) If no petition for reconsideration is filed, the last date on which that type of petition could have been filed; or


(4) The date of a final order or any other final resolution of a proceeding – such as a settlement or voluntary dismissal – that is not subject to a petition for reconsideration.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (a)(2) and (c)(1))


§ 21.31 Contents of application.

(a) In its application for an award of fees and other expenses, an applicant shall include the following:


(1) Information adequate to show that the applicant is a prevailing party in an adversary adjudication or in a significant and discrete substantive portion of an adversary adjudication.


(2) A statement that the adversary adjudication is covered by the Act according to § 21.10.


(3) An allegation that the position of the Department was not substantially justified, including a description of the specific position.


(4) Unless the applicant is a qualified tax-exempt organization or a qualified agricultural cooperative association, information adequate to show that the applicant qualifies under the requirements of §§ 21.20 and 21.21 regarding net worth. The information, if applicable, shall include a detailed exhibit of the net worth of the applicant – and its affiliates as described in § 21.21 – as of the date the proceeding was initiated.


(5)(i) The total amount of fees and expenses sought in the award; and


(ii) An itemized statement of –


(A) Each expense; and


(B) Each fee, including the actual time expended for this fee and the rate at which the fee was computed.


(6) A written verification under oath or affirmation or under penalty of perjury from each attorney representing the applicant stating –


(i) The rate at which the fee submitted by the attorney was computed; and


(ii) The actual time expended for the fee.


(7) A written verification under oath, affirmation, or under penalty of perjury that the information contained in the application and any accompanying material is true and complete to the best of the applicant’s information and belief.


(b) The adjudicative officer may require the applicant to submit additional information.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (a)(2) and (c)(1))


§ 21.32 Confidentiality of information about net worth.

(a) In a proceeding on an application, the public record ordinarily includes the information showing the net worth of the applicant.


(b) However, if an applicant objects to public disclosure of any portion of the information and believes there are legal grounds for withholding it from disclosure, the applicant may submit directly to the adjudicative officer –


(1) The information the applicant wishes withheld in a sealed envelope labeled “Confidential Financial Information;” and


(2) A motion to withhold the information from public disclosure.


(c) The motion must –


(1) Describe the information the applicant is requesting be withheld; and


(2) Explain in detail –


(i) Why that information falls within one or more of the specific exemptions from mandatory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act;


(ii) Why public disclosure of the information would adversely affect the applicant; and


(iii) Why disclosure is not required in the public interest.


(d)(1) The applicant shall serve on Department’s counsel a copy of the material referred to in paragraph (c) of this section.


(2) The applicant is not required to give a copy of that material to any other party to the proceeding.


(e)(1) If the adjudicative officer finds that the information should not be withheld from public disclosure, the information is placed in the public record of the proceeding.


(2) If the adjudicative officer finds that the information should be withheld from public disclosure, any request to inspect or copy the information is treated in accordance with the Department’s established procedures under the Freedom of Information Act (34 CFR part 5).


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))


§ 21.33 Allowable fees and expenses.

(a) A prevailing party may apply for an award of fees and other expenses incurred by the party in connection with –


(1) An adversary adjudication; or


(2) A significant and discrete substantive portion of an adversary adjudication.


(b) If a proceeding includes issues covered by the Act and issues excluded from coverage, the applicant may apply only for an award of fees and other expenses related to covered issues.


(c) Allowable fees and expenses include the following, as applicable:


(1) An award of fees based on rates customarily charged by attorneys, agents, and expert witnesses.


(2) An award for the reasonable expenses of the attorney, agent, or expert witness as a separate item if the attorney, agent, or expert witness ordinarily charges clients separately for those expenses.


(3) The cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test, or project related to the preparation of the applicant’s case in the adversary adjudication.


(d) The calculation of fees and expenses as provided for under paragraph (c) of this section shall be in accordance with the standards for awards as described in § 21.50(a) through (c).


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(a)(1), (b)(1)(A) and (c)(1))


Subpart E – What Procedures Are Used in Considering Applications?

§ 21.40 Filing and service of documents.

(a) Except as provided in § 21.32 and in applications subject to the jurisdiction of the CRRA, an applicant shall –


(1) File with the adjudicative officer its application and any related documents; and


(2) Serve on all parties to the adversary adjudication copies of its application and any related documents.


(b)(1) In an application subject to the jurisdiction of the CRRA, the applicant shall –


(i) File with the CRRA its application and any other related documents; and


(ii) Serve on all parties to the adversary adjudication copies of its application and any related documents.


(2) In applications subject to § 21.40(b)(1), the CRRA shall direct the adjudicative officer to issue an initial decision within 30 days of the completion of the proceedings on the application. The adjudicative officer shall conduct proceedings under the procedures of §§ 21.41-21.44.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(a)(2) and (c)(1); 20 U.S.C. 1681; 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1 et seq. and 6101 et seq.)


§ 21.41 Answer to application.

(a)(1) Within 30 days after receiving an application for an award under this part, the Department’s counsel may file an answer to the application.


(2) The Department’s counsel may request an extension of time for filing the Department’s answer.


(3) The adjudicative officer shall grant the request for an extension if the Department’s counsel shows good cause for the request.


(b)(1) The Department’s answer must –


(i) Explain any objections to the award requested; and


(ii) Identify the facts relied on in support of the position of the Department.


(2) If the answer is based on any alleged facts not in the record of the adversary adjudication, the Department’s counsel shall include with the answer either –


(i) Supporting affidavits; or


(ii) A request for further proceedings under § 21.44.


(c)(1) If the Department’s counsel and the applicant believe that the issues in the application can be settled, they may jointly file a statement of their intent to negotiate a settlement.


(2)(i) The filing of a statement of an intent to negotiate extends the time for filing an answer for 30 days.


(ii) The adjudicative officer shall grant further extensions if the Department’s counsel and the applicant jointly request those extensions.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))


§ 21.42 Reply.

(a) Within 15 days after receiving an answer, an applicant may file a reply.


(b) If the applicant’s reply is based on any alleged facts not in the record of the adversary adjudication, the applicant shall include with the reply either –


(1) Supporting affidavits; or


(2) A request for further proceedings under § 21.44.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))


§ 21.43 Comments by other parties.

(a) Any party to a proceeding, other than an applicant or the Department’s counsel, may file comments on –


(1) The application within 30 days after the applicant files the application;


(2) The answer within 30 days after the counsel files the answer; or


(3) Both, if the comments are filed within the time period specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.


(b) The commenting party may not participate further in proceedings on the application unless the adjudicative officer determines that further participation is necessary to permit full exploration of matters raised in the comments.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))


§ 21.44 Further proceedings.

(a) The adjudicative officer shall make the determination of an award on the basis of the written record.


(b)(1) However, the adjudicative officer may order further proceedings on his or her own initiative or at the request of the applicant or the Department’s counsel.


(2) The adjudicative officer may order further proceedings only if he or she determines that those proceedings are necessary for full and fair resolution of issues arising from the application.


(3) If further proceedings are ordered, the adjudicative officer shall determine the scope of those proceedings, which may include such proceedings as informal conferences, oral arguments, additional written submissions, discovery, or an evidentiary hearing.


(4) An adjudicative officer may not order discovery or an evidentiary hearing for the issue of whether or not the Department’s position was substantially justified.


(c) If the applicant or the Department’s counsel requests the adjudicative officer to order further proceedings, the request must –


(1) Specify the information sought or the disputed issues; and


(2) Explain why the additional proceedings are necessary to obtain that information or resolve those issues.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(a)(3) and (c)(1))


Subpart F – How Are Awards Determined?

§ 21.50 Standards for awards.

(a) In determining the reasonableness of the amount sought as an award of fees and expenses for an attorney, agent, or expert witness, the adjudicative officer shall consider one or more of the following:


(1)(i) If the attorney, agent, or expert witness is in private practice, his or her customary fee for similar services; or


(ii) If the attorney, agent, or expert witness is an employee of the applicant, the fully allocated cost of the services.


(2) The prevailing rate for similar services in the community in which the attorney, agent, or expert witness ordinarily performs services.


(3) The time the attorney, agent, or expert witness actually spent on the applicant’s behalf with respect to the adversary adjudication.


(4) The time the attorney, agent, or expert witness reasonably spent in light of the difficulty or complexity of the covered issues in the adversary adjudication.


(5) Any other factors that may bear on the value of the services provided by the attorney, agent, or expert witness.


(b) The adjudicative officer may not grant –


(1) An award for the fee of an attorney or agent in excess of $75.00 per hour; or


(2) An award to compensate an expert witness in excess of the highest rate at which the Department pays expert witnesses.


(c) The adjudicative officer may also determine whether –


(1) Any study, analysis, engineering report, text, or project for which the applicant seeks an award was necessary for the preparation of the applicant’s case in the adversary adjudication; and


(2) The costs claimed by the applicant for this item or items are reasonable.


(d) The adjudicative officer may not make an award to an eligible party if the adjudicative officer, the CRRA, or the Secretary on review finds that, based on a review of the administrative record as a whole –


(1) The position of the Department, as defined in § 21.3, was substantially justified; or


(2) Special circumstances make an award unjust.


(e) The adjudicative officer may reduce or deny an award to the extent that the applicant engaged in conduct that unduly or unreasonably protracted the adversary adjudication.


(f) If an applicant is entitled to an award because the applicant prevailed over another agency of the United States that participated in a proceeding before the Department and that agency’s position was not substantially justified, the adjudicative officer shall determine whether to make the award, or an appropriate portion of the award, against that agency. For the purpose of this determination, the requirements of this subpart apply.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(a), (b)(1)(A), and (b)(1)(E))


§ 21.51 Initial decision in applications not subject to the CRRA.

(a) In applications not subject to the jurisdiction of the CRRA, the adjudicative officer shall issue an initial decision on an application within 30 days after completion of proceedings on the application.


(b) The initial decision must include the following:


(1) Written findings, including sufficient supporting explanation, on –


(i) The applicant’s status as a prevailing party;


(ii) The applicant’s eligibility;


(iii) Whether the position of the Department was substantially justified;


(iv) Whether special circumstances make an award unjust;


(v) If applicable, whether the applicant engaged in conduct that unduly or unreasonably protracted the adversary adjudication; and


(vi) Other factual issues raised in the adversary adjudication.


(2) A statement of the amount awarded, including an explanation – with supporting information – for any difference between the amount requested by the applicant and the amount awarded.


(3) A statement of the applicant’s right to request review by the Secretary under § 21.54.


(4) A statement of the applicant’s right under § 21.56 to seek judicial review of the final award determination.


(c) The explanation referred to in paragraph (b)(2) of this section may include –


(1) Whether the amount requested was reasonable; and


(2) The extent to which the applicant unduly or unreasonably protracted the adversary adjudication.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504 (a)(3) and (c))


§ 21.52 Initial decision by an adjudicative officer in applications subject to CRRA jurisdiction.

(a) If the application is subject to the jurisdiction of the CRRA, the adjudicative officer shall issue the initial decision within 30 days after completion of the proceedings.


(b) The initial decision must include the information required under § 21.51(b). However, instead of the information required under § 21.51(b)(3), the initial decision must inform the applicant of –


(1) Its right to request review by the CRRA; and


(2) Its right to request review by the Secretary of the CRRA’s final decision.


(c) If the applicant or the Department’s counsel appeals the adjudicative officer’s initial decision, the appeal must be submitted to the CRRA, in writing, within 30 days after the initial decision is issued.


(d) If the applicant or the Department’s counsel does not appeal the adjudicative officer’s initial decision to the CRRA and the Secretary does not decide to review the initial decision under § 21.54(a), the initial decision becomes the Department’s final decision 60 days after it is issued by the officer.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(C); 20 U.S.C. 1681; 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1 et seq. and 6101 et seq.)


§ 21.53 Final decision of the CRRA.

(a) In an application subject to the jurisdiction of the CRRA, the CRRA shall, within 30 days after receipt of the written appeal –


(1) Issue a final decision on the appeal of the adjudicative officer’s initial decision; or


(2) Remand the application to the adjudicative officer for further proceedings.


(b) The CRRA shall review the initial decision on the basis of the written record of the proceedings on the application. This includes but is not limited to –


(1) The written request; and


(2) The adjudicative officer’s findings as described in § 21.51(b).


(c) The CRRA shall act on the review by either –


(1) Issuing a final decision on the application; or


(2) Remanding the application to the adjudicative officer for further proceedings.


(d) If the CRRA issues a final decision, the CRRA’s decision must include –


(1) Written findings, including supporting explanation, on –


(i) The applicant’s status as a prevailing party;


(ii) The applicant’s eligibility;


(iii) Whether the position of the Department was substantially justified;


(iv) Whether special circumstances make an award unjust;


(v) Whether the applicant engaged in conduct that unduly or unreasonably protracted the adversary adjudication; and


(vi) Other factual issues raised in the adversary adjudication.


(2) A statement of the amount awarded, including an explanation – with supporting information – for any difference between the amount requested by the applicant and the amount awarded.


(3) A statement of the applicant’s right to request review by the Secretary under § 21.54.


(4) A statement of the applicant’s right under § 21.56 to seek judicial review of the final award determination.


(e) The explanation referred to in paragraph (d)(2) of this section may include –


(1) Whether the amount requested was reasonable; and


(2) The extent to which the applicant unduly or unreasonably protracted the adversary adjudication.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 557 (b) and (c); 20 U.S.C. 1681 and 3401 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1 et seq. and 6101 et seq.)


§ 21.54 Review by the Secretary.

(a) The Secretary may decide to review –


(1) An initial decision made by an adjudicative officer in a proceeding not subject to CRRA review;


(2) An initial decision made by an adjudicative officer in a proceeding subject to CRRA review that was not appealed to the CRRA; or


(3) A final decision made by the CRRA under § 21.53.


(b)(1) The Secretary does not review a final decision made by an adjudicative officer of the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals.


(2) The Secretary or a party to the proceedings may seek reconsideration of the final decision by an adjudicative officer of the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals on the fee application in accordance with 48 CFR 6101.32.


(c) The Secretary decides to review a decision under § 21.54(a) either –


(1) Upon receipt of a written request for review by an applicant or Department’s counsel; or


(2) Upon the Secretary’s own motion.


(d) If the applicant or the Department’s counsel seeks a review, the request must be submitted to the Secretary, in writing, within 30 days of –


(1) An initial decision in a proceeding not subject to CRRA review; or


(2) A final decision of the CRRA.


(e) The Secretary decides whether to accept or reject a request for review of an initial decision made by the adjudicative officer in a proceeding not subject to CRRA review or a final decision of the CRRA within 30 days after receipt of a request for review.


(f) The Secretary may decide on his own motion to review a decision made under § 21.54(a) within 60 days of the initial decision by the adjudicative officer or a final decision of the CRRA.


(g) If the Secretary decides to review the adjudicative officer’s initial decision or the CRRA’s final decision –


(1) The Secretary reviews the adjudicative officer’s initial decision or the CRRA’s final decision on the basis of the written record of the proceedings on the application. This includes, but is not restricted to –


(i) The written request for review;


(ii) The adjudicative officer’s findings as described in § 21.51(b); and


(iii) If applicable, the final decision of the CRRA, if any; and


(2) The Secretary either –


(i) Issues a final decision; or


(ii) Remands the application to the adjudicative officer or the CRRA for further proceedings.


(h) If the Secretary issues a final decision, the Secretary’s decision –


(1) Is in writing;


(2) States the reasons for the decision; and


(3) If the decision is adverse to the applicant, advises the applicant of its right to petition for judicial review under § 21.56.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 557 (b) and (c))


§ 21.55 Final decision if the Secretary does not review.

If the Secretary takes no action under § 21.54 –


(a) The adjudicative officer’s initial decision on the application becomes the Department’s final decision 60 days after it is issued by the adjudicative officer; or


(b) The CRRA’s decision on the application becomes the Department’s final decision 60 days after it is issued by the CRRA.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301)


§ 21.56 Judicial review.

If the applicant is dissatisfied with the award determination in the final decision under §§ 21.52-21.55, the applicant may seek judicial review of that determination under 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(2) within 30 days after that determination was made.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(2))


Subpart G – How Are Awards Paid?

§ 21.60 Payment of awards.

To receive payment, an applicant granted an award under the Act must submit to the Financial Management Service of the Department –


(a) A request for payment signed by the applicant or its duly authorized agent;


(b) A copy of the final decision granting the award; and


(c) A statement that –


(1) The applicant will not seek review of the decision in the United States courts; or


(2) The process for seeking review of the award has been completed.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1) and (d))


§ 21.61 Release.

If an applicant, its agent, or its attorney accepts payment of any award or settlement in conjunction with an application under this part, that acceptance –


(a) Is final and conclusive with respect to that application; and


(b) Constitutes a complete release of any further claim against the United States with respect to that application.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1))


PART 30 – DEBT COLLECTION


Authority:20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e), 31 U.S.C. 3716(b) and 3720A, unless otherwise noted.


Source:51 FR 24099, July 1, 1986, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General

§ 30.1 What administrative actions may the Secretary take to collect a debt?

(a) The Secretary may take one or more of the following actions to collect a debt owed to the United States:


(1) Collect the debt under the procedures authorized in the regulations in this part.


(2) Refer the debt to the General Accounting Office for collection.


(3) Refer the debt to the Department of Justice for compromise, collection, or litigation.


(4) Take any other action authorized by law.


(b) In taking any of the actions listed in paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary complies with the requirements of the Federal Claims Collection Standards (FCCS) at 4 CFR parts 101-105 that are not inconsistent with the requirements of this part.


(c) The Secretary may –


(1) Collect the debt under the offset procedures in subpart C of this part;


(2) Report a debt to a consumer reporting agency under the procedures in subpart C of this part;


(3) Charge interest on the debt as provided in the FCCS;


(4) Impose upon a debtor a charge based on the costs of collection as determined under subpart E of this part;


(5) Impose upon a debtor a penalty for failure to pay a debt when due under subpart E of this part;


(6) Compromise a debt, or suspend or terminate collection of a debt, under subpart F of this part;


(7) Take any other actions under the procedures of the FCCS in order to protect the United States Government’s interests; or


(8) Use any combination of the procedures listed in this paragraph (c) as may be appropriate in a particular case.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e))

[53 FR 33425, Aug. 30, 1988]


§ 30.2 On what authority does the Secretary rely to collect a debt under this part?

(a)(1) The Secretary takes an action referred to under § 30.1(a) in accordance with –


(i) 31 U.S.C. chapter 37, subchapters I and II;


(ii) Other applicable statutory authority; or


(iii) The common law.


(2) If collection of a debt in a particular case is not authorized under one of the authorities described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Secretary may collect the debt under any other available authority under which collection is authorized.


(b) The Secretary does not use a procedure listed in § 30.1(c) to collect a debt, or a certain type of debt, if –


(1) The procedure is specifically prohibited under a Federal statute; or


(2) A separate procedure other than the procedure described under § 30.1(c) is specifically required under –


(i) A contract, grant, or other agreement;


(ii) A statute other than 31 U.S.C. 3716; or


(iii) Other regulations.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e))

[53 FR 33425, Aug. 30, 1988]


Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C – What Provisions Apply to Administrative Offset?

General Offset Procedures

§ 30.20 To what do §§ 30.20-30.31 apply?

(a)(1)(i) Sections 30.20-30.31 establish the general procedures used by the Secretary to collect debts by administrative offset.


(ii) The Secretary uses the procedures established under other regulations, including § 30.33, What procedures does the Secretary follow for IRS tax refund offsets?, 34 CFR part 31, Salary Offset for Federal Employees Who Are Indebted to the United States Under Programs Administrated by the Secretary of Education, and 34 CFR part 32, Salary Offset to Recover Overpayments of Pay or Allowances from Department of Education Employees, if the conditions requiring application of those special procedures exists.


(2) The word “offset” is used in this subpart to refer to the collection of a debt by administrative offset.


(b) The Secretary does not rely on 31 U.S.C. 3716 as authority for offset if:


(1) The debt is owed by a State or local government;


(2) The debt, or the payment against which offset would be taken, arises under the Social Security Act;


(3) The debt is owed under:


(i) The Internal Revenue Code of 1954; or


(ii) The tariff laws of the United States; or


(4) The right to collect the debt first accrued more than ten years before initiation of the offset.


(c)(1) The Secretary may rely on 31 U.S.C. 3716 as authority for offset of a debt to which paragraph (b)(4) of this section would otherwise apply if facts material to the Government’s right to collect the debt were not known and could not reasonably have been known by the official or officials of the Government who are charged with the responsibility to discover and collect the debt.


(2) If paragraph (c)(1) of this section applies, the Secretary may rely on 31 U.S.C. 3716 as authority for offset up to 10 years after the date that the official or officials described in that paragraph first knew or reasonably should have known of the right of the United States to collect the debt.


(d) The Secretary determines when the right to collect a debt first accrued under the existing law regarding accrual of debts such as 28 U.S.C. 2415.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))

[51 FR 24099, July 1, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 35646, Oct. 7, 1986; 53 FR 33425, Aug. 30, 1988; 54 FR 43583, Oct. 26, 1989]


§ 30.21 When may the Secretary offset a debt?

(a) The Secretary may offset a debt if:


(1) The debt is liquidated or certain in amount; and


(2) Offset is feasible and not otherwise prohibited.


(b)(1) Whether offset is feasible is determined by the Secretary in the exercise of sound discretion on a case-by-case basis, either:


(i) For each individual debt or offset; or


(ii) For each class of similar debts or offsets.


(2) The Secretary considers the following factors in making this determination:


(i) Whether offset can be practically and legally accomplished.


(ii) Whether offset will further and protect the interests of the United States.


(c) The Secretary may switch advance funded grantees to a reimbursement payment system before initiating an offset.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


§ 30.22 What notice does the debtor receive before the commencement of offset?

(a)(1) Except as provided in §§ 30.28 and 30.29, the Secretary provides a debtor with written notice of the Secretary’s intent to offset before initiating the offset.


(2) The Secretary mails the notice to the debtor at the current address of the debtor, as determined by the Secretary from information regarding the debt maintained by the Department.


(b) The written notice informs the debtor regarding:


(1) The nature and amount of the debt;


(2) The Secretary’s intent to collect the debt by offset;


(3) The debtor’s opportunity to:


(i) Inspect and copy Department records pertaining to the debt;


(ii) Obtain a review within the Department of the existence or amount of the debt; and


(iii) Enter into a written agreement with the Secretary to repay the debt;


(4) The date by which the debtor must request an opportunity set forth under paragraph (b)(3) of this section; and


(5) The Secretary’s decision, in appropriate cases, to switch the debtor from advance funding to a reimbursement payment system.


(c)(1) In determining whether a debtor has requested an opportunity set forth under paragraph (b)(3) of this section in a timely manner, the Secretary relies on:


(i) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark for the debtor’s request; or


(ii) A legibly stamped U.S. Postal service mail receipt for debtor’s request.


(2) The Secretary does not rely on either of the following as proof of mailing;


(i) A private metered postmark.


(ii) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.



Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method for proof of mailing, a debtor should check with its local post office.


(d) If a debtor previously has been notified of the Secretary’s intent to offset or offered an opportunity to take any of the actions set forth in paragraph (b)(3) of this section in connection with the same debt, the Secretary may offset without providing the debtor with an additional notice of intent or opportunity to take any of those actions under these offset procedures.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


§ 30.23 How must a debtor request an opportunity to inspect and copy records relating to a debt?

(a) If a debtor wants to inspect and copy Department documents relating to the debt, the debtor must:


(1) File a written request to inspect and copy the documents within 20 days after the date of the notice provided under § 30.22; and


(2) File the request at the address specified in that notice.


(b) A request filed under paragraph (a) of this section must contain:


(1) All information provided to the debtor in the notice under § 30.22 or § 30.33(b) that identifies the debtor and the debt, including the debtor’s Social Security number and the program under which the debt arose, together with any corrections of that identifying information; and


(2) A reasonably specific identification of the records the debtor wishes to have available for inspection and copying.


(c) The Secretary may decline to provide an opportunity to inspect and copy records if the debtor fails to request inspection and copying in accordance with this section.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0515)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))

[51 FR 24099, July 1, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 35646, Oct. 7, 1986]


§ 30.24 What opportunity does the debtor receive to obtain a review of the existence or amount of a debt?

(a) If a debtor wants a review within the Department of the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii), the debtor must:


(1) File a request for review within 20 days after the date of the notice provided under § 30.22; and


(2) File a request at the address specified in that notice.


(b) A request filed under paragraph (a) of this section must contain:


(1) All information provided to the debtor in the notice under § 30.22 or § 30.33(b) that identifies the debtor and the particular debt, including the debtor’s Social Security number and the program under which the debt arose, together with any corrections of that identifying information; and


(2) An explanation of the reasons the debtor believes that the notice the debtor received under § 30.22 or § 30.33(b) inaccurately states any facts or conclusions relating to the debt.


(c) The Secretary may decline to provide an opportunity for review of a debt if the debtor fails to request the review in accordance with this section.


(d)(1) The debtor shall:


(i) File copies of any documents relating to the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii) that the debtor wishes the Secretary to consider in the review;


(ii) File the documents at the address specified in that notice, and


(iii) File the documents no later than:


(A) 20 days after the date of the notice provided under § 30.22; or


(B) If the debtor has requested an opportunity to inspect and copy records under § 30.23 within the time period specified in that section, 15 days after the date on which the Secretary makes available to the debtor the relevant, requested records.


(2) The Secretary may decline to consider any reasons or documents that the debtor fails to provide in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section.


(e) If the Secretary bases the review on only the documentary evidence, the Secretary:


(1) Reviews the documents submitted by the debtor and other relevant evidence; and


(2) Notifies the debtor in writing of the Secretary’s decision regarding the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii) and, if appropriate, the question of waiver of the debt.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0515)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))

[51 FR 24099, July 1, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 35647, Oct. 7, 1986]


§ 30.25 How may a debtor obtain an oral hearing?

(a) If a debtor wants the Secretary to conduct the review requested under § 30.24 as an oral hearing, the debtor must file a written request for an oral hearing together with the request for review filed under § 30.24(a).


(b) A request filed under paragraph (a) of this section must contain the following in addition to the information filed under § 30.24(b):


(1) An explanation of reason(s) why the debtor believes the Secretary cannot resolve the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii) through a review of the documentary evidence.


(2) An identification of:


(i) The individuals that the debtor wishes to have testify at the oral hearing;


(ii) The specific issues identified in the notice regarding which each individual is prepared to testify; and


(iii) The reasons why each individual’s testimony is necessary to resolve the issue.


(c) The Secretary grants a debtor’s request for an oral hearing regarding the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii) only if:


(1)(i) A statute authorizes or requires the Secretary to consider waiver of the indebtedness involved;


(ii) The debtor files a request for waiver of the indebtedness with the request for review filed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and


(iii) The question of waiver of the indebtedness turns on an issue of credibility or veracity; or


(2) The Secretary determines that the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii) cannot be resolved by review of only the documentary evidence.


(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this section, the Secretary may deny oral hearings for a class of similar debts if:


(1) The issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or 30.33(b)(3)(ii) for which an oral hearing was requested, or the issue of waiver, rarely involve issues of credibility or veracity; and


(2) The Secretary determines that review of the documentary evidence is ordinarily an adequate means to correct mistakes.


(e) The Secretary may decline to consider any reasons that the debtor fails to provide in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0515)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))

[51 FR 24099, July 1, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 35647, Oct. 7, 1986]


§ 30.26 What special rules apply to an oral hearing?

(a) The oral hearing under § 30.25 is not a formal evidentiary hearing subject to 5 U.S.C. 554, unless required by law.


(b) If the Secretary grants an oral hearing, the Secretary notifies the debtor in writing of:


(1) The time and place for the hearing;


(2) The debtor’s right to representation; and


(3) The debtor’s right to present and cross examine witnesses.


(c) If the Secretary grants an oral hearing, the Secretary designates an official to:


(1) Govern the conduct of the hearing;


(2) Take all necessary action to avoid unreasonable delay in the proceedings;


(3) Review the evidence presented at the hearing, the documents submitted by the debtor, and other relevant evidence; and


(4) After considering the evidence, notify the debtor in writing of the official’s decision regarding the issues identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii) and, if appropriate, the question of waiver of the debt.


(d) The official designated under paragraph (c) of this section may decline to hear any witnesses or testimony not identified by the debtor in accordance with § 30.25(b)(2).


(e) The decision of the designated official under paragraph (c) of this section constitutes the final decision of the Secretary.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


§ 30.27 When does the Secretary enter into a repayment agreement rather than offset?

(a) If a debtor wants an opportunity to enter into a written agreement to repay a debt on terms acceptable to the Secretary, the debtor must:


(1) File a request to enter into such agreement within 20 days after the date of the notice provided under § 30.22; and


(2) File the request at the address specified in the notice.


(b) A request filed under paragraph (a) of this section must contain all information provided to the debtor in the notice under § 30.22 or § 30.33(b) that identifies the debtor and the debt, including the debtor’s Social Security number and the program under which the debt arose, together with any corrections of that identifying information.


(c) If the Secretary receives a request filed in accordance with this section, the Secretary may enter into a written agreement requiring repayment in accordance with 4 CFR 102.11, instead of offsetting the debt.


(d) In deciding whether to enter into the agreement, the Secretary may consider:


(1) The Government’s interest in collecting the debt; and


(2) Fairness to the debtor.


(e)(1) A debtor that enters into a repayment agreement with the Secretary under this section waives any right to further review by the Secretary of the issues relating to the original debt identified in the notice under § 30.22(b)(3)(ii) or § 30.33(b)(3)(ii).


(2) If a debtor breaches a repayment agreement, the Secretary may offset, or, under § 30.30, refer to another agency for offset:


(i) The amount owing under the agreement; or


(ii) The entire original debt, to the extent not repaid.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))

[51 FR 24099, July 1, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 35647, Oct. 7, 1986]


§ 30.28 When may the Secretary offset before completing the procedures under §§ 30.22-30.27?

(a) The Secretary may offset before completing the procedures otherwise required by §§ 30.22-30.27 if:


(1) Failure to offset would substantially prejudice the Government’s ability to collect the debt; and


(2) The amount of time remaining before the payment by the United States which is subject to offset does not reasonably permit completion of the procedures under §§ 30.22-30.27.


(b) If the Secretary offsets under paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary:


(1) Promptly completes the procedures under §§ 30.22-30.27 after initiating the offset; and


(2) Refunds any amounts recovered under the offset that are later found not to be owed to the United States.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


§ 30.29 What procedures apply when the Secretary offsets to collect a debt owed another agency?

The Secretary may initiate offset to collect a debt owed another Federal agency if:


(a) An official of that agency certifies in writing:


(1) That the debtor owes a debt to the United States;


(2) The amount of the debt; and


(3) That the agency has complied with 4 CFR 102.3; and


(b) For offsets under 31 U.S.C. 3716, the Secretary makes an independent determination that the offset meets the standards under § 30.21(a)(2).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


§ 30.30 What procedures apply when the Secretary requests another agency to offset a debt owed under a program or activity of the Department?

(a) The Secretary may request another Federal agency to offset a debt owed under a program or activity of the Department if the Secretary certifies in writing to the other Federal agency:


(1) That the debtor owes a debt to the United States;


(2) The amount of the debt; and


(3) That the Secretary has complied with 4 CFR 102.3.


(b) Before providing the certification required under paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary complies with the procedures in §§ 30.20-30.27.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


§ 30.31 How does the Secretary apply funds recovered by offset if multiple debts are involved?

If the Secretary collects more than one debt of a debtor by administrative offset, the Secretary applies the recovered funds to satisfy those debts based on the Secretary’s determination of the best interests of the United States, determined by the facts and circumstances of the particular case.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3716(b))


IRS Tax Refund Offset Procedures

§ 30.33 What procedures does the Secretary follow for IRS tax refund offsets?

(a) If a named person owes a debt under a program or activity of the Department, the Secretary may refer the debt for offset to the Secretary of the Treasury after complying with the procedures in §§ 30.20-30.28, as modified by this section.


(b) Notwithstanding § 30.22(b), the notice sent to a debtor under § 30.22 informs the debtor that:


(1) The debt is past due;


(2) The Secretary intends to refer the debt for offset to the Secretary of Treasury;


(3) The debtor has an opportunity to:


(i) Inspect and copy Department records regarding the existence, amount, enforceability, or past-due status of the debt;


(ii) Obtain a review within the Department of the existence, amount, enforceability, or past-due status of the debt;


(iii) Enter into a written agreement with the Secretary to repay the debt; and


(4) The debtor must take an action set forth under paragraph (b)(3) by a date specified in the notice.


(c) Notwithstanding § 30.23(a), if a debtor wants to inspect and copy Department records regarding the existence, amount, enforceability, or past-due status of the debt, the debtor must:


(1) File a written request to inspect and copy the records within 20 days after the date of the notice provided under § 30.22; and


(2) File the request at the address specified in that notice.


(d) Notwithstanding the time frame under § 30.24(a), if a debtor wants a review under that paragraph, the debtor must file a request for review at the address specified in the notice by the later of:


(1) Sixty-five days after the date of the notice provided under § 30.22;


(2) If the debtor has requested an opportunity to inspect and copy records within the time period specified in paragraph (c) of this section, 15 days after the date on which the Secretary makes available to the debtor the relevant, requested records; or


(3) If the debtor has requested a review within the appropriate time frame under paragraph (d) (1) or (2) of this section and the Secretary has provided an initial review by a guarantee agency, seven days after the date of the initial determination by the guarantee agency.


(e) Notwithstanding the time frames under § 30.24(d), a debtor shall file the documents specified under that paragraph with the request for review.


(f) Notwithstanding the time frame under § 30.27(a), a debtor must agree to repay the debt under terms acceptable to the Secretary and make the first payment due under the agreement by the latest of:


(1) The seventh day after the date of decision of the Secretary if the debtor requested a review under § 30.24;


(2) The sixty-fifth day after the date of the notice under § 30.22(b), if the debtor did not request a review under § 30.24, or an opportunity to inspect and copy records of the Department under § 30.23; or


(3) The fifteenth day after the date on which the Secretary made available relevant records regarding the debt, if the debtor filed a timely request under § 30.23(a).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3720A)


Procedures for Reporting Debts to Consumer Reporting Agencies

§ 30.35 What procedures does the Secretary follow to report debts to consumer reporting agencies?

(a)(1) The Secretary reports information regarding debts arising under a program or activity of the Department and held by the Department to consumer reporting agencies, in accordance with the procedures described in this section.


(2) The term consumer reporting agency, as used in this section, has the same meaning as provided in 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3).


(b) Before reporting information on a debt to a consumer reporting agency, the Secretary follows the procedures set forth in § 30.33.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711, § 16023, 16029, Pub. L. 99-272)


Subpart D [Reserved]

Subpart E – What Costs and Penalties Does the Secretary Impose on Delinquent Debtors?


Source:53 FR 33425, Aug. 30, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

§ 30.60 What costs does the Secretary impose on delinquent debtors?

(a) The Secretary may charge a debtor for the costs associated with the collection of a particular debt. These costs include, but are not limited to –


(1) Salaries of employees performing Federal loan servicing and debt collection activities;


(2) Telephone and mailing costs;


(3) Costs for reporting debts to credit bureaus;


(4) Costs for purchase of credit bureau reports;


(5) Costs associated with computer operations and other costs associated with the maintenance of records;


(6) Bank charges;


(7) Collection agency costs;


(8) Court costs and attorney fees; and


(9) Costs charged by other Governmental agencies.


(b) Notwithstanding any provision of State law, if the Secretary uses a collection agency to collect a debt on a contingent fee basis, the Secretary charges the debtor, and collects through the agency, an amount sufficient to recover –


(1) The entire amount of the debt; and


(2) The amount that the Secretary is required to pay the agency for its collection services.


(c)(1) The amount recovered under paragraph (b) of this section is the entire amount of the debt, multiplied by the following fraction:




(2) In paragraph (c)(1) of this section, cr equals the commission rate the Department pays to the collection agency.


(d) If the Secretary uses more than one collection agency to collect similar debts, the commission rate (cr) described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section is calculated as a weighted average of the commission rates charged by all collection agencies collecting similar debts, computed for each fiscal year based on the formula




where –

(1) Xi equals the dollar amount of similar debts placed by the Department with an individual collection agency as of the end of the preceding fiscal year;


(2) Yi equals the commission rate the Department pays to that collection agency for the collection of the similar debts;


(3) Z equals the dollar amount of similar debts placed by the Department with all collection agencies as of the end of the preceding fiscal year; and


(4) N equals the number of collection agencies with which the Secretary has placed similar debts as of the end of the preceding fiscal year.


(e) If a debtor has agreed under a repayment or settlement agreement with the Secretary to pay costs associated with the collection of a debt at a specified amount or rate, the Secretary collects those costs in accordance with the agreement.


(f) The Secretary does not impose collection costs against State or local governments under paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e), 3717(e)(1), 3718))


§ 30.61 What penalties does the Secretary impose on delinquent debtors?

(a) If a debtor does not make a payment on a debt, or portion of a debt, within 90 days after the date specified in the first demand for payment sent to the debtor, the Secretary imposes a penalty on the debtor.


(b)(1) The amount of the penalty imposed under paragraph (a) of this section is 6 percent per year of the amount of the delinquent debt.


(2) The penalty imposed under this section runs from the date specified in the first demand for payment to the date the debt (including the penalty) is paid.


(c) If a debtor has agreed under a repayment or settlement agreement with the Secretary to pay a penalty for failure to pay a debt when due, or has such an agreement under a grant or contract under which the debt arose, the Secretary collects the penalty in accordance with the agreement, grant, or contract.


(d) The Secretary does not impose a penalty against State or local governments under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e))


§ 30.62 When does the Secretary forego interest, administrative costs, or penalties?

(a) For a debt of any amount based on a loan, the Secretary may refrain from collecting interest or charging administrative costs or penalties to the extent that compromise of these amounts is appropriate under the standards for compromise of a debt contained in 4 CFR part 103.


(b) For a debt not based on a loan the Secretary may waive, or partially waive, the charging of interest, or the collection of administrative costs or penalties, if –


(1) Compromise of these amounts is appropriate under the standards for compromise of a debt contained in 4 CFR part 103; or


(2) The Secretary determines that the charging of interest or the collection of administrative costs or penalties is –


(i) Against equity and good conscience; or


(ii) Not in the best interests of the United States.


(c) The Secretary may exercise waiver under paragraph (b)(1) of this section without regard to the amount of the debt.


(d) The Secretary may exercise waiver under paragraph (b)(2) of this section if –


(1) The Secretary has accepted an installment plan under 4 CFR 102.11;


(2) There is no indication of fault or lack of good faith on the part of the debtor; and


(3) The amount of interest, administrative costs, and penalties is such a large portion of the installments that the debt may never be repaid if that amount is collected.


(e)(1) The Secretary does not charge interest on any portion of a debt, other than a loan, owed by a person subject to 31 U.S.C. 3717 if the debt is paid within 30 days after the date of the first demand for payment.


(2) The Secretary may extend the period under paragraph (e)(1) of this section if the Secretary determines that the extension is appropriate.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a-1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e))


Subpart F – What Requirements Apply to the Compromise of a Debt or the Suspension or Termination of Collection Action?

§ 30.70 How does the Secretary exercise discretion to compromise a debt or to suspend or terminate collection of a debt?

(a)(1) The Secretary uses the standards in the FCCS, 31 CFR part 902, to determine whether compromise of a debt is appropriate if the debt arises under a program administered by the Department, unless compromise of the debt is subject to paragraph (b) of this section.


(2) If the amount of the debt is more than $100,000, or such higher amount as the Department of Justice may prescribe, the Secretary refers a proposed compromise of the debt to the Department of Justice for approval, unless the compromise is subject to paragraph (b) of this section or the debt is one described in paragraph (e) of this section.


(b) Under the provisions in 34 CFR 81.36, the Secretary may enter into certain compromises of debts arising because a recipient of a grant or cooperative agreement under an applicable Department program has spent some of these funds in a manner that is not allowable. For purposes of this section, neither a program authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), nor the Impact Aid Program is an applicable Department program.


(c)(1) The Secretary uses the standards in the FCCS, 31 CFR part 903, to determine whether suspension or termination of collection action on a debt is appropriate.


(2) Except as provided in paragraph (e), the Secretary –


(i) Refers the debt to the Department of Justice to decide whether to suspend or terminate collection action if the amount of the debt outstanding at the time of the referral is more than $100,000 or such higher amount as the Department of Justice may prescribe; or


(ii) May suspend or terminate collection action if the amount of the debt outstanding at the time of the Secretary’s determination that suspension or termination is warranted is less than or equal to $100,000 or such higher amount as the Department of Justice may prescribe.


(d) In determining the amount of a debt under paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section, the Secretary deducts any partial payments or recoveries already received, and excludes interest, penalties, and administrative costs.


(e)(1) Subject to paragraph (e)(2) of this section, under the provisions of 31 CFR part 902 or 903, the Secretary may compromise a debt in any amount, or suspend or terminate collection of a debt in any amount, if the debt arises under the Federal Family Education Loan Program authorized under title IV, part B, of the HEA, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program authorized under title IV, part D of the HEA, or the Perkins Loan Program authorized under title IV, part E, of the HEA.


(2) The Secretary refers a proposed compromise, or suspension or termination of collection, of a debt that exceeds $1,000,000 and that arises under a loan program described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section to the Department of Justice for review. The Secretary does not compromise, or suspend or terminate collection of, a debt referred to the Department of Justice for review until the Department of Justice has provided a response to that request.


(f) The Secretary refers a proposed resolution of a debt to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for review and approval before referring the debt to the Department of Justice if –


(1) The debt arose from an audit exception taken by GAO to a payment made by the Department; and


(2) The GAO has not granted an exception from the GAO referral requirement.


(g) Nothing in this section precludes –


(1) A contracting officer from exercising his authority under applicable statutes, regulations, or common law to settle disputed claims relating to a contract; or


(2) The Secretary from redetermining a claim.


(h) Nothing in this section authorizes the Secretary to compromise, or suspend or terminate collection of, a debt –


(1) Based in whole or in part on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws; or


(2) Involving fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any party having an interest in the claim.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1082(a) (5) and (6), 1087a, 1087hh, 1221e-3(a)(1), 1226a-1, and 1234a, 31 U.S.C. 3711)

[81 FR 76070, Nov. 1, 2016]


Subpart G [Reserved]

PART 31 – SALARY OFFSET FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION


Authority:5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716.


Source:54 FR 31821, Aug. 19, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

§ 31.1 Scope.

(a) General. The Secretary establishes the standards and procedures in this part that apply to the offset from disposable pay of a current or former Federal employee or from amounts payable from the Federal retirement account of a former Federal employee to recover a debt owed the United States under a program adminstered by the Secretary of Education.


(b) Exclusions. This part does not apply to –


(1) Offsets under 34 CFR part 32 to recover for overpayments of pay or allowances to an employee of the Department;


(2) Offsets under 34 CFR part 30; or


(3) Offsets under section 124 of Pub. L. 97-276 to collect debts owed to the United States on judgments.


(c) Reports to consumer reporting agency. The Secretary may report a debt to a consumer reporting agency after notifying the employee, in accordance with 34 CFR 30.35, of the intention to report the debt, and after providing the employee an opportunity to inspect documents, receive a hearing, and enter into a repayment agreement under this part.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3711; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.2 Definitions.

As used in this part:


Agency means –


(1) An Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, including the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Rate Commission;


(2) A military department as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102;


(3) An agency or court in the judicial branch, including a court as defined in 28 U.S.C. 610, the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation;


(4) An agency of the legislative branch, including the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives; and


(5) Any other independent establishment that is an entity of the Federal Government.


Days refer to calendar days.


Department means the Education Department.


Disposable pay means the amount that remains from an employee’s pay after required deductions for Federal, State, and local income taxes; Social Security taxes, including Medicare taxes; Federal retirement programs; premiums for basic life insurance and health insurance benefits; and such other deductions that are required by law to be withheld.


Employee means a current or former employee of an agency. In the case of an offset proposed to collect a debt owed by a deceased employee, the references in this part to the employee shall be read to refer to the payee of benefits from the Federal retirement account or other pay of the employee.


Federal retirement account means an account of an employee under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employee Retirement System.


Offset means a deduction from the pay of an employee, or a payment due from the Federal retirement account of an employee, to satisfy a debt.


Pay means basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or, in the case of an individual not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay, including severance pay or lump sum payments for accrued annual leave, and amounts payable from the Federal retirement account of an employee.


Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.3 Pre-offset notice.

(a) At least 65 days before initiating an offset against the pay of an employee, the Secretary sends a written notice to the employee stating –


(1) The nature and amount of the debt;


(2) A demand for payment of the debt;


(3) The manner in which the Secretary charges interest, administrative costs, and penalties on the debt;


(4) The Secretary’s intention to collect the debt by offset against –


(i) 15 percent of the employee’s current disposable pay; and


(ii) If the debt cannot be satisfied by offset against current disposable pay, a specified amount of severance pay, a lump sum annual leave payment, a final salary check, or payments from the Federal retirement account of the employee;


(5) The amount, frequency, approximate beginning date and duration of the proposed offset;


(6) The employee’s opportunity to –


(i) Inspect and copy Department records pertaining to the debt;


(ii) Obtain a pre-offset hearing before a hearing official who is not under the control or supervision of the Secretary regarding the existence or amount of the debt, or the proposed offset schedule; and


(iii) Enter into a written agreement with the Secretary to repay the debt;


(7) The date by which the employee must request an opportunity set forth under paragraph (a)(6) of this section;


(8) The grounds for objecting to collection of the debt by offset;


(9) The applicable hearing procedures and requirements;


(10) That the Secretary grants any request for access to records, for a hearing, or for a satisfactory repayment agreement made by an employee;


(11) That the Secretary does not delay the start of the proposed offset, or suspend an offset already commenced, unless –


(i) An employee makes the request for access to records or for a hearing, or enters into a repayment agreement that is acceptable to the Secretary, before the deadlines described in this part; or


(ii) An employee requests a hearing after the deadlines established in § 31.5(a), but submits evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that the request was not made in a timely manner because the employee did not have notice of the proposed offset, or was prevented from making the request by factors beyond his or her control, until after the deadlines had passed;


(12) That a final decision on the hearing will be issued not later than 60 days after the date on which the employee files a request for a hearing under § 31.5, unless a delay in the proceedings is granted at the request of the employee;


(13) That submission by the employee of knowingly false statements, representations or evidence may subject the employee to applicable disciplinary procedures, or civil or criminal penalties; and


(14) That any amounts paid or collected by offset on a debt later determined to be unenforceable or canceled will be refunded to the employee.


(b)(1) In determining whether an employee has requested an opportunity set forth under paragraph (a)(6) of this section in a timely manner, the Secretary relies on –


(i) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark for the employee’s request; or


(ii) A legibly stamped U.S. Postal Service mail receipt for the employee’s request.


(2) The Secretary does not rely on either of the following as proof of mailing:


(i) A private metered postmark.


(ii) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.


(c) Payment by offset under this part of all or part of a debt does not constitute an acknowledgment of the debt or a waiver of rights available to the employee under this part or other applicable law if the employee has not agreed in writing to the offset.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.4 Request to inspect and copy documents relating to a debt.

(a) The Secretary makes available for inspection and copying before offset under this part those Department documents that relate to the debt, if the employee –


(1) Files a written request to inspect and copy the documents within 20 days of the date of the pre-offset notice under § 31.3, and


(2) Files the request at the address specified in that notice.


(b) A request filed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must contain –


(1) All information provided to the employee in the pre-offset notice under § 31.3 that identifies the employee and the debt, including the employee’s Social Security number and the program under which the debt arose, together with any corrections of that identifying information; and


(2) A reasonably specific identification of the documents that the employee wishes to have available for inspection and copying.


(c) The Secretary makes available documents for inspection and copying upon request by the employee. However, the Secretary may initiate an offset before making the requested documents available if the employee fails to request inspection and copying in accordance with this section.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.5 Request for hearing on the debt or the proposed offset.

(a) Deadlines. (1) The Secretary provides a hearing before offset on the existence, amount, or enforceability of the debt described in the pre-offset notice provided under § 31.3, or on the amount or frequency of the offsets as proposed in that notice, if the employee –


(i) Files a request for the hearing within the later of –


(A) 65 days after the date of the pre-offset notice provided under § 31.3; or


(B) 15 days after the date on which the Secretary makes available to the employee the relevant, requested documents if the employee had requested an opportunity to inspect and copy documents within 20 days of the date of the pre-offset notice provided under § 31.3; and


(ii) Files a request at the address specified in that notice.


(2) The Secretary provides a hearing upon request by the employee. However, if the employee does not submit, within the deadlines in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a request that meets the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the Secretary does not delay the start of an offset, or suspend an offset already commenced, unless the employee submits evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that the request was not made in a timely manner because the employee did not have notice of the proposed offset, or was otherwise prevented from making the request by factors beyond his or her control, until after the deadlines had passed.


(b) Contents of request for a hearing. A request for a hearing must contain –


(1) All information provided to the employee in the pre-offset notice under § 31.3 that identifies the employee and the particular debt, including the employee’s Social Security number and the program under which the debt arose, together with any corrections needed with regard to that identifying information;


(2) An explanation of the reasons why the employee believes that –


(i) The debt as stated in the pre-offset notice is not owing or is not enforceable by offset; or


(ii) The amount of the proposed offset described in the pre-offset notice will cause extreme financial hardship to the employee;


(3) If the employee contends that the amount of the proposed offset will cause extreme financial hardship under the standards set forth in § 31.8(b) –


(i) An alternative offset proposal;


(ii) An explanation, in writing, showing why the offset proposed in the notice would cause an extreme financial hardship for the employee; and


(iii) Documents that show for the employee and for the spouse and dependents of the employee, for the one-year period preceding the Secretary’s notice and for the repayment period proposed by the employee in his or her offset schedule –


(A) Income from all sources,


(B) Assets,


(C) Liabilities,


(D) Number of dependents,


(E) Expenses for food, housing, clothing, and transportation,


(F) Medical expenses, and


(G) Exceptional expenses, if any; and


(4) Copies of all documents that the employee wishes to have considered to support the objections raised by the employee regarding the enforceability of the debt or the claim of extreme financial hardship.


(c) Request for oral hearing. (1) If the employee wants the hearing to be conducted as an oral hearing, the employee must submit a request that contains the information listed in paragraph (b) and must include with the request –


(i) An explanation of reasons why the employee believes that the issues raised regarding the enforceability of the debt or a claim of extreme financial hardship cannot be resolved adequately by a review of the written statements and documents provided with the request for a hearing;


(ii) An identification of –


(A) The individuals that the employee wishes to have testify at the oral hearing;


(B) The specific issues about which each individual is prepared to testify; and


(C) The reasons why each individual’s testimony is necessary to resolve the issue.


(2) The Secretary grants a request for an oral hearing if –


(i) The employee files a request for an oral hearing that meets the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section; and


(ii) The Secretary determines that the issues raised by the employee require a determination of the credibility of testimony and cannot be adequately resolved by a review of the written statements and documents submitted by the employee and documents contained in the Department’s records relating to the debt.


(3) The Secretary may decline a request for an oral hearing if the Secretary accepts the employee’s proffer of testimomy made in the request for an oral hearing under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, and considers the facts at issue to be established as stated by the employee in the request.


(4) If the Secretary grants a request for an oral hearing, the Secretary –


(i) Notifies the employee in writing of –


(A) The date, time, and place of the hearing;


(B) The name and address of the hearing official;


(C) The employee’s right to be represented at the hearing by counsel or other representatives;


(D) The employee’s right to present and cross-examine witnesses; and


(E) The employee’s right to waive the requested oral hearing and receive a hearing in the written record; and


(ii) Provides the hearing official with a copy of all written statements submitted by the employee with the request for a hearing, and all documents pertaining to the debt or the amount of the offset contained in the Department’s files on the debt or submitted with the request for a hearing.


(d) Employee choice of oral hearing or hearing on written submissions. An employee who has been sent notice under paragraph (c)(4) that an oral hearing will be provided must, within 15 days of the date of that notice, state in writing to the hearing official and the Secretary –


(1) Whether the employee intends to proceed with the oral hearing, or wishes a decision based on the written record; and


(2) Any changes in the list of the witnesses the employee proposes to produce for the hearing, or the facts about which a witness will testify.


(e) Dismissal of request for hearing. The Secretary considers the employee to have waived the request for a hearing of any kind –


(1) If an employee does not provide the hearing official in a timely manner the written statement required under paragraph (d) of this section; or


(2) If the employee does not appear for a scheduled oral hearing.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.6 Location and timing of oral hearing.

(a) If the Secretary grants a request for an oral hearing, the Secretary selects the time, date, and location of the hearing. The Secretary selects, to the extent feasible, the location that is most convenient for the employee.


(b) For a current military employee, the Secretary selects the time, date, and location of the hearing after consultation with the Secretary of Defense.


(c) For a current Coast Guard employee, the Secretary selects the time, date, and location of the hearing after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation.


(d) For an employee not described in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the hearing will be held in Washington, DC, or in one of the following cities: Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco, or Seattle.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.7 Hearing procedures.

(a) Independence of hearing official. A hearing provided under this part is conducted by a hearing official who is not under the supervision or control of the Secretary, except that this prohibition does not apply to the Department’s administrative law judges.


(b) Lack of subpoena authority or formal discovery. (1) Neither the hearing official nor the Secretary has authority to issue subpoenas to compel the production of documents or to compel the attendance of witnesses at an oral hearing under this part. The Secretary will attempt to make available during an oral hearing the testimony of a current official of the Department if –


(i) The employee had identified the official in the request for a hearing under § 31.5(b) and demonstrated that the testimony of the official is necessary to resolve adequately an issue of fact raised by the employee in the request for a hearing; and


(ii) The Secretary determines that the responsibilities of the official permit his or her attendance at the hearing.


(2) If the Secretary determines that the testimony of a Department official is necessary, but that the official cannot attend an oral hearing to testify, the Secretary attempts to make the official available for testimony at the hearing by means of a telephone conference call.


(3) No discovery is available in a proceeding under this part except as provided in § 31.4.


(c) Hearing on written submissions. If a hearing is conducted on the written submissions, the hearing official reviews documents and responses submitted by the Secretary and the employee under § 31.5.


(d) Conduct of oral hearing. (1) The hearing official conducts an oral hearing as an informal proceeding. The official –


(i) Administers oaths to witnesses;


(ii) Regulates the course of the hearing;


(iii) Considers the introduction of evidence without regard to the rules of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings; and


(iv) May exclude evidence that is redundant, or that is not relevant to those issues raised by the employee in the request for hearing under § 31.5 that remain in dispute.


(2) An oral hearing is generally open to the public. However, the hearing official may close all or any portion of the hearing if doing so is in the best interest of the employee or the public.


(3) The hearing official may conduct an oral hearing by telephone conference call –


(i) If the employee is located in a city outside the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.


(ii) At the request of the employee.


(iii) At the discretion of the hearing official.


(4) No written record is created or maintained of an oral hearing provided under this part.


(e) Burden of proof. In any hearing under this part –


(1) The Secretary bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, the existence and amount of the debt, and the failure of the employee to repay the debt, as the debt is described in the pre-offset notice provided under § 31.3; and


(2) The employee bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence –


(i) The existence of any fact that would establish that the debt described in the pre-offset notice is not enforceable by offset; and


(ii) The existence of any fact that would establish that the amount of the proposed offset would cause an extreme financial hardship for the employee.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


[54 FR 31821, Aug. 19, 1989, as amended at 86 FR 40334, July 28, 2021]


§ 31.8 Rules of decision.

(a) Enforceability of debt by offset. In deciding whether the Secretary has established that the debt described in the pre-offset under § 31.3 is owed by the employee, or whether the employee has established that the debt is not enforceable by offset, the hearing official shall apply the principles in this paragraph.


(1) The statutes and Department regulations authorizing and implementing the program under which the debt arose must be applied in accordance with official written interpretations by the Department.


(2) The principles of res judicata and collateral estoppel apply to resolution of disputed facts in those instances in which the debt or material facts in dispute have been the subject of prior judicial decision.


(3) The act or omission of an institution of higher education at which the employee was enrolled does not constitute a defense to repayment of an obligation with regard to a grant or loan under a program authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act or similar authority, except to the extent that –


(i) The act or omission constitutes a defense to the debt under applicable Federal or State law;


(ii) The institution owed the employee a refund under its refund policy and failed to pay that refund to the employee or to a lender holding a loan made to the employee; or


(iii) The institution ceased teaching activity while the employee was in attendance and during the academic period for which the grant or loan was made, and failed to refund to the employee or holder of a loan to the employee a proportionate amount of the grant or loan funds used to pay tuition and other institutional charges for that academic period.


(4)(i) A debt otherwise established as owed by the employee is enforceable by offset under this part if the Secretary sends the pre-offset notice for the debt within the ten year period following the later of –


(A) The date on which the Secretary acquired the debt by assignment or referral, or


(B) The date of a subsequent partial payment reaffirming the debt.


(ii) Periods during which the statute of limitations applicable to a lawsuit to collect the debt has been tolled under 11 U.S.C. 108, 28 U.S.C. 2416, 50 U.S.C. App. 525, or other authority are excluded from the calculation of the ten year period described in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section.


(b) Extreme financial hardship. (1) In deciding whether an employee has established that the amount of the proposed offset would cause extreme financial hardship to the employee, the hearing official shall determine whether the credible, relevant evidence submitted demonstrates that the proposed offset would prevent the employee from meeting the costs necessarily incurred for essential subsistence expenses of the employee and his or her spouse and dependents.


(2) For purposes of this determination, essential subsistence expenses include costs incurred only for food, housing, clothing, essential transportation and medical care.


(3) In making this determination, the hearing official shall consider –


(i) The income from all sources of the employee, and his or her spouse and dependents;


(ii) The extent to which the assets of the employee and his or her spouse and dependents are available to meet the offset and the essential subsistence expenses;


(iii) Whether these essential subsistence expenses have been minimized to the greatest extent possible;


(iv) The extent to which the employee and his or her spouse and dependents can borrow to satisfy the debt to be collected by offset or to meet essential expenses; and


(v) The extent to which the employee and his or her spouse and dependents have other exceptional expenses that should be taken into account, and whether these expenses have been minimized.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.9 Decision of the hearing official.

(a) The hearing official issues a written opinion within sixty days of the date on which the employee filed a request for a hearing under § 31.5, unless a delay in the proceedings has been granted at the request of the employee. In the opinion, the hearing official states his or her decision and the findings of fact and conclusions of law on which the decision is based.


(b) If the hearing official finds that a portion of the debt described in the pre-offset notice under § 31.3 is not enforceable by offset, the official shall state in the opinion that portion which is enforceable by offset.


(c) If the hearing official finds that the amount of the offset proposed in the pre-offset notice will cause an extreme financial hardship for the employee, the hearing official shall establish an offset schedule that will result in the repayment of the debt in the shortest period of time without producing an extreme financial hardship for the employee.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.10 Request for repayment agreement.

(a) The Secretary does not initiate an offset under this part if the employee agrees in writing to repay the debt under terms acceptable to the Secretary and makes the first payment due under the agreement on or before the latest of –


(1) The seventh day after the date of the decision of the hearing official, if the employee timely requested a hearing under § 31.5 (a) and (d);


(2) The sixty-fifth day after the date of the pre-offset notice under § 31.3 if the employee did not timely request either a hearing in accordance with § 31.5 (a) and (d) or an opportunity to inspect and copy documents related to the debt under § 31.4; or


(3) The fifteenth day after the date on which the Secretary made available documents related to the debt, if the employee filed a timely request for documents under § 31.4.


(b) In the agreement, the Secretary and the employee may agree to satisfaction of the debt from sources other than an offset under this part, or may modify the amount proposed to be offset in the pre-offset notice or estimated in the decision of the hearing official.


(c) If the employee does not enter into a repayment agreement acceptable to the Secretary within the deadlines in this section, the Secretary may initiate an offset under this part. The Secretary continues to collect by offset until an employee enters in a satisfactory repayment agreement for the debt. The Secretary suspends an offset already commenced under circumstances described in § 31.5(a)(2).


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 31.11 Offset process.

(a) The Secretary attempts to collect debts under this part within the shortest time authorized under –


(1) The offset schedule proposed in the pre-offset notice, unless modified by agreement or by the decision of a hearing official;


(2) A written repayment agreement with the employee; or


(3) The offset schedule established in the decision of the hearing official.


(b) In proposing an offset schedule under § 31.3 or establishing a repayment agreement under § 31.10, the Secretary also considers the expected period of Federal employment of the employee.


(c) Unless the Secretary determines, in his discretion, to delay or suspend collection, the Secretary effects an offset under this part –


(1) According to the terms agreed to by the employee pursuant to a timely request under § 31.10 to enter into a repayment agreement; or,


(2) After the deadlines in § 31.10(b) for requesting a repayment agreement with the Secretary.


(d) If the employee retires, resigns, or leaves Federal employment before the debt is satisfied, the Secretary collects the amount necessary to satisfy the debt by offset from subsequent payments of any kind, including a final salary payment or a lump sum annual leave payment, due the employee on the date of separation. If the debt cannot be satisfied by offset from any such final payment due the employee on the date of separation, the Secretary collects the debt from later payments of any kind due the employee in accordance with the provisions of 4 CFR 102.4.


(e) The Secretary effects an offset under this part against payments owing to an employee of another Federal agency after completion of the requirements of this part, in accordance with the provisions of 5 CFR 550.1108.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


PART 32 – SALARY OFFSET TO RECOVER OVERPAYMENTS OF PAY OR ALLOWANCES FROM DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES


Authority:5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716.


Source:52 FR 24957, July 1, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§ 32.1 Scope.

(a) The Secretary establishes the standards and procedures in this part that apply to the deductions through offset from disposable pay of a current or former employee of the Department of Education to recover overpayments of pay or allowances.


(b) This part does not apply to –


(1) Recovery through offset of an indebtedness to the United States by an employee of the Department under a program administered by the Secretary of Education covered under 34 CFR part 31;


(2) The offset of an indebtedness to the United States by a Federal employee to satisfy a judgment obtained by the United States against that employee in a court of the United States;


(3) The offset of any payment to an employee of the Department of Education which is expressly allowed under statutes other than 5 U.S.C. 5514, except as to offsets of severance pay and/or lump sum annual leave payments as authorized under 31 U.S.C. 3716;


(4) Offsets under 34 CFR part 30; or


(5) An employee election of coverage or of a change of coverage under a Federal benefits program which requires periodic deductions from pay if the amount to be recovered was accumulated over four pay periods or less.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.2 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this part:


Department means the Department of Education.


Disposable pay means the amount that remains from an employee’s pay after required deductions for Federal, State, and local income taxes; Social Security taxes, including Medicare taxes; Federal retirement programs; premiums for health and basic life insurance benefits; and such other deductions that are required by law to be withheld.


Employee means a current or former employee of the Department.


Former employee means a former employee of the Department who is entitled to pay from the Department or another agency.


Pay means basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or, in the case of an individual not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay, including severance pay and/or lump sum payments for accrued annual leave.


Paying agency means a Federal agency currently employing an individual and authorizing the payment of his or her current pay.


Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.3 Pre-offset notice.

At least 30 days before initiating a deduction from the disposable pay of an employee to recover an overpayment of pay or allowances, the Secretary sends a written notice to the employee stating –


(a) The origin, nature and amount of the overpayment;


(b) How interest is charged and administrative costs and penalties will be assessed, unless excused under 31 U.S.C. 3716;


(c) A demand for repayment, providing for an opportunity for the employee to enter into a written repayment agreement with the Department;


(d) Where a waiver of repayment is authorized by law, the employee’s right to request a waiver;


(e) The Department’s intention to deduct 15 percent of the employee’s disposable pay, or a specified amount if the disposable pay is severance pay and/or a lump sum annual leave payment, to recover the overpayment if a waiver is not granted by the Secretary and the employee fails to repay the overpayment or enter into a written repayment agreement;


(f) The amount, frequency, approximate beginning date and duration of the intended deduction;


(g) If Government records on which the determination of overpayment are not attached, how those records will be made available to the employee for inspection and copying;


(h) The employee’s right to request a pre-offset hearing concerning the existence or amount of the overpayment or an involuntary repayment schedule;


(i) The applicable hearing procedures and requirements, including a statement that a timely petition for hearing will stay commencement of collection proceedings and that a final decision on the hearing will be issued not later than 60 days after the hearing petition is filed, unless a delay is requested and granted;


(j) That any knowingly false or frivolous statements, representations or evidence may subject the employee to applicable disciplinary procedures, civil or criminal penalties; and


(k) That where amounts paid or deducted are later waived or found not owed, unless otherwise provided by law, they will be promptly refunded to the employee.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514, 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.4 Employee response.

(a) Voluntary repayment agreement. Within 7 days of receipt of the written notice under § 32.3, the employee may submit a request to the Secretary to arrange for a voluntary repayment schedule. To arrange for a voluntary repayment schedule, the employee shall submit a financial statement and sign a written repayment agreement approved by the Secretary. An employee who arranges for a voluntary repayment schedule may nonetheless request a waiver of the overpayment under paragraph (b) of this section.


(b) Waiver. An employee seeking a waiver of collection of the debt that is authorized by law must request the waiver in writing to the Secretary within 10 days of receipt of the written notice under § 32.3. The employee must state why he or she believes a waiver should be granted.


(c) Involuntary repayment schedule. If the employee claims that the amount of the involuntary deduction will cause extreme financial hardship and should be reduced, he or she must submit a written explanation and a financial statement signed under oath or affirmation to the Secretary within 10 days of receipt of the written notice under § 32.3. An employee who fails to submit this financial information in a timely manner waives the right to object to the involuntary repayment schedule at a hearing under § 32.5. The Secretary notifies the employee, in writing, whether the Secretary will reduce the rate of the involuntary deduction.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.5 Pre-offset hearing – general.

(a) An employee who wishes a review of the existence or amount of the overpayment or an involuntary repayment schedule may request a pre-offset hearing. The pre-offset hearing does not review:


(1) The denial of a waiver of repayment under 5 U.S.C. 5584;


(2) The involuntary repayment schedule or financial hardship caused by the amount of the involuntary deduction from the employee’s disposable pay, unless the employee has submitted the financial statement and written explanation required under § 32.4(c); and


(3) The determination under paragraph (b) of this section that the pre-offset hearing is on the written submissions.


(b) Unless the Secretary determines that a matter reviewable under paragraph (a) of this section turns on an issue of credibility or veracity or cannot be resolved by a review of the documentary evidence, the pre-offset hearing is on the written submissions.


(c) A pre-offset hearing is based on the written submissions for overpayments arising from:


(1) A termination of a temporary promotion;


(2) A cash award;


(3) An erroneous salary rate;


(4) Premature granting of a within-grade increase;


(5) A lump sum payment for annual leave;


(6) Unauthorized appointment to a position;


(7) An error on time and attendance records; or


(8) Other circumstances where the Secretary determines that an oral hearing is not required.


(d) The hearing is conducted by a hearing official who is not under the supervision or control of the Secretary, except that this prohibition does not apply to the Department’s administrative law judges.


(e) Formal discovery between the parties is not provided.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


[52 FR 24957, July 1, 1987, as amended at 86 FR 40335, July 28, 2021]


§ 32.6 Request for a pre-offset hearing.

(a) Except for an employee who has requested a waiver of collection of the debt under § 32.4(b), an employee who wishes a pre-offset hearing must request the hearing within 15 days of receipt of the written notice given under § 32.3. The Secretary waives the 15-day requirement if the employee shows that the delay was because of circumstances beyond his or her control or because of failure to receive notice and lack of knowledge of the time limit.


(b) An employee who has requested a waiver under § 32.4(b) may request a hearing within 10 days of receipt of a determination by the Secretary denying a waiver.


(c) The request for a hearing must:


(1) Be in writing;


(2) State why the employee:


(i) Contests the existence or amount of the overpayment; or


(ii) Claims that the involuntary repayment schedule will cause extreme financial hardship;


(3) Include all documents on which the employee is relying, other than those provided by the Secretary under § 32.3; any document which is a statement of an individual must be in the form of an affidavit; and


(4) Be submitted to the designated hearing official with a copy to the Secretary.


(d) If the employee timely requests a pre-offset hearing or the timelines are waived under paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary:


(1) Notifies the employee whether the employee may elect an oral hearing; and


(2) Provides the hearing official with a copy of all records on which the determination of the overpayment and any involuntary repayment schedule are based.


(e) An employee who has been given the opportunity to elect an oral hearing and who does elect an oral hearing must notify the hearing official and the Secretary of his or her election in writing within 7 days of receipt of the notice under paragraph (d)(1) of this section and must identify all proposed witnesses and all facts and evidence about which they will testify.


(f) Where an employee requests an oral hearing, the hearing official notifies the Secretary and the employee of the date, time, and location of the hearing. However:


(1) The employee subsequently may elect to have the hearing based only on the written submissions by notifying the hearing official and the Secretary at least 3 calendar days before the date of the oral hearing. The hearing official may waive the 3-day requirement for good cause when the employee notifies the hearing official before the date of the hearing; and


(2) The request for a hearing of an employee who fails to appear at the oral hearing must be dismissed and the Secretary’s decision affirmed.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.7 Pre-offset oral hearing.

(a) Oral hearings are informal in nature. The Secretary and the employee, through their representatives, and by reference to the documentation submitted, explain their case. The employee may testify on his or her own behalf, subject to cross examination. Other witnesses may be called to testify only where the hearing official determines that their testimony is relevant and not redundant.


(b) The hearing official shall:


(1) Conduct a fair and impartial hearing; and


(2) Preside over the course of the hearing, maintain decorum, and avoid delay in the disposition of the hearing.


(c) The employee may represent himself or herself or may be represented by another person at the hearing. The employee may not be represented by a person whose representation creates an actual or apparent conflict of interest.


(d) Oral hearings are open to the public. However, the hearing official may close all or any portion of the hearing where to do so is in the best interests of the employee or the public.


(e) Oral hearings may be conducted by conference call –


(1) If the employee is located in a city outside the Washington, DC Metropolitan area;


(2) At the request of the employee; or


(3) At the discretion of the hearing official.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.8 Pre-offset hearing on the written submissions.

If a hearing is to be held on the written submissions, the hearing official reviews the records and responses submitted by the Secretary and the employee under § 32.6.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.9 Written decision.

(a) The hearing official issues a written decision stating the facts supporting the nature and origin of the debt and the hearing official’s analysis, findings and conclusions as to the amount of the debt and the repayment schedule within 60 days of filing of the employee’s request for a pre-offset hearing, unless the employee requests, and the hearing official grants, a delay in the proceedings.


(b) The hearing official decides whether the Secretary’s determination of the existence and the amount of the overpayment or the extreme financial hardship caused by the involuntary repayment schedule is clearly erroneous. A determination is clearly erroneous if although there is evidence to support the determination, the hearing official, considering the record as a whole, is left with a definite and firm conviction that a mistake was made.


(c) In making the decision, the hearing official is governed by applicable Federal statutes, rules and regulations.


(d) The hearing official decides the issue of extreme financial hardship caused by the involuntary repayment schedule only where the employee has submitted the financial statement and written explanation required under § 32.4(c). Where the hearing official determines that the involuntary repayment schedule creates extreme financial hardship, he or she must establish a schedule that alleviates the financial hardship but may not reduce the involuntary repayment schedule to a deduction of zero percent.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


§ 32.10 Deductions process.

(a) Debts must be collected in one lump sum where possible. If the employee does not agree to a lump sum that exceeds 15 percent of disposable pay, the debt must be collected in installment deductions at officially established pay intervals in the amount established under:


(1) A voluntary repayment agreement;


(2) An involuntary repayment schedule where no hearing is requested; or


(3) The schedule established under the written hearing decision.


(b) Installment deductions must be made over a period not greater than the anticipated period of employment, except as provided under paragraph (d) of this section. If possible, the installment payment must be sufficient in size and frequency to liquidate the debt in, at most, three years. Installment payments of less than $25 may be accepted only in the most unusual circumstances.


(c) Deductions must begin:


(1) After the employee has entered a voluntary repayment schedule;


(2) If a waiver is requested under § 32.4(b), after the employee has been denied a waiver by the Secretary; or


(3) If a hearing is requested under § 32.5, after a written decision.


(d) If the employee retires or resigns or his or her employment ends before collection of the debt is completed, the amount necessary to liquidate the debt must be offset from subsequent payments of any nature (for example, final salary payment and/or lump sum annual leave payment) due the employee on the date of separation. If the debt cannot be liquidated by offset from any such final payment due the employee on the date of separation, the debt must be liquidated by administrative offset pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3716 from later payments of any kind due the employee, where appropriate. After the Secretary has complied with the procedures in this part, the Secretary may refer the debt to a paying agency for collection by offset under 5 CFR 550.1108.


(e) Interest, penalties and administrative costs on debts collected under this part must be assessed, in accordance with the provisions of 4 CFR 102.13.


(f) An employee’s payment, whether voluntary or involuntary, of all or any portion of an alleged debt collected pursuant to this part may not be construed as a waiver of any rights which the employee may have under this part or any other provision of law, except as otherwise provided by law.


(g) Amounts paid or deducted pursuant to this part by an employee for a debt that is waived or otherwise found not owing to the United States or which the Secretary is ordered to refund must be promptly refunded to the employee.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)


PART 33 – PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES ACT


Authority:31 U.S.C. 3801-3812.


Source:53 FR 15675, May 3, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

§ 33.1 Basis and purpose.

(a) Basis. This part implements the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-509, 6101 through 6104, 100 Stat. 16674 (October 21, 1986), to be codified at 31 U.S.C. 3801 through 3812. This law (31 U.S.C. 3809) requires each Federal department head to promulgate regulations necessary to implement the provisions of the statute.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(b) Purpose. This part:


(1) Establishes administrative procedures for imposing civil penalties and assessments against persons who make, submit, or present, or cause to be made, submitted, or presented, false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims or written statements to the Department or to its agents; and


(2) Specifies the hearing and appeal rights of persons subject to allegations of liability for those penalties and assessments.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)


§ 33.2 Definitions.

As used in this part:


ALJ means an Administrative Law Judge in the Department appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105 or detailed to the Department pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3344.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(a)(7)(A))

Benefits, as used in the definition of “statement,” means anything of value, including but no limited to any advantage, preference, privilege, license, permit, favorable decision, ruling, status, or loan guarantee.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Claim means any request, demand, or submission:


(a) Made to the Department for property, services, or money (including money representing grants, cooperative agreements, loans, insurance, or benefits);


(b) Made to a recipient of property, services, or money from the Department or to a party to a contract or agreement with the Department:


(1) For property or services if the United States:


(i) Provided the property or services;


(ii) Provided any portion of the funds for the purchase of the property or services; or


(iii) Will reimburse the recipient or party for the purchase of the property or services; or


(2) For the payment of money (including money representing grants, cooperative agreements, loans, insurance, or benefits) if the United States:


(i) Provided any portion of the money requested or demanded;


(ii) Will reimburse the recipient or party for any portion of the money paid on that request or demand; or


(iii) Will guarantee or reinsure any portion of a loan made by the party; or


(c) Made to the Department which has the effect of decreasing an obligation to pay or account for property, services, or money.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(a)(3))

Complaint means the administrative complaint served by the reviewing official on the defendant under § 33.7.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Defendant means any person alleged in a complaint under § 33.7 to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment under § 33.3.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Department means the United States Department of Education.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Department head means the Secretary or Under Secretary of the United States Department of Education.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(a)(2))

Government means the United States Government.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Individual means a natural person.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Initial decision means the written decision of the ALJ required by § 33.10 or § 33.37, and includes a revised initial decision issued following a remand or a motion for reconsideration.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(h))

Investigating official means the Inspector General of the Department or an officer or employee of the Office of the Inspector General designated by the Inspector General and serving in a position for which the rate of basic pay is not less than the minimum rate of basic pay for grade GS-16 under the General Schedule.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(4)(A)(i))

Knows or has reason to know, means that a person, with respect to a claim or statement:


(a) Has actual knowledge that the claim or statement is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;


(b) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the claim or statement; or


(c) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the claim or statement.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(5))

Makes includes the terms presents, submits, and causes to be made, presented, or submitted.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a))

Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or private organization.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(a)(6))

Representative means:


(a) An attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any State, territory, possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or


(b) Any other person designated by a party in writing, provided that the designation includes a certification that the party understands the nature and consequences of an administrative enforcement action under this part, and that he or she has the right to representation by counsel or to self-representation.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2)(F))

Reviewing official means the General Counsel of the Department or his or her designee who is:


(a) Not subject to supervision by, or required to report to, the investigating official; and


(b) Not employed in the organizational unit of the Department in which the investigating official is employed; and


(c) Serving in a position for which the rate of basic pay is not less than the minimum rate of basic pay for grade GS-16 under the General Schedule.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(8))

Statement means any representation, certification, affirmation, document, record, or accounting or bookkeeping entry made:


(a) With respect to a claim or to obtain the approval or payment of a claim (including relating to eligibility to make a claim); or


(b) With respect to (including relating to eligibility for):


(1) A contract with, or a bid or proposal for a contract with; or


(2) A grant, cooperative agreement, loan, or benefit from;


The Department, or any State, political subdivision of a State, or other party, if the United States Government provides any portion of the money or property under the contract or for the grant, loan, cooperative agreement, or benefit, or if the Government will reimburse or reinsure the State, political subdivision, or party for any portion of the money or property under the contract or for the grant, cooperative agreement, loan, or benefit.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(9))


§ 33.3 Basis for civil penalties and assessments.

(a) Claims. (1) Any person who makes a claim that the person knows or has reason to know:


(i) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;


(ii) Includes or is supported by any written statement which asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;


(iii) Includes or is supported by any written statement that:


(A) Omits a material fact;


(B) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent as a result of such omission; and


(C) Is a statement in which the person making such statement has a duty to include such material fact; or


(iv) Is for payment for the provision of property or services which the person has not provided as claimed;


shall be subject, in addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed by law, to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each claim.

(2) Each voucher, invoice, claim form, or other individual request or demand for property, services, or money constitutes a separate claim.


(3) A claim is considered made to the Department, a recipient, or party when that claim is actually made to an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the Department, a recipient, or party.


(4) Each claim for property, services, or money is subject to a civil penalty regardless of whether the property, services, or money is actually delivered or paid.


(5) If the Government has made any payment (including transferred property or provided services) on a claim, a person subject to a civil penalty under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is also subject to an assessment of not more than twice the amount of that claim or that portion thereof that is determined to be in violation of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The assessment is in lieu of damages sustained by the Government because of that claim.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1))

(b) Statements. (1) Any person who makes a written statement that:


(i) The person knows or has reason to know:


(A) Asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent; or


(B) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent because it omits a material fact that the person making the statement has a duty to include in the statement; and


(ii) Contains or is accompanied by an express certification or affirmation of the truthfulness and accuracy of the contents of the statement;


shall be subject, in addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed by law, to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each statement.

(2) Each written representation, certification, or affirmation constitutes a separate statement.


(3) A statement is considered made to the Department when the statement is actually made to an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the Department.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(2))

(c) No proof of specific intent to defraud is required to establish liability under this section.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(5))

(d) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person is liable for making a claim or statement under this section, each of those persons may be held liable for a civil penalty under this section.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a))

(e) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person is liable for making a claim under this section of which the Government has made payment (including transferred property or provided services), an assessment may be imposed against any of those persons or jointly and severally against any combination of those persons.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1); 3809)


§ 33.4 Investigation.

(a) If an investigating official concludes that a subpoena pursuant to the authority conferred by 31 U.S.C. 3604(a) is warranted:


(1) The subpoena so issued must notify the person to whom it is addressed of the authority under which the subpoena is issued and must identify the records or documents sought;


(2) The investigating official may designate a person to act on his or her behalf to receive the documents sought; and


(3) The person receiving the subpoena is required to tender to the investigating official or the person designated to receive the documents a certification that the documents sought have been produced, or that the documents are not available and the reasons therefore, or that the documents, suitably identified, have been withheld based upon the assertion of an identified privilege.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3804(a))

(b) If the investigating official concludes that an action under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act may be warranted, the investigating official shall submit a report containing the findings and conclusions of the investigation to the reviewing official.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(1))

(c) Nothing in this section precludes or limits an investigating official’s discretion to refer allegations directly to the Department of Justice for suit under the False Claims Act or other civil relief, or to defer or postpone a report or referral to the reviewing official to avoid interference with a criminal investigation or prosecution.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(d) Nothing in this section modifies any responsibility of an investigating official to report violations of criminal law to the Attorney General.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(1))


§ 33.5 Review by the reviewing official.

(a) If, based on the report of the investigating official under § 33.4(b), the reviewing official determines that there is adequate evidence to believe that a person is liable under § 33.3 of this part, the reviewing official transmits to the Attorney General a written notice of the reviewing official’s intention to issue a complaint under § 33.7.


(b) The notice must include –


(1) A statement of the reviewing official’s reasons for issuing a complaint;


(2) A statement specifying the evidence that supports the allegations of liability;


(3) A description of the claims or statements upon which the allegations of liability are based;


(4) An estimate of the amount of money or the value of property, services, or other benefits requested or demanded in violation of § 33.3;


(5) A statement of any exculpatory or mitigating circumstances that may relate to the claims or statements known by the reviewing official or the investigating official; and


(6) A statement that there is a reasonable prospect of collecting an appropriate amount of penalties and assessments. Such a statement may be based upon information then known or an absence of any information indicating that the person may be unable to pay such an amount.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(2); 3809(2))


§ 33.6 Prerequisites for issuing a complaint.

(a) The reviewing official may issue a complaint under § 33.7 only if –


(1) The Department of Justice approves the issuance of a complaint in a written statement described in 31 U.S.C. 3803(b)(1); and


(2) In the case of allegations of liability under § 33.3(a) with respect to a claim, the reviewing official determines that, with respect to that claim or a group of related claims submitted at the same time the claim is submitted (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section), the amount of money or the value of property or services demanded or requested in violation of § 33.3(a) does not exceed $150,000.


(b) For the purposes of this section, a related group of claims submitted at the same time includes only those claims arising from the same transaction (e.g., grant, cooperative agreement, loan, application, or contract) that are submitted simultaneously as part of a single request, demand, or submission.


(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the reviewing official’s authority to join in a single complaint against a person claims that are unrelated or were not submitted simultaneously, regardless of the amount of money, or the value of property or services, demanded or requested.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(b), (c))


§ 33.7 Complaint.

(a) On or after the date the Department of Justice approves the issuance of a complaint in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3803(b)(1), the reviewing official may serve a complaint on the defendant, as provided in § 33.8.


(b) The complaint must state:


(1) The allegations of liability against the defendant, including the statutory basis for liability, an identification of the claims or statements that are the basis for the alleged liability, and the reasons why liability allegedly arises from those claims or statements;


(2) The maximum amount of penalties and assessments for which the defendant may be held liable;


(3) Instructions for filing an answer to request a hearing, including a specific statement of the defendant’s right to request a hearing by filing an answer and to be represented by a representative; and


(4) That failure to file an answer within 30 days of service of the complaint will result in the imposition of the maximum amount of penalties and assessments without right to appeal, as provided in § 33.10.


(c) At the same time the reviewing official serves the complaint, he or she shall serve the defendant with a copy of the regulations in this part.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a))


§ 33.8 Service of complaint.

(a) Service of a complaint must be made by certified or registered mail or by delivery in any manner authorized by Rule 4(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Service is complete upon receipt.


(b) Proof of service, stating the name and address of the person on whom the complaint was served, and the manner and date of service, may be made by:


(1) Affidavit of the individual serving the complaint by delivery;


(2) An acknowledged United States Postal Service return receipt card; or


(3) Written acknowledgment of receipt by the defendant or his representative.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(d))


§ 33.9 Answer.

(a) The defendant may request a hearing by filing an answer with the reviewing official within 30 days of service of the complaint. An answer is deemed to be a request for hearing.


(b) In the answer, the defendant:


(1) Shall admit or deny each of the allegations of liability made in the complaint;


(2) Shall state any defense on which the defendant intends to rely;


(3) May state any reasons why the defendant contends that the penalties and assessments should be less than the statutory maximum; and


(4) Shall state the name, address, and telephone number of the person authorized by the defendant to act as defendant’s representative, if any.


(c) If the defendant is unable to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section within the time provided, the defendant may, before the expiration of 30 days from service of the complaint, file with the reviewing official a general answer denying liability and requesting a hearing, and a request for an extension of time within which to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. The reviewing official shall file promptly with the ALJ the complaint, the general answer denying liability, and the request for an extension of time as provided in § 33.11 for good cause shown, the ALJ may grant the defendant up to 30 additional days within which to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(d)(2), 3809)


§ 33.10 Default upon failure to file an answer.

(a) If the defendant does not file an answer within the time prescribed in § 33.9(a), the reviewing official may refer the complaint to the ALJ.


(b) Upon the referral of the complaint, the ALJ shall promptly serve on defendant in the manner prescribed in § 33.8, a notice that an initial decision will be issued under this section.


(c) The ALJ shall assume the facts alleged in the complaint to be true and, if those facts establish liability under § 33.3, the ALJ shall issue an initial decision imposing the maximum amount of penalties and assessments allowed under the statute.


(d) Except as otherwise provided in this section, by failing to file a timely answer the defendant waives any right to further review of the penalties and assessments imposed under paragraph (c) of this section, and the initial decision becomes final and binding upon the parties 30 days after it is issued.


(e) If, before such an initial decision becomes final, the defendant files a motion with the ALJ seeking to reopen on the grounds that extraordinary circumstances prevented the defendant from filing an answer, the initial decision must be stayed pending the ALJ’s decision on the motion.


(f) If, on such a motion, the defendant can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances excusing the failure to file a timely answer, the ALJ shall withdraw the initial decision under paragraph (c) of this section, if such a decision has been issued, and shall grant the defendant an opportunity to answer the complaint.


(g) A decision of the ALJ denying a defendant’s motion under paragraph (e) of this section is not subject to reconsideration under § 33.38.


(h) The defendant may appeal to the Department head the decision denying a motion to reopen by filing a notice of appeal with the Department head within 15 days after the ALJ denies the motion. The timely filing of a notice of appeal stays the initial decision until the Department head decides the issue.


(i) If the defendant files a timely notice of appeal with the Department head, the ALJ shall forward the record of the proceeding to the Department head.


(j) The Department head decides expeditiously whether extraordinary circumstances excuse the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer based solely on the record before the ALJ.


(k) If the Department head decides that extraordinary circumstances excuse the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer, the Department head remands the case to the ALJ with instructions to grant the defendant an opportunity to answer.


(l) If the Department head decides that the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer is not excused, the Department head reinstates the initial decision of the ALJ, which becomes final and binding upon the parties 30 days after the Department head issues that decision.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)


§ 33.11 Referral of complaint and answer to the ALJ.

Upon receipt of an answer, the reviewing official shall file the complaint and answer with the ALJ.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(d)(2); 3809)


§ 33.12 Notice of hearing.

(a) When the ALJ receives the complaint and answer, the ALJ shall promptly serve a notice of hearing upon the defendant in the manner prescribed by § 33.8. At the same time, the ALJ shall send a copy of the notice to the representative for the Government.


(b) The notice must include:


(1) The tentative time and place, and the nature of the hearing;


(2) The legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;


(3) The matters of fact and law to be asserted;


(4) A description of the procedures for the conduct of the hearing;


(5) The name, address, and telephone number of the representative of the Government and of the defendant, if any; and


(6) Such other matters as the ALJ deems appropriate.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2)(A))


§ 33.13 Parties to the hearing.

(a) The parties to the hearing are the defendant and the Department.


(b) Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3730(c)(5), a private plaintiff under the False Claims Act may participate in these proceedings to the extent authorized by the provisions of that Act.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2))


§ 33.14 Separation of functions.

(a) The investigating official, the reviewing official, and any employee or agent of the Department who takes part in investigating, preparing, or presenting a particular case may not, in that case or a factually related case:


(1) Participate in the hearing as the ALJ;


(2) Participate or advise in the initial decision or the review of the initial decision by the Department head, except as a witness or a representative in public proceedings; or


(3) Make the collection of penalties and assessments under 31 U.S.C. 3806.


(b) The ALJ may not be responsible to, or subject to the supervision or direction of, the investigating official or the reviewing official.


(c) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, the representative for the Government may be employed anywhere in the Department, including in the offices of either the investigating official or the reviewing official.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809(l)(2))


§ 33.15 Ex parte contacts.

No party or person (except employees of the ALJ’s office) may communicate in any way with the ALJ on any matter at issue in a case, unless on notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. This provision does not prohibit a person or party from inquiring about the status of a case or asking routine questions concerning administrative functions or procedures.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(1)(A))


§ 33.16 Disqualification of reviewing official or ALJ.

(a) A reviewing official or ALJ in a particular case may disqualify himself or herself at any time.


(b) A party may file with the ALJ a motion for disqualification of a reviewing official or an ALJ. That motion must be accompanied by an affidavit alleging personal bias or other reason for disqualification.


(c) The motion and affidavit must be filed promptly upon the party’s discovery of reasons requiring disqualification, or the objections are deemed waived.


(d) The affidavit must state specific facts that support the party’s belief that personal bias or other reason for disqualification exists and the time and circumstances of the party’s discovery of those facts. It must be accompanied by a certificate of the representative of record that it is made in good faith.


(e) Upon the filing of the motion and affidavit, the ALJ shall not proceed further in the case until he or she resolves the matter of disqualification in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section.


(f)(1) If the ALJ determines that a reviewing official is disqualified, the ALJ shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice.


(2) If the ALJ disqualifies himself or herself, the case must be reassigned promptly to another ALJ.


(3) If the ALJ denies a motion to disqualify, the Department head may determine the matter only as part of his or her review of the initial decision upon appeal, if any.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2)(G))


§ 33.17 Rights of parties.

Except as otherwise limited by this part, all parties may:


(a) Be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative (as defined in § 33.2);


(b) Participate in any conference held by the ALJ:


(c) Conduct discovery under § 33.21;


(d) Agree to stipulations of fact or law, which must be made part of the record;


(e) Present evidence relevant to the issues at the hearing;


(f) Present and cross-examine witnesses;


(g) Present oral arguments at the hearing as permitted by the ALJ; and


(h) Submit written briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law after the hearing.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g) (2) (E), (F), (3)(B)(ii))


§ 33.18 Authority of the ALJ.

(a) The ALJ shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing, avoid delay, maintain order, and assure that a record of the proceeding is made.


(b) The ALJ has the authority to:


(1) Set and change the date, time, and place of the hearing upon reasonable notice to the parties;


(2) Disqualify a non-attorney representative (designated as described in the § 33.2 definitions of “representative”) if the ALJ determines that the representative is incapable of rendering reasonably effective assistance;


(3) Continue or recess the hearing in whole or in part for a reasonable period of time;


(4) Hold conferences to identify or simplify the issues, or to consider other matters that may aid in the expeditious disposition of the proceeding;


(5) Administer oaths and affirmations;


(6) Issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents at depositions or at hearings;


(7) Rule on motions and other procedural matters;


(8) Regulate the scope and timing of discovery;


(9) Regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct of representatives and parties;


(10) Examine witnesses;


(11) Receive, rule on, exclude, or limit evidence;


(12) Upon motion of a party, take official notice of facts;


(13) Upon motion of a party, decide cases, in whole or in part, by summary judgment if there is no disputed issue of material fact;


(14) Conduct any conference, argument, or hearing on motions in person or by telephone; and


(15) Exercise such other authority as is necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the ALJ under this part.


(c) The ALJ does not have the authority to find Federal statutes or regulations invalid.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g))


§ 33.19 Prehearing conferences.

(a) The ALJ may schedule perhearing conferences as appropriate.


(b) Upon the motion of any party, the ALJ shall schedule at least one perhearing conference at a reasonable time in advance of the hearing.


(c) The ALJ may use prehearing conferences to discuss the following:


(1) Simplification of the issues.


(2) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings, including the need for a more definite statement.


(3) Stipulations, admissions of fact or as to the contents and authenticity of documents.


(4) Whether the parties can agree to submission of the case on a stipulated record.


(5) Whether a party chooses to waive appearance at an oral hearing and to submit only documentary evidence (subject to the objection of other parties) and written argument.


(6) Limitation of the number of witnesses.


(7) Scheduling dates for the exchange of witness lists and of proposed exhibits.


(8) Discovery.


(9) The time and place for the hearing.


(10) Such other matters as may tend to expedite the fair and just disposition of the proceedings.


(d) The ALJ may issue an order containing all matters agreed upon by the parties or ordered by the ALJ at a prehearing conference.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g))


§ 33.20 Disclosure of documents.

(a) Upon written request to the reviewing official, the defendant may review any relevant and material documents, transcripts, records, and other materials that relate to the allegations set out in the complaint and upon which the findings and conclusions of the investigating official under § 33.4(b) are based, unless those documents are subject to a privilege under Federal law. Upon payment of fees for duplication, the defendant may obtain copies of the documents.


(b) Upon written request to the reviewing official, the defendant also may obtain a copy of all exculpatory information in the possession of the reviewing official or investigating official relating to the allegations in the complaint, even if it is contained in a document that would otherwise be privileged. If the document would otherwise be privileged, only that portion containing exculpatory information must be disclosed.


(c) The notice sent to the Attorney General from the reviewing official as described in § 33.5 is not discoverable under any circumstances.


(d) The defendant may file a motion to compel disclosure of the documents subject to the provisions of this section. Such a motion may only be filed with the ALJ following the filing of an answer pursuant to § 33.9.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(3)(B)(ii), 3803(e))


§ 33.21 Discovery.

(a) The following types of discovery are authorized:


(1) Requests for production of documents for inspection and copying.


(2) Requests for admissions of the authenticity of any relevant document or of the truth of any relevant fact.


(3) Written interrogatories.


(4) Depositions.


(b) For the purpose of this section and §§ 33.22 and 33.23, the term “documents” includes information, documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data and documentary evidence. Nothing contained in this part may be interpreted to require the creation of a document.


(c) Unless mutually agreed to by the parties, discovery is available only as ordered by the ALJ. The ALJ shall regulate the timing of discovery.


(d) Motions for discovery. (1) A party seeking discovery may file a motion with the ALJ. Such a motion shall be accompanied by a copy of the requested discovery, or in the case of depositions, a summary of the scope of the proposed deposition.


(2) Within ten days of service, a party may file an opposition to the motion or a motion for protective order, or both, as provided in § 33.24.


(3) The ALJ may grant a motion for discovery only if he finds that the discovery sought:


(i) Is necessary for the expeditious, fair, and reasonable determination of the issues;


(ii) Is not unduly costly or burdensome;


(iii) Will not unduly delay the proceeding; and


(iv) Does not seek privileged information.


(4) The burden of showing that discovery should be allowed is on the party seeking discovery.


(5) The ALJ may grant discovery subject to a protective order under § 33.24.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(3)(B)(ii))

(e) Depositions. (1) If a motion for deposition is granted, the ALJ shall issue a subpoena for the deponent, which may require the deponent to produce documents. The subpoena must specify the time and place at which the deposition will be held.


(2) The party seeking to depose shall serve the subpoena in the manner prescribed in § 33.8.


(3) The deponent may file with the ALJ a motion to quash the subpoena or a motion for a protective order within ten days of service.


(4) The party seeking to depose shall provide for the taking a verbatim transcript of the deposition, which the party shall make available to all other parties for inspection and copying.


(f) Each party shall bear its own costs of discovery.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(3)(B)(ii))


§ 33.22 Exchange of witness lists, statements and exhibits.

(a) At least 15 days before the hearing or at such other time as may be ordered by the ALJ, the parties shall exchange witness lists, copies of prior statements of proposed witnesses, and copies of proposed hearing exhibits, including copies of any written statements that the party intends to offer in lieu of live testimony in accordance with § 33.33(b). At the time these documents are exchanged, any party that is permitted by the ALJ to rely on the transcript of deposition testimony in lieu of live testimony at the hearing, shall provide each other party with a copy of the specific pages of the transcript it intends to introduce.


(b) If a party objects, the ALJ shall not admit into evidence the testimony of any witness whose name does not appear on the witness list or any exhibit not provided to the opposing party as provided in paragraph (a) of this Section unless the ALJ finds good cause for the failure or that there is no prejudice to the objecting party.


(c) Unless another party objects within the time set by the ALJ, documents exchanged in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section are deemed to be authentic for the purpose of admissibility at the hearing.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2))


§ 33.23 Subpoenas for attendance at hearing.

(a) A party wishing to procure the appearance and testimony of any individual at the hearing may request that the ALJ issue a subpoena.


(b) A subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of an individual may also require the individual to produce documents at the hearing.


(c) A party seeking a subpoena shall file a written request therefor not less than 15 days before the date fixed for the hearing unless otherwise allowed by the ALJ for good cause shown. The request must specify any documents to be produced and must designate the witnesses and describe their address and location with sufficient particularity to permit the witnesses to be found.


(d) The subpoena must specify the time and place at which a witness is to appear and any documents the witness is to produce.


(e) The party seeking the subpoena shall serve it in the manner prescribed in § 33.8. A subpoena on a party or upon an individual under the control of a party may be served by first class mail.


(f) A party or the individual to whom the subpoena is directed may file with the ALJ a motion to quash the subpoena within ten days after service or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance if is is less then ten days after service.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3804(b))


§ 33.24 Protective order.

(a) A party or a prospective witness or deponent may file a motion for a protective order with respect to discovery sought by an opposing party or with respect to the hearing, seeking to limit the availability or disclosure of evidence.


(b) In issuing a protective order, the ALJ may take any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:


(1) That the discovery not be had.


(2) That the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place.


(3) That the discovery may be had only through a method of discovery other than that requested.


(4) That certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of discovery be limited to certain matters.


(5) That the discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the ALJ.


(6) That the contents of discovery or evidence be sealed.


(7) That a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the ALJ.


(8) That a trade secret or other confidential research, development, commercial information, or facts pertaining to any criminal investigation, proceeding, or other administrative investigation not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way.


(9) That the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the ALJ.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(3)(B)(ii))


§ 33.25 Fees.

The party requesting a subpoena shall pay the cost of the fees and mileage of any witness subpoenaed in the amounts that would be payable to a witness in a proceeding in United States District Court. A check for witness fees and mileage must accompany the subpoena when served, except that if a subpoena is issued on behalf of the authority, a check for witness fees and mileage need not accompany the subpoena.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3804(b))


§ 33.26 Form, filing and service of papers.

(a) Form. (1) Documents filed with the ALJ must include an original and two copies.


(2) Every pleading and paper filed in the proceeding must contain a caption setting for the title of the action, the case number assigned by the ALJ, and a designation of the paper (e.g., motion to quash subpoena).


(3) Every pleading and paper must be signed by, and must contain the address and telephone number of the party or the person on whose behalf the paper was filed, or his or her representative.


(4) Papers are considered filed when they are mailed. Date of mailing may be established by a certificate from the party or its representative or by proof that the document was sent by certified or registered mail.


(b) Service. A party filing a document with the ALJ shall, at the time of filing, serve a copy of the document on every other party. Service upon any party of any document other than those required to be served as prescribed in § 33.8 shall be made by delivering a copy, or by placing a copy of the document in the United States mail, postage prepaid and addressed, to the party’s last known address. If a party is represented by a representative, service must be made upon the representative in lieu of the actual party.


(c) Proof of service. A certificate of the individual serving the document by personal delivery or by mail, setting forth the manner of service, is proof of service.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(b)(3)(A))


§ 33.27 Computation of time.

(a) In computing any period of time under this part or in an order issued under this part, the time begins with the day following the act, event, or default, and includes the last day of the period, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday observed by the Federal Government, in which event it includes the next business day.


(b) If the period of time allowed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays observed by the Federal Government are excluded from the computation.


(c) If a document has been served or issued by placing it in the mail, an additional five days is added to the time permitted for any response.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)


§ 33.28 Motions.

(a) Any application to the ALJ for an order or ruling must be by motion. Motions must state the relief sought, the authority relied upon, and the facts alleged, and must be filed with the ALJ and served on all other parties.


(b) Except for motions made during a prehearing conference or at the hearing, all motions must be in writing. The ALJ may require that oral motions be reduced to writing.


(c) Within 15 days after a written motion is served, or such other time as may be fixed by the ALJ, any party may file a response to the motion.


(d) The ALJ may not grant a written motion before the time for filing responses to the motion has expired, except upon consent of the parties or following a hearing on the motion, but may overrule or deny the motion without awaiting a response.


(e) The ALJ shall make a reasonable effort to dispose of all outstanding motions prior to the beginning of the hearing.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(3)(A))


§ 33.29 Sanctions.

(a) The ALJ may sanction a person, including any party or representative for –


(1) Failing to comply with an order, rule, or procedure governing the proceeding;


(2) Failing to prosecute or defend an action; or


(3) Engaging in other misconduct that interferes with the speedy, orderly, or fair conduct of the hearing.


(b) Any sanction, including but not limited to those listed in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section must reasonably relate to the severity and nature of the failure or misconduct.


(c) If a party fails to comply with an order, including an order for taking a deposition, the production of evidence within the party’s control, or a request for admission, the ALJ may –


(1) Draw an inference in favor of the requesting party with regard to the information sought;


(2) In the case of requests for admission, deem each matter of which an admission is requested to be admitted;


(3) Prohibit the party failing to comply with the order from introducing evidence concerning, or otherwise relying upon testimony relating to, the information sought; and


(4) Strike any part of the pleadings or other submissions of the party failing to comply with the request.


(d) If a party fails to prosecute or defend an action under this part commenced by service of a notice of hearing, the ALJ may dismiss the action or may issue an initial decision imposing penalties and assessments.


(e) The ALJ may refuse to consider any motion, request, response, brief, or other document that is not filed in a timely fashion.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2))


§ 33.30 The hearing and burden of proof.

(a) The ALJ shall conduct a hearing on the record in order to determine whether the defendant is liable for a civil penalty or assessment under § 33.3 and, if so, the appropriate amount of the civil penalty or assessment considering any aggravating or mitigating factors.


(b) The Department shall prove a defendant’s liability and any aggravating factors by a preponderance of the evidence.


(c) The defendant shall prove any affirmative defenses and any mitigating factors by a preponderance of the evidence.


(d) The hearing must be open to the public unless otherwise ordered by the ALJ for good cause shown.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803 (f), (g)(2))


§ 33.31 Determining the amount of penalties and assessments.

(a) In determining an appropriate amount of civil penalties and assessments, the ALJ and the Department head, upon appeal, evaluate any circumstances that mitigate or aggravate the violation and articulate in their opinions the reasons that support the penalties and assessments they impose. Because of the intangible costs of fraud, the expense of investigating fraudulent conduct, and the need to deter others who might be similarly tempted, ordinarily double damages and a significant civil penalty is imposed.


(b) Although not exhaustive, the following factors are among those that may influence the ALJ and the Department head in determining the amount of penalties and assessments to impose with respect to the misconduct (i.e., the false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims or statements) charged in the complaint:


(1) The number of false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims or statements.


(2) The time period over which such claims or statements were made.


(3) The degree of the defendent’s culpability with respect to the misconduct.


(4) The amount of money or the value of the property, services, or benefit falsely claimed.


(5) The value of the Government’s actual loss as a result of the misconduct, including foreseeable consequential damages and the costs of investigation.


(6) The relationship of the amount imposed as civil penalties to the amount of the Government’s loss.


(7) The potential or actual impact of the misconduct upon national defense, public health or safety, or public confidence in the management of Government programs and operations, including particularly the impact on the intended beneficiaries of such programs.


(8) Whether the defendant has engaged in a pattern of the same or similar misconduct.


(9) Whether the defendant attempted to conceal the misconduct.


(10) The degree to which the defendant has involved others in the misconduct or in concealing it.


(11) If the misconduct of employees or agents is imputed to the defendant, the extent to which the defendant’s practices fostered or attempted to preclude the misconduct.


(12) Whether the defendant cooperated in or obstructed an investigation of the misconduct.


(13) Whether the defendant assisted in identifying and prosecuting other wrongdoers.


(14) The complexity of the program or transaction, and the degree of the defendant’s sophistication with respect to it, including the extent of the defendant’s prior participation in the program or in similar transactions.


(15) Whether the defendant has been found, in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding to have engaged in similar misconduct or to have dealt dishonestly with the Government of the United States or of a State, directly or indirectly.


(16) The need to deter the defendant and others from engaging in the same or similar misconduct.


(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the ALJ or the Department head from considering any other factors that in any given case may mitigate or aggravate the offense for which penalties and assessments are imposed.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(2) (e), (f))


§ 33.32 Location of hearing.

(a) The hearing may be held:


(1) In any judicial district of the United States in which the defendant resides or transacts business;


(2) In any judicial district of the United States in which the claim or statement in issue was made; or


(3) In such other place as may be agreed upon by the defendant and the ALJ.


(b) Each party must have the opportunity to present argument with respect to the location of the hearing.


(c) The hearing must be held at the place and at the time ordered by the ALJ.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(4))


§ 33.33 Witnesses.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, testimony at the hearing must be given orally by witnesses under oath or affirmation.


(b) At the discretion of the ALJ, testimony may be admitted in the form of a written statement or deposition. Any such written statement must be provided to all other parties along with the last known address of the witness, in a manner that allows sufficient time for other parties to subpoena the witness for cross-examination at the hearing. Prior written statements of witnesses proposed to testify at the hearing and deposition transcripts must be exchanged as provided in § 33.22(a).


(c) The ALJ shall exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to:


(1) Make the interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment of the truth;


(2) Avoid needless consumption of time; and


(3) Protect witnesses from harassment or undue embarrassment.


(d) The ALJ shall permit the parties to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.


(e) At the discretion of the ALJ, a witness may be cross-examined on matters relevant to the proceeding without regard to the scope of his or her direct examination. To the extent permitted by the ALJ, cross-examination on matters outside the scope of direct examination must be conducted in the manner of direct examination and may proceed by leading questions only if the witness is a hostile witness, an adverse party, or a witness identified with an adverse party.


(f) Upon motion of any party, the ALJ shall order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses. This rule does not authorize exclusion of –


(1) A party who is an individual;


(2) In the case of a party that is not an individual, an officer or employee of the party appearing for the party pro se or designated by the party’s representative; or


(3) An individual whose presence is shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of its case, including an individual employed by the Government engaged in assisting the representative for the Government.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2)(E); 3809))


§ 33.34 Evidence.

(a) The ALJ shall determine the admissibility of evidence.


(b) Except as provided in this part, the ALJ is not bound by the Federal Rules of Evidence. However, the ALJ may apply the Federal Rules of Evidence if appropriate, e.g., to exclude unreliable evidence.


(c) The ALJ shall exclude irrelevant and immaterial evidence.


(d) Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighted by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or by considerations of undue delay or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.


(e) Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if it is privileged under Federal law.


(f) Evidence concerning offers of compromise or settlement are inadmissible to the extend provided in Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.


(g) The ALJ shall permit the parties to introduce rebuttal witnesses and evidence.


(h) All Documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record must be open to examination by all parties, unless otherwise ordered by the ALJ pursuant to § 33.24.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(f)(g)(2)(E))


§ 33.35 The record.

(a) The hearing must be recorded and transcribed. Transcripts may be obtained following the hearing from the ALJ at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of duplication.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803 (f))

(b) The transcript of testimony, exhibits and other evidence admitted at the hearing, and all papers and requests filed in the proceeding constitute the record for the decision by the ALJ and the Department head.


(c) The record may be inspected and copied (upon payment of a reasonable fee) by anyone, unless otherwise ordered by the ALJ pursuant to § 33.24.


(Authority: 5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 11)


§ 33.36 Post-hearing briefs.

The ALJ may require the parties to file post-hearing briefs. In any event, any party may file a post-hearing brief. The ALJ shall fix the time for filing these briefs, not to exceed 60 days from the date the parties receive the transcript of the hearing or, if applicable, the stipulated record. The briefs may be accompanied by proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The ALJ may permit the parties to file reply briefs.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803 (g)(1)(2)(E))


§ 33.37 Initial decision.

(a) The ALJ shall issue an initial decision, based only on the record, that contains findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the amount of any penalties and assessments imposed.


(b) The findings of fact must include a finding on each of the following issues:


(1) Whether the claims or statements identified in the complaint, or any portions of the complaint, violate § 33.3.


(2) If the person is liable for penalties or assessments, the appropriate amount of any such penalties or assessments considering any mitigating or aggravating factors that the ALJ finds in the case, such as those described in § 33.31.


(c) The ALJ shall promptly serve the initial decision on all parties within 90 days after the time for submission of post-hearing briefs and reply briefs (if permitted) has expired. The ALJ shall at the same time serve all parties with a statement describing the right of any defendant determined to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment to file a motion for reconsideration with the ALJ or a notice of appeal with the Department head. If the ALJ fails to meet the deadline contained in this paragraph, he or she shall notify the parties of the reasons for the delay and shall set a new deadline.


(d) Unless the initial decision of the ALJ is timely appealed to the Department head, or a motion for reconsideration of the initial decision is timely filed, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the Department head and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after it is issued by the ALJ.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(h)(i))


§ 33.38 Reconsideration of initial decision.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, any party may file a motion for reconsideration of the initial decision within 20 days of receipt of the initial decision. If service was made by mail, receipt is presumed to be five days from the date of mailing in the absence of contrary proof.


(b) Every motion under paragraph (a) of this section must set forth the matters claimed to have been erroneously decided and the nature of the alleged errors. The motion must be accompanied by a supporting brief.


(c) Responses to the motion are allowed only upon request to the ALJ.


(d) No party may file a motion for reconsideration of an initial decision that has been revised in response to a previous motion for reconsideration.


(e) The ALJ may dispose of a motion for reconsideration by denying it or by issuing a revised initial decision.


(f) If the ALJ denies a motion for reconsideration, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the Department head and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after the ALJ denies the motion, unless the initial decision is timely appealed to the Department head in accordance with § 33.39.


(g) If the ALJ issues a revised initial decision, that decision shall constitute the final decision of the Department head and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after it is issued, unless it is timely appealed to the Department head in accordance with § 33.39.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)


§ 33.39 Appeal to Department head.

(a) Any defendant who has filed a timely answer and who is determined in an initial decision to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment may appeal the decision to the Department head by filing a notice of appeal with the Department head in accordance with this section.


(b)(1) A notice of appeal may be filed at any time within 30 days after the ALJ issues a final decision. However, if another party files a motion for reconsideration under § 33.38, consideration of the appeal shall be stayed automatically pending resolution of the motion for reconsideration.


(2) If a motion for reconsideration is timely filed, a notice of appeal may be filed within 30 days after the ALJ denies the motion or issues a revised initial decision, whichever applies.


(3) The Department head may extend the initial 30-day period for an additional 30 days if the defendant files with the Department head a request for an extension within the initial 30-day period and shows good cause.


(c) If the defendant files a timely notice of appeal with the Department head, and the time for filing motions for reconsideration under § 33.38 has expired, the ALJ shall forward the record of the proceeding to the Department head.


(d) A notice of appeal must be accompanied by a written brief specifying exceptions to the initial decision and reasons supporting the exceptions.


(e) The representative for the Government may file a brief in opposition to exceptions within 30 days of receiving the notice of appeal and accompanying brief.


(f) There is no right to appear personally before the Department head.


(g) There is no right to appeal any interlocutory ruling by the ALJ.


(h) In reviewing the initial decision, the Department head does not consider any objection that was not raised before the ALJ unless a demonstration is made of extraordinary circumstances causing the failure to raise the objection.


(i) If any party demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Department head that additional evidence not presented at such hearing is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to present that evidence at the hearing, the Department head shall remand the matter to the ALJ for consideration of the additional evidence.


(j) The Department head affirms, reduces, reverses, compromises, remands, or settles any penalty or assessment, determined by the ALJ in any initial decision.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(i))

(k) The Department head promptly serves each party to the appeal with a copy of the decision of the Department head and a statement describing the right of any person determined to be liable for a penalty or assessment to seek judicial review.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(i)(2))

(l) Unless a petition for review is filed as provided in 31 U.S.C. 3805, after a defendant has exhausted all administrative remedies under this part and within 60 days after the date on which the Department head serves the defendant with a copy of the Department head’s decision, a determination that a defendant is liable under § 33.3 is final and is not subject to judicial review.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3805(a)(2))


§ 33.40 Stays ordered by the Department of Justice.

If at any time the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General designated by the Attorney General transmits to the Department head a written finding that continuation of the administrative process described in this part with respect to a claim or statement may adversely affect any pending or potential criminal or civil action related to such claim or statement, the Department head stays the process immediately. The Department head orders the process resumed only upon receipt of the written authorization of the Attorney General.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(b)(3))


§ 33.41 Stay pending appeal.

(a) An initial decision is stayed automatically pending disposition of a motion for reconsideration or of an appeal to the Department head.


(b) No administrative stay is available following a final decision of the Department head.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)


§ 33.42 Judicial review.

Section 3805 of title 31, United States Code, authorizes judicial review by an appropriate United States District Court of a final decision of the Department head imposing penalties or assessments under this part and specifies the procedures for the review.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3805)


§ 33.43 Collection of civil penalties and assessments.

Section 3806 and 3808(b) of title 31, United States Code, authorize actions for collection of civil penalties and assessments imposed under this part and specify the procedures for those actions.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3808(b))


§ 33.44 Right to administrative offset.

The amount of any penalty or assessment that has become final, or for which a judgment has been entered under § 33.42 or § 33.43, or any amount agreed upon in a compromise or settlement under § 33.46, may be collected by administrative offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716, except that an administrative offset may not be under this section against a refund of an overpayment of Federal taxes, then or later owing by the United States to the defendant.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3806)


§ 33.45 Deposit in Treasury of United States.

All amounts collected pursuant to this part are deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States, except as provided in 31 U.S.C. 3806(g).


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3807(b))


§ 33.46 Compromise or settlement.

(a) Parties may make offers of compromise or settlement at any time.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(b) The reviewing official has the exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case under this part at any time after the date on which the reviewing official is permitted to issue a complaint and before the date on which the ALJ issues an initial decision.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(j))

(c) The Department head has exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case under this part at any time after the date on which the ALJ issues an initial decision, except during the pendency of any review under § 33.42 or during the pendency of any action to collect penalties and assessments under § 33.43.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(i)(2)(C))

(d) The Attorney General has exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case under this part during the pendency of any review under § 33.42 or of any action to recover penalties and assessments under 31 U.S.C. 3806.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3806(f))

(e) The investigating official may recommend settlement terms to the reviewing official, the Department head, or the Attorney General, as appropriate. The reviewing official may recommend settlement terms to the Department head, or the Attorney General, as appropriate.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(f) Any compromise or settlement must be in writing.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)


§ 33.47 Limitations.

(a) The notice of hearing with respect to a claim or statement must be served in the manner specified in § 33.8 within six years after the date on which the claim or statement is made.


(b) If the defendant fails to file a timely answer, service of a notice under § 33.10(b) is deemed a notice of hearing for purposes of this section.


(c) The statute of limitations may be extended by agreement of the parties.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3808)


PART 34 – ADMINISTRATIVE WAGE GARNISHMENT


Authority:31 U.S.C. 3720D, unless otherwise noted.


Source:68 FR 8142, Feb. 19, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

§ 34.1 Purpose of this part.

This part establishes procedures the Department of Education uses to collect money from a debtor’s disposable pay by means of administrative wage garnishment to satisfy delinquent debt owed to the United States.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.2 Scope of this part.

(a) This part applies to collection of any financial obligation owed to the United States that arises under a program we administer.


(b) This part applies notwithstanding any provision of State law.


(c) We may compromise or suspend collection by garnishment of a debt in accordance with applicable law.


(d) We may use other debt collection remedies separately or in conjunction with administrative wage garnishment to collect a debt.


(e) To collect by offset from the salary of a Federal employee, we use the procedures in 34 CFR part 31, not those in this part.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.3 Definitions.

As used in this part, the following definitions apply:


Administrative debt means a debt that does not arise from an individual’s obligation to repay a loan or an overpayment of a grant received under a student financial assistance program authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.


Business day means a day Monday through Friday, unless that day is a Federal holiday.


Certificate of service means a certificate signed by an authorized official of the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) that indicates the nature of the document to which it pertains, the date we mail the document, and to whom we are sending the document.


Day means calendar day. For purposes of computation, the last day of a period will be included unless that day is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a Federal legal holiday; in that case, the last day of the period is the next business day after the end of the period.


Debt or claim means any amount of money, funds, or property that an appropriate official of the Department has determined an individual owes to the United States under a program we administer.


Debtor means an individual who owes a delinquent nontax debt to the United States under a program we administer.


Disposable pay. This term –


(a)(1) Means that part of a debtor’s compensation for personal services, whether or not denominated as wages, from an employer that remains after the deduction of health insurance premiums and any amounts required by law to be withheld.


(2) For purposes of this part, “amounts required by law to be withheld” include amounts for deductions such as social security taxes and withholding taxes, but do not include any amount withheld under a court order; and


(b) Includes, but is not limited to, salary, bonuses, commissions, or vacation pay.


Employer. This term –


(a) Means a person or entity that employs the services of another and that pays the latter’s wages or salary;


(b) Includes, but is not limited to, State and local governments; and


(c) Does not include an agency of the Federal Government.


Financial hardship means an inability to meet basic living expenses for goods and services necessary for the survival of the debtor and his or her spouse and dependents.


Garnishment means the process of withholding amounts from an employee’s disposable pay and paying those amounts to a creditor in satisfaction of a withholding order.


We means the United States Department of Education.


Withholding order. (a) This term means any order for withholding or garnishment of pay issued by this Department, another Federal agency, a State or private non-profit guaranty agency, or a judicial or administrative body.


(b) For purposes of this part, the terms “wage garnishment order” and “garnishment order” have the same meaning as “withholding order.”


You means the debtor.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.4 Notice of proposed garnishment.

(a) We may start proceedings to garnish your wages whenever we determine that you are delinquent in paying a debt owed to the United States under a program we administer.


(b) We start garnishment proceedings by sending you a written notice of the proposed garnishment.


(c) At least 30 days before we start garnishment proceedings, we mail the notice by first class mail to your last known address.


(d)(1) We keep a copy of a certificate of service indicating the date of mailing of the notice.


(2) We may retain this certificate of service in electronic form.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.5 Contents of a notice of proposed garnishment.

In a notice of proposed garnishment, we inform you of –


(a) The nature and amount of the debt;


(b) Our intention to collect the debt through deductions from pay until the debt and all accumulated interest, penalties, and collection costs are paid in full; and


(c) An explanation of your rights, including those in § 34.6, and the time frame within which you may exercise your rights.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.6 Rights in connection with garnishment.

Before starting garnishment, we provide you the opportunity –


(a) To inspect and copy our records related to the debt;


(b) To enter into a written repayment agreement with us to repay the debt under terms we consider acceptable;


(c) For a hearing in accordance with § 34.8 concerning –


(1) The existence, amount, or current enforceability of the debt;


(2) The rate at which the garnishment order will require your employer to withhold pay; and


(3) Whether you have been continuously employed less than 12 months after you were involuntarily separated from employment.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.7 Consideration of objection to the rate or amount of withholding.

(a) We consider objections to the rate or amount of withholding only if the objection rests on a claim that withholding at the proposed rate or amount would cause financial hardship to you and your dependents.


(b) We do not provide a hearing on an objection to the rate or amount of withholding if the rate or amount we propose to be withheld does not exceed the rate or amount agreed to under a repayment agreement reached within the preceding six months after a previous notice of proposed garnishment.


(c) We do not consider an objection to the rate or amount of withholding based on a claim that by virtue of 15 U.S.C. 1673, no amount of wages are available for withholding by the employer.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.8 Providing a hearing.

(a) We provide a hearing if you submit a written request for a hearing concerning the existence, amount, or enforceability of the debt or the rate of wage withholding.


(b) At our option the hearing may be an oral hearing under § 34.9 or a paper hearing under § 34.10.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.9 Conditions for an oral hearing.

(a) We provide an oral hearing if you –


(1) Request an oral hearing; and


(2) Show in the request a good reason to believe that we cannot resolve the issues in dispute by review of the documentary evidence, by demonstrating that the validity of the claim turns on the credibility or veracity of witness testimony.


(b) If we determine that an oral hearing is appropriate, we notify you how to receive the oral hearing.


(c)(1) At your option, an oral hearing may be conducted either in-person or by telephone conference.


(2) We provide an in-person oral hearing with regard to administrative debts only in Washington D.C.


(3) We provide an in-person oral hearing with regard to debts based on student loan or grant obligations only at our regional service centers in Atlanta, Chicago, or San Francisco.


(4) You must bear all travel expenses you incur in connection with an in-person hearing.


(5) We bear the cost of any telephone calls we place in order to conduct an oral hearing by telephone.


(d)(1) To arrange the time and location of the oral hearing, we ordinarily attempt to contact you first by telephone call to the number you provided to us.


(2) If we are unable to contact you by telephone, we leave a message directing you to contact us within 5 business days to arrange the time and place of the hearing.


(3) If we can neither contact you directly nor leave a message with you by telephone –


(i) We notify you in writing to contact us to arrange the time and place of the hearing; or


(ii) We select a time and place for the hearing, and notify you in writing of the time and place set for the hearing.


(e) We consider you to have withdrawn the request for an oral hearing if –


(1) Within 15 days of the date of a written notice to contact us, we receive no response to that notice; or


(2) Within five business days of the date of a telephone message to contact us, we receive no response to that message.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.10 Conditions for a paper hearing.

We provide a paper hearing –


(a) If you request a paper hearing;


(b) If you requested an oral hearing, but we determine under § 34.9(e) that you have withdrawn that request;


(c) If you fail to appear for a scheduled oral hearing, as provided in § 34.15; or


(d) If we deny a request for an oral hearing because we conclude that, by a review of the written record, we can resolve the issues raised by your objections.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.11 Timely request for a hearing.

(a) A hearing request is timely if –


(1) You mail the request to the office designated in the garnishment notice and the request is postmarked not later than the 30th day following the date of the notice; or


(2) The designated office receives the request not later than the 30th day following the date of the garnishment notice.


(b) If we receive a timely written request from you for a hearing, we will not issue a garnishment order before we –


(1) Provide the requested hearing; and


(2) Issue a written decision on the objections you raised.


(c) If your written request for a hearing is not timely –


(1) We provide you a hearing; and


(2) We do not delay issuance of a garnishment order unless –


(i) We determine from credible representations in the request that the delay in filing the request for hearing was caused by factors over which you had no control; or


(ii) We have other good reason to delay issuing a garnishment order.


(d) If we do not complete a hearing within 60 days of an untimely request, we suspend any garnishment order until we have issued a decision.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.12 Request for reconsideration.

(a) If you have received a decision on an objection to garnishment you may file a request for reconsideration of that decision.


(b) We do not suspend garnishment merely because you have filed a request for reconsideration.


(c) We consider your request for reconsideration if we determine that –


(1) You base your request on grounds of financial hardship, and your financial circumstances, as shown by evidence submitted with the request, have materially changed since we issued the decision so that we should reduce the amount to be garnished under the order; or


(2)(i) You submitted with the request evidence that you did not previously submit; and


(ii) This evidence demonstrates that we should reconsider your objection to the existence, amount, or enforceability of the debt.


(d)(1) If we agree to reconsider the decision, we notify you.


(2)(i) We may reconsider based on the request and supporting evidence you have presented with the request; or


(ii) We may offer you an opportunity for a hearing to present evidence.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.13 Conduct of a hearing.

(a)(1) A hearing official conducts any hearing under this part.


(2) The hearing official may be any qualified employee of the Department whom the Department designates to conduct the hearing.


(b)(1) The hearing official conducts any hearing as an informal proceeding.


(2) A witness in an oral hearing must testify under oath or affirmation.


(3) The hearing official maintains a summary record of any hearing.


(c) Before the hearing official considers evidence we obtain that was not included in the debt records available for inspection when we sent notice of proposed garnishment, we notify you that additional evidence has become available, may be considered by the hearing official, and is available for inspection or copying.


(d) The hearing official considers any objection you raise and evidence you submit –


(1) In or with the request for a hearing;


(2) During an oral hearing;


(3) By the date that we consider, under § 34.9(e), that a request for an oral hearing has been withdrawn; or


(4) Within a period we set, ordinarily not to exceed seven business days, after –


(i) We provide you access to our records regarding the debt, if you requested access to records within 20 days after the date of the notice under § 34.4;


(ii) We notify you that we have obtained and intend to consider additional evidence;


(iii) You request an extension of time in order to submit specific relevant evidence that you identify to us in the request; or


(iv) We notify you that we deny your request for an oral hearing.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.14 Burden of proof.

(a)(1) We have the burden of proving the existence and amount of a debt.


(2) We meet this burden by including in the record and making available to the debtor on request records that show that –


(i) The debt exists in the amount stated in the garnishment notice; and


(ii) The debt is currently delinquent.


(b) If you dispute the existence or amount of the debt, you must prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence that –


(1) No debt exists;


(2) The amount we claim to be owed on the debt is incorrect, or


(3) You are not delinquent with respect to the debt.


(c)(1) If you object that the proposed garnishment rate would cause financial hardship, you bear the burden of proving by a preponderance of the credible evidence that withholding the amount of wages proposed in the notice would leave you unable to meet the basic living expenses of you and your dependents.


(2) The standards for proving financial hardship are those in § 34.24.


(d)(1) If you object on the ground that applicable law bars us from collecting the debt by garnishment at this time, you bear the burden of proving the facts that would establish that claim.


(2) Examples of applicable law that may prevent collection by garnishment include the automatic stay in bankruptcy (11 U.S.C. 362(a)), and the preclusion of garnishment action against a debtor who was involuntarily separated from employment and has been reemployed for less than a continuous period of 12 months (31 U.S.C. 3720D(b)(6)).


(e) The fact that applicable law may limit the amount that an employer may withhold from your pay to less than the amount or rate we state in the garnishment order does not bar us from issuing the order.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.15 Consequences of failure to appear for an oral hearing.

(a) If you do not appear for an in-person hearing you requested, or you do not answer a telephone call convening a telephone hearing, at the time set for the hearing, we consider you to have withdrawn your request for an oral hearing.


(b) If you do not appear for an oral hearing but you demonstrate that there was good cause for not appearing, we may reschedule the oral hearing.


(c) If you do not appear for an oral hearing you requested and we do not reschedule the hearing, we provide a paper hearing to review your objections, based on the evidence in your file and any evidence you have already provided.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.16 Issuance of the hearing decision.

(a) Date of decision. The hearing official issues a written opinion stating his or her decision, as soon as practicable, but not later than 60 days after the date on which we received the request for hearing.


(b) If we do not provide you with a hearing and render a decision within 60 days after we receive your request for a hearing –


(1) We do not issue a garnishment order until the hearing is held and a decision rendered; or


(2) If we have already issued a garnishment order to your employer, we suspend the garnishment order beginning on the 61st day after we receive the hearing request until we provide a hearing and issue a decision.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.17 Content of decision.

(a) The written decision is based on the evidence contained in the hearing record. The decision includes –


(1) A description of the evidence considered by the hearing official;


(2) The hearing official’s findings, analysis, and conclusions regarding objections raised to the existence or amount of the debt;


(3) The rate of wage withholding under the order, if you objected that withholding the amount proposed in the garnishment notice would cause an extreme financial hardship; and


(4) An explanation of your rights under this part for reconsideration of the decision.


(b) The hearing official’s decision is the final action of the Secretary for the purposes of judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 701 et seq.).


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.18 Issuance of the wage garnishment order.

(a)(1) If you fail to make a timely request for a hearing, we issue a garnishment order to your employer within 30 days after the deadline for timely requesting a hearing.


(2) If you make a timely request for a hearing, we issue a withholding order within 30 days after the hearing official issues a decision to proceed with garnishment.


(b)(1) The garnishment order we issue to your employer is signed by an official of the Department designated by the Secretary.


(2) The designated official’s signature may be a computer-generated facsimile.


(c)(1) The garnishment order contains only the information we consider necessary for your employer to comply with the order and for us to ensure proper credit for payments received from your employer.


(2) The order includes your name, address, and social security number, as well as instructions for withholding and information as to where your employer must send the payments.


(d)(1) We keep a copy of a certificate of service indicating the date of mailing of the order.


(2) We may create and maintain the certificate of service as an electronic record.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.19 Amounts to be withheld under a garnishment order.

(a)(1) After an employer receives a garnishment order we issue, the employer must deduct from all disposable pay of the debtor during each pay period the amount directed in the garnishment order unless this section or § 34.20 requires a smaller amount to be withheld.


(2) The amount specified in the garnishment order does not apply if other law, including this section, requires the employer to withhold a smaller amount.


(b) The employer must comply with our garnishment order by withholding the lesser of –


(1) The amount directed in the garnishment order; or –


(2) The amount specified in 15 U.S.C. 1673(a)(2) (Restriction on Garnishment); that is, the amount by which a debtor’s disposable pay exceeds an amount equal to 30 times the minimum wage. (See 29 CFR 870.10.)


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.20 Amount to be withheld under multiple garnishment orders.

If a debtor’s pay is subject to several garnishment orders, the employer must comply with our garnishment order as follows:


(a) Unless other Federal law requires a different priority, the employer must pay us the amount calculated under § 34.19(b) before the employer complies with any later garnishment orders, except a family support withholding order.


(b) If an employer is withholding from a debtor’s pay based on a garnishment order served on the employer before our order, or if a withholding order for family support is served on an employer at any time, the employer must comply with our garnishment order by withholding an amount that is the smaller of –


(1) The amount calculated under § 34.19(b); or


(2) An amount equal to 25 percent of the debtor’s disposable pay less the amount or amounts withheld under the garnishment order or orders with priority over our order.


(c)(1) If a debtor owes more than one debt arising from a program we administer, we may issue multiple garnishment orders.


(2) The total amount withheld from the debtor’s pay for orders we issue under paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not exceed the amounts specified in the orders, the amount specified in § 34.19(b)(2), or 15 percent of the debtor’s disposable pay, whichever is smallest.


(d) An employer may withhold and pay an amount greater than that amount in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section if the debtor gives the employer written consent.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.21 Employer certification.

(a) Along with a garnishment order, we send to an employer a certification in a form prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.


(b) The employer must complete and return the certification to us within the time stated in the instructions for the form.


(c) The employer must include in the certification information about the debtor’s employment status, payment frequency, and disposable pay available for withholding.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.22 Employer responsibilities.

(a)(1) Our garnishment order indicates a reasonable period of time within which an employer must start withholding under the order.


(2) The employer must promptly pay to the Department all amounts the employer withholds according to the order.


(b) The employer may follow its normal pay and disbursement cycles in complying with the garnishment order.


(c) The employer must withhold the appropriate amount from the debtor’s wages for each pay period until the employer receives our notification to discontinue wage garnishment.


(d) The employer must disregard any assignment or allotment by an employee that would interfere with or prohibit the employer from complying with our garnishment order, unless that assignment or allotment was made for a family support judgment or order.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.23 Exclusions from garnishment.

(a) We do not garnish your wages if we have credible evidence that you –


(1) Were involuntarily separated from employment; and


(2) Have not yet been reemployed continuously for at least 12 months.


(b) You have the burden of informing us of the circumstances surrounding an involuntary separation from employment.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.24 Claim of financial hardship by debtor subject to garnishment.

(a) You may object to a proposed garnishment on the ground that withholding the amount or at the rate stated in the notice of garnishment would cause financial hardship to you and your dependents. (See § 34.7)


(b) You may, at any time, object that the amount or the rate of withholding which our order specifies your employer must withhold causes financial hardship.


(c)(1) We consider an objection to an outstanding garnishment order and provide you an opportunity for a hearing on your objection only after the order has been outstanding for at least six months.


(2) We may provide a hearing in extraordinary circumstances earlier than six months if you show in your request for review that your financial circumstances have substantially changed after the notice of proposed garnishment because of an event such as injury, divorce, or catastrophic illness.


(d)(1) You bear the burden of proving a claim of financial hardship by a preponderance of the credible evidence.


(2) You must prove by credible documentation –


(i) The amount of the costs incurred by you, your spouse, and any dependents, for basic living expenses; and


(ii) The income available from any source to meet those expenses.


(e)(1) We consider your claim of financial hardship by comparing –


(i) The amounts that you prove are being incurred for basic living expenses; against


(ii) The amounts spent for basic living expenses by families of the same size and similar income to yours.


(2) We regard the standards published by the Internal Revenue Service under 26 U.S.C. 7122(c)(2) (the “National Standards”) as establishing the average amounts spent for basic living expenses for families of the same size as, and with family incomes comparable to, your family.


(3) We accept as reasonable the amount that you prove you incur for a type of basic living expense to the extent that the amount does not exceed the amount spent for that expense by families of the same size and similar income according to the National Standards.


(4) If you claim for any basic living expense an amount that exceeds the amount in the National Standards, you must prove that the amount you claim is reasonable and necessary.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.25 Determination of financial hardship.

(a)(1) If we conclude that garnishment at the amount or rate proposed in a notice would cause you financial hardship, we reduce the amount of the proposed garnishment to an amount that we determine will allow you to meet proven basic living expenses.


(2) If a garnishment order is already in effect, we notify your employer of any change in the amount the employer must withhold or the rate of withholding under the order.


(b) If we determine that financial hardship would result from garnishment based on a finding by a hearing official or under a repayment agreement we reached with you, this determination is effective for a period not longer than six months after the date of the finding or agreement.


(c)(1) After the effective period referred to in paragraph (b) of this section, we may require you to submit current information regarding your family income and living expenses.


(2) If we conclude from a review of that evidence that we should increase the rate of withholding or payment, we –


(i) Notify you; and


(ii) Provide you with an opportunity to contest the determination and obtain a hearing on the objection under the procedures in § 34.24.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.26 Ending garnishment.

(a)(1) A garnishment order we issue is effective until we rescind the order.


(2) If an employer is unable to honor a garnishment order because the amount available for garnishment is insufficient to pay any portion of the amount stated in the order, the employer must –


(i) Notify us; and


(ii) Comply with the order when sufficient disposable pay is available.


(b) After we have fully recovered the amounts owed by the debtor, including interest, penalties, and collection costs, we send the debtor’s employer notification to stop wage withholding.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.27 Actions by employer prohibited by law.

An employer may not discharge, refuse to employ, or take disciplinary action against a debtor due to the issuance of a garnishment order under this part.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.28 Refunds of amounts collected in error.

(a) If a hearing official determines under §§ 34.16 and 34.17 that a person does not owe the debt described in our notice or that an administrative wage garnishment under this part was barred by law at the time of the collection action, we promptly refund any amount collected by means of this garnishment.


(b) Unless required by Federal law or contract, we do not pay interest on a refund.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.29 Enforcement action against employer for noncompliance with garnishment order.

(a) If an employer fails to comply with § 34.22 to withhold an appropriate amount from wages owed and payable to an employee, we may sue the employer for that amount.


(b)(1) We do not file suit under paragraph (a) of this section before we terminate action to enforce the debt as a personal liability of the debtor.


(2) However, the provision of paragraph (b)(1) of this section may not apply if earlier filing of a suit is necessary to avoid expiration of any applicable statute of limitations.


(c)(1) For purposes of this section, termination of an action to enforce a debt occurs when we terminate collection action in accordance with the FCCS, other applicable standards, or paragraph (c)(2) of this section.


(2) We regard termination of the collection action to have occurred if we have not received for one year any payments to satisfy the debt, in whole or in part, from the particular debtor whose wages were subject to garnishment.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


§ 34.30 Application of payments and accrual of interest.

We apply payments received through a garnishment in the following order –


(a) To costs incurred to collect the debt;


(b) To interest accrued on the debt at the rate established by –


(1) The terms of the obligation under which it arises; or


(2) Applicable law; and


(c) To outstanding principal of the debt.


(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D)


PART 35 – TORT CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT


Authority:Sec. 1(a), 80 Stat. 306; 28 U.S.C. 2672; 28 CFR, part 14.


Source:45 FR 30834, May 9, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General

§ 35.1 Scope of regulations.

The regulations in this part shall apply only to claims asserted under the Federal Tort Claims Act, as amended, 28 U.S.C. 2671-2680, for money damages against the United States for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Department of Education while acting within the scope of his office or employment.


Subpart B – Procedures

§ 35.2 Administrative claim; when presented; place of filing.

(a) For purposes of the regulations in this part, a claim shall be deemed to have been presented when the Department of Education receives, at a place designated in paragraph (b) of this section, an executed Standard Form 95 or other written notification of an incident accompanied by a claim for money damages in a sum certain for damage to or loss of property, for personal injury, or for death, alleged to have occurred by reason of the incident. A claim which should have been presented to the Department but which was mistakenly addressed to or filed with another Federal agency, shall be deemed to be presented to the Department as of the date that the claim is received by the Department. A claim mistakenly addressed to or filed with the Department shall forthwith be transferred to the appropriate Federal agency, if ascertainable, or returned to the claimant.


(b) A claim presented in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section may be amended by the claimant at any time prior to final action by the Secretary or prior to the exercise of the claimant’s option to bring suit under 28 U.S.C. 2675(a). Amendments shall be submitted in writing and signed by the claimant or his duly authorized agent or legal representative. Upon the timely filing of an amendment to a pending claim, the Department shall have 6 months in which to make a final disposition of the claim as amended and the claimant’s option under 28 U.S.C. 2675(a) shall not accrue until 6 months after the filing of an amendment.


(c) Forms may be obtained and claims may be filed, with the Department of Education Claims Officer, Washington, DC 20202.


§ 35.3 Administrative claim; who may file.

(a) A claim for injury to or loss of property may be presented by the owner of the property interest which is the subject of the claim, his duly authorized agent, or his legal representative.


(b) A claim for personal injury may be presented by the injured person, his duly authorized agent, or his legal representative.


(c) A claim based on death may be presented by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate or by any other person legally entitled to assert such a claim under applicable state law.


(d) A claim for loss wholly compensated by an insurer with the rights of a subrogee may be presented by the insurer. A claim for loss partially compensated by an insurer with the rights of a subrogee may be presented by the insurer or the insured individually, as their respective interests appear, or jointly. Whenever an insurer presents a claim asserting the rights of a subrogee, he shall present with his claim appropriate evidence that he has the rights of a subrogee.


(e) A claim presented by an agent or legal representative shall be presented in the name of the claimant, be signed by the agent or legal representative, show the title or legal capacity of the person signing, and be accompanied by evidence of his authority to present a claim on behalf of the claimant as agent, executor, administrator, parent, guardian, or other representative.


§ 35.4 Administrative claim; evidence and information to be submitted.

(a) Death. In support of a claim based on death, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:


(1) An authenticated death certificate or other competent evidence showing cause of death, date of death, and age of the decedent.


(2) Decedent’s employment or occupation at time of death, including his monthly or yearly salary or earnings (if any), and the duration of his last employment or occupation.


(3) Full names, addresses, birth dates, kinship, and marital status of the decedent’s survivors, including identification of those survivors who were dependent for support upon the decedent at the time of his death.


(4) Degree of support afforded by the decedent to each survivor dependent upon him for support at the time of his death.


(5) Decedent’s general physical and mental condition before death.


(6) Itemized bills for medical and burial expenses incurred by reason of the incident causing death, or itemized receipts of payments for such expenses.


(7) If damages for pain and suffering prior to death are claimed, a physician’s detailed statement specifying the injuries suffered, duration of pain and suffering, any drugs administered for pain and the decedent’s physical condition in the interval between injury and death.


(8) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the death or the damages claimed.


(b) Personal injury. In support of a claim for personal injury, including pain and suffering, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:


(1) A written report by his attending physician or dentist setting forth the nature and extent of the injury, nature and extent of treatment, any degree of temporary or permanent disability, the prognosis, period of hospitalization, and any diminished earning capacity. In addition, the claimant may be required to submit to a physical or mental examination by a physician employed or designated by the Department. A copy of the report of the examining physician shall be made available to the claimant upon the claimant’s written request provided that claimant has, upon request, furnished the report referred to in the first sentence of this paragraph and has made or agrees to make available to the Department any other physician’s reports previously or thereafter made of the physical or mental condition which is the subject matter of his claim.


(2) Itemized bills for medical, dental, and hospital expenses incurred, or itemized receipts of payment for such expenses.


(3) If the prognosis reveals the necessity for future treatment, a statement of expected duration of and expenses for such treatment.


(4) If a claim is made for loss of time from employment, a written statement from his employer showing actual time lost from employment, whether he is a full or part-time employee, and wages or salary actually lost.


(5) If a claim is made for loss of income and the claimant is self-employed, documentary evidence showing the amount of earnings actually lost.


(6) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the personal injury or the damages claimed.


(c) Property damage. In support of a claim for damage to or loss of property, real or personal, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:


(1) Proof of ownership.


(2) A detailed statement of the amount claimed with respect to each item of property.


(3) An itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or itemized written estimates of the cost of such repairs.


(4) A statement listing date of purchase, purchase price, market value of the property as of date of damage, and salvage value, where repair is not economical.


(5) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing either on the responsibility of the United States for the injury to or loss of property or the damages claimed.


(d) Time limit. All evidence required to be submitted by this section shall be furnished by the claimant within a reasonable time. Failure of a claimant to furnish evidence necessary to a determination of his claim within three months after a request therefor has been mailed to his last known address may be deemed an abandonment of the claim. The claim may be thereupon disallowed.


§ 35.5 Investigation of claims.

When a claim is received, the Department will make such investigation as may be necessary or appropriate for a determination of the validity of the claim.


§ 35.6 Final denial of claim.

(a) Final denial of an administrative claim shall be in writing and sent to the claimant, his attorney, or legal representative by certified or registered mail. The notification of final denial may include a statement of the reasons for the denial and shall include a statement that, if the claimant is dissatisfied with the Department’s action, he may file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court not later than 6 months after the date of mailing of the notification.


(b) Prior to the commencement of suit and prior to the expiration of the 6-month period after the date of mailing, by certified or registered mail of notice of final denial of the claim as provided in 28 U.S.C. 2401(b), a claimant, his duly authorized agent, or legal representative, may file a written request with the Department for reconsideration of a final denial of a claim under paragraph (a) of this section. Upon the timely filing of a request for reconsideration the Department shall have 6 months from the date of filing in which to make a final disposition of the claim and the claimant’s option under 28 U.S.C. 2675(a) to bring suit shall not accrue until 6 months after the filing of a request for reconsideration. Final Department action on a request for reconsideration shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.


§ 35.7 Payment of approved claims.

(a) Upon allowance of his claim, claimant or his duly authorized agent shall sign the voucher for payment, Standard Form 1145, before payment is made.


(b) When the claimant is represented by an attorney, the voucher for payment (SF 1145) shall designate both the claimant and his attorney as “payees.” The check shall be delivered to the attorney whose address shall appear on the voucher.


§ 35.8 Release.

Acceptance by the claimant, his agent or legal representative, of any award, compromise or settlement made hereunder, shall be final and conclusive on the claimant, his agent or legal representative and any other person on whose behalf or for whose benefit the claim has been presented, and shall constitute a complete release of any claim against the United States and against any employee of the Government whose act or omission gave rise to the claim, by reason of the same subject matter.


§ 35.9 Penalties.

A person who files a false claim or makes a false or fraudulent statement in a claim against the United States may be liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both (18 U.S.C. 287.1001), and, in addition, to a forfeiture of $2,000 and a penalty of double the loss or damage sustained by the United States (31 U.S.C. 231).


§ 35.10 Limitation on Department’s authority.

(a) An award, compromise or settlement of a claim hereunder in excess of $25,000 shall be effected only with the prior written approval of the Attorney General or his designee. For the purposes of this paragraph, a principal claim and any derivative or subrogated claim shall be treated as a single claim.


(b) An administrative claim may be adjusted, determined, compromised or settled hereunder only after consultation with the Department of Justice when, in the opinion of the Department:


(1) A new precedent or a new point of law is involved; or


(2) A question of policy is or may be involved; or


(3) The United States is or may be entitled to indemnity or contribution from a third party and the Department is unable to adjust the third party claim; or


(4) The compromise of a particular claim, as a practical matter, will or may control the disposition of a related claim in which the amount to be paid may exceed $25,000.


(c) An administrative claim may be adjusted, determined, compromised or settled only after consultation with the Department of Justice when it is learned that the United States or an employee, agent or cost plus contractor of the United States is involved in litigation based on a claim arising out of the same incident or transaction.


PART 36 – ADJUSTMENT OF CIVIL MONETARY PENALTIES FOR INFLATION


Authority:20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, as amended by § 701 of Pub. Law 114-74, unless otherwise noted.


Source:67 FR 69655, Nov. 18, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

§ 36.1 Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to make inflation adjustments to the civil monetary penalties within the jurisdiction of the Department of Education. These penalties are subject to review and adjustment as necessary at least once every 4 years in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, as amended by § 701 of Pub. Law 114-74.)

[67 FR 69655, Nov. 18, 2002, as amended at 77 FR 60049, Oct. 2, 2012; 81 FR 50323, Aug. 1, 2016]


§ 36.2 Penalty adjustment.

The citations for the adjusted penalty provisions, a brief description of the penalty, and the adjusted maximum (and minimum, if applicable) penalty amounts are listed in Table 1 of this section.


Table I – § 36.2. – Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments

Statute
Description
New maximum

(and minimum,

if applicable)

penalty amount

20 U.S.C. 1015(c)(5) (Section 131(c)(5) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA))Provides for a fine, as set by Congress in 1998, of up to $25,000 for failure by an institution of higher education (IHE) to provide information on the cost of higher education to the Commissioner of Education Statistics$42,163
20 U.S.C. 1022d(a)(3) (Section 205(a)(3) of the HEA)Provides for a fine, as set by Congress in 2008, of up to $27,500 for failure by an IHE to provide information to the State and the public regarding its teacher-preparation programs35,119
20 U.S.C. 1082(g) (Section 432(g) of the HEA)Provides for a civil penalty, as set by Congress in 1986, of up to $25,000 for violations by lenders and guaranty agencies of Title IV of the HEA, which authorizes the Federal Family Education Loan Program62,689
20 U.S.C. 1094(c)(3)(B) (Section 487(c)(3)(B) of the HEA)Provides for a civil penalty, as set by Congress in 1986, of up to $25,000 for an IHE’s violation of Title IV of the HEA, which authorizes various programs of student financial assistance62,689
20 U.S.C. 1228c(c)(2)(E) (Section 429 of the General Education Provisions Act)Provides for a civil penalty, as set by Congress in 1994, of up to $1,000 for an educational organization’s failure to disclose certain information to minor students and their parents1,850
31 U.S.C. 1352(c)(1) and (c)(2)(A)Provides for a civil penalty, as set by Congress in 1989, of $10,000 to $100,000 for recipients of Government grants, contracts, etc. that improperly lobby Congress or the Executive Branch with respect to the award of Government grants and contracts22,021 to 220,213
31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1) and (a)(2)Provides for a civil penalty, as set by Congress in 1986, of up to $5,000 for false claims and statements made to the Government12,537

[67 FR 69655, Nov. 18, 2002, as amended at 70 FR 298, Jan. 4, 2005; 77 FR 60049, Oct. 2, 2012; 81 FR 50323, Aug. 1, 2016; 82 FR 18562, Apr. 20, 2017; 83 FR 2064, Jan. 16, 2018; 84 FR 974, Feb. 1, 2019; 85 FR 2036, Jan. 14, 2020; 86 FR 7977, Feb. 3, 2021; 87 FR 23452, Apr. 20, 2022]


PART 60 – INDEMNIFICATION OF DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES


Authority:20 U.S.C. 3411, 3461, 3471, and 3474.


Source:54 FR 7148, Feb. 16, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

§ 60.1 What are the policies of the Department regarding indemnification?

(a)(1) The Department of Education may indemnify, in whole or in part, an employee for any verdict, judgment, or other monetary award rendered against the employee if –


(i) The conduct giving rise to the verdict, judgment, or award occurred within the scope of his or her employment with the Department; and


(ii) The indemnification is in the interest of the United States, as determined by the Secretary.


(2) The regulations in this part apply to an action pending against an ED employee as of March 30, 1989, as well as to any action commenced after that date.


(3) As used in this part, the term employee includes –


(i) A present or former officer or employee of the Department or of an advisory committee to the Department, including a special Government employee;


(ii) An employee of another Federal agency on detail to the Department; or


(iii) A student volunteer under 5 U.S.C. 3111.


(4) As used in this part the term Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.


(b)(1) The Department may pay, in whole or in part, to settle or compromise a personal damage claim against an employee if –


(i) The alleged conduct giving rise to the personal damage claim occurred within the scope of employment; and


(ii) The settlement or compromise is in the interest of the United States, as determined by the Secretary.


(2) Payment under paragraph (b)(1) of this section may include reimbursement, in whole or in part, of an employee for prior payment made by the employee under a settlement or compromise that meets the requirements of this section.


(c) The Department does not indemnify or settle a personal damage claim before entry of an adverse verdict, judgment, or monetary award unless the Secretary determines that exceptional circumstances justify the earlier indemnification or settlement.


(d) Any payment under this part, either to indemnify a Department of Education employee or to settle a personal damage claim, is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 3411, 3461, 3471, and 3474)


§ 60.2 What procedures apply to requests for indemnification?

(a) When an employee of the Department of Education becomes aware that an action has been filed against the employee in his or her individual capacity as a result of conduct taken within the scope of his or her employment, the employee shall immediately notify the head of his or her principal operating component and shall cooperate with appropriate officials of the Department in the defense of the action.


(b) As part of the notification in paragraph (a) of this section or at a later time, the employee may request –


(1) Indemnification to satisfy a verdict, judgment, or award entered against the employee; or


(2) Payment to satisfy the requirements of a settlement proposal.


(c)(1) The employee’s request must be in writing to the head of his or her principal operating component and must be accompanied by copies of the complaint and other documents filed in the action, including the verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or settlement proposal, as appropriate.


(2)(i) As used in this section, the term principal operating component means an office in the Department headed by an Assistant Secretary, a Deputy Under Secretary, or an equivalent departmental officer who reports directly to the Secretary.


(ii) The term also includes the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the Under Secretary.


(d) The head of the employee’s principal operating component submits to the General Counsel, in a timely manner, the request, together with a recommended disposition of the request.


(e) The General Counsel forwards to the Secretary for decision –


(1) The employee’s request;


(2) The recommendation of the head of the employee’s principal operating component; and


(3) The General Counsel’s recommendation.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 3411, 3461, 3471, and 3474)


PART 73 – STANDARDS OF CONDUCT


Authority:5 U.S.C. 301, 7301; 18 U.S.C. 208; and E.O. 12674, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306.


Source:60 FR 5818, Jan. 30, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

§ 73.1 Cross-reference to employee ethical conduct standards and financial disclosure regulations.

Employees of the Department of Education are subject to the executive branch-wide Standards of Ethical Conduct at 5 CFR part 2635 and to the Department of Education regulation at 5 CFR part 6301 which supplements the executive branch-wide standards with a requirement for employees to obtain prior approval to participate in certain outside activities. In addition, employees are subject to the executive branch-wide financial disclosure regulations at 5 CFR part 2634.


§ 73.2 Conflict of interest waiver.

If a financial interest arises from ownership by an employee – or other person or enterprise referred to in 5 CFR 2635.402(b)(2) – of stock in a widely diversified mutual fund or other regulated investment company that in turn owns stock in another enterprise, that financial interest is exempt from the prohibition in 5 CFR 2635.402(a).


Appendix to Part 73 – Code of Ethics for Government Service

Any person in Government service should:


Put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department.


Uphold the Constitution, laws, and regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.


Give a full day’s labor for a full day’s pay; giving earnest effort and best thought to the performance of duties.


Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks accomplished.


Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not; and never accept, for himself or herself or for family members, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of governmental duties.


Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of office, since a Government employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.


Engage in no business with the Government, either directly or indirectly, which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of governmental duties.


Never use any information gained confidentially in the performance of governmental duties as a means of making private profit.


Expose corruption wherever discovered.


Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.


(This Code of Ethics was unanimously passed by the United States Congress on June 27, 1980, and signed into law as Public Law 96-303 by the President on July 3, 1980.)


PART 75 – DIRECT GRANT PROGRAMS


Authority:20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474, unless otherwise noted.


Source:45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980.

Subpart A – General

Regulations That Apply to Direct Grant Programs

§ 75.1 Programs to which part 75 applies.

(a) The regulations in part 75 apply to each direct grant program of the Department of Education.


(b) If a direct grant program does not have implementing regulations, the Secretary implements the program under the authorizing statute and, to the extent consistent with the authorizing statute, under the General Education Provisions Act and the regulations in this part. For the purposes of this part, the term “direct grant program” includes any grant program of the Department other than a program whose authorizing statute or implementing regulations provide a formula for allocating program funds among eligible States. With respect to Public Law 81-874 (the Impact Aid Program), the term “direct grant program” includes only the entitlement increase for children with disabilities under section 3(d)(2)(C) of Public Law 81-874 (20 U.S.C. 238(d)(2)(C) and disaster assistance under section 7 of that law (20 U.S.C. 241-1).



Note:

See part 76 for the general regulations that apply to programs that allocate funds among eligible States. For a description of the two kinds of direct grant programs see § 75.200. Paragraph (b) of that section describes discretionary grant programs. Paragraph (c) of that section describes formula grant programs. Also see §§ 75.201, 75.209, and 75.210 for the selection criteria for discretionary grant programs that do not have implementing regulations or whose implementing regulations do not include selection criteria.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 28669, Apr. 29, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 84059, Dec. 22, 1980, 50 FR 29330, July 18, 1985; 52 FR 27803, July 24, 1987; 57 FR 30336, July 8, 1992; 60 FR 63873, Dec. 12, 1995]


§ 75.2 Exceptions in program regulations to part 75.

If a program has regulations that are not consistent with part 75, the implementing regulations for that program identify the sections of part 75 that do not apply.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.4 Department contracts.

(a) A Federal contract made by the Department is governed by –


(1) Chapters 1 and 34 of title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Federal Acquisition Regulation and Education Department Acquisition Regulation).


(2) Any applicable program regulations; and


(3) The request for proposals for the procurement, if any, referenced in Commerce Business Daily.


(b) The regulations in part 75 do not apply to a contract of the Department unless regulations in part 75 or a program’s regulations specifically provide otherwise.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30336, July 8, 1992]


Eligibility for a Grant

§ 75.50 How to find out whether you are eligible.

Eligibility to apply for a grant under a program of the Department is governed by the authorizing statute and implementing regulations for that program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27803, July 24, 1987]


§ 75.51 How to prove nonprofit status.

(a) Under some programs, an applicant must show that it is a nonprofit organization. (See the definition of nonprofit in 34 CFR 77.1.)


(b) An applicant may show that it is a nonprofit organization by any of the following means:


(1) Proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;


(2) A statement from a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that:


(i) The organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State; and


(ii) No part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual;


(3) A certified copy of the applicant’s certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant;


(4) Any item described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section if that item applies to a State or national parent organization, together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate; or


(5) For an entity that holds a sincerely held religious belief that it cannot apply for a determination as an entity that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, evidence sufficient to establish that the entity would otherwise qualify as a nonprofit organization under paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section.


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980, as amended at 85 FR 82126, Dec. 17, 2020]


§ 75.52 Eligibility of faith-based organizations for a grant and nondiscrimination against those organizations.

(a)(1) A faith-based organization is eligible to apply for and to receive a grant under a program of the Department on the same basis as any other organization, with respect to programs for which such other organizations are eligible and considering any permissible accommodation. The Department shall provide such religious accommodation as is consistent with Federal law, the Attorney General’s Memorandum of October 6, 2017 (Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty), and the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


(2) In the selection of grantees, the Department may not discriminate for or against a private organization on the basis of the organization’s religious character, affiliation, or exercise and must ensure that all decisions about grant awards are free from political interference, or even the appearance of such interference, and are made on the basis of merit, not on the basis of religion or religious belief, or the lack thereof. Notices or announcements of award opportunities and notices of award or contracts shall include language substantially similar to that in appendices A and B, respectively, to this part.


(3) No grant document, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, policy, or regulation that is used by the Department shall require faith-based organizations to provide assurances or notices where they are not required of non-faith-based organizations. Any restrictions on the use of grant funds shall apply equally to faith-based and non-faith-based organizations. All organizations that receive grants under a program of the Department, including organizations with religious character or affiliation, must carry out eligible activities in accordance with all program requirements, subject to any required or appropriate religious accommodation, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of Department-funded activities, including those prohibiting the use of direct financial assistance to engage in explicitly religious activities.


(4) No grant document, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, policy, or regulation that is used by the Department shall disqualify faith-based organizations from applying for or receiving grants under a program of the Department because such organizations are motivated or influenced by religious faith to provide social services, or because of their religious character or affiliation, or on grounds that discriminate against organizations on the basis of the organizations’ religious exercise.


(b) The provisions of § 75.532 apply to a faith-based organization that receives a grant under a program of the Department.


(c)(1) A private organization that applies for and receives a grant under a program of the Department and engages in explicitly religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, must offer those activities separately in time or location from any programs or services funded by a grant from the Department. Attendance or participation in any such explicitly religious activities by beneficiaries of the programs and services funded by the grant must be voluntary.


(2) The limitations on explicitly religious activities under paragraph (c)(1) of this section do not apply to a faith-based organization that provides services to a beneficiary under a program supported only by “indirect Federal financial assistance.”


(3) For purposes of 2 CFR 3474.15, this section, § 75.714, and appendices A and B to this part, the following definitions apply:


(i) Direct Federal financial assistance means financial assistance received by an entity selected by the Government or a pass-through entity (under this part) to carry out a service (e.g., by contract, grant, or cooperative agreement). References to Federal financial assistance will be deemed to be references to direct Federal financial assistance, unless the referenced assistance meets the definition of indirect Federal financial assistance.


(ii) Indirect Federal financial assistance means financial assistance received by a service provider when the service provider is paid for services rendered by means of a voucher, certificate, or other similar means of government-funded payment provided to a beneficiary who is able to make a choice of a service provider. Federal financial assistance provided to an organization is indirect under this definition if –


(A) The government program through which the beneficiary receives the voucher, certificate, or other similar means of government-funded payment is neutral toward religion; and


(B) The organization receives the assistance as the result of the genuine, independent choice of the beneficiary.


(iii) Federal financial assistance does not include a tax credit, deduction, exemption, guaranty contract, or the use of any assistance by any individual who is the ultimate beneficiary under any such program.


(iv) Pass-through entity means an entity, including a nonprofit or nongovernmental organization, acting under a contract, grant, or other agreement with the Federal Government or with a State or local government, such as a State administering agency, that accepts direct Federal financial assistance as a primary recipient or grantee and distributes that assistance to other organizations that, in turn, provide government-funded social services.


(v) Religious exercise has the meaning given to the term in 42 U.S.C. 2000cc-5(7)(A).


(vi) Discriminate against an organization on the basis of the organization’s religious exercise means to disfavor an organization, including by failing to select an organization, disqualifying an organization, or imposing any condition or selection criterion that otherwise disfavors or penalizes an organization in the selection process or has such an effect because of:


(A) Conduct that would not be considered grounds to disfavor a secular organization,


(B) Conduct that must or could be granted an appropriate accommodation in a manner consistent with RFRA (42 U.S.C. 2000bb through 2000bb-4) or the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution, or


(C) The actual or suspected religious motivation of the organization’s religious exercise.



Note 1 to paragraph (c)(3):

The definitions of direct Federal financial assistance and indirect Federal financial assistance do not change the extent to which an organization is considered a recipient of Federal financial assistance as those terms are defined under 34 CFR parts 100, 104, 106, and 110.


(d)(1) A faith-based organization that applies for or receives a grant under a program of the Department will retain its independence, autonomy, right of expression, religious character, and authority over its governance. A faith-based organization that receives Federal financial assistance from the Department does not lose the protections of law.



Note 1 to paragraph (d)(1):

Memorandum for All Executive Departments and Agencies, From the Attorney General, “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty” (Oct. 6, 2017) (describing Federal law protections for religious liberty).


(2) A faith-based organization that applies for or receives a grant under a program of the Department may, among other things –


(i) Retain religious terms in its name;


(ii) Continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs;


(iii) Use its facilities to provide services without concealing, removing, or altering religious art, icons, scriptures, or other symbols from these facilities;


(iv) Select its board members and employees on the basis of their acceptance of or adherence to the religious tenets of the organization; and


(v) Include religious references in its mission statement and other chartering or governing documents.


(e) An organization that receives any Federal financial assistance under a program of the Department shall not discriminate against a beneficiary or prospective beneficiary in the provision of program services or in outreach activities on the basis of religion or religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice. However, an organization that participates in a program funded by indirect Federal financial assistance need not modify its program activities to accommodate a beneficiary who chooses to expend the indirect aid on the organization’s program and may require attendance at all activities that are fundamental to the program.


(f) If a grantee contributes its own funds in excess of those funds required by a matching or grant agreement to supplement federally funded activities, the grantee has the option to segregate those additional funds or commingle them with the funds required by the matching requirements or grant agreement. However, if the additional funds are commingled, this section applies to all of the commingled funds.


(g) A religious organization’s exemption from the Federal prohibition on employment discrimination on the basis of religion, in section 702(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-1, is not forfeited when the organization receives financial assistance from the Department. An organization qualifying for such exemption may select its employees on the basis of their acceptance of or adherence to the religious tenets of the organization.


(h) The Department shall not construe these provisions in such a way as to advantage or disadvantage faith-based organizations affiliated with historic or well-established religions or sects in comparison with other religions or sects.


[85 FR 82126, Dec. 17, 2020]


Ineligibility of Certain Individuals To Receive Assistance


Source:Sections 75.60 through 75.62 appear at 57 FR 30337, July 8, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

§ 75.60 Individuals ineligible to receive assistance.

(a) An individual is ineligible to receive a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant funded by the Department if the individual –


(1) Is not current in repaying a debt or is in default, as that term is used in 34 CFR part 668, on a debt –


(i) Under a program listed in paragraph (b) of this section; or


(ii) To the Federal Government under a nonprocurement transaction; and


(2) Has not made satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt.


(b) An individual who is not current in repaying a debt, or is in default, as that term is used in 34 CFR part 668, on a debt under a fellowship, scholarship, discretionary grant, or loan program, as included in the following list, and who has not made satisfactory arrangements to repay the debt, is ineligible under paragraph (a) of this section:


(1) A grant awarded under the Pell Grant (20 U.S.C. 1070a, et seq.), National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership (NEISP) Program (20 U.S.C. 1070a-21, et seq.), Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) (20 U.S.C. 1070b, et seq.), or State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) (20 U.S.C. 1070c, et seq.) program, or a scholarship awarded under the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program (20 U.S.C. 1070d-31, et seq.), a fellowship awarded under the Jacob K. Javits Fellows Program (20 U.S.C. 1134h-1134k), or a fellowship awarded under the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship Program (20 U.S.C. 1134d-1134f).


(2) A fellowship awarded under the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Program (20 U.S.C. 1113-1113e), the Bilingual Education Fellowship Program (20 U.S.C. 3221-3262), or the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program (29 U.S.C. 774(b)).


(3) A loan made under the Perkins Loan Program (20 U.S.C. 1087aa, et seq.), the Income Contingent Direct Loan Demonstration Project (20 U.S.C. 1087a, et seq.), the Stafford Loan Program, Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS), PLUS, or Consolidation Loan Program (20 U.S.C. 1071, et seq.), or the Cuban Student Loan Program (22 U.S.C. 2601, et seq.).


(4) A scholarship or repayment obligation incurred under the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program (20 U.S.C. 1111, et seq.).


(5) A grant, or a loan, made under the Law Enforcement Education Program (42 U.S.C. 3775).


(6) A stipend awarded under the Indian Fellowship Program (29 U.S.C. 774(b)).


(7) A scholarship awarded under the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program (20 U.S.C. 1021 et seq.).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30337, July 8, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 24870, May 12, 1994; 65 FR 19609, Apr. 11, 2000]


§ 75.61 Certification of eligibility; effect of ineligibility.

(a) An individual who applies for a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant from the Department shall provide with his or her application a certification under the penalty of perjury –


(1) That the individual is eligible under § 75.60; and


(2) That the individual has not been debarred or suspended by a judge under section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (21 U.S.C. 853a).


(b) The Secretary specifies the form of the certification required under paragraph (a) of this section.


(c) The Secretary does not award a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant to an individual who –


(1) Fails to provide the certification required under paragraph (a) of this section; or


(2) Is ineligible, based on information available to the Secretary at the time the award is made.


(d) If a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant is made to an individual who provided a false certification under paragraph (a) of this section, the individual is liable for recovery of the funds made available under the certification, for civil damages or penalties imposed for false representation, and for criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.62 Requirements applicable to entities making certain awards.

(a) An entity that provides a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant to an individual under a grant from, or an agreement with, the Secretary shall require the individual who applies for such an award to provide with his or her application a certification under the penalty of perjury –


(1) That the individual is eligible under § 75.60; and


(2) That the individual has not been debarred or suspended by a judge under section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (21 U.S.C. 853a).


(b) An entity subject to this section may not award a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant to an individual if –


(1) The individual fails to provide the certification required under paragraph (a) of this section; or


(2) The Secretary informs the entity that the individual is ineligible under § 75.60.


(c) If a fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant is made to an individual who provided a false certification under paragraph (a) of this section, the individual is liable for recovery of the funds made available under the certification, for civil damages or penalties imposed for false representation, and for criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001.


(d) The Secretary may require an entity subject to this section to provide a list of the individuals to whom fellowship, scholarship, or discretionary grant awards have been made or are proposed to be made by the entity.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.63 Severability.

If any provision of this subpart or its application to any person, act, or practice is held invalid, the remainder of the subpart or the application of its provisions to any person, act, or practice shall not be affected thereby.


[85 FR 82128, Dec. 17, 2020]


Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C – How To Apply for a Grant

The Application Notice

§ 75.100 Publication of an application notice; content of the notice.

(a) Each fiscal year the Secretary publishes application notices in the Federal Register that explain what kind of assistance is available for new grants under the programs that the Secretary administers.


(b) The application notice for a program explains one or more of the following:


(1) How to apply for a new grant.


(2) If preapplications are used under the program, how to preapply for a new grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86297, Dec. 30, 1980; 51 FR 20824, June 9, 1986; 59 FR 30261, June 10, 1994]


§ 75.101 Information in the application notice that helps an applicant apply.

(a) The Secretary may include such information as the following in an application notice:


(1) How an applicant can get an application package that contains:


(i) Information about the program; and


(ii) The application form that the applicant must use.


(2) The amount of funds available for grants, the estimated number of those grants, the estimated amounts of those grants and, if appropriate, the maximum award amounts of those grants.


(3) If the Secretary plans to approve multi-year projects, the project period that will be approved.


(4) Any priorities established by the Secretary for the program for that year and the method the Secretary will use to implement the priorities. (See § 75.105 Annual priorities.)


(5) Where to find the regulations that apply to the program.


(6) The statutory authority for the program.


(7) The deadlines established under § 75.102 (Deadline date for applications.) and 34 CFR 79.8 (How does the Secretary provide States an opportunity to comment on proposed Federal financial assistance?)


(b) If the Secretary either requires or permits preapplications under a program, an application notice for the program explains how an applicant can get the preapplication form.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 34 CFR 77.1 – definitions of “budget period” and “project period.”


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 84059, Dec. 22, 1980; 46 FR 3205, Jan. 14, 1981; 51 FR 20824, June 9, 1986; 51 FR 21164, June 11, 1986; 60 FR 63873, Dec. 12, 1995; 61 FR 8455, Mar. 4, 1996]


§ 75.102 Deadline date for applications.

(a) The application notice for a program sets a deadline date for the transmittal of applications to the Department.


(b) If an applicant wants a new grant, the applicant must submit an application in accordance with the requirements in the application notice.


(c) [Reserved]


(d) If the Secretary allows an applicant to submit a paper application, the applicant must show one of the following as proof of mailing by the deadline date:


(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.


(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.


(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.


(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary.


(e) If an application is mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, the Secretary does not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:


(1) A private metered postmark.


(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, an applicant should check with its local post office.


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980, as amended at 51 FR 20824, June 9, 1986; 69 FR 41201, July 8, 2004]


§ 75.103 Deadline date for preapplications.

(a) If the Secretary invites or requires preapplications under a program, the application notice for the program sets a deadline date for preapplications.


(b) An applicant shall submit its preapplication in accordance with the procedures for applications in § 75.102(b) and (d).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.104 Applicants must meet procedural rules.

(a) The Secretary may make a grant only to an eligible party that submits an application.


(b) If a maximum award amount is established in a notice published in the Federal Register, the Secretary may reject without consideration or evaluation any application that proposes a project funding level that exceeds the stated maximum award amount.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[61 FR 8455, Mar. 4, 1996]


§ 75.105 Annual priorities.

(a) What programs are covered by this section? This section applies to any program for which the Secretary establishes priorities for selection of applications in a particular fiscal year.


(b) How does the Secretary establish annual priorities? (1) The Secretary establishes final annual priorities by publishing the priorities in a notice in the Federal Register, usually in the application notice for that program.


(2) The Secretary publishes proposed annual priorities for public comment, unless:


(i) The final annual priorities will be implemented only by inviting applications that meet the priorities (Cross-reference: See 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1));


(ii) The final annual priorities are chosen from a list of priorities already established in the program’s regulations;


(iii) Publishing proposed annual priorities would seriously interfere with an orderly, responsible grant award process or would otherwise be impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest;


(iv) The program statute requires or authorizes the Secretary to establish specified priorities; or


(v) The annual priorities are chosen from allowable activities specified in the program statute.


(c) How does the Secretary implement an annual priority? The Secretary may choose one or more of the following methods to implement an annual priority:


(1) Invitations. The Secretary may simply invite applications that meet a priority. If the Secetary chooses this method, an application that meets the priority receives no competitive or absolute preference over applications that do not meet the priority.


(2) Competitive preference. The Secretary may give one of the following kinds of competitive preference to applications that meet a priority.


(i) The Secretary may award some or all bonus points to an application depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority. These points are in addition to any points the applicant earns under the selection criteria (see § 75.200(b)). The notice states the maximum number of additional points that the Secretary may award to an application depending upon how well the application meets the priority.


(ii) The Secretary may select an application that meets a priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority.


(3) Absolute preference. The Secretary may give an absolute preference to applications that meet a priority. The Secretary establishes a separate competition for applications that meet the priority and reserves all or part of a program’s funds solely for that competition. The Secretary may adjust the amount reserved for the priority after determining the number of high quality applications received.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[46 FR 3205, Jan. 14, 1981, as amended at 57 FR 30337, July 8, 1992; 60 FR 63873, Dec. 12, 1995]


Application Contents


Cross Reference:

See § 75.200 for a description of discretionary and formula grant programs.

§ 75.109 Changes to application; number of copies.

(a) Each applicant that submits a paper application shall submit an original and two copies to the Department, including any information that the applicant supplies voluntarily.


(b) An applicant may make changes to its application on or before the deadline date for submitting applications under the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See § 75.200 How applications for new grants are selected for funding.


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 69 FR 41201, July 8, 2004]


§ 75.110 Information regarding performance measurement.

(a) The Secretary may establish in an application notice for a competition one or more performance measurement requirements, including requirements for performance measures, baseline data, or performance targets, and a requirement that applicants propose in their applications one or more of their own performance measures, baseline data, or performance targets.


(b) If an application notice requires applicants to propose project-specific performance measures, baseline data, or performance targets, the application must include the following, as required by the application notice:


(1) Performance measures. How each proposed performance measure would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the proposed performance measure would be consistent with the performance measures established for the program funding the competition.


(2) Baseline data. (i) Why each proposed baseline is valid; or


(ii) If the applicant has determined that there are no established baseline data for a particular performance measure, an explanation of why there is no established baseline and of how and when, during the project period, the applicant would establish a valid baseline for the performance measure.


(3) Performance targets. Why each proposed performance target is ambitious yet achievable compared to the baseline for the performance measure and when, during the project period, the applicant would meet the performance target(s).


(c) If the application notice establishes performance measurement requirements, the applicant must also describe in the application –


(1)(i) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data; and


(ii) If the Secretary requires applicants to collect data after the substantive work of a project is complete regarding the attainment of certain performance targets, the data collection and reporting methods the applicant would use during the post-performance period and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data.


(2) The applicant’s capacity to collect and report reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[78 FR 49352, Aug. 13, 2013]


§ 75.112 Include a proposed project period and a timeline.

(a) An application must propose a project period for the project.


(b) An application must include a narrative that describes how and when, in each budget period of the project, the applicant plans to meet each objective of the project.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1875-0102)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 59 FR 30261, June 10, 1994]


§ 75.117 Information needed for a multi-year project.

An applicant that proposes a multi-year project shall include in its application:


(a) Information that shows why a multi-year project is needed;


(b) A budget narrative accompanied by a budget form prescribed by the Secretary, that provides budget information for each budget period of the proposed project period.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1875-0102)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 59 FR 30261, June 10, 1994]


§ 75.118 Requirements for a continuation award.

(a) A recipient that wants to receive a continuation award shall submit a performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information, as directed by the Secretary, that is sufficient to meet the reporting requirements of 2 CFR 200.327 and 200.328 and 34 CFR 75.590 and 75.720.


(b) If a recipient fails to submit a performance report that meets the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary denies continued funding for the grant.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1875-0102)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.327, Financial reporting, and 200.328, Monitoring and reporting program performance; and 34 CFR 75.117, Information needed for a multi-year project, 75.250 through 75.253, Approval of multi-year projects, 75.590, Evaluation by the grantee, and 75.720, Financial and performance reports.


[59 FR 30261, June 10, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 50391, Sept. 16, 1999; 79 FR 76091, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.119 Information needed if private school students participate.

If a program requires the applicant to provide an opportunity for participation of students enrolled in private schools, the application must include the information required of subgrantees under 34 CFR 76.656.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0513)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 49143, Dec. 6, 1988]


Separate Applications – Alternative Programs

§ 75.125 Submit a separate application to each program.

An applicant shall submit a separate application to each program under which it wants a grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27803, July 24, 1987; 60 FR 46493, Sept. 6, 1995]


§ 75.126 Application must list all programs to which it is submitted.

If an applicant is submitting an application for the same project under more than one Federal program, the applicant shall list these programs in its application. The Secretary uses this information to avoid duplicate grants for the same project.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Group Applications

§ 75.127 Eligible parties may apply as a group.

(a) Eligible parties may apply as a group for a grant.


(b) Depending on the program under which a group of eligible parties seeks assistance, the term used to refer to the group may vary. The list that follows contains some of the terms used to identify a group of eligible parties:


(1) Combination of institutions of higher education.


(2) Consortium.


(3) Joint applicants.


(4) Cooperative arrangements.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.128 Who acts as applicant; the group agreement.

(a) If a group of eligible parties applies for a grant, the members of the group shall either:


(1) Designate one member of the group to apply for the grant; or


(2) Establish a separate, eligible legal entity to apply for the grant.


(b) The members of the group shall enter into an agreement that:


(1) Details the activities that each member of the group plans to perform; and


(2) Binds each member of the group to every statement and assurance made by the applicant in the application.


(c) The applicant shall submit the agreement with its application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.129 Legal responsibilities of each member of the group.

(a) If the Secretary makes a grant to a group of eligible applicants, the applicant for the group is the grantee and is legally responsible for:


(1) The use of all grant funds;


(2) Ensuring that the project is carried out by the group in accordance with Federal requirements; and


(3) Ensuring that indirect cost funds are determined as required under § 75.564(e).


(b) Each member of the group is legally responsible to:


(1) Carry out the activities it agrees to perform; and


(2) Use the funds that it receives under the agreement in accordance with Federal requirements that apply to the grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 59 FR 59581, Nov. 17, 1994]


Competition Exceptions

§ 75.135 Competition exception for proposed implementation sites, implementation partners, or service providers.

(a) When entering into a contract with implementation sites or partners, an applicant is not required to comply with the competition requirements in 2 CFR 200.320(c) and (d), if –


(1) The contract is with an entity that agrees to provide a site or sites where the applicant would conduct the project activities under the grant;


(2) The implementation sites or partner entities that the applicant proposes to use are identified in the application for the grant; and


(3) The implementation sites or partner entities are included in the application in order to meet a regulatory, statutory, or priority requirement related to the competition.


(b) When entering into a contract for data collection, data analysis, evaluation services, or essential services, an applicant may select a provider using the informal, small-purchase procurement procedures in 2 CFR 200.320(b), regardless of whether that applicant would otherwise be subject to that part or whether the evaluation contract would meet the standards for a small purchase order, if –


(1) The contract is with the data collection, data analysis, evaluation service, or essential service provider;


(2) The data collection, data analysis, evaluation service, or essential service provider that the applicant proposes to use is identified in the application for the grant; and


(3) The data collection, data analysis, evaluation service, or essential service provider is identified in the application in order to meet a statutory, regulatory, or priority requirement related to the competition.


(c) If the grantee relied on the exceptions under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the grantee must certify in its application that any employee, officer, or agent participating in the selection, award, or administration of a contract is free of any real or apparent conflict of interest and, if the grantee relied on the exceptions of paragraph (b) of this section, that the grantee used small purchase procedures to obtain the product or service.


(d) A grantee must obtain the Secretary’s prior approval for any change to an implementation site, implementation partner, or data collection, data analysis, evaluation service, or essential service provider, if the grantee relied on the exceptions under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section to select the entity.


(e) The exceptions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do not extend to the other procurement requirements in 2 CFR part 200 regarding contracting by grantees and subgrantees.


(f) For the purposes of this section, essential service means a product or service directly related to the grant that would, if not provided, have a detrimental effect on the grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[78 FR 49352, Aug. 13, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 76091, Dec. 19, 2014; 80 FR 67264, Nov. 2, 2015]


State Comment Procedures

§ 75.155 Review procedures if State may comment on applications: Purpose of §§ 75.156-75.158.

If the authorizing statute for a program requires that a specific State agency be given an opportunity to comment on each application, the State and the applicant shall use the procedures in §§ 75.156-75.158 for that purpose.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 34 CFR part 79 (Intergovernmental Review of Department of Education Programs and Activities) for the regulations implementing the application review procedures that States may use under E.O. 12372.


[57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.156 When an applicant under § 75.155 must submit its application to the State; proof of submission.

(a) Each applicant under a program covered by § 75.155 shall submit a copy of its application to the State on or before the deadline date for submitting its application to the Department.


(b) The applicant shall attach to its application a copy of its letter that requests the State to comment on the application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.157 The State reviews each application.

A State that receives an application under § 75.156 may review and comment on the application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 3474)


§ 75.158 Deadlines for State comments.

(a) The Secretary may establish a deadline date for receipt of State comments on applications.


(b) The State shall make its comments in a written statement signed by an appropriate State official.


(c) The appropriate State official shall submit comments to the Secretary by the deadline date for State comments. The procedures in § 75.102 (b) and (d) (how to meet a deadline) of this part apply to this submission.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.159 Effect of State comments or failure to comment.

(a) The Secretary considers those comments of the State that relate to:


(1) Any selection criterion that applies under the program; or


(2) Any other matter that affects the selection of projects for funding under the program.


(b) If the State fails to comment on an application on or before the deadline date for the appropriate program, the State waives its right to comment.


(c) If the applicant does not give the State an opportunity to comment, the Secretary does not select that project for a grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Development of Curricula or Instructional Materials

§ 75.190 Consultation.

Each applicant that intends to develop curricula or instructional materials under a grant is encouraged to assure that the curricula or materials will be developed in a manner conducive to dissemination, through continuing consultations with publishers, personnel of State and local educational agencies, teachers, administrators, community representatives, and other individuals experienced in dissemination.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.191 Consultation costs.

An applicant may budget reasonable consultation fees or planning costs in connection with the development of curricula or instructional materials.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.192 Dissemination.

If an applicant proposes to publish and disseminate curricula or instructional materials under a grant, the applicant shall include an assurance in its application that the curricula or materials will reach the populations for which the curricula or materials were developed.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Subpart D – How Grants Are Made

Selection of New Projects

§ 75.200 How applications for new grants and cooperative agreements are selected for funding; standards for use of cooperative agreements.

(a) Direct grant programs. The Department administers two kinds of direct grant programs. A direct grant program is either a discretionary grant or a formula grant program.


(b) Discretionary grant programs. (1) A discretionary grant program is one that permits the Secretary to use discretionary judgment in selecting applications for funding.



Cross Reference:

See § 75.219 Exceptions to the procedures under § 75.217.


(2) The Secretary uses selection criteria to evaluate the applications submitted for new grants under a discretionary grant program.


(3) To evaluate the applications for new grants under the program the Secretary may use:


(i) Selection criteria established under § 75.209.


(ii) Selection criteria in program-specific regulations.


(iii) Selection criteria established under § 75.210.


(iv) Any combination of criteria from paragraphs (b)(3)(i), (b)(3)(ii), and (b)(3)(iii) of this section.


(4) The Secretary may award a cooperative agreement instead of a grant if the Secretary determines that substantial involvement between the Department and the recipient is necessary to carry out a collaborative project.


(5) The Secretary uses the selection procedures in this subpart to select recipients of cooperative agreements.


(c) Formula grant programs. (1) A formula grant program is one that entitles certain applicants to receive grants if they meet the requirements of the program. Applicants do not compete with each other for the funds, and each grant is either for a set amount or for an amount determined under a formula.


(2) The Secretary applies the program statute and regulations to fund projects under a formula grant program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27803, July 24, 1987; 57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992; 60 FR 63873, Dec. 12, 1995; 62 FR 10401, Mar. 6, 1997]


§ 75.201 How the selection criteria will be used.

(a) In the application package or a notice published in the Federal Register, the Secretary informs applicants of –


(1) The selection criteria chosen; and


(2) The factors selected for considering the selection criteria, if any.


(b) If points or weights are assigned to the selection criteria, the Secretary informs applicants in the application package or a notice published in the Federal Register of –


(1) The total possible score for all of the criteria for a program; and


(2) The assigned weight or the maximum possible score for each criterion or factor under that criterion.


(c) If no points or weights are assigned to the selection criteria and selected factors, the Secretary evaluates each criterion equally and, within each criterion, each factor equally.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[62 FR 10401, Mar. 6, 1997]


§§ 75.202-75.206 [Reserved]

§ 75.209 Selection criteria based on statutory or regulatory provisions.

The Secretary may establish selection criteria and factors based on statutory or regulatory provisions that apply to the authorized program, which may include, but are not limited to criteria and factors that reflect –


(a) Criteria contained in the program statute or regulations;


(b) Criteria in § 75.210;


(c) Allowable activities specified in the program statute or regulations;


(d) Application content requirements specified in the program statute or regulations;


(e) Program purposes, as described in the program statute or regulations; or


(f) Other pre-award and post-award conditions specified in the program statute or regulations.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[78 FR 49353, Aug. 13, 2013]


§ 75.210 General selection criteria.

In determining the selection criteria to evaluate applications submitted in a grant competition, the Secretary may select one or more of the following criteria and may select from among the list of optional factors under each criterion. The Secretary may define a selection criterion by selecting one or more specific factors within a criterion or assigning factors from one criterion to another criterion.


(a) Need for project. (1) The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project.


(2) In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The magnitude or severity of the problem to be addressed by the proposed project.


(ii) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.


(iii) The extent to which the proposed project will provide services or otherwise address the needs of students at risk of educational failure.


(iv) The extent to which the proposed project will focus on serving or otherwise addressing the needs of disadvantaged individuals.


(v) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.


(vi) The extent to which the proposed project will prepare personnel for fields in which shortages have been demonstrated.


(b) Significance. (1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project.


(2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The national significance of the proposed project.


(ii) The significance of the problem or issue to be addressed by the proposed project.


(iii) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increased knowledge or understanding of educational problems, issues, or effective strategies.


(iv) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increased knowledge or understanding of rehabilitation problems, issues, or effective strategies.


(v) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in system change or improvement.


(vi) The potential contribution of the proposed project to the development and advancement of theory, knowledge, and practices in the field of study.


(vii) The potential for generalizing from the findings or results of the proposed project.


(viii) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to yield findings that may be utilized by other appropriate agencies and organizations.


(ix) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.


(x) The extent to which the proposed project involves the development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, or are alternatives to, existing strategies.


(xi) The likely utility of the products (such as information, materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from the proposed project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a variety of other settings.


(xii) The extent to which the results of the proposed project are to be disseminated in ways that will enable others to use the information or strategies.


(xiii) The potential replicability of the proposed project or strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation in a variety of settings.


(xiv) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in teaching and student achievement.


(xv) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in employment, independent living services, or both, as appropriate.


(xvi) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project.


(c) Quality of the project design. (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project.


(2) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.


(ii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.


(iii) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework underlying the proposed research or demonstration activities and the quality of that framework.


(iv) The extent to which the proposed activities constitute a coherent, sustained program of research and development in the field, including, as appropriate, a substantial addition to an ongoing line of inquiry.


(v) The extent to which the proposed activities constitute a coherent, sustained program of training in the field.


(vi) The extent to which the proposed project is based upon a specific research design, and the quality and appropriateness of that design, including the scientific rigor of the studies involved.


(vii) The extent to which the proposed research design includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, a high-quality plan for research activities, and the use of appropriate theoretical and methodological tools, including those of a variety of disciplines, if appropriate.


(viii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, a high-quality plan for project implementation, and the use of appropriate methodological tools to ensure successful achievement of project objectives.


(ix) The quality of the proposed demonstration design and procedures for documenting project activities and results.


(x) The extent to which the design for implementing and evaluating the proposed project will result in information to guide possible replication of project activities or strategies, including information about the effectiveness of the approach or strategies employed by the project.


(xi) The extent to which the proposed development efforts include adequate quality controls and, as appropriate, repeated testing of products.


(xii) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance.


(xiii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.


(xiv) The extent to which the proposed project represents an exceptional approach for meeting statutory purposes and requirements.


(xv) The extent to which the proposed project represents an exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the competition.


(xvi) The extent to which the proposed project will integrate with or build on similar or related efforts to improve relevant outcomes (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)), using existing funding streams from other programs or policies supported by community, State, and Federal resources.


(xvii) The extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations providing services to the target population.


(xviii) The extent to which the proposed project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support rigorous academic standards for students.


(xix) The extent to which the proposed project encourages parental involvement.


(xx) The extent to which the proposed project encourages consumer involvement.


(xxi) The extent to which performance feedback and continuous improvement are integral to the design of the proposed project.


(xxii) The quality of the methodology to be employed in the proposed project.


(xxiii) The extent to which fellowship recipients or other project participants are to be selected on the basis of academic excellence.


(xxiv) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that it has the resources to operate the project beyond the length of the grant, including a multi-year financial and operating model and accompanying plan; the demonstrated commitment of any partners; evidence of broad support from stakeholders (e.g., State educational agencies, teachers’ unions) critical to the project’s long-term success; or more than one of these types of evidence.


(xxv) The potential and planning for the incorporation of project purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing work of the applicant beyond the end of the grant.


(xxvi) The extent to which the proposed project will increase efficiency in the use of time, staff, money, or other resources in order to improve results and increase productivity.


(xxvii) The extent to which the proposed project will integrate with or build on similar or related efforts in order to improve relevant outcomes (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)), using nonpublic funds or resources.


(xxviii) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by promising evidence (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)).


(xxix) The extent to which the proposed project demonstrates a rationale (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)).


(xxx) The extent to which the proposed project represents a faithful adaptation of the evidence cited in support of the proposed project.


(d) Quality of project services. (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project.


(2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.


(3) In addition, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services.


(ii) The extent to which entities that are to be served by the proposed technical assistance project demonstrate support for the project.


(iii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.


(iv) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the proposed project on the intended recipients of those services.


(v) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services.


(vi) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are likely to alleviate the personnel shortages that have been identified or are the focus of the proposed project.


(vii) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvements in the achievement of students as measured against rigorous academic standards.


(viii) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvements in the skills necessary to gain employment or build capacity for independent living.


(ix) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services.


(x) The extent to which the technical assistance services to be provided by the proposed project involve the use of efficient strategies, including the use of technology, as appropriate, and the leveraging of non-project resources.


(xi) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are focused on those with greatest needs.


(xii) The quality of plans for providing an opportunity for participation in the proposed project of students enrolled in private schools.


(e) Quality of project personnel. (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project.


(2) In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.


(3) In addition, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator.


(ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.


(iii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of project consultants or subcontractors.


(f) Adequacy of resources. (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project.


(2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization.


(ii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.


(iii) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project.


(iv) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.


(v) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.


(vi) The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated commitment of appropriate entities to such support.


(vii) The potential for the incorporation of project purposes, activities, or benefits into the ongoing program of the agency or organization at the end of Federal funding.


(g) Quality of the management plan. (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project.


(2) In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.


(ii) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.


(iii) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products and services from the proposed project.


(iv) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.


(v) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of services, or others, as appropriate.


(h) Quality of the project evaluation. (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project.


(2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.


(ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are appropriate to the context within which the project operates.


(iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies.


(iv) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.


(v) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide timely guidance for quality assurance.


(vi) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.


(vii) The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings.


(viii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will, if well implemented, produce evidence about the project’s effectiveness that would meet the What Works Clearinghouse standards without reservations as described in the What Works Clearinghouse Handbook (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)).


(ix) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will, if well implemented, produce evidence about the project’s effectiveness that would meet the What Works Clearinghouse standards with or without reservations as described in the What Works Clearinghouse Handbook (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)).


(x) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will, if well implemented, produce promising evidence (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) about the project’s effectiveness.


(xi) The extent to which the evaluation plan clearly articulates the key project components, mediators, and outcomes, as well as a measurable threshold for acceptable implementation.


(xii) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, and independence, of the evaluator.


(xiii) The extent to which the proposed project plan includes sufficient resources to conduct the project evaluation effectively.


(xiv) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide valid and reliable performance data on relevant outcomes.


(i) Strategy to scale. (1) The Secretary considers the applicant’s strategy to scale the proposed project.


(2) In determining the applicant’s capacity to scale the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:


(i) The applicant’s capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to bring the proposed project to scale on a national or regional level (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) working directly, or through partners, during the grant period.


(ii) The applicant’s capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to further develop and bring to scale the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice, or to work with others to ensure that the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice can be further developed and brought to scale, based on the findings of the proposed project.


(iii) The feasibility of successful replication of the proposed project, if favorable results are obtained, in a variety of settings and with a variety of populations.


(iv) The mechanisms the applicant will use to broadly disseminate information on its project so as to support further development or replication.


(v) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates there is unmet demand for the process, product, strategy, or practice that will enable the applicant to reach the level of scale that is proposed in the application.


(vi) The extent to which the applicant identifies a specific strategy or strategies that address a particular barrier or barriers that prevented the applicant, in the past, from reaching the level of scale that is proposed in the application.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1875-0102)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[62 FR 10401, Mar. 6, 1997, as amended at 78 FR 49353, Aug. 13, 2013; 80 FR 2608, Jan. 20, 2015; 82 FR 35448, July 31, 2017; 83 FR 18421, Apr. 27, 2018]


§ 75.211 Selection criteria for unsolicited applications.

(a) If the Secretary considers an unsolicited application under 34 CFR 75.222(a)(2)(ii), the Secretary uses the selection criteria and factors, if any, used for the competition under which the application could have been funded.


(b) If the Secretary considers an unsolicited application under 34 CFR 75.222(a)(2)(iii), the Secretary selects from among the criteria in § 75.210(b), and may select from among the specific factors listed under each criterion, the criteria that are most appropriate to evaluate the activities proposed in the application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[62 FR 10403, Mar. 6, 1997]


Selection Procedures

§ 75.215 How the Department selects a new project: purpose of §§ 75.216-75.222.

Sections 75.216-75.222 describe the process the Secretary uses to select applications for new grants. All of these sections apply to a discretionary grant program. However, only § 75.216 applies also to a formula grant program.



Cross Reference:

See § 75.200(b) Discretionary grant program, and (c) Formula grant program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.216 Applications not evaluated for funding.

The Secretary does not evaluate an application if –


(a) The applicant is not eligible;


(b) The applicant does not comply with all of the procedural rules that govern the submission of the application;


(c) The application does not contain the information required under the program; or


(d) The proposed project cannot be funded under the authorizing statute or implementing regulations for the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.217 How the Secretary selects applications for new grants.

(a) The Secretary selects applications for new grants on the basis of the authorizing statute, the selection criteria, and any priorities or other requirements that have been published in the Federal Register and apply to the selection of those applications.


(b)(1) The Secretary may use experts to evaluate the applications submitted under a program.


(2) These experts may include persons who are not employees of the Federal Government.


(c) The Secretary prepares a rank order of the applications based solely on the evaluation of their quality according to the selection criteria.


(d) The Secretary then determines the order in which applications will be selected for grants. The Secretary considers the following in making these determinations:


(1) The information in each application.


(2) The rank ordering of the applications.


(3) Any other information –


(i) Relevant to a criterion, priority, or other requirement that applies to the selection of applications for new grants;


(ii) Concerning the applicant’s performance and use of funds under a previous award under any Department program; and


(iii) Concerning the applicant’s failure under any Department program to submit a performance report or its submission of a performance report of unacceptable quality.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 4167, Jan. 29, 1997]


§ 75.218 Applications not evaluated or selected for funding.

(a) The Secretary informs an applicant if its application –


(1) Is not evaluated; or


(2) Is not selected for funding.


(b) If an applicant requests an explanation of the reason its application was not evaluated or selected, the Secretary provides that explanation.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.219 Exceptions to the procedures under § 75.217.

The Secretary may select an application for funding without following the procedures in § 75.217 if:


(a) The objectives of the project cannot be achieved unless the Secretary makes the grant before the date grants can be made under the procedures in § 75.217;


(b)(1) The application was evaluated under the preceding competition of the program;


(2) The application rated high enough to deserve selection under § 75.217; and


(3) The application was not selected for funding because the application was mishandled by the Department; or


(c) The Secretary receives an unsolicited application that meets the requirements of § 75.222.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987; 60 FR 12096, Mar. 3, 1995]


§ 75.220 Procedures the Department uses under § 75.219(a).

If the special circumstances of § 75.219(a) appear to exist for an application, the Secretary uses the following procedures:


(a) The Secretary assembles a board to review the application.


(b) The board consists of:


(1) A program officer of the program under which the applicant wants a grant;


(2) An employee from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) with responsibility for grant policy; and


(3) A Department employee who is not a program officer of the program but who is qualified to evaluate the application.


(c) The board reviews the application to decide if:


(1) The special circumstances under § 75.219(a) are satisfied;


(2) The application rates high enough, based on the selection criteria, priorities, and other requirements that apply to the program, to deserve selection; and


(3) Selection of the application will not have an adverse impact on the budget of the program.


(d) The board forwards the results of its review to the Secretary.


(e) If each of the conditions in paragraph (c) of this section is satisfied, the Secretary may select the application for funding.


(f) Even if the Secretary does not select the application for funding, the applicant may submit its application under the procedures in Subpart C of this part.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86297, Dec. 30, 1980; 64 FR 50391, Sept. 16, 1999]


§ 75.221 Procedures the Department uses under § 75.219(b).

If the special circumstances of § 75.219(b) appear to exist for an application, the Secretary may select the application for funding if:


(a) The Secretary has documentary evidence that the special circumstances of § 75.219(b) exist; and


(b) The Secretary has a statement that explains the circumstances of the mishandling.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987. Redesignated at 60 FR 12096, Mar. 3, 1995]


§ 75.222 Procedures the Department uses under § 75.219(c).

If the Secretary receives an unsolicited application, the Secretary may consider the application under the following procedures unless the Secretary has published a notice in the Federal Register stating that the program that would fund the application would not consider unsolicited applications:


(a)(1) The Secretary determines whether the application could be funded under a competition planned or conducted for the fiscal year under which funds would be used to fund the application.


(2)(i) If the application could be funded under a competition described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and the deadline for submission of applications has not passed, the Secretary refers the application to the appropriate competition for consideration under the procedures in § 75.217.


(ii)(A) If the application could have been funded under a competition described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and the deadline for submission of applications has passed, the Secretary may consider the application only in exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Secretary.


(B) If the Secretary considers an application under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary considers the application under paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section.


(iii) If the application could not be funded under a competition described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Secretary considers the application under paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section.


(b) If an application may be considered under paragraphs (a)(2)(ii) or (iii) of this section, the Secretary determines if –


(1) There is a substantial likelihood that the application is of exceptional quality and national significance for a program administered by ED;


(2) The application meets the requirements of all applicable statutes and codified regulations that apply to the program; and


(3) Selection of the project will not have an adverse impact on the funds available for other awards planned for the program.


(c) If the Secretary determines that the criteria in paragraph (b) of this section have been met, the Secretary assembles a panel of experts that does not include any employees of the Department to review the application.


(d) The experts –


(1) Evaluate the application based on the selection criteria; and


(2) Determine whether the application is of such exceptional quality and national significance that it should be funded as an unsolicited application.


(e) If the experts highly rate the application and determine that the application is of such exceptional quality and national significance that it should be funded as an unsolicited application, the Secretary may fund the application.



Note to § 75.222:

To assure prompt consideration, applicants submitting unsolicited applications should send the application, marked “Unsolicited Application” on the outside, to the Chief, Application Control Center, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202-4725.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[60 FR 12096, Mar. 3, 1995]


§ 75.223 [Reserved]

§ 75.224 What are the procedures for using a multiple tier review process to evaluate applications?

(a) The Secretary may use a multiple tier review process to evaluate applications.


(b) The Secretary may refuse to review applications in any tier that do not meet a minimum cut-off score established for the prior tier.


(c) The Secretary may establish the minimum cut-off score –


(1) In the application notice published in the Federal Register; or


(2) After reviewing the applications to determine the overall range in the quality of applications received.


(d) The Secretary may, in any tier –


(1) Use more than one group of experts to gain different perspectives on an application; and


(2) Refuse to consider an application if the application is rejected under paragraph (b) of this section by any one of the groups used in the prior tier.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[66 FR 60138, Nov. 30, 2001]


§ 75.225 What procedures does the Secretary use if the Secretary decides to give special consideration to novice applications?

(a) As used in this section, “novice applicant” means –


(1) Any applicant for a grant from ED that –


(i) Has never received a grant or subgrant under the program from which it seeks funding;


(ii) Has never been a member of a group application, submitted in accordance with §§ 75.127-75.129, that received a grant under the program from which it seeks funding; and


(iii) Has not had an active discretionary grant from the Federal Government in the five years before the deadline date for applications under the program.


(2) In the case of a group application submitted in accordance with §§ 75.127-75.129, a group that includes only parties that meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section.


(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, a grant is active until the end of the grant’s project or funding period, including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee’s authority to obligate funds.


(c) If the Secretary determines that special consideration of novice applications is appropriate, the Secretary may either –


(1) Establish a separate competition for novice applicants; or


(2) Give competitive preference to novice applicants under the procedures in 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2).


(d) Before making a grant to a novice applicant, the Secretary imposes special conditions, if necessary, to ensure the grant is managed effectively and project objectives are achieved.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[66 FR 60138, Nov. 30, 2001; 67 FR 4316, Jan. 29, 2002]


§ 75.226 What procedures does the Secretary use if the Secretary decides to give special consideration to applications supported by strong, moderate, or promising evidence?

(a) As used in this section, “strong evidence” is defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c).


(b) As used in this section, “moderate evidence” is defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c).


(c) As used in this section, “promising evidence” is defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c).


(d) If the Secretary determines that special consideration of applications supported by strong, moderate, or promising evidence is appropriate, the Secretary may establish a separate competition under the procedures in 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), or provide competitive preference under the procedures in 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2), for applications supported by –


(1) Evidence that meets the conditions in the definition of “strong evidence”;


(2) Evidence that meets the conditions in the definition of “moderate evidence”; or


(3) Evidence that meets the conditions in the definition of “promising evidence.”


[82 FR 35449, July 31, 2017]


Procedures To Make a Grant

§ 75.230 How the Department makes a grant; purpose of §§ 75.231-75.236.

If the Secretary selects an application under §§ 75.217, 75.220, or 75.222, the Secretary follows the procedures in §§ 75.231-75.236 to set the amount and determine the conditions of a grant. Sections 75.235-75.236 also apply to grants under formula grant programs.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See § 75.200 How applications for new grants are selected for funding.


§ 75.231 Additional information.

After selecting an application for funding, the Secretary may require the applicant to submit additional information.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.232 The cost analysis; basis for grant amount.

(a) Before the Secretary sets the amount of a new grant, the Secretary does a cost analysis of the project. The Secretary:


(1) Verifies the cost data in the detailed budget for the project;


(2) Evaluates specific elements of costs; and


(3) Examines costs to determine if they are necessary, reasonable, and allowable under applicable statutes and regulations.


(b) The Secretary uses the cost analysis as a basis for determining the amount of the grant to the applicant. The cost analysis shows whether the applicant can achieve the objectives of the project with reasonable efficiency and economy under the budget in the application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 59 FR 30261, June 10, 1994]


§ 75.233 Setting the amount of the grant.

(a) Subject to any applicable matching or cost-sharing requirements, the Secretary may fund up to 100 percent of the allowable costs in the applicant’s budget.


(b) In deciding what percentage of the allowable costs to fund, the Secretary may consider any other financial resources available to the applicant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.234 The conditions of the grant.

(a) The Secretary makes a grant to an applicant only after determining –


(1) The approved costs; and


(2) Any special conditions.


(b) In awarding a cooperative agreement, the Secretary includes conditions that state the explicit character and extent of anticipated collaboration between the Department and the recipient.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.235 The notification of grant award.

(a) To make a grant, the Secretary issues a notification of grant award and sends it to the grantee.


(b) The notification of grant award sets the amount of the grant award and establishes other specific conditions, if any.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.236 Effect of the grant.

The grant obligates both the Federal Government and the grantee to the requirements that apply to the grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.308, Revision of budget and program plans.


Approval of Multi-Year Projects

§ 75.250 Maximum funding period.

(a) The Secretary may approve a project period of up to 60 months to perform the substantive work of a grant.


(b) The Secretary may approve a data collection period for a grant for a period of up to 72 months after the end of the project period and provide funding for the data collection period for the sole purpose of collecting, analyzing, and reporting performance measurement data regarding the project. The Secretary may inform applicants of the Secretary’s intent to approve data collection periods in the application notice published for a competition or may decide to fund data collection periods after grantees have started their project periods.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.)

[78 FR 49353, Aug. 13, 2013]


§ 75.251 Budget periods.

(a) The Secretary usually approves a budget period of not more than 12 months, even if the project has a multi-year project period.


(b) If the Secretary approves a multi-year project period, the Secretary:


(1) Makes a grant to the project for the initial budget period; and


(2) Indicates his or her intention to make contination awards to fund the remainder of the project period.


(c) If the Secretary funds a multi-year data collection period, the Secretary may fund the data collection period through separate budget periods and fund those budget periods in the same manner as those periods are funded during the project period.


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980, as amended at 78 FR 49354, Aug. 13, 2013]

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.253 Continuation of a multi-year project after the first budget period.

(a) The Secretary may make a continuation award for a budget period after the first budget period of an approved multi-year project if:


(1) The Congress has appropriated sufficient funds under the program;


(2) The grantee has either –


(i) Made substantial progress in achieving –


(A) The goals and objectives of the project; and


(B) If the Secretary established performance measurement requirements for the grant in the application notice, the performance targets in the grantee’s approved application; or


(ii) Obtained the Secretary’s approval for changes to the project that –


(A) Do not increase the amount of funds obligated to the project by the Secretary; and


(B) Enable the grantee to achieve the goals and objectives of the project and meet the performance targets of the project, if any, without changing the scope or objectives of the project.


(3) The recipient has submitted all reports as required by § 75.118, and


(4) Continuation of the project is in the best interest of the Federal Government.


(5) The grantee has maintained financial and administrative management systems that meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.302, Financial management, and 200.303, Internal controls.


(b) In deciding whether a grantee has made substantial progress, the Secretary may consider any information relevant to the authorizing statute, a criterion, a priority, or a performance measure, or to a financial or other requirement that applies to the selection of applications for new grants.


(c) Subject to the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section, in selecting applications for funding under a program the Secretary gives priority to contination awards over new grants.


(d)(1) Notwithstanding any regulatory requirements in 2 CFR part 200, a grantee may expend funds that have not been obligated at the end of a budget period for obligations of the subsequent budget period if –


(i) The obligation is for an allowable cost that falls within the scope and objectives of the project; and


(ii) ED regulations, including those in title 2 of the CFR, statutes, or the conditions of the grant do not prohibit the obligation.



Note:

See 2 CFR 200.308(d)(2).


(2) The Secretary may –


(i) Require the grantee to send a written statement describing how the funds made available under this section will be used; and


(ii) Determine the amount of new funds that the Department will make available for the subsequent budget period after considering the statement the grantee provides under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section or any other information available to the Secretary about the use of funds under the grant.


(3) In determining the amount of new funds to make available to a grantee under this section, the Secretary considers whether the unobligated funds made available are needed to complete activities that were planned for completion in the prior budget period.


(e)(1) If the Secretary decides, under this section, not to make a continuation award, the Secretary may authorize a no-cost extension of the last budget period of the grant in order to provide for the orderly closeout of the grant.


(2) If the Secretary makes a continuation award under this section –


(i) The Secretary makes the award under §§ 75.231-75.236; and


(ii) The new budget period begins on the day after the previous budget period ends.


(f) Unless prohibited by the program statute or regulations, a grantee that is in the final budget period of its project period may seek continued assistance for the project as required under the procedures for selecting new projects for grants.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross References:

1. See Subpart C – How to Apply for a Grant.


2. See § 75.117 Information needed for a multi-year project; and § 75.118 Application for a continuation award.


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992; 59 FR 30261, June 10, 1994; 62 FR 40424, July 28, 1997; 78 FR 49354, Aug. 13, 2013; 79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.254 [Reserved]

Miscellaneous

§ 75.260 Allotments and reallotments.

(a) Under some of the programs covered by this part, the Secretary allots funds under a statutory or regulatory formula.


(b) Any reallotment to other grantees will be made by the Secretary in accordance with the authorizing statute for that program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987]


§ 75.261 Extension of a project period.

(a) General rule. A grantee may extend the project period of an award one time for a period up to twelve months without the prior approval of the Secretary, if –


(1) The grantee meets the requirements for extension in 2 CFR 200.308(d)(2); and


(2) ED statutes, regulations other than those in 2 CFR part 200, or the conditions of an award do not prohibit the extension.


(b) Specific rule for certain programs of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, grantees under the following programs of NIDRR must request prior approval to extend their grants under paragraph (c) of this section:


(1) The Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization Centers and Disability and Technical Assistance Centers authorized under 29 U.S.C. 761a(b)(2), (4), (5), (6), and (11) and implemented at 34 CFR part 350, subpart B, §§ 350.17-350.19.


(2) The Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers program authorized under 29 U.S.C. 762(b) and implemented at 34 CFR part 350, subpart C.


(3) The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers authorized under 29 U.S.C. 762(b)(3) and implemented at 34 CFR part 350, subpart D.


(4) The Special Projects and Demonstrations for Spinal Cord Injuries authorized under 29 U.S.C. 762(b)(4) and implemented at 34 CFR part 359.


(c) Other regulations. If ED regulations other than the regulations in 2 CFR part 200 or the conditions of the award require the grantee to obtain prior approval to extend the project period, the Secretary may permit the grantee to extend the project period if –


(1) The extension does not violate any statute or regulations;


(2) The extension does not involve the obligation of additional Federal funds;


(3) The extension is to carry out the activities in the approved application; and


(4)(i) The Secretary determines that, due to special or unusual circumstances applicable to a class of grantees, the project periods for the grantees should be extended; or


(ii)(A) The Secretary determines that special or unusual circumstances would delay completion of the project beyond the end of the project period;


(B) The grantee requests an extension of the project at least 45 calendar days before the end of the project period; and


(C) The grantee provides a written statement before the end of the project period giving the reasons why the extension is appropriate under paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(A) of this section and the period for which the project needs extension.


(d) Waiver. The Secretary may waive the requirement in paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(B) of this section if –


(1) The grantee could not reasonably have known of the need for the extension on or before the start of the 45-day time period; or


(2) The failure to give notice on or before the start of the 45-day time period was unavoidable.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30338, July 8, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 40424, July 28, 1997; 79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.262 Conversion of a grant or a cooperative agreement.

(a)(1) The Secretary may convert a grant to a cooperative agreement or a cooperative agreement to a grant at the time a continuation award is made under § 75.253.


(2) In deciding whether to convert a grant to a cooperative agreement or a cooperative agreement to a grant, the Secretary considers the factors included in § 75.200(b) (4) and (5).


(b) The Secretary and a recipient may agree at any time to convert a grant to a cooperative agreement or a cooperative agreement to a grant, subject to the factors included in § 75.200(b) (4) and (5).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.263 Pre-award costs; waiver of approval.

A grantee may, notwithstanding any requirement in 2 CFR part 200, incur pre-award costs as specified in 2 CFR 200.308(d)(1) unless –


(a) ED regulations other than 2 CFR part 200 or a statute prohibit these costs; or


(b) The conditions of the award prohibit these costs.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474; 2 CFR 200.308(d)(1))

[80 FR 67264, Nov. 2, 2015]


§ 75.264 Transfers among budget categories.

A grantee may make transfers as specified in 2 CFR 200.308 unless –


(a) ED regulations other than those in 2 CFR part 200 or a statute prohibit these transfers; or


(b) The conditions of the grant prohibit these transfers.


(Authority 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, 2 CFR part 200)

[79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


Subpart E – What Conditions Must Be Met by a Grantee?

Nondiscrimination

§ 75.500 Constitutional rights, freedom of inquiry, and Federal statutes and regulations on nondiscrimination.

(a) Each grantee shall comply with the following statutes and regulations:


Table 1 to § 75.500(a)

Subject
Statute
Regulation
Discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national originTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d through 2000d-4)34 CFR part 100.
Discrimination on the basis of sexTitle IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681-1683)34 CFR part 106.
Discrimination on the basis of handicapSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794)34 CFR part 104.
Discrimination on the basis of age.The Age Discrimination Act (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.)34 CFR part 110.

(b)(1) Each grantee that is an institution of higher education, as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1002(a), that is public and that is legally required to abide by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (hereinafter “public institution”), must also comply with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including protections for freedom of speech, association, press, religion, assembly, petition, and academic freedom, as a material condition of the Department’s grant. The Department will determine that a public institution has not complied with the First Amendment only if there is a final, non-default judgment by a State or Federal court that the public institution or an employee of the public institution, acting in his or her official capacity, violated the First Amendment. A final judgment is a judgment that the public institution chooses not to appeal or that is not subject to further appeal. Absent such a final, non-default judgment, the Department will deem the public institution to be in compliance with the First Amendment.


(2) Each grantee that is a public institution also must submit to the Secretary a copy of the final, non-default judgment by that State or Federal court to conclude the lawsuit no later than 45 calendar days after such final, non-default judgment is entered.


(c)(1) Each grantee that is an institution of higher education, as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1002(a), that is private (hereinafter “private institution”) must comply with its stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom, as a material condition of the Department’s grant. The Department will determine that a private institution has not complied with these stated institutional policies only if there is a final, non-default judgment by a State or Federal court to the effect that the private institution or an employee of the private institution, acting on behalf of the private institution, violated its stated institutional policy regarding freedom of speech or academic freedom. A final judgment is a judgment that the private institution chooses not to appeal or that is not subject to further appeal. Absent such a final, non-default judgment, the Department will deem the private institution to be in compliance with its stated institutional policies.


(2) Each grantee that is a private institution also must submit to the Secretary a copy of the final, non-default judgment by that State or Federal court to conclude the lawsuit no later than 45 calendar days after such final, non-default judgment is entered.


(d) As a material condition of the Department’s grant, each grantee that is a public institution shall not deny to any student organization whose stated mission is religious in nature and that is at the public institution any right, benefit, or privilege that is otherwise afforded to other student organizations at the public institution (including but not limited to full access to the facilities of the public institution, distribution of student fee funds, and official recognition of the student organization by the public institution) because of the religious student organization’s beliefs, practices, policies, speech, membership standards, or leadership standards, which are informed by sincerely held religious beliefs.


(e) A grantee that is a covered entity as defined in 34 CFR 108.3 shall comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905, 34 CFR part 108.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[85 FR 59978, Sept. 23, 2020]


Project Staff

§ 75.511 Waiver of requirement for a full-time project director.

(a) If regulations under a program require a full-time project director, the Secretary may waive that requirement under the following conditions:


(1) The project will not be adversely affected by the waiver.


(2)(i) The project director is needed to coordinate two or more related projects; or


(ii) The project director must teach a minimum number of hours to retain faculty status.


(b) The waiver either permits the grantee:


(1) To use a part-time project director; or


(2) Not to use any project director.


(c)(1) An applicant or a grantee may request the waiver.


(2) The request must be in writing and must demonstrate that a waiver is appropriate under this section.


(3) The Secretary gives the waiver in writing. The waiver is effective on the date the Secretary signs the waiver.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.308, Revision of budget and program plans.


§ 75.515 Use of consultants.

(a) Subject to Federal statutes and regulations, a grantee shall use its general policies and practices when it hires, uses, and pays a consultant as part of the project staff.


(b) The grantee may not use its grant to pay a consultant unless:


(1) There is a need in the project for the services of that consultant; and


(2) The grantee cannot meet that need by using an employee rather than a consultant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.516 Compensation of consultants – employees of institutions of higher education.

If an institution of higher education receives a grant for research or for educational services, it may pay a consultant’s fee to one of its employees only in unusual circumstances and only if:


(a) The work performed by the consultant is in addition to his or her regular departmental load; and


(b)(1) The consultation is across departmental lines; or


(2) The consultation involves a separate or remote operation.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.517 [Reserved]

§ 75.519 Dual compensation of staff.

A grantee may not use its grantee to pay a project staff member for time or work for which that staff member is compensated from some other source of funds.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Conflict of Interest

§ 75.524 Conflict of interest: Purpose of § 75.525.

(a) The conflict of interest regulations of the Department that apply to a grant are in § 75.525.


(b) These conflict of interest regulations do not apply to a “local government,” as defined in 2 CFR 200.64, or a “State,” as defined in 2 CFR 200.90.


(c) The regulations in § 75.525 do not apply to a grantee’s procurement contracts. The conflict of interest regulations that cover those procurement contracts are in 2 CFR part 200.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980, as amended at 64 FR 50391, Sept. 16, 1999; 79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.525 Conflict of interest: Participation in a project.

(a) A grantee may not permit a person to participate in an administrative decision regarding a project if:


(1) The decision is likely to benefit that person or a member of his or her immediate family; and


(2) The person:


(i) Is a public official; or


(ii) Has a family or business relationship with the grantee.


(b) A grantee may not permit any person participating in the project to use his or her position for a purpose that is – or gives the appearance of being – motivated by a desire for a private financial gain for that person or for others.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Allowable Costs

§ 75.530 General cost principles.

The general principles to be used in determining costs applicable to grants and cost-type contracts under grants are specified at 2 CFR part 200, subpart E – Cost Principles.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

Cross Reference: See 2 CFR part 200, subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements.


[79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.531 Limit on total cost of a project.

A grantee shall insure that the total cost to the Federal Government is not more than the amount stated in the notification of grant award.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.532 Use of funds for religion prohibited.

(a) No grantee may use its grant to pay for any of the following:


(1) Religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.


(2) Equipment or supplies to be used for any of the activities specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.


(b) [Reserved]


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 69 FR 31711, June 4, 2004]


§ 75.533 Acquisition of real property; construction.

No grantee may use its grant for acquisition of real property or for construction unless specifically permitted by the authorizing statute or implementing regulations for the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.534 Training grants – automatic increases for additional dependents.

The Secretary may increase a grant to cover the cost of additional dependents not specified in the notice of award under § 75.235 if –


(a) Allowances for dependents are authorized by the program statute and are allowable under the grant; and


(b) Appropriations are available to cover the cost.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


Indirect Cost Rates

§ 75.560 General indirect cost rates; exceptions.

(a) The differences between direct and indirect costs and the principles for determining the general indirect cost rate that a grantee may use for grants under most programs are specified in the cost principles for –


(1) All grantees, other than hospitals and commercial (for-profit) organizations, at 2 CFR part 200, subpart E – Cost Principles;


(2) Hospitals, at 45 CFR part 75, Appendix XI – Principles for Determining Cost Applicable to Research and Development Under Awards and Contracts with Hospitals; and


(3) Commercial (for-profit) organizations, at 48 CFR part 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.


(b) A grantee must have obtained a current indirect cost rate agreement from its cognizant agency, to charge indirect costs to a grant. To obtain an indirect cost rate, a grantee must submit an indirect cost proposal to its cognizant agency within 90 days after the date the Department issues the Grant Award Notification (GAN).


(c) If a grantee does not have a federally recognized indirect cost rate agreement, the Secretary may permit the grantee to charge its grant for indirect costs at a temporary rate of 10 percent of budgeted direct salaries and wages.


(d)(1) If a grantee fails to submit an indirect cost rate proposal to its cognizant agency within the required 90 days, the grantee may not charge indirect costs to its grant from the end of the 90-day period until it obtains a federally recognized indirect cost rate agreement applicable to the grant.


(2) If the Secretary determines that exceptional circumstances warrant continuation of a temporary indirect cost rate, the Secretary may authorize the grantee to continue charging indirect costs to its grant at the temporary rate specified in paragraph (c) of this section even though the grantee has not submitted its indirect cost rate proposal within the 90-day period.


(3) Once a grantee obtains a federally recognized indirect cost rate that is applicable to the affected grant, the grantee may use that indirect cost rate to claim indirect cost reimbursement for expenditures made on or after the date the grantee submitted its indirect cost proposal to its cognizant agency or the start of the project period, whichever is later. However, this authority is subject to the following limitations:


(i) The total amount of funds recovered by the grantee under the federally recognized indirect cost rate is reduced by the amount of indirect costs previously recovered under the temporary indirect cost rate.


(ii) The grantee must obtain prior approval from the Secretary to shift direct costs to indirect costs in order to recover indirect costs at a higher negotiated indirect cost rate.


(iii) The grantee may not request additional funds to recover indirect costs that it cannot recover by shifting direct costs to indirect costs.


(e) The Secretary accepts an indirect cost rate negotiated by a grantee’s cognizant agency, but may establish a restricted indirect cost rate for a grantee to satisfy the statutory requirements of certain programs administered by the Department.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992; 59 FR 59582, Nov. 17, 1994; 72 FR 69147, Dec. 7, 2007; 79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.561 Approval of indirect cost rates.

(a) If the Department of Education is the cognizant agency, the Secretary approves an indirect cost rate for a grantee other than a local educational agency. For the purposes of this section, the term local educational agency does not include a State agency.


(b) Each State educational agency, on the basis of a plan approved by the Secretary, shall approve an indirect cost rate for each local educational agency that requests it to do so. These rates may be for periods longer than a year if rates are sufficiently stable to justify a longer period.


(c) The Secretary generally approves indirect cost rate agreements annually. Indirect cost rate agreements may be approved for periods longer than a year if the Secretary determines that rates will be sufficiently stable to justify a longer rate period.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 75.562 Indirect cost rates for educational training projects.

(a) Educational training grants provide funding for training or other educational services. Examples of the work supported by training grants are summer institutes, training programs for selected participants, the introduction of new or expanded courses, and similar instructional undertakings that are separately budgeted and accounted for by the sponsoring institution. These grants do not usually support activities involving research, development, and dissemination of new educational materials and methods. Training grants largely implement previously developed materials and methods and require no significant adaptation of techniques or instructional services to fit different circumstances.


(b) The Secretary uses the definition in paragraph (a) to determine which grants are educational training grants.


(c)(1) Indirect cost reimbursement on a training grant is limited to the recipient’s actual indirect costs, as determined in its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less.



Note to paragraph (c)(1):

If the grantee did not have a federally recognized indirect cost rate agreement on the date the training grant was awarded, indirect cost recovery is also limited to the amount authorized under § 75.560(d)(3).


(2) For the purposes of this section, a modified total direct cost base consists of total direct costs minus the following:


(i) The amount of each sub-award in excess of $25,000.


(ii) Stipends.


(iii) Tuition and related fees.


(iv) Equipment, as defined in 2 CFR 200.33.



Note to paragraph (c)(2)(iv):

If the grantee has established a threshold for equipment that is lower than $5,000 for other purposes, it must use that threshold to exclude equipment under the modified total direct cost base for the purposes of this section.


(3) The eight percent indirect cost reimbursement limit specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section also applies to sub-awards that fund training, as determined by the Secretary under paragraph (b) of this section.


(4) The eight percent limit does not apply to agencies of Indian tribal governments, local governments, and States as defined in 2 CFR 200.54, 200.200.64, and 200.90, respectively.


(5) Indirect costs in excess of the eight percent limit may not be charged directly, used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another Federal award.


(d) A grantee using the training rate of eight percent is required to have documentation available for audit that shows that its negotiated indirect cost rate is at least eight percent.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[59 FR 59582, Nov. 17, 1994, as amended at 72 FR 69147, Dec. 7, 2007; 79 FR 76092, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.563 Restricted indirect cost rate – programs covered.

If a grantee decides to charge indirect costs to a program that has a statutory requirement prohibiting the use of Federal funds to supplant non-Federal funds, the grantee shall use a restricted indirect cost rate computed under 34 CFR 76.564 through 76.569.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 75.564 Reimbursement of indirect costs.

(a) Reimbursement of indirect costs is subject to the availability of funds and statutory or administrative restrictions.


(b) The application of the rates and the determination of the direct cost base by a grantee must be in accordance with the indirect cost rate agreement approved by the grantee’s cognizant agency.


(c) Indirect cost reimbursement is not allowable under grants for –


(1) Fellowships and similar awards if Federal financing is exclusively in the form of fixed amounts such as scholarships, stipend allowances, or the tuition and fees of an institution;


(2) Construction grants;


(3) Grants to individuals;


(4) Grants to organizations located outside the territorial limits of the United States;


(5) Grants to Federal organizations; and


(6) Grants made exclusively to support conferences.


(d) Indirect cost reimbursement on grants received under programs with statutory restrictions or other limitations on indirect costs must be made in accordance with the restrictions in 34 CFR 76.564 through 76.569.


(e)(1) Indirect costs for a group of eligible parties (See §§ 75.127 through 75.129) are limited to the amount derived by applying the rate of the applicant, or a restricted rate when applicable, to the direct cost base for the grant in keeping with the terms of the applicant’s federally recognized indirect cost rate agreement.


(2) If a group of eligible parties applies for a training grant under the group application procedures in §§ 75.127 through 75.129, the grant funds allocated among the members of the group are not considered sub-awards for the purposes of applying the indirect cost rate in § 75.562(c).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994, as amended at 72 FR 69148, Dec. 7, 2007]


§ 75.580 Coordination with other activities.

A grantee shall, to the extent possible, coordinate its project with other activities that are in the same geographic area served by the project and that serve similar purposes and target groups.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 2890, and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


Evaluation

§ 75.590 Evaluation by the grantee.

(a) If the application notice for a competition required applicants to describe how they would evaluate their projects, each grantee under that competition must demonstrate to the Department that –


(1) The evaluation meets the standards of the evaluation in the approved application for the project; and


(2) The performance measurement data collected by the grantee and used in the evaluation meet the performance measurement requirements of the approved application.


(b) If the application notice for a competition did not require applicants to describe how they would evaluate their projects, each grantee must provide information in its performance report demonstrating –


(1) The progress made by the grantee in the most recent budget period, including progress based on the performance measurement requirements for the grant, if any;


(2) The effectiveness of the grant, including fulfilling the performance measurement requirements of the approved application, if any; and


(3) The effect of the project on the participants served by the project, if any.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.)

[78 FR 49354, Aug. 13, 2013]


§ 75.591 Federal evaluation – cooperation by a grantee.

A grantee shall cooperate in any evaluation of the program by the Secretary.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 86297, Dec. 30, 1980]


§ 75.592 Federal evaluation – satisfying requirement for grantee evaluation.

If a grantee cooperates in a Federal evaluation of a program, the Secretary may determine that the grantee meets the evaluation requirements of the program, including § 75.590.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Construction


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR part 200.317-200.326 for procurement requirements.

§ 75.600 Use of a grant for construction: Purpose of §§ 75.601-75.615.

Sections 75.601-75.615 apply to:


(a) An applicant that requests funds for construction; and


(b) A grantee whose grant includes funds for construction.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.601 Applicant’s assessment of environmental impact.

An applicant shall include with its application its assessment of the impact of the proposed construction on the quality of the environment in accordance with section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and Executive Order 11514 (34 FR 4247).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.602 Preservation of historic sites must be described in the application.

(a) An applicant shall describe in its application the relationship of the proposed construction to and probable effect on any district, site, building, structure, or object that is:


(1) Included in the National Register of Historic Places; or


(2) Eligible under criteria established by the Secretary of Interior for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.



Cross Reference:

See 36 CFR part 60 for these criteria.


(b) In deciding whether to make a grant, the Secretary considers:


(1) The information provided by the applicant under paragraph (a) of this section; and


(2) Any comments by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.



Cross Reference:

See 36 CFR part 800, which provides for comments from the Council.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.603 Grantee’s title to site.

A grantee must have or obtain a full title or other interest in the site, including right of access, that is sufficient to insure the grantee’s undisturbed use and possession of the facilities for 50 years or the useful life of the facilities, whichever is longer.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.604 Availability of cost-sharing funds.

A grantee shall ensure that sufficient funds are available to meet any non-Federal share of the cost of constructing the facility.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.605 Beginning the construction.

(a) A grantee shall begin work on construction within a reasonable time after the grant for the construction is made.


(b) Before construction is advertised or placed on the market for bidding, the grantee shall get approval by the Secretary of the final working drawings and specifications.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.606 Completing the construction.

(a) A grantee shall complete its construction within a reasonable time.


(b) The grantee shall complete the construction in accordance with the application and approved drawings and specifications.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.607 General considerations in designing facilities and carrying out construction.

(a) A grantee shall insure that the construction is:


(1) Functional;


(2) Economical; and


(3) Not elaborate in design or extravagant in the use of materials, compared with facilities of a similar type constructed in the State or other applicable geographic area.


(b) The grantee shall, in developing plans for the facilities, consider excellence of architecture and design and inclusion of works of art. The grantee may not spend more than one percent of the cost of the project on inclusion of works of art.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.608 Areas in the facilities for cultural activities.

A grantee may make reasonable provision, consistent with the other uses to be made of the facilities, for areas in the facilities that are adaptable for artistic and other cultural activities.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


§ 75.609 Comply with safety and health standards.

In planning for and designing facilities, a grantee shall observe:


(a) The standards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-576) (See 36 CFR part 1910); and


(b) State and local codes, to the extent that they are more stringent.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.610 Access by the handicapped.

A grantee shall comply with the Federal regulations on access by the handicapped that apply to construction and alteration of facilities. These regulations are:


(a) For residential facilities – 24 CFR part 40; and


(b) For non-residential facilities – 41 CFR subpart 101-19.6.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.611 Avoidance of flood hazards.

In planning the construction, a grantee shall, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 11988 of February 10, 1978 (43 FR 6030) and rules and regulations that may be issued by the Secretary to carry out those provisions:


(a) Evaluate flood hazards in connection with the construction; and


(b) As far as practicable, avoid uneconomic, hazardous, or unnecessary use of flood plains in connection with the construction.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.612 Supervision and inspection by the grantee.

A grantee shall maintain competent architectural engineering supervision and inspection at the construction site to insure that the work conforms to the approved drawings and specifications.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.613 Relocation assistance by the grantee.

A grantee is subject to the regulations on relocation assistance and real property acquisition in 34 CFR part 15.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.614 Grantee must have operational funds.

A grantee shall insure that, when construction is completed, sufficient funds will be available for effective operation and maintenance of the facilities.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.615 Operation and maintenance by the grantee.

A grantee shall operate and maintain the facilities in accordance with applicable Federal, State, and local requirements.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.616 Energy conservation.

(a) To the extent feasible, a grantee shall design and construct facilities to maximize the efficient use of energy.


(b) The following standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) are incorporated by reference in this section:


(1) ASHRAE-90 A-1980 (Sections 1-9).


(2) ASHRAE-90 B-1975 (Sections 10-11).


(3) ASHRAE-90 C-1977 (Section 12).


Incorporation by reference of these provisions has been approved by the Director of the Office of the Federal Register pursuant to the Director’s authority under 5 U.S.C. 552 (a) and 1 CFR part 51. The incorporated document is on file at the Department of Education, Grants and Contracts Service, rm. 3636 ROB-3, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4700 or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html. These standards may be obtained from the publication sales department at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1791 Tullie Circle, NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

(c) A grantee shall comply with ASHRAE standards listed in paragraph (b) of this section in designing and constructing facilities built with project funds.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474, 42 U.S.C. 8373(b), and E.O. 12185)

[57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992, as amended at 69 FR 18803, Apr. 9, 2004]


§ 75.617 Compliance with the Coastal Barrier Resources Act.

A recipient may not use, within the Coastal Barrier Resources System, funds made available under a program administered by the Secretary for any purpose prohibited by 31 U.S.C. chapter 55 (sections 3501-3510).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474, 31 U.S.C. 3504, 3505)

[57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


Equipment and Supplies


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.311, Real property; 200.313, Equipment; 200.314, Supplies; and 200.59, Intangible property; and 200.315, Intangible property.

§ 75.618 Charges for use of equipment or supplies.

A grantee may not charge students or school personnel for the ordinary use of equipment or supplies purchased with grant funds.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Publications and Copyrights

§ 75.620 General conditions on publication.

(a) Content of materials. Subject to any specific requirements that apply to its grant, a grantee may decide the format and content of project materials that it publishes or arranges to have published.


(b) Required statement. The grantee shall ensure that any publication that contains project materials also contains the following statements:



The contents of this (insert type of publication; e.g., book, report, film) were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86297, Dec. 30, 1980]


§ 75.621 [Reserved]

§ 75.622 Definition of “project materials.”

As used in §§ 75.620-75.621, “project materials” means a copyrightable work developed with funds from a grant of the Department.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


Inventions and Patents


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.307, Program income.

§ 75.626 Show Federal support; give papers to vest title.

Any patent application filed by a grantee for an invention made under a grant must include the following statement in the first paragraph:



The invention described in this application was made under a grant from the Department of Education.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86297, Dec. 30, 1980; 57 FR 30339, July 8, 1992]


Other Requirements for Certain Projects


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.302, Financial management, and 200.326, Contract provisions.

§ 75.650 Participation of students enrolled in private schools.

If the authorizing statute for a program requires a grantee to provide for participation by students enrolled in private schools, the grantee shall provide a genuine opportunity for equitable participation in accordance with the requirements that apply to subgrantees under 34 CFR 76.650-76.662.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.681 Protection of human research subjects.

If a grantee uses a human subject in a research project, the grantee shall protect the person from physical, psychological, or social injury resulting from the project.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 34 CFR part 97 – Protection of Human Subjects.


§ 75.682 Treatment of animals.

If a grantee uses an animal in a project, the grantee shall provide the animal with proper care and humane treatment in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act of 1970.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.683 Health or safety standards for facilities.

A grantee shall comply with any Federal health or safety requirements that apply to the facilities that the grantee uses for the project.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.684 Severability.

If any provision of this subpart or its application to any person, act, or practice is held invalid, the remainder of the subpart or the application of its provisions to any person, act, or practice shall not be affected thereby.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[85 FR 59979, Sept. 23, 2020]


Subpart F – What Are the Administrative Responsibilities of a Grantee?

General Administrative Responsibilities

§ 75.700 Compliance with the U.S. Constitution, statutes, regulations, stated institutional policies, and applications.

A grantee shall comply with § 75.500, applicable statutes, regulations, and approved applications, and shall use Federal funds in accordance with those statutes, regulations, and applications.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[85 FR 59979, Sept. 23, 2020]


§ 75.701 The grantee administers or supervises the project.

A grantee shall directly administer or supervise the administration of the project.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.702 Fiscal control and fund accounting procedures.

A grantee shall use fiscal control and fund accounting procedures that insure proper disbursement of, and accounting for, Federal funds as required in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.703 Obligation of funds during the grant period.

A grantee may use grant funds only for obligations it makes during the grant period.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.707 When obligations are made.

The following table shows when a grantee makes obligations for various kinds of property and services.


If the obligation is for –
The obligation is made –
(a) Acquisition of real or personal propertyOn the date the grantee makes a binding written commitment to acquire the property.
(b) Personal services by an employee of the granteeWhen the services are performed.
(c) Personnal services by a contractor who is not an employee of the granteeOn the date on which the grantee makes a binding written commitment to obtain the services.
(d) Performance of work other than personal servicesOn the date on which the grantee makes a binding written commitment to obtain the work.
(e) Public utility servicesWhen the grantee receives the services.
(f) TravelWhen the travel is taken.
(g) Rental of real or personal propertyWhen the grantee uses the property.
(h) A pre-agreement cost that was properly approved by the Secretary under the cost principles in 2 CFR part 200, Subpart E – Cost PrinciplesOn the first day of the project period.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30340, July 8, 1992; 79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.708 Subgrants.

(a) A grantee may not make a subgrant under a program covered by this part unless authorized by statute or by paragraph (b) of this section.


(b) The Secretary may, through an announcement in the Federal Register, authorize subgrants when necessary to meet the purposes of a program. In this announcement, the Secretary will –


(1) Designate the types of entities, e.g., State educational agencies, local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations, to which subgrants can be awarded; and


(2) Indicate whether subgrants can be made to entities identified in an approved application or, without regard to whether the entity is identified in an approved application, have to be selected through a competitive process set out in subgranting procedures established by the grantee.


(c) If authorized under paragraph (b) of this section, a subgrant is allowed if it will be used by that entity to directly carry out project activities described in that application.


(d) The grantee, in awarding subgrants under paragraph (b) of this section, must –


(1) Ensure that subgrants are awarded on the basis of an approved budget that is consistent with the grantee’s approved application and all applicable Federal statutory, regulatory, and other requirements;


(2) Ensure that every subgrant includes any conditions required by Federal statute and executive orders and their implementing regulations; and


(3) Ensure that subgrantees are aware of requirements imposed upon them by Federal statute and regulation, including the Federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Department.


(e) A grantee may contract for supplies, equipment, construction, and other services, in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements (2 CFR 200.317-200.326, Procurement Standards).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987; 64 FR 50392, Sept. 16, 1999; 78 FR 49534, Aug. 13, 2013; 79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§§ 75.712-75.713 [Reserved]

§ 75.714 Subgrants, contracts, and other agreements with faith-based organizations.

If a grantee under a discretionary grant program of the Department has the authority under the grant to select a private organization to provide services supported by direct Federal financial assistance under the program by subgrant, contract, or other agreement, the grantee must ensure compliance with applicable Federal requirements governing contracts, grants, and other agreements with faith-based organizations, including, as applicable, §§ 75.52 and 75.532, appendices A and B to this part, and 2 CFR 3474.15. If the pass-through entity is a nongovernmental organization, it retains all other rights of a nongovernmental organization under the program’s statutory and regulatory provisions.


[85 FR 82128, Dec. 17, 2020]


Reports


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.327-200.337, which appear after the undesignated center heading “Performance and Financial Monitoring and Reporting.”

§ 75.720 Financial and performance reports.

(a) This section applies to the reports required under –


(1) 2 CFR 200.327 (Financial reporting); and


(2) 2 CFR 200.328 (Monitoring and reporting program performance).


(b) A grantee shall submit these reports annually, unless the Secretary allows less frequent reporting.


(c) The Secretary may require a grantee to report more frequently than annually, as authorized under 2 CFR 200.207, Specific conditions, and may impose high-risk conditions in appropriate circumstances under 2 CFR 3474.10.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.721 [Reserved]

Records


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.333-200.337, which follow the undesignated center heading “Record Retention and Access.”

§ 75.730 Records related to grant funds.

A grantee shall keep records that fully show:


(a) The amount of funds under the grant;


(b) How the grantee uses the funds;


(c) The total cost of the project;


(d) The share of that cost provided from other sources; and


(e) Other records to facilitate an effective audit.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0513)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 49143, Dec. 6, 1988]


§ 75.731 Records related to compliance.

A grantee shall keep records to show its compliance with program requirements.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.732 Records related to performance.

(a) A grantee shall keep records of significant project experiences and results.


(b) The grantee shall use the records under paragraph (a) to:


(1) Determine progress in accomplishing project objectives; and


(2) Revise those objectives, if necessary.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0513)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.308, Revision of budget and program plans.


[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 49143, Dec. 6, 1988]


§ 75.733 [Reserved]

Privacy

§ 75.740 Protection of and access to student records; student rights in research, experimental programs, and testing.

(a) Most records on present or past students are subject to the requirements of section 444 of GEPA and its implementing regulations in 34 CFR part 99. (Section 444 is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.)


(b) Under most programs administered by the Secretary, research, experimentation, and testing are subject to the requirements of section 445 of GEPA and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR part 98.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1232g, 1232h, and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30340, July 8, 1992; 60 FR 46493, Sept. 6, 1995]


§ 75.741 Severability.

If any provision of this subpart or its application to any person, act, or practice is held invalid, the remainder of the subpart or the application of its provisions to any person, act, or practice shall not be affected thereby.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[85 FR 59979, Sept. 23, 2020]


Subpart G – What Procedures Does the Department Use To Get Compliance?


Cross Reference:

See 2 CFR 200.338-200.342 which follow the undesignated center heading “Remedies for Noncompliance.”

§ 75.900 Waiver of regulations prohibited.

(a) No official, agent, or employee of ED may waive any regulation that applies to a Department program, unless the regulation specifically provides that it may be waived.


(b) No act or failure to act by an official, agent, or employee of ED can affect the authority of the Secretary to enforce regulations.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 75.901 Suspension and termination.

The Secretary may use the Office of Administrative Law Judges to resolve disputes that are not subject to other procedures. See, for cross-reference, the following:


(a) 2 CFR 200.338 (Remedies for noncompliance).


(b) 2 CFR 200.339 (Termination).


(c) 2 CFR 200.340 (Notification of termination requirement).


(d) 2 CFR 200.341 (Opportunities to object, hearings and appeals).


(e) 2 CFR 200.342 (Effects of suspension and termination).


(f) 2 CFR 200.344 (Post-closeout adjustments and continuing responsibilities).


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.902 [Reserved]

§ 75.903 Effective date of termination.

Termination is effective on the latest of:


(a) The date of delivery to the grantee of the notice of termination;


(b) The termination date given in the notice of termination; or


(c) The date of a final decision of the Secretary under part 81 of this title.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86298, Dec. 30, 1980; 79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 75.910 [Reserved]

Appendix A to Part 75 – Notice or Announcement of Award Opportunities

(a) Faith-based organizations may apply for this award on the same basis as any other organization, as set forth at, and subject to the protections and requirements of, this part and 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq. The Department will not, in the selection of recipients, discriminate against an organization on the basis of the organization’s religious character, affiliation, or exercise.


(b) A faith-based organization that participates in this program will retain its independence from the Government and may continue to carry out its mission consistent with religious freedom and conscience protections in Federal law, including the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the Constitution, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq., 238n, 18113, 2000e-1(a) and 2000e-2(e), and 12113(d), and the Weldon Amendment, among others. Religious accommodations may also be sought under many of these religious freedom and conscience protection laws.


(c) A faith-based organization may not use direct financial assistance from the Department in contravention of the Establishment Clause or any other applicable requirements. Such an organization also may not, in providing services funded by the Department, discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice.


[85 FR 82128, Dec. 17, 2020]


Appendix B to Part 75 – Notice of Award or Contract

(a) A faith-based organization that participates in this program retains its independence from the Government and may continue to carry out its mission consistent with religious freedom and conscience protections in Federal law, including the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the Constitution, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq., 238n, 18113, 2000e-1(a) and 2000e-2(e), and 12113(d), and the Weldon Amendment, among others. Religious accommodations may also be sought under many of these religious freedom and conscience protection laws.


(b) A faith-based organization may not use direct financial assistance from the Department in contravention of the Establishment Clause or any other applicable requirements. Such an organization also may not, in providing services funded by the Department, discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice.


[85 FR 82128, Dec. 17, 2020]


PART 76 – STATE-ADMINISTERED PROGRAMS


Authority:20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474, unless otherwise noted.


Source:45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980.

Subpart A – General

Regulations That Apply to State-Administered Programs

§ 76.1 Programs to which part 76 applies.

(a) The regulations in part 76 apply to each State-administered program of the Department.


(b) If a State formula grant program does not have implementing regulations, the Secretary implements the program under the authorizing statute and, to the extent consistent with the authorizing statute, under the General Education Provisions Act and the regulations in this part. For the purposes of this part, the term State formula grant program means a program whose authorizing statute or implementing regulations provide a formula for allocating program funds among eligible States.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 84059, Dec. 22, 1980; 50 FR 29330, July 18, 1985; 52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987; 54 FR 21776, May 19, 1989; 55 FR 14816, Apr. 18, 1990]


§ 76.2 Exceptions in program regulations to part 76.

If a program has regulations that are not consistent with part 76, the implementing regulations for that program identify the sections of part 76 that do not apply.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 54 FR 21776, May 19, 1989]


Eligibility for a Grant or Subgrant

§ 76.50 Statutes determine eligibility and whether subgrants are made.

(a) Under a program covered by this part, the Secretary makes a grant:


(1) To the State agency designated by the authorizing statute for the program; or


(2) To the State agency designated by the State in accordance with the authorizing statute.


(b) The authorizing statute determines the extent to which a State may:


(1) Use grant funds directly; and


(2) Make subgrants to eligible applicants.


(c) The regulations in part 76 on subgrants apply to a program only if subgrants are authorized under that program.


(d) The authorizing statute determines the eligibility of an applicant for a subgrant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987; 54 FR 21776, May 19, 1989]


§ 76.51 A State distributes funds by formula or competition.

If a program statute authorizes a State to make subgrants, the statute:


(a) Requires the State to use a formula to distribute funds;


(b) Gives the State discretion to select subgrantees through a competition among the applicants or through some other procedure; or


(c) Allows some combination of these procedures.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 54 FR 21776, May 19, 1989]


§ 76.52 Eligibility of faith-based organizations for a subgrant and nondiscrimination against those organizations.

(a)(1) A faith-based organization is eligible to apply for and to receive a subgrant under a program of the Department on the same basis as any other private organization, with respect to programs for which such other organizations are eligible and considering any permissible accommodation. A State pass-through entity shall provide such religious accommodation as would be required to a recipient under Federal law, the Attorney General’s Memorandum of October 6, 2017 (Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty), and the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


(2) In the selection of subgrantees and contractors, States may not discriminate for or against a private organization on the basis of the organization’s religious character, affiliation, or exercise and must ensure that all decisions about subgrants are free from political interference, or even the appearance of such interference, and are made on the basis of merit, not on the basis of religion or religious belief, or a lack thereof. Notices or announcements of award opportunities and notices of award or contracts shall include language substantially similar to that in appendices A and B, respectively, to 34 CFR part 75.


(3) No grant document, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, policy, or regulation that is used by States in administering a program of the Department shall require faith-based organizations to provide assurances or notices where they are not required of non-faith-based organizations. Any restrictions on the use of subgrant funds shall apply equally to faith-based and non-faith-based organizations. All organizations that receive a subgrant from a State under a State-Administered Formula Grant program of the Department, including organizations with religious character or affiliation, must carry out eligible activities in accordance with all program requirements, subject to any required or appropriate religious accommodation, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of Department-funded activities, including those prohibiting the use of direct financial assistance in contravention of the Establishment Clause.


(4) No grant document, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, policy, or regulation that is used by States shall disqualify faith-based organizations from applying for or receiving subgrants under a State-Administered Formula Grant program of the Department because such organizations are motivated or influenced by religious faith to provide social services, or because of their religious character or affiliation, or on grounds that discriminate against organizations on the basis of the organizations’ religious exercise.


(b) The provisions of § 76.532 apply to a faith-based organization that receives a subgrant from a State under a State-Administered Formula Grant program of the Department.


(c)(1) A private organization that applies for and receives a subgrant under a program of the Department and engages in explicitly religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, must offer those activities separately in time or location from any programs or services funded by a subgrant from a State under a State-Administered Formula Grant program of the Department. Attendance or participation in any such explicitly religious activities by beneficiaries of the programs and services supported by the subgrant must be voluntary.


(2) The limitations on explicitly religious activities under paragraph (c)(1) of this section do not apply to a faith-based organization that provides services to a beneficiary under a program supported only by “indirect Federal financial assistance.”


(3) For purposes of 2 CFR 3474.15, this section, and § 76.714, the following definitions apply:


(i) Direct Federal financial assistance means financial assistance received by an entity selected by the Government or a pass-through entity (under this part) to carry out a service (e.g., by contract, grant, or cooperative agreement). References to “Federal financial assistance” will be deemed to be references to direct Federal financial assistance, unless the referenced assistance meets the definition of “indirect Federal financial assistance.”


(ii) Indirect Federal financial assistance means financial assistance received by a service provider when the service provider is paid for services rendered by means of a voucher, certificate, or other means of government-funded payment provided to a beneficiary who is able to make a choice of service provider. Federal financial assistance provided to an organization is indirect under this definition if –


(A) The government program through which the beneficiary receives the voucher, certificate, or other similar means of government-funded payment is neutral toward religion; and


(B) The organization receives the assistance as the result of the genuine, independent choice of the beneficiary.


(iii) Federal financial assistance does not include a tax credit, deduction, exemption, guaranty contract, or the use of any assistance by any individual who is the ultimate beneficiary under any such program.


(iv) Pass-through entity means an entity, including a nonprofit or nongovernmental organization, acting under a contract, grant, or other agreement with the Federal Government or with a State or local government, such as a State administering agency, that accepts direct Federal financial assistance as a primary recipient or grantee and distributes that assistance to other organizations that, in turn, provide government-funded social services.


(v) Religious exercise has the meaning given to the term in 42 U.S.C. 2000cc-5(7)(A).


(vi) Discriminate against an organization on the basis of the organization’s religious exercise means to disfavor an organization, including by failing to select an organization, disqualifying an organization, or imposing any condition or selection criterion that otherwise disfavors or penalizes an organization in the selection process or has such an effect because of:


(A) Conduct that would not be considered grounds to disfavor a secular organization,


(B) Conduct that must or could be granted an appropriate accommodation in a manner consistent with RFRA (42 U.S.C. 2000bb through 2000bb-4) or the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution, or


(C) The actual or suspected religious motivation of the organization’s religious exercise.



Note 1 to paragraph (c)(3):

The definitions of direct Federal financial assistance and indirect Federal financial assistance do not change the extent to which an organization is considered a recipient of Federal financial assistance as those terms are defined under 34 CFR parts 100, 104, 106, and 110.


(d)(1) A faith-based organization that applies for or receives a subgrant from a State under a State-Administered Formula Grant program of the Department will retain its independence, autonomy, right of expression, religious character, and authority over its governance. A faith-based organization that receives Federal financial assistance from the Department does not lose the protection of law.



Note 1 to paragraph (d)(1):

Memorandum for All Executive Departments and Agencies, From the Attorney General, “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty” (Oct. 6, 2017) (describing Federal law protections for religious liberty).


(2) A faith-based organization that applies for or receives a subgrant from a State under a State-Administered Formula Grant program of the Department may, among other things –


(i) Retain religious terms in its name;


(ii) Continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs;


(iii) Use its facilities to provide services without concealing, removing, or altering religious art, icons, scriptures, or other symbols from these facilities;


(iv) Select its board members and employees on the basis of their acceptance of or adherence to the religious tenets of the organization; and


(v) Include religious references in its mission statement and other chartering or governing documents.


(e) An organization that receives any Federal financial assistance under a program of the Department shall not discriminate against a beneficiary or prospective beneficiary in the provision of program services or in outreach activities on the basis of religion or religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice. However, an organization that participates in a program funded by indirect financial assistance need not modify its program activities to accommodate a beneficiary who chooses to expend the indirect aid on the organization’s program and may require attendance at all activities that are fundamental to the program.


(f) If a State or subgrantee contributes its own funds in excess of those funds required by a matching or grant agreement to supplement federally funded activities, the State or subgrantee has the option to segregate those additional funds or commingle them with the funds required by the matching requirements or grant agreement. However, if the additional funds are commingled, this section applies to all of the commingled funds.


(g) A religious organization’s exemption from the Federal prohibition on employment discrimination on the basis of religion, in section 702(a) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-1, is not forfeited when the organization receives Federal financial assistance from the Department. An organization qualifying for such exemption may select its employees on the basis of their acceptance of or adherence to the religious tenets of the organization.


(h) The Department shall not construe these provisions in such a way as to advantage or disadvantage faith-based organizations affiliated with historic or well-established religions or sects in comparison with other religions or sects.


[85 FR 82128, Dec. 17, 2020]


§ 76.53 Severability.

If any provision of this subpart or its application to any person, act, or practice is held invalid, the remainder of the subpart or the application of its provisions to any person, act, or practice shall not be affected thereby.


[85 FR 82130, Dec. 17, 2020]


Subpart B – How a State Applies for a Grant

State Plans and Applications

§ 76.100 Effect of this subpart.

This subpart establishes general requirements that a State must meet to apply for a grant under a program covered by this part. Additional requirements are in the authorizing statute and the implementing regulations for the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987]


§ 76.101 The general State application.

A State that makes subgrants to local educational agencies under a program subject to this part shall have on file with the Secretary a general application that meets the requirements of section 441 of the General Education Provisions Act.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1232d, and 3474)

[52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 46493, Sept. 6, 1995]


§ 76.102 Definition of “State plan” for part 76.

As used in this part, State plan means any of the following documents:


Document
Program
Authorizing statute
Principal Office
State planAssistance to States for Education of Handicapped ChildrenPart B (except section 619), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1411-1420)OSERS
ApplicationPreschool GrantsSection 619, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1419)OSERS
ApplicationHandicapped Infants and ToddlersPart H, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1471-1485)OSERS
Application or written request for assistanceClient Assistance ProgramSection 112, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 732)OSERS
ApplicationRemoval of Architectural Barriers to the Handicapped ProgramSection 607, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1406)OSERS
State planState Vocational Rehabilitation Services ProgramTitle I, Parts A-C, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 720-741)OSERS
State plan supplementState Supported Employment Services ProgramTitle VI, Part C, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 795j-795r)OSERS
State planState Independent Living Services ProgramTitle VII, Part A, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796-796d)OSERS
State planState Vocational Education ProgramTitle I, Part B, Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act (20 U.S.C. 2321-2325)OVAE
State plan and applicationState-Administered Adult Education ProgramSection 341, Adult Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1206)OVAE
State planEven Start Family Literacy ProgramTitle I, Chapter 1, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 2741-2749)OESE
State applicationState Grants for Strengthening Instruction in Mathematics and ScienceTitle II, Part A, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2981-2993)OESE
State applicationFederal, State and Local Partnership for Educational ImprovementTitle I, Chapter 2, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2911-2952 and 2971-2976)OESE
State plan or applicationMigrant Education ProgramSections 1201, 1202, Chapter 1, Title I, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2781 and 2782)OESE
ApplicationState Student Incentive Grant ProgramSection 415C, Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070c-2)OPE
ApplicationPaul Douglas Teacher Scholarship ProgramSection 553, Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1111b)OPE
Basic State plan, long-range program, and annual programThe Library Services and Construction Act State-Administered ProgramLibrary Services and Construction Act (20 U.S.C. 351-355e-3)OERI
ApplicationEmergency Immigrant Education ProgramEmergency Immigrant Education Act (20 U.S.C. 3121-3130)OBEMLA
ApplicationTransition Program for Refugee ChildrenSection 412(d) Immigration and Naturalization Act (8 U.S.C. 1522 (d))OBEMLA
Any document that the authorizing statute for a State-administered program requires a State to submit to receive fundsAny State-administered program without implementing regulationsSection 408(a)(1), General Education Provisions Act and Section 414, Department of Education Organization Act (20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 3474)Dept-wide

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[57 FR 30340, July 8, 1992]


§ 76.103 Multi-year State plans.

(a) Beginning with fiscal year 1996, each State plan will be effective for a period of more than one fiscal year, to be determined by the Secretary or by regulations.


(b) If the Secretary determines that the multi-year State plans under a program should be submitted by the States on a staggered schedule, the Secretary may require groups of States to submit or resubmit their plans in different years.


(c) This section does not apply to:


(1) The annual accountability report under part A of title I of the Vocational Education Act;


(2) The annual programs under the Library Services and Construction Act;


(3) The application under sections 141-143 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and


(4) The State application under section 209 of title II of the Education for Economic Security Act.


(d) A State may submit an annual State plan under the Vocational Education Act. If a State submits an annual plan under that program, this section does not apply to that plan.



Note:

This section is based on a provision in the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA). Section 427 of the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA), 20 U.S.C. 3487, provides that except to the extent inconsistent with the DEOA, the GEPA “shall apply to functions transferred by this Act to the extent applicable on the day preceding the effective date of this Act.” Although standardized nomenclature is used in this section to reflect the creation of the Department of Education, there is no intent to extend the coverage of the GEPA beyond that authorized under section 427 or other applicable law.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1231g(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86296, Dec. 30, 1980; 50 FR 43545, Oct. 25, 1985; 60 FR 46493, Sept. 6, 1995]


§ 76.104 A State shall include certain certifications in its State plan.

(a) A State shall include the following certifications in each State plan:


(1) That the plan is submitted by the State agency that is eligible to submit the plan.


(2) That the State agency has authority under State law to perform the functions of the State under the program.


(3) That the State legally may carry out each provision of the plan.


(4) That all provisions of the plan are consistent with State law.


(5) That a State officer, specified by title in the certification, has authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under the plan.


(6) That the State officer who submits the plan, specified by title in the certification, has authority to submit the plan.


(7) That the agency that submits the plan has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan.


(8) That the plan is the basis for State operation and administration of the program.


(b) [Reserved]


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 76.106 State documents are public information.

A State shall make the following documents available for public inspection:


(a) All State plans and related official materials.


(b) All approved subgrant applications.


(c) All documents that the Secretary transmits to the State regarding a program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Consolidated Grant Applications for Insular Areas


Authority:Title V, Pub. L. 95-134, 91 Stat. 1159 (48 U.S.C. 1469a).

§ 76.125 What is the purpose of these regulations?

(a) Sections 76.125 through 76.137 of this part contain requirements for the submission of an application by an Insular Area for the consolidation of two or more grants under the programs described in paragraph (c) of this section.


(b) For the purpose of §§ 76.125-76.137 of this part the term Insular Area means the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.


(c) The Secretary may make an annual consolidated grant to assist an Insular Area in carrying out one or more State-administered formula grant programs of the Department.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982, as amended at 54 FR 21776, May 19, 1989; 57 FR 30341, July 8, 1992]


§ 76.126 What regulations apply to the consolidated grant applications for insular areas?

The following regulations apply to those programs included in a consolidated grant:


(a) The regulations in §§ 76.125 through 76.137; and


(b) The regulations that apply to each specific program included in a consolidated grant for which funds are used.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.127 What is the purpose of a consolidated grant?

An Insular Area may apply for a consolidated grant for two or more of the programs listed in § 76.125(c). This procedure is intended to:


(a) Simplify the application and reporting procedures that would otherwise apply for each of the programs included in the consolidated grant; and


(b) Provide the Insular Area with flexibility in allocating the funds under the consolidated grant to achieve any of the purposes to be served by the programs that are consolidated.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.128 What is a consolidated grant?

A consolidated grant is a grant to an Insular Area for any two or more of the programs listed in § 76.125(c). The amount of the consolidated grant is the sum of the allocations the Insular Area receives under each of the programs included in the consolidated grant if there had been no consolidation.



Example.Assume the Virgin Islands applies for a consolidated grant that includes programs under the Adult Education Act, Vocational Education Act, and Chapter 1 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act. If the Virgin Islands’ allocation under the formula for each of these three programs is $150,000; the total consolidated grant to the Virgin Islands would be $450,000.

(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.129 How does a consolidated grant work?

(a) An Insular Area shall use the funds it receives under a consolidated grant to carry out, in its jurisdiction, one or more of the programs included in the grant.



Example.Assume that Guam applies for a consolidated grant under the Vocational Education Act, the Handicapped Preschool and School Programs-Incentive Grants, and the Adult Education Act and that the sum of the allocations under these programs is $700,000. Guam may choose to allocate this $700,000 among all of the programs authorized under the three programs. Alternatively, it may choose to allocate the entire $700,000 to one or two of the programs; for example, the Adult Education Act Program.

(b) An Insular Area shall comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to each program under which funds from the consolidated grant are expended.



Example.Assume that American Samoa uses part of the funds under a consolidated grant for the State program under the Adult Education Act. American Samoa need not submit to the Secretary a State plan that requires policies and procedures to assure all students equal access to adult education programs. However, in carrying out the program, American Samoa must meet and be able to demonstrate compliance with this equal access requirement.

(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.130 How are consolidated grants made?

(a) The Secretary annually makes a single consolidated grant to each Insular Area that meets the requirements of §§ 76.125 through 76.137 and each program under which the grant funds are to be used and administered.


(b) The Secretary may decide that one or more programs cannot be included in the consolidated grant if the Secretary determines that the Insular Area failed to meet the program objectives stated in its plan for the previous fiscal year in which it carried out the programs.


(c) Under a consolidated grant, an Insular Area may use a single advisory council for any or all of the programs that require an advisory council.


(d) Although Pub. L. 95-134 authorizies the Secretary to consolidate grant funds that the Department awards to an Insular Area, it does not confer eligibility for any grant funds. The eligibility of a particular Insular Area to receive grant funds under a Federal education program is determined under the statute and regulations for that program.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.131 How does an insular area apply for a consolidated grant?

(a) An Insular Area that desires to apply for a grant consolidating two or more programs listed in § 76.125(c) shall submit to the Secretary an application that:


(1) Contains the assurances in § 76.132; and


(2) Meets the application requirements in paragraph (c) of this section.


(b) The submission of an application that contains these requirements and assurances takes the place of a separate State plan or other similar document required by this part or by the authorizing statutes and regulations for programs included in the consolidated grant.


(c) An Insular Area shall include in its consolidated grant application a program plan that:


(1) Contains a list of the programs in § 76.125(c) to be included in the consolidated grant;


(2) Describes the program or programs in § 76.125(c) under which the consolidated grant funds will be used and administered;


(3) Describes the goals, objectives, activities, and the means of evaluating program outcomes for the programs for which the Insular Area will use the funds received under the consolidated grant during the fiscal year for which it submits the application, including needs of the population that will be met by the consolidation of funds; and


(4) Contains a budget that includes a description of the allocation of funds – including any anticipated carryover funds of the program in the consolidated grant from the preceding year – among the programs to be included in the consolidated grant.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0513)

(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982, as amended at 53 FR 49143, Dec. 6, 1988]


§ 76.132 What assurances must be in a consolidated grant application?

(a) An Insular Area shall include in its consolidated grant application assurances to the Secretary that it will:


(1) Follow policies and use administrative practices that will insure that non-Federal funds will not be supplanted by Federal funds made available under the authority of the programs in the consolidated grant;


(2) Comply with the requirements (except those relating to the submission of State plans or similar documents) in the authorizing statutes and implementing regulations for the programs under which funds are to be used and administered, (except requirements for matching funds);


(3) Provide for proper and efficient administration of funds in accordance with the authorizing statutes and implementing regulations for those programs under which funds are to be used and administered;


(4) Provide for fiscal control and fund accounting procedures to assure proper disbursement of, and accounting for, Federal funds received under the consolidated grant;


(5) Submit an annual report to the Secretary containing information covering the program or programs for which the grant is used and administered, including the financial and program performance information required under 2 CFR 200.327 and 200.328.


(6) Provide that funds received under the consolidated grant will be under control of, and that title to property acquired with these funds will be in, a public agency, institution, or organization. The public agency shall administer these funds and property;


(7) Keep records, including a copy of the State Plan or application document under which funds are to be spent, which show how the funds received under the consolidated grant have been spent.


(8) Adopt and use methods of monitoring and providing technical assistance to any agencies, organizations, or institutions that carry out the programs under the consolidated grant and enforce any obligations imposed on them under the applicable statutes and regulations.


(9) Evaluate the effectiveness of these programs in meeting the purposes and objectives in the authorizing statutes under which program funds are used and administered;


(10) Conduct evaluations of these programs at intervals and in accordance with procedures the Secretary may prescribe; and


(11) Provide appropriate opportunities for participation by local agencies, representatives of the groups affected by the programs, and other interested institutions, organizations, and individuals in planning and operating the programs.


(b) These assurances remain in effect for the duration of the programs they cover.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982, as amended at 64 FR 50392, Sept. 16, 1999; 79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 76.133 What is the reallocation authority?

(a) After an Insular Area receives a consolidated grant, it may reallocate the funds in a manner different from the allocation described in its consolidated grant application. However, the funds cannot be used for purposes that are not authorized under the programs in the consolidated grant under which funds are to be used and administered.


(b) If an Insular Area decides to reallocate the funds it receives under a consolidated grant, it shall notify the Secretary by amending its original application to include an update of the information required under § 76.131.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.134 What is the relationship between consolidated and non-consolidated grants?

(a) An Insular Area may request that any number of programs in § 76.125(c) be included in its consolidated grant and may apply separately for assistance under any other programs listed in § 76.125(c) for which it is eligible.


(b) Those programs that an Insular Area decides to exclude from consolidation – for which it must submit separate plans or applications – are implemented in accordance with the applicable program statutes and regulations. The excluded programs are not subject to the provisions for allocation of funds among programs in a consolidated grant.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.135 Are there any requirements for matching funds?

The Secretary waives all requirements for matching funds for those programs that are consolidated by an Insular Area in a consolidated grant application.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982]


§ 76.136 Under what programs may consolidated grant funds be spent?

Insular Areas may only use and administer funds under programs described in § 76.125(c) during a fiscal year for which the Insular Area is entitled to receive funds under an appropriation for that program.


(Authority: 48 U.S.C. 1469a)

[47 FR 17421, Apr. 22, 1982, as amended at 57 FR 30341, July 8, 1992]


§ 76.137 How may carryover funds be used under the consolidated grant application?

Any funds under any applicable program which are available for obligation and expenditure in the year succeeding the fiscal year for which they are appropriated must be obligated and expended in accordance with the consolidated grant application submitted by the Insular Area for that program for the succeeding fiscal year.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1225(b); 48 U.S.C. 1469a)


Amendments

§ 76.140 Amendments to a State plan.

(a) If the Secretary determines that an amendment to a State plan is essential during the effective period of the plan, the State shall make the amendment.


(b) A State shall also amend a State plan if there is a significant and relevant change in:


(1) The information or the assurances in the plan;


(2) The administration or operation of the plan; or


(3) The organization, policies, or operations of the State agency that received the grant, if the change materially affects the information or assurances in the plan.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1231g(a), and 3474)


§ 76.141 An amendment requires the same procedures as the document being amended.

If a State amends a State plan under § 76.140, the State shall use the same procedures as those it must use to prepare and submit a State plan.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 76.142 An amendment is approved on the same basis as the document being amended.

The Secretary uses the same procedures to approve an amendment to a State plan – or any other document a State submits – as the Secretary uses to approve the original document.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Subpart C – How a Grant Is Made to a State

Approval or Disapproval by the Secretary

§ 76.201 A State plan must meet all statutory and regulatory requirements.

The Secretary approves a State plan if it meets the requirements of the Federal statutes and regulations that apply to the plan.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 76.202 Opportunity for a hearing before a State plan is disapproved.

The Secretary may disapprove a State plan only after:


(a) Notifying the State;


(b) Offering the State a reasonable opportunity for a hearing; and


(c) Holding the hearing, if requested by the State.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 76.235 The notification of grant award.

(a) To make a grant to a State, the Secretary issues and sends to the State a notification of grant award.


(b) The notification of grant award tells the amount of the grant and provides other information about the grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Allotments and Reallotments of Grant Funds

§ 76.260 Allotments are made under program statute or regulations.

(a) The Secretary allots program funds to a State in accordance with the authorizing statute or implementing regulations for the program.


(b) Any reallotment to other States will be made by the Secretary in accordance with the authorizing statute or implementing regulations for that program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 3474(a))

[50 FR 29330, July 18, 1985]


§ 76.261 Reallotted funds are part of a State’s grant.

Funds that a State receives as a result of a reallotment are part of the State’s grant for the appropriate fiscal year. However, the Secretary does not consider a reallotment in determining the maximum or minimum amount to which a State is entitled for a following fiscal year.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Subpart D – How To Apply to the State for a Subgrant

§ 76.300 Contact the State for procedures to follow.

An applicant for a subgrant can find out the procedures it must follow by contacting the State agency that administers the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


Cross Reference:

See subparts E and G of this part for the general responsibilities of the State regarding applications for subgrants.


§ 76.301 Local educational agency general application.

A local educational agency that applies for a subgrant under a program subject to this part shall have on file with the State a general application that meets the requirements of Section 442 of the General Education Provisions Act.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0513)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1232d, and 3474)

[52 FR 27804, July 24, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 49143, Dec. 6, 1988; 60 FR 46493, Sept. 6, 1995]


§ 76.302 The notice to the subgrantee.

A State shall notify a subgrantee in writing of:


(a) The amount of the subgrant;


(b) The period during which the subgrantee may obligate the funds; and


(c) The Federal requirements that apply to the subgrant.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1880-0513)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 49143, Dec. 6, 1988]


§ 76.303 Joint applications and projects.

(a) Two or more eligible parties may submit a joint application for a subgrant.


(b) If the State must use a formula to distribute subgrant funds (see § 76.51), the State may not make a subgrant that exceeds the sum of the entitlements of the separate subgrantees.


(c) If the State funds the application, each subgrantee shall:


(1) Carry out the activities that the subgrantee agreed to carry out; and


(2) Use the funds in accordance with Federal requirements.


(d) Each subgrantee shall use an accounting system that permits identification of the costs paid for under its subgrant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 76.304 Subgrantee shall make subgrant application available to the public.

A subgrantee shall make any application, evaluation, periodic program plan, or report relating to each program available for public inspection.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1232e, and 3474)


Subpart E – How a Subgrant Is Made to an Applicant

§ 76.400 State procedures for reviewing an application.

A State that receives an application for a subgrant shall take the following steps:


(a) Review. The State shall review the application.


(b) Approval – entitlement programs. The State shall approve an application if:


(1) The application is submitted by an applicant that is entitled to receive a subgrant under the program; and


(2) The applicant meets the requirements of the Federal statutes and regulations that apply to the program.


(c) Approval – discretionary programs. The State may approve an application if:


(1) The application is submitted by an eligible applicant under a program in which the State has the discretion to select subgrantees;


(2) The applicant meets the requirements of the Federal statutes and regulations that apply to the program; and


(3) The State determines that the project should be funded under the authorizing statute and implementing regulations for the program.


(d) Disapproval – entitlement and discretionary programs. If an application does not meet the requirements of the Federal statutes and regulations that apply to a program, the State shall not approve the application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)


§ 76.401 Disapproval of an application – opportunity for a hearing.

(a) State agency hearing before disapproval. Under the programs listed in the chart below, the State agency that administers the program shall provide an applicant with notice and an opportunity for a hearing before it may disapprove the application.


Program
Authorizing statute
Implementing regulations Title 34 CFR Part
Chapter 1, Program in Local Educational AgenciesTitle I, Chapter 1, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2701-2731, 2821-2838, 2851-2854, and 2891-2901)200
Chapter 1, Program for Neglected and Delinquent ChildrenTitle 1, Chapter 1, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2801-2804)203
State Grants for Strengthening Instruction in Mathematics and ScienceTitle II, Part A, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2981-2993)208
Federal, State, and Local Partnership for Educational ImprovementTitle I, Chapter 2, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2911-2952 and 2971-2976)298
Assistance to States for Education of Handicapped ChildrenPart B, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (except Section 619) (20 U.S.C. 1411-1420)300
Preschool GrantsSection 619, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1419)301
Chapter 1, State-Operated or Supported Programs for Handicapped ChildrenTitle 1, Chapter 1, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 2791-2795)302
Transition Program for Refugee ChildrenSection 412(d), Immigration and Naturalization Act (8 U.S.C. 1522(d))538
Emergency Immigrant Education ProgramEmergency Immigrant Education Act (20 U.S.C. 3121-3130)581
Financial Assistance for Construction, Reconstruction, or Renovation of Higher Education FacilitiesSection 711, Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1132b)617

(b) Other programs – hearings not required. Under other programs covered by this part, a State agency – other than a State educational agency – is not required to provide an opportunity for a hearing regarding the agency’s disapproval of an application.


(c) If an applicant for a subgrant alleges that any of the following actions of a State educational agency violates a State or Federal statute or regulation, the State educational agency and the applicant shall use the procedures in paragraph (d) of this section:


(1) Disapproval of or failure to approve the application or project in whole or in part.


(2) Failure to provide funds in amounts in accordance with the requirements of statutes and regulations.


(d) State educational agency hearing procedures. (1) If the applicant applied under a program listed in paragraph (a) of this section, the State educational agency shall provide an opportunity for a hearing before the agency disapproves the application.


(2) If the applicant applied under a program not listed in paragraph (a) of this section, the State educational agency shall provide an opportunity for a hearing either before or after the agency disapproves the application.


(3) The applicant shall request the hearing within 30 days of the action of the State educational agency.


(4)(i) Within 30 days after it receives a request, the State educational agency shall hold a hearing on the record and shall review its action.


(ii) No later than 10 days after the hearing the agency shall issue its written ruling, including findings of fact and reasons for the ruling.


(iii) If the agency determines that its action was contrary to State or Federal statutes or regulations that govern the applicable program, the agency shall rescind its action.


(5) If the State educational agency does not rescind its final action after a review under this paragraph, the applicant may appeal to the Secretary. The applicant shall file a notice of the appeal with the Secretary within 20 days after the applicant has been notified by the State educational agency of the results of the agency’s review. If supported by substantial evidence, findings of fact of the State educational agency are final.


(6)(i) The Secretary may also issue interim orders to State educational agencies as he or she may decide are necessary and appropriate pending appeal or review.


(ii) If the Secretary determines that the action of the State educational agency was contrary to Federal statutes or regulations that govern the applicable program, the Secretary issues an order that requires the State educational agency to take appropriate action.


(7) Each State educational agency shall make available at reasonable times and places to each applicant all records of the agency pertaining to any review or appeal the applicant is conducting under this section, including records of other applicants.


(8) If a State educational agency does not comply with any provision of this section, or with any order of the Secretary under this section, the Secretary terminates all assistance to the State educational agency under the applicable program or issues such other orders as the Secretary deems appropriate to achieve compliance.


(e) Other State agency hearing procedures. State agencies that are required to provide a hearing under paragraph (a) of this section – other than State educational agencies – are not required to use the procedures in paragraph (d) of this section.



Note:

This section is based on a provision in the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA). Section 427 of the Department of Education Organization Act (DEOA), 20 U.S.C. 3487, provides that except to the extent inconsistent with the DEOA, the GEPA “shall apply to functions transferred by this Act to the extent applicable on the day preceding the effective date of this Act.” Although standardized nomenclature is used in this section to reflect the creation of the Department of Education, there is no intent to extend the coverage of the GEPA beyond that authorized under Section 427 or other applicable law.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1231b-2, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 45 FR 86296, Dec. 30, 1980; 50 FR 43545, Oct. 25, 1985; 52 FR 27805, July 24, 1987; 54 FR 21775, May 19, 1989; 55 FR 14816, Apr. 18, 1990; 57 FR 30341, July 8, 1992; 60 FR 46493, Sept. 6, 1995]


Subpart F – What Conditions Must Be Met by the State and Its Subgrantees?

Nondiscrimination

§ 76.500 Constitutional rights, freedom of inquiry, and Federal statutes and regulations on nondiscrimination.

(a) A State and a subgrantee shall comply with the following statutes and regulations:


Table 1 to § 76.500(a)

Subject
Statute
Regulation
Discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national originTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d through 2000d-4)34 CFR part 100.
Discrimination on the basis of sexTitle IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681-1683)34 CFR part 106.
Discrimination on the basis of handicapSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794)34 CFR part 104.
Discrimination on the basis of ageThe Age Discrimination Act (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.)34 CFR part 110.

(b)(1) Each State or subgrantee that is an institution of higher education, as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1002(a), that is public and that is legally required to abide by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (hereinafter “public institution”), must also comply with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including protections for freedom of speech, association, press, religion, assembly, petition, and academic freedom, as a material condition of the Department’s grant. The Department will determine that a public institution has not complied with the First Amendment only if there is a final, non-default judgment by a State or Federal court that the public institution or an employee of the public institution, acting in his or her official capacity, violated the First Amendment. A final judgment is a judgment that the public institution chooses not to appeal or that is not subject to further appeal. Absent such a final, non-default judgment, the Department will deem the public institution to be in compliance with the First Amendment.


(2) Each State or subgrantee that is a public institution also must submit to the Secretary a copy of the final, non-default judgment by that State or Federal court to conclude the lawsuit no later than 45 calendar days after such final, non-default judgment is entered.


(c)(1) Each State or subgrantee that is an institution of higher education, as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1002(a), that is private (hereinafter “private institution”) must comply with its stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom. The Department will determine that a private institution has not complied with these stated institutional policies only if there is a final, non-default judgment by a State or Federal court to the effect that the private institution or an employee of the private institution, acting on behalf of the private institution, violated its stated institutional policy regarding freedom of speech or academic freedom, as a material condition of the Department’s grant. A final judgment is a judgment that the private institution chooses not to appeal or that is not subject to further appeal. Absent such a final, non-default judgment, the Department will deem the private institution to be in compliance with its stated institutional policies.


(2) Each State or subgrantee that is a private institution also must submit to the Secretary a copy of the final, non-default judgment by that State or Federal court to conclude the lawsuit no later than 45 calendar days after such final, non-default judgment is entered.


(d) As a material condition of the Department’s grant, each State or subgrantee that is a public institution shall not deny to any student organization whose stated mission is religious in nature and that is at the public institution any right, benefit, or privilege that is otherwise afforded to other student organizations at the public institution (including but not limited to full access to the facilities of the public institution, distribution of student fee funds, and official recognition of the student organization by the public institution) because of the religious student organization’s beliefs, practices, policies, speech, membership standards, or leadership standards, which are informed by sincerely held religious beliefs.


(e) A State or subgrantee that is a covered entity as defined in 34 CFR 108.3 shall comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905, 34 CFR part 108.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474)

[85 FR 59979, Sept. 23, 2020]


Allowable Costs

§ 76.530 General cost principles.

The general principles to be used in determining costs applicable to grants, subgrants, and cost-type contracts under grants and subgrants are specified at 2 CFR part 200, subpart E – Cost Principles.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474)

[79 FR 76093, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 76.532 Use of funds for religion prohibited.

(a) No State or subgrantee may use its grant or subgrant to pay for any of the following:


(1) Religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.


(2) Equipment or supplies to be used for any of the activities specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.


(b) [Reserved]


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 69 FR 31711, June 4, 2004]


§ 76.533 Acquisition of real property; construction.

No State or subgrantee may use its grant or subgrant for acquisition of real property or for construction unless specifically permitted by the authorizing statute or implementing regulations for the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))


§ 76.534 Use of tuition and fees restricted.

No State or subgrantee may count tuition and fees collected from students toward meeting matching, cost sharing, or maintenance of effort requirements of a program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))


Indirect Cost Rates

§ 76.560 General indirect cost rates; exceptions.

(a) The differences between direct and indirect costs and the principles for determining the general indirect cost rate that a grantee may use for grants under most programs are specified in the cost principles for –


(1) All grantees, other than hospitals and commercial (for-profit) organizations, at 2 CFR part 200, subpart E – Cost Principles;


(2) Hospitals, at 45 CFR part 75, Appendix XI, Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Awards and Contracts With Hospitals; and


(3) Commercial (for-profit) organizations, at 48 CFR part 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.


(b) A grantee must have a current indirect cost rate agreement to charge indirect costs to a grant. To obtain an indirect cost rate, a grantee must submit an indirect cost proposal to its cognizant agency and negotiate an indirect cost rate agreement.


(c) The Secretary may establish a temporary indirect cost rate for a grantee that does not have an indirect cost rate agreement with its cognizant agency.


(d) The Secretary accepts an indirect cost rate negotiated by a grantee’s cognizant agency, but may establish a restricted indirect cost rate for a grantee to satisfy the statutory requirements of certain programs administered by the Department.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[57 FR 30341, July 8, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 59582, Nov. 17, 1994; 79 FR 76094, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 76.561 Approval of indirect cost rates.

(a) If the Department of Education is the cognizant agency, the Secretary approves an indirect cost rate for a State agency and for a subgrantee other than a local educational agency. For the purposes of this section, the term local educational agency does not include a State agency.


(b) Each State educational agency, on the basis of a plan approved by the Secretary, shall approve an indirect cost rate for each local educational agency that requests it to do so. These rates may be for periods longer than a year if rates are sufficiently stable to justify a longer period.


(c) The Secretary generally approves indirect cost rate agreements annually. Indirect cost rate agreements may be approved for periods longer than a year if the Secretary determines that rates will be sufficiently stable to justify a longer rate period.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.563 Restricted indirect cost rate – programs covered.

Sections 76.564 through 76.569 apply to agencies of State and local governments that are grantees under programs with a statutory requirement prohibiting the use of Federal funds to supplant non-Federal funds, and to their subgrantees under these programs.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 3474, and 6511(a))

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.564 Restricted indirect cost rate – formula.

(a) An indirect cost rate for a grant covered by § 76.563 or 34 CFR 75.563 is determined by the following formula:


Restricted indirect cost rate = (General management costs + Fixed costs) ÷ (Other expenditures)

(b) General management costs, fixed costs, and other expenditures must be determined under §§ 76.565 through 76.567.


(c) Under the programs covered by § 76.563, a subgrantee of an agency of a State or a local government (as those terms are defined in 2 CFR 200.90 and 200.64, respectively), or a grantee subject to 34 CFR 75.563 that is not a State or local government agency may use –


(1) An indirect cost rate computed under paragraph (a) of this section; or


(2) An indirect cost rate of eight percent unless the Secretary determines that the subgrantee or grantee would have a lower rate under paragraph (a) of this section.


(d) Indirect costs that are unrecovered as a result of these restrictions may not be charged directly, used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another Federal award.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), 2831(a), 2974(b), and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994, as amended at 79 FR 76094, Dec. 19, 2014]


§ 76.565 General management costs – restricted rate.

(a) As used in § 76.564, general management costs means the costs of activities that are for the direction and control of the grantee’s affairs that are organization-wide. An activity is not organization-wide if it is limited to one activity, one component of the grantee, one subject, one phase of operations, or other single responsibility.


(b) General management costs include the costs of performing a service function, such as accounting, payroll preparation, or personnel management, that is normally at the grantee’s level even if the function is physically located elsewhere for convenience or better management. The term also includes certain occupancy and space maintenance costs as determined under § 76.568.


(c) The term does not include expenditures for –


(1) Divisional administration that is limited to one component of the grantee;


(2) The governing body of the grantee;


(3) Compensation of the chief executive officer of the grantee;


(4) Compensation of the chief executive officer of any component of the grantee; and


(5) Operation of the immediate offices of these officers.


(d) For purposes of this section –


(1) The chief executive officer of the grantee is the individual who is the head of the executive office of the grantee and exercises overall responsibility for the operation and management of the organization. The chief executive officer’s immediate office includes any deputy chief executive officer or similar officer along with immediate support staff of these individuals. The term does not include the governing body of the grantee, such as a board or a similar elected or appointed governing body; and


(2) Components of the grantee are those organizational units supervised directly or indirectly by the chief executive officer. These organizational units generally exist one management level below the executive office of the grantee. The term does not include the office of the chief executive officer or a deputy chief executive officer or similar position.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), 2831(a), 2974(b), and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.566 Fixed costs – restricted rate.

As used in § 76.564, fixed costs means contributions of the grantee to fringe benefits and similar costs, but only those associated with salaries and wages that are charged as indirect costs, including –


(a) Retirement, including State, county, or local retirement funds, Social Security, and pension payments;


(b) Unemployment compensation payments; and


(c) Property, employee, health, and liability insurance.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), 2831(a), 2974(b), and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.567 Other expenditures – restricted rate.

(a) As used in § 76.564, other expenditures means the grantee’s total expenditures for its federally- and non-federally-funded activities in the most recent year for which data are available. The term also includes direct occupancy and space maintenance costs as determined under § 76.568 and costs related to the chief executive officers of the grantee and components of the grantee and their offices (see § 76.565(c) and (d)).


(b) The term does not include –


(1) General management costs determined under § 76.565;


(2) Fixed costs determined under § 76.566;


(3) Subgrants;


(4) Capital outlay;


(5) Debt service;


(6) Fines and penalties;


(7) Contingencies; and


(8) Election expenses. However, the term does include election expenses that result from elections required by an applicable Federal statute.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), 2831(a), 2974(b), and 3474)

[59 FR 59583, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.568 Occupancy and space maintenance costs – restricted rate.

(a) As used in the calculation of a restricted indirect cost rate, occupancy and space maintenance costs means such costs as –


(1) Building costs whether owned or rented;


(2) Janitorial services and supplies;


(3) Building, grounds, and parking lot maintenance;


(4) Guard services;


(5) Light, heat, and power;


(6) Depreciation, use allowances, and amortization; and


(7) All other related space costs.


(b) Occupancy and space maintenance costs associated with organization-wide service functions (accounting, payroll, personnel) may be included as general management costs if a space allocation or use study supports the allocation.


(c) Occupancy and space maintenance costs associated with functions that are not organization-wide must be included with other expenditures in the indirect cost formula. These costs may be charged directly to affected programs only to the extent that statutory supplanting prohibitions are not violated. This reimbursement must be approved in advance by the Secretary.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), 2831(a), 2974(b), and 3474)

[59 FR 59584, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.569 Using the restricted indirect cost rate.

(a) Under the programs referenced in § 76.563, the maximum amount of indirect costs under a grant is determined by the following formula:


Indirect costs = (Restricted indirect cost rate) × (Total direct costs of the grant minus capital outlays, subgrants, and other distorting or unallowable items as specified in the grantee’s indirect cost rate agreement)

(b) If a grantee uses a restricted indirect cost rate, the general management and fixed costs covered by that rate must be excluded by the grantee from the direct costs it charges to the grant.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1), 2831(a), 2974(b), and 3474)

[59 FR 59584, Nov. 17, 1994]


§ 76.580 Coordination with other activities.

A State and a subgrantee shall, to the extent possible, coordinate each of its projects with other activities that are in the same geographic area served by the project and that serve similar purposes and target groups.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 2890, and 3474)

[45 FR 22517, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30341, July 8, 1992]


Evaluation

§ 76.591 Federal evaluation – cooperation by a grantee.

A grantee shall cooperate in any evaluation of the program by the Secretary.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1226c, 1231a, 3474, and 6511(a))

[45 FR 86298, Dec. 30, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30341, July 8, 1992]


§ 76.592 Federal evaluation – satisfying requirement for State or subgrantee evaluation.

If a State or a subgrantee cooperates in a Federal evaluation of a program, the Secretary may determine that the State or subgrantee meets the evaluation requirements of the program.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1226c; 1231a)


Construction

§ 76.600 Where to find construction regulations.

(a) A State or a subgrantee that requests program funds for construction, or whose grant or subgrant includes funds for construction, shall comply with the rules on construction that apply to applicants and grantees under 34 CFR 75.60