OCFO: Office of Chief Financial Officer
Current Section
U.S. Department of Education FAIR Act 2001 Commercial Activities Inventory
Archived Information

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

Background    2001 Commercial Activities Inventory    Inventory Challenges and Appeals

Questions Regarding ED's 2001 Inventory    Links to FAIR Guidance


Below are links to download the US Department of Education's (ED) 2001 Commercial Activities Inventory. The inventory was prepared in accordance with the FAIR Act, OMB Circular A-76, its March 1996 Revised Supplemental Handbook, and other OMB guidance. The inventory includes the number of ED Full-time Equivalent (FTE) employees performing functions that could be considered commercial in nature. After review by OMB, the Department is hereby making the inventory available to the public.

Several years ago, the Department undertook an aggressive effort to contract out its major activities. Contractors now perform the following activities:

  • information technology support, computer center, network and telecommunications operations;
  • debt collection;
  • training and development of ED staff;
  • student financial assistance services;
  • grant proposal review;
  • parking and shuttle bus services;
  • library services;
  • copy center services;
  • warehouse and publication distribution;
  • call centers, hotlines and public inquiry services;
  • mail room services, and
  • research and special studies.

As a result of its effort to outsource, ED's FTE staff dropped from approximately 7,500 in 1980 to its current level of around 4,700. ED is the smallest Federal department.

2001 Commercial Activities Inventory

The 2001 inventory contains the following components:

Part A Introduction
Part B 2001 Commercial Activities Inventory
Attachment I Organization Key (POC/Unit Descriptions)
Attachment II US Department of Education Principal Operating Components
Attachment III US Department of Education Headquarters and Regional Office Locations

The inventory is available in both MS Word and PDF formats. Click on the appropriate link below.

2001fair.doc (1102K) - US Department of Education 2001 Commercial Activities Inventory in MS Word format.

2001fair.pdf (332K) - US Department of Education 2001 Commercial Activities Inventory in PDF format. PDF format allows viewing of the inventory electronically on most computers. The Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™, which is available free, is required to view and print PDF files.


Inventory Challenges and Appeals

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

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

An interested party may submit an initial challenge to the inclusion or exclusion of an activity within 30 working days after publication of OMB's Federal Register notice stating that the inventory is available. The challenge must set forth the activity being challenged with as much specificity as possible, and the reasons for the interested party's belief that the particular activity should be reclassified as inherently governmental (and therefore be deleted from the inventory) or as commercial (and therefore be added to the inventory) in accordance with OFPP Policy Letter 92-1 on inherently governmental functions or as established by precedent (such as when other agencies have contracted for the activity or undergone competitions for this or similar activities).

The Department will review initial challenges. Written notification of ED's decision will be transmitted to the interested party within 28 working days of receiving the challenge. The notification will include a discussion of the rationale for the decision and, if the decision is adverse, an explanation of the party's right to file an appeal.

Appeals of an adverse decision to an initial challenge must be transmitted to ED within 10 working days after receiving the written notification of the decision. The Department will decide the appeal and transmit to the interested party a written notification of the decision together with a discussion of the rationale for the decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal. ED will transmit to OMB and Congress a copy of any changes to the inventory that result from this process, make the changes available to the public and publish a notice of public availability in the Federal Register.


Submit Challenges and Appeals to:

US Department of Education
Office of the Chief Financial Officer
ATTN.: Gary Weaver, ROB-3, RM. 3600
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-4249


Questions Regarding ED's 2001 Inventory

For further information regarding the inventory, the Department requests that questions or comments be submitted in writing. E-mail questions to Gary.Weaver@ed.gov or fax questions to (202) 205-0323, ATTN.: Gary Weaver. The Department has established an inventory hotline as well. The number is (202) 401-3848.


Links to FAIR Guidance

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

OMB Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities  Establishes Federal policy regarding the performance of commercial activities and implements the statutory requirements of the FAIR Act.

A-76 Supplemental Handbook  Provides updated guidance and procedures for determining whether recurring commercial activities should be operated under contract with commercial sources, in-house using Government facilities and personnel, or through interservice support agreements (ISSAs).

OFPP Policy Letter 92-1, Inherently Governmental Functions  Establishes Executive Branch policy relating to service contracting and inherently governmental functions. Its purpose is to assist Executive Branch officers and employees in avoiding an unacceptable transfer of official responsibility to Government contractors.

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

US Department of Education Contract Information  Contains currently available RFP's, Forecast of Contract Opportunities, CBD Notices and other useful information for organizations wishing to do business with ED.

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Last Modified: 10/24/2008