US Department of Education 2008 FAIR Act Inventory

The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 (FAIR Act), Public Law 105-270, signed into law on October 19, 1998, directs Federal agencies to submit an annual inventory of commercial activities which are not inherently governmental, but which are being performed by Federal employees. The 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 | 2008 Activities Inventory | Inventory Challenges and Appeals
Questions Regarding ED's 2008 Inventory | Links to FAIR Guidance


Below is a link to download the US Department of Education's (ED) 2008 Activities Inventory. The inventory was prepared in accordance with the FAIR Act, OMB Circular A-76, Revised May 29, 2003, and other OMB guidance. This year's inventory includes the number of ED Full-time Equivalent (FTE) employees performing functions that could be considered commercial in nature as well as functions that are inherently governmental. 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 4,425. ED is the smallest Federal department.

2008 Activities Inventory

The inventory is available in MS Excel format.

download files MS Excel (158K) - US Department of Education 2008 Activities Inventory

download files MS Excel (27K) - Fiscal Year 2008 Inventory Summary

Inventory Challenges and Appeals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submit Challenges and Appeals to:

US Department of Education
Office of the Chief Financial Officer
ATTN.: Gary Weaver, PCP, RM. 7158
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-4200

Questions Regarding ED's 2008 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) 245-6280, ATTN.: Gary Weaver.

Links to FAIR Guidance

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

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

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


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Last Modified: 07/15/2009