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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Chapter 3304:1-21 | Part 21 - Business Enterprise Program

 
 
 
Rule
Rule 3304:1-21-01 | Definitions.
 

The following terms are used throughout Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code.

(A) "Accessible Format" means the format requested in writing by the operator and kept on file by the business enterprise program that informs the program of how an operator wishes to receive documents, information, forms, BE computer programs, and other correspondence sent by the program, including but not limited to regular print, large print, Braille, or electronic mail.

(B) "Active Engagement" means an operator is the manager of the assigned business operation and the operator or a designee is physically present at a vending facility at least once every thirty days.

(C) "Active Participation" means meaningful collaboration on major administrative decisions and policy and program development decisions affecting overall administration of Ohio's vending facility program between the BSVI and the Ohio vendors representative committee.

(D) "Blind" has the same definition as in division (B) of section 3304.28 of the Revised Code. "Individual who is blind" means a person whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses or whose visual acuity, if better than 20/200, is accompanied by a limit to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than twenty degrees.

(E) "Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired or Bureau" (BSVI) means the designated state licensing agency housed within opportunities for ohioans with disabilities agency responsible for implementing the provisions of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and its amendments and sections 3304.28 to 3304.35 of the Revised Code.

(F) "Bureau-grantor agreement" (BGA) means the signed agreement between BSVI and grantor for a facility.

(G) "Bureau-operator agreement" (BOA) means a signed agreement between BSVI and an operator assigning them to a facility.

(H) "Business Consultant" means the BSVI employee assigned to provide occasional consulting directly to an operator in an effort to maximize efficiency, income, and performance.

(I) "Business Enterprise area manager" means the BSVI employee who reports directly to the BE program manager of BSVI or the director's designee and is the principal field manager for the BE program in an assigned area of the state.

(J) "Business Enterprise program" (BE) means the program within BSVI responsible for training, licensing, regulating and supporting operators, purchasing equipment and initial inventory, negotiating and entering into bureau-grantor agreements, agreements with operators, and settlement agreements, and that performs all other functions necessary to operate the program.

(K) "BE program manager" means the BSVI staff person who reports directly to the deputy director of BSVI and who directs and monitors the operation of the business enterprise program, its staff and its funds statewide.

(L) "Business Enterprise rules" means the complete set of administrative rules governing the business enterprise program which have been promulgated in accordance with section 119.03 of the Revised Code.

(M) "Criminal Activity" means a conviction of, plea of guilty or no-contest to, or a judicial finding in any jurisdiction of a felony, or misdemeanor, or a crime involving fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license, as defined in appendix A to rule 3304:1-21-02 of the Administrative Code.

(N) "Designee" means a person authorized to carry out a responsibility or task.

(O) "Discipline" means a denial, revocation, or suspension of the license.

(P) "Displaced operator" means an operator whose permanent facility has been permanently closed, temporarily closed, or whose net facility sales have been temporarily reduced by at least fifty per cent, for more than two weeks due to remodeling or by extraneous circumstances such as strike or disaster. Should a facility be permanently closed the operator shall be considered displaced for only six months after closure. A displaced operator may receive a fair minimum return payment.

(Q) "Electoral district" means a geographical area from which representatives and alternates of the Ohio vendors representative committee (OVRC) are elected to equitably represent the operators.

(R) "Equipment" means any item purchased by the business enterprise program that remains the property of the program and does not include items purchased as part of an initial inventory.

(S) "Facility" means an entity created by the business enterprise program and assigned a unique number that may consist of one or more sites that the business enterprise program reasonably believes will earn enough in sales to independently support a single blind vendor when an operator is awarded a permanent facility.

(T) "Facility announcement" is a notice announcing a current or forthcoming permanent operator position available in an existing or newly developed BE facility.

(U) "Federal Fiscal Year" (FFY) means the time period beginning October first and ending September thirtieth.

(V) "Federal property" is property as defined in 34 CFR 395.1 (g), as published in the July 1, 2015 Code of Federal Regulations.

(W) "Governmental property" has the same definition as division (C) of section 3304.28 of the Revised Code.

(X) "Grantor" means the person or entity who is responsible for the property supporting a BE facility.

(Y) "Initial Inventory" are the products both consumable and non-consumable that are identified and purchased by the BE program to facilitate the opening of a new facility or site. Initial inventory does not include lottery tickets and any purchase of lottery tickets is governed exclusively by an agreement between the operator and the Ohio lottery commission.

(Z) "Inventory adjustment" means the debit or credit owed by or to an operator resulting from a difference between the value of their inventory on hand at the time of the closing inventory and the value of the initial inventory.

(AA) "License" means a written document with a unique identification number issued to an individual who has met all of the eligibility and licensure requirements to operate a facility in the BE program.

(BB) "Licensee" means any person licensed by BSVI to operate a facility.

(CC) "Local Selection Panel" is a BE area manager or designee along with the OVRC representative and OVRC alternate for the district. No individual may serve on a local selection panel if they have a personal or financial conflict of interest. In such case, or if there is no elected representative or alternate, the OVRC chair or the chair's designee shall participate.

(DD) "Ministerial decision" means a decision which has no material impact on the nature, quality or quantity of service provided to BE licensees, and will not adversely impact opportunities for licensees.

(EE) "Monthly Operating Report (MOR)" means accurate facility financial information as submitted monthly by the facility operator and consists of all sales, sales tax collected, discounts, gifts, rebates, federal vending machine income as described in 34 CFR 395.32, as published in the July 1, 2015 Code of Federal Regulations, income from subcontracted facility sales, promotional considerations, and bonuses, either monetary or in kind, stock purchased, business related expenses, employee wages, draw, stock and supply inventory, and business cash on hand, which the operator has the power to obtain and control the disposition thereof, accrued from operation of a facility.

(FF) "Non-Priority Property" means property where the BE program does not have a statutory priority to operate including, but not limited to, county, city, village and township property and private property.

(GG) "Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities" (OOD) means the state agency responsible for helping people with disabilities seek and retain substantial gainful employment in Ohio.

(HH) "Ohio Vendors Representative Committee" (OVRC) means the group of operators elected from their respective districts who represent the interests of all operators in the business enterprise program statewide.

(II) "Operator" means an individual who is blind, that has been licensed by BSVI, and is assigned to a BOA or TBOA.

(JJ) "Other Expenses" means expenditures on the daily cash report as defined in appendix A to this rule.

(KK) "Professional Manner" means upholding standards of professionalism and customer service, demonstrating consistent sound fiscal management and practices, and exhibiting positive conduct and behavior.

(LL) "Records Review" is the review of records as prescribed by BSVI. The review pertains to the operation of a BE business and includes financial information regarding sales, sales tax collected, discounts, gifts, rebates, federal vending machine income as described in 34 CFR 395.32, as published in the July 1, 2017 Code of Federal Regulations, income from subcontracted facility sales, lottery commissions, promotional considerations, and bonuses, either monetary or in kind, stock purchased, business related expenses, employee wages, draw, stock and supply inventory, and business cash on hand.

(MM) "Regular Meeting" means the meetings of the OVRC that are required to occur at least twice each federal fiscal year, and any other meeting scheduled in a month.

(NN) "Seniority" means the length of time an operator has served under a BOA or TBOA. If the operator is operating under a BOA and TBOA at the same time, that time is to be run concurrently to determine the length of time. BE maintains a list of the current seniority of all BE operators.

(OO) "Set-aside fees" means the total of the fee assessed by BE upon the operator's net monthly proceeds.

(PP) "Site" is a business location suitable for vending, determined to not have sufficient gross sales to exist as an independent facility.

(QQ) "Special Meeting" is any OVRC meeting other than a regular meeting when notice is provided pursuant to paragraph (I) of rule 3304:1-21-12 of the Administrative Code.

(RR) "Supplies" means any item not for resale that is necessary for the operation of the facility.

(SS) "Stock" means any item available for retail sale at a facility or site. It does not include lottery tickets and any purchase of lottery tickets is governed exclusively by an agreement between the operator and the Ohio lottery commission.

(TT) "Temporary bureau-operator agreement" (TBOA) means a signed temporary agreement between BSVI and the operator of a facility for a limited period of time which is designated in the agreement.

(UU) "Upward Mobility" is continuing education provided to licensees.

(VV) "Vacant Facility" is a suitable vending location without a licensee permanently assigned, or for which BE has notice of an operator's pending departure.

View Appendix

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:43 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29, 3304.30, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 3/21/1979, 5/1/1983, 6/1/1988, 1/12/1990, 11/1/1993, 10/4/1999, 10/1/2006
Rule 3304:1-21-02 | Eligibility for business enterprise training and licensure.
 

(A) To be eligible to enter into BE training to become a licensee, an applicant must meet the following criteria by the time of application to the training program:

(1) Be a citizen of the United States;

(2) Is at least eighteen years of age;

(3) Is an individual who is blind as defined in paragraph (D) of rule 3304:1-21-01 of the Administrative Code;

(4) Has obtained a high school diploma or a general education diploma;

(5) Has successfully completed a pre-evaluation in-facility training experience;

(6) Has no past due debts to the state of Ohio and no outstanding Randolph Sheppard program charges in any other state;

(7) Submits to a credit check and a math test which taken together demonstrate their ability to manage personal finances;

(8) Submits to drug testing that shows no illegal drug use; and

(9) Submits to a criminal background check showing no record of criminal activity.

(B) If an applicant fails to meet any of the criteria outlined in paragraph (A) of this rule, they shall be deemed ineligible to enter the BE training program unless and until all eligibility criteria are met.

(C) An applicant meeting all requirements in paragraph (A) of this rule shall be eligible to enter the BE training program. An applicant shall be issued a program license on the satisfactory completion of the training program, passing a licensure examination, and continuing to meet all requirements in paragraph (A) of this rule. A license is only valid for the individual named on the license and may not be transferred, assigned, conveyed, or bequeathed. Each licensee is assigned a unique license number and that license does not require renewal and remains valid until it is revoked, or suspended by BSVI pursuant to rule 3304:1-21-13 of the Administrative Code, or until the license becomes inactive.

(D) Licensees have a continuing obligation to notify the BE program manager if they no longer meet the requirements of paragraph (A) of this rule and no longer qualify as a licensee in the BE program. On notification, BE shall revoke the license subject to an administrative hearing held pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(E) A license becomes inactive if a person has not operated under a BOA or a TBOA in the past five years.

For a license to become active, a person must demonstrate eligibility to re-activate his or her inactive license.

(1) If there is proof of an existing inactive license, the person can be fast-tracked through condensed training sessions to activate his or her license.

(a) This fast-tracked training could be shortened if the person chooses to take and pass the licensure exam prior to retraining.

(b) If a person fails the licensure exam, he or she shall complete the online training modules prior to re-taking the licensure exam.

(2) If there is no proof that a person had a license, then he or she shall complete eligibility and training as prescribed to any new potential licensee.

View Appendix

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:44 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29(C)
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 1/12/1990, 10/4/1999
Rule 3304:1-21-03 | Facility and site announcements, application procedure, and selection.
 

(A) Whenever a facility or site becomes available or is proposed to become available, BE shall first determine whether a temporary bureau operator agreement is required to ensure continued operations as outlined in paragraph (E) of rule 3304:1-21-06 of the Administrative Code. If continued operations are not required, BE shall determine with active participation from OVRC whether the facility or site should be attached to another facility, split into separate sites, reconfigured, abandoned, posted, or placed under a TBOA.

(B) A selection panel will develop a facility or site announcement. An announcement of the facility or site opportunity shall be reviewed by the current operator, if available, and include the following elements:

(1) The name, address, and facility number if applicable;

(2) Whether the facility or site is on governmental property, federal property, or non-priority property;

(3) The date and time that an application and supporting documents must be received to be considered timely;

(4) The contact information of the designated BE representative where facility or site applications are to be sent for consideration;

(5) The estimated starting date for the new operator;

(6) A general description of the facility or site describing the space, equipment present, the types of goods sold, and an estimate of the number of customers served daily;

(7) An opening day minimum cash requirement and approximate initial inventory amount;

(8) Information about whether onsite storage space is available or if the operator must provide offsite storage and product transport;

(9) If available, the reported yearly total receipts and gross and net proceeds for three preceding calendar years;

(10) The days and hours of operation;

(11) The number of employees presently employed, with notation that persons who are blind or otherwise disabled and are qualified for the job shall be given preference when hiring in any BE facility or site;

(12) If applicable, the availability to tour the facility or site and the availability of public transportation;

(13) Any security clearances or other special requirements required by the BGA;

(14) Fees, assessments, financial obligations, and other specific items required by the BGA; and

(15) Any other documentation or information deemed relevant by the selection panel.

(C) BE shall post the announcement for at least twenty-one calendar days.

(D) All applications for a facility or site posting must be submitted on the form prescribed by the BE program. Applications should be complete, timely, and submitted to the appropriate BE representative as indicated in the posting.

(E) A selection panel by majority vote shall determine whether an application for a facility or site is ineligible. Any application deemed to be ineligible shall be removed from consideration and the applicant shall receive no further consideration for the facility or site posting. An application shall be deemed ineligible for any of the following reasons:

(1) The applicant is not licensed by the BE program or whose license is inactive;

(2) The applicant fails to submit a completed application on a form prescribed by BE;

(3) The applicant has past due program charges as of the application deadline;

(4) The application is untimely or is not sent to the correct address as listed in the posting;

(5) The applicant attempts to obtain the facility or site through fraud, falsification, or criminal activity; or

(6) An applicant shall be ineligible to return to a facility or site when a BGA, contract, or permit that the applicant operated under has been terminated, or the applicant has resigned in lieu of termination, due to operator non-compliance with a BGA, contract, or permit or the applicant has resigned in lieu of termination.

(F) If at the end of the twenty-one days there is no eligible applicant, BE shall actively participate with the local selection committee to determine if the facility or site should be reposted or placed under a TBOA. If a determination is made not to repost, BE shall actively participate with OVRC to determine whether the facility or site should be attached to another facility, split into separate sites, reconfigured or abandoned.

(G) When there is more than one eligible applicant for a facility, the selection panel shall evaluate each eligible applicant and award the facility to the candidate that accumulates the most points as determined below:

(1) If the applicant has been a BE licensee for less than one year, add one point; or

(2) If the applicant has been a BE licensee for between one year and five years, add two points; or

(3) If the applicant has been a BE licensee for more than five years, add three points;

(4) If the applicant has no late reports, or payments in the most recent twelve months under a BOA of the past twenty-four months prior to the application deadline, add four points; or, if the applicant has no more than one late report or payment in the most recent twelve months under a BOA of the past twenty-four months prior to the application deadline, add two points;

(5) If the applicant has no operator performance improvement plans in the twelve months of operation in the BE program preceding the application deadline, add one point;

(6) If the applicant has no operator performance improvement plans in the twenty-four months of operation in the BE program preceding the application deadline, add one point;

(7) If the applicant has managed a facility for a minimum of one year with the same service format, add two points;

(8) If the facility posting is under a BGA with veteran affairs services, and the applicant submits a DD form 214 indicating a general discharge under honorable circumstances, add one point;

(9) Applicant has supplied the selection panel documentation demonstrating attendance at an upward mobility training in the twenty-four months prior to the application deadline, add one point for each with a maximum of four points;

(10) Applicant attends at least one entire statewide conference in the last twenty-four months, add two points.

(H) In case of a tie in point totals, the selection panel shall award a facility to the applicant with the most seniority in accordance with the seniority list managed by BE. BE shall maintain and update the licensee seniority list quarterly. If both applicants remain tied after seniority is considered, the selection panel shall draw lots to determine which applicant shall be awarded the facility.

(I) If the successful applicant declines to accept a facility, it shall be awarded to the applicant with the next highest point total. Any ties shall be broken as outlined in paragraph (H) of this rule.

(J) When there is more than one eligible applicant for a site, the selection panel shall evaluate each eligible applicant and award the site based on a majority vote after considering:

(1) The net incomes of each facility or sites;

(2) The distance of the site from a licensee's existing facility; and

(3) Similarities between the type of operation or products sold and an applicant's existing facility or sites.

(K) If a successful applicant declines to accept a site or is determined ineligible to accept a site, the selection panel shall reconvene if more than one candidate remains and award the site based on a majority vote after considering the criteria outlined in paragraph (J) of this rule. If only one eligible applicant remains the selection panel shall award the site to that applicant.

(L) In the event of a tie between two or more operators, the available site will be awarded by drawing lots.

(M) If a licensee wishes to detach a site from their facility they must submit a request in writing to the BE program manager. BE will work with OVRC and the licensee to accommodate their request as quickly as possible while also ensuring compliance with any existing bureau-grantor agreement and bureau-operator agreement that may be affected.

(N) If a local selection committee determines that an awarded operator has not transitioned in a timely manner the local selection committee may determine if they should repost or extend the time for transition.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:44 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29(A), 3304.29(B), 3304.30, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 3/21/1979, 10/1/2006, 1/1/2010, 1/1/2016
Rule 3304:1-21-04 | Operator's responsibilities, leave and self-employment status.
 

(A) All licensed operators in the BE program are self-employed entrepreneurs who are not employees of the state of Ohio. In addition, or consistent with any terms contained in a BGA for an operator's assigned facility, all operators who choose to participate in the BE program shall:

(1) Comply with Chapter 3304. of the Revised Code and Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Comply with the terms in the signed BGA, the signed permit, or the signed contract for the facility they are assigned.

(3) Comply with the terms in the signed BGA.

(4) Operate the assigned facility in a professional manner.

(5) Comply with federal, state, and local laws.

(6) Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene while working, and operators and their employees must at all times wear appropriate attire in a professional manner while present in the facility and comply with all applicable health and safety regulations.

(7) Provide BE with:

(a) A current home address and telephone number;

(b) A current business address and telephone number; and

(c) A social security number or federal employer identification number.

If this information changes at any time, the operator is responsible for providing all updated information to BE in a timely manner.

(8) Maintain a drug-free workplace. Operators and their employees shall not be under the influence of, consume, possess, or distribute illegal substances, illegal drugs, or alcohol at a BE facility. If an alcohol license is required by a BGA, alcohol possession and distribution is permitted.

(9) Maintain active engagement in their assigned facility. In lieu of active engagement, an operator may designate an essential employee to fulfill this function. If such a designation is made, the operator shall notify the BE program of the designated essential employee. During the operator's absence from the facility, all responsibilities remain with the operator.

(10) The licensee shall meet with a BE consultant at least once per calendar year at the assigned facility.

(11) Keep and maintain accurate records of facility and/or site-related monetary transactions.

(12) Be physically present at their facility, or send an essential employee to be physically present at all of the following times:

(a) For equipment moves and equipment deliveries; and

(b) For transitions into or out of a facility.

(13) Pre-arrange access to equipment for any maintenance and repairs. If access is not pre-arranged, the operator or their employee shall be present for such maintenance and repairs.

(14) Subcontract in compliance with the BGA and Ohio law and with notification to the BE program.

(15) Acquire, maintain, and upon request, provide evidence of adequate liability insurance, as required by the BGA, permit, or law, unless liability insurance is procured for the operators by BE using state unassigned income.

(16) Observe any restrictions on the use of OOD's logo, brand names, taglines, slogans, or other trademarks without prior written authorization from OOD.

(17) Maintain gross sales information individually for each BGA for the assigned facility and provide supporting documentation of reported sales to BE on request to detach from a site or facility.

(18) Prepare and submit a monthly operating report to BE in the format prescribed by BE. When BE determines reasonable cause, operator shall provide supporting documentation of information reported on the MOR. Verification of information does not constitute a records review.

(19) New licensees shall be subject to a records review once a year for the first three years of being under a BOA or TBOA. All other licensees may be subject to a records review in conjunction with an operator performance improvement plan under rule 3304:1-21-10 of the Administrative Code.

(20) Licensees should create and maintain contact information of the individual(s) entrusted with operating a facility or site in case of an operator's absence. This information shall be on file with BSVI.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:44 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29(C), 3304.30, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 10/1/2006, 1/1/2016
Rule 3304:1-21-05 | Equipment, supplies and initial inventory.
 

(A) All equipment as defined in paragraph (R) of rule 3304:1-21-01 of the Administrative Code is owned by BE and shall remain the property of BE at all times including after the termination of a BGA, BOA or TBOA.

(B) Equipment shall only be moved or transported by BE program personnel or a third party hired by the BE program, but may be moved by an operator if the operator has received written permission from their BE consultant.

(C) The BE program shall be responsible for maintenance that is required to keep equipment operational. Cleaning and general upkeep of equipment shall be the responsibility of the operator as specified in the BGA for each facility.

(D) All equipment shall be identified as BE property and inventoried according to OOD policies and procedures. Notwithstanding this, all vending and other specified equipment shall be affixed with an asset tag identifying that the machine is owned by the BE program.

(E) BE shall provide each suitable vending facility or site with an initial inventory taking into account the items typically sold in the facility or site and any applicable provisions in the bureau grantor agreement regarding items that are appropriate for the facility or site. Once the suitable vending facility or site has been established, BE may provide additional equipment in its discretion after evaluating the business need.

(F) The operator shall do all of the following with regard to the initial inventory, stock and supplies:

(1) Sign a form to acknowledge the value of the initial inventory provided by BE;

(2) Purchase any stock and supplies necessary for the ongoing operation of the facility or site;

(3) Maintain the stock and supplies on hand at an appropriate level for the facility or site and following any applicable provisions in the bureau grantor agreement regarding items that are appropriate for the facility or site; and

(4) Complete a detailed inventory report of BE owned stock and supplies on hand and report the amount with the December and June monthly operating reports and retain these reports for six months after the date of submission. This detailed inventory report is not required when there is a facility transitioned within thirty days prior to the date of either the December or June monthly operating report. Additional detailed inventory reports of stock and supplies may be required when BE determines necessary for reasonable business purposes.

(G) Upon leaving a facility or site, an operator shall reconcile their stock and supplies on hand with the initial inventory in one of the following ways:

(1) Pay the BE program for the difference in value between their stock and supplies on hand and their initial inventory if their stock and supplies on hand are worth less than the initial inventory provided by BE; or

(2) Receive a credit from the BE program for the difference in value between their stock and supplies on hand and their initial inventory if their stock and supplies on hand are worth more than the initial inventory provided by BE.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:44 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.30
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 1/12/1990, 10/4/1999, 10/1/2006
Rule 3304:1-21-06 | Bureau-operator, temporary bureau-operator agreements.
 

(A) Before an operator can be assigned to operate a facility, the operator must agree to and sign a BOA or TBOA with the BE program. A BOA shall specify all of the following:

(1) That the operator has received a copy of the relevant agreement between the BE program and the grantor for the proposed facility to which the operator will be assigned and agrees to operate the facility in accordance with all of the terms contained within the BGA;

(2) That the operator agrees to operate the facility in compliance with Chapter 3304. of the Revised Code and Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code; and

(3) That the operator is to receive the net monthly proceeds and agrees to pay service charges from the net monthly proceeds from the facility which is operated under this agreement.

(B) The director of BSVI, or designee may immediately suspend a BOA for up to forty-five days which shall not be considered discipline. Any proposed extension of a suspension beyond forty-five days requires the active participation of the OVRC. In no case shall a suspension exceed six months. If the suspended operator is returned to the facility and the BOA is reinstated, then the operator may apply for a stipend as a displaced operator for the duration of the suspension. The BOA may be suspended for any of the following reasons:

(1) When the acts or omissions of the operator places the BE program in jeopardy of losing a site or facility because of noncompliance with the permit, contract, or BGA;

(2) The operator is absent from a site or facility, which results in the site or facility being closed in violation of the BGA;

(3) The operator is arrested, engaging in, or indicted for criminal activity;

(4) The operator's conduct at a site or the facility causes or allows conditions to exist which are a danger to the operator or others; or

(5) The operator's access to the site or facility has been revoked.

(C) The BSVI director, or designee may terminate a BOA for the following reasons:

(1) Failure to satisfy the terms of a performance improvement plan as stated in paragraph (B) of rule 3304:1-21-10 of the Administrative Code;

(2) Failure of an operator to pay any fee required by the BOA, BGA, or permit, or to submit a MOR within thirty days after being informed by the BE program in writing that a fee or MOR is late;

(3) Termination of the BGA, whether voluntary or involuntary;

(4) Revocation or suspension of the operator's license in accordance with rule 3304:1-21-13 of the Administrative Code;

(5) For reasons noted in paragraph (B) of this rule after active participation of the OVRC;

(6) BE approval of written notice of resignation by the operator to BE; or

(7) As otherwise listed in Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code.

(D) An operator shall have only one BOA in place at any time in Ohio. On entering into a new BOA under paragraph (A) of this rule, any existing BOA shall terminate.

(E) After consulting with the selection panel, BE may enter into a TBOA to ensure continued operation of a facility or site, or to establish reliable sales data for a vacant facility or site. Any TBOA that extends more than six months requires the active participation of the OVRC. BE, after consultation with the selection panel, shall select a temporary operator considering the transitioning operator, any displaced operators, and lowest income operators. Operators are not eligible for temporary assignments if the operator:

(1) Is not currently licensed by the BE program, except with the discretion of the BSVI Director in emergency situations and limited in duration to no more than six months;

(2) Has past due program charges;

(3) Attempts to obtain the facility or site through fraud, falsification, or criminal activity;

(4) Has submitted three or more late reports and/or payments in the previous twelve months;

(5) Has pending discipline;

(6) Has been removed from a facility, pursuant to paragraphs (C)(2), (C)(4), and (C)(5) of this rule, within the previous twelve months of the date on which the temporary assignment is offered;

(7) Is currently on an operator performance improvement plan.

(F) Before an operator can be assigned to temporarily operate a facility or site, the operator shall sign a TBOA with the BE program. A TBOA shall specify all of the following:

(1) That the operator has received a copy of the relevant agreement between the BE program and the grantor for the proposed facility or site to which the operator will be temporarily assigned and agrees to operate the facility or site in accordance with all of the terms contained within the BGA;

(2) That the operator agrees to operate the facility or site in compliance with Chapter 3304. of the Revised Code and Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code;

(3) That the TBOA may be terminated immediately without cause on written notice by either party; and

(4) That the temporary operator shall be compensated either by a fee or net proceeds as follows:

(a) If compensated by net proceeds, the temporary operator is required to pay a set-aside fee pursuant to rule 3304:1-21-08 of the Administrative Code to the BE program.

(b) If compensated by an agreed on fee, the operator shall pay all facility or site profits to BE. The temporary operator shall record any temporary operator fee on the MOR for the same reporting period. All unpaid profits shall be reported and paid on the final MOR.

(G) Whenever an operator's TBOA is terminated, or their BOA is suspended or terminated, notice must be sent both to the operator and their OVRC representative in their preferred formats.

(H) The BE program is subject to any applicable anti-discrimination law.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:44 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29, 3304.30, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/2010
Rule 3304:1-21-07 | Closing, opening and transitioning a facility or site.
 

(A) The outgoing operator, incoming operator, and BE must work collaboratively whenever a facility or site is to be transitioned to ensure that disruptions in grantor service are minimized as much as possible.

(B) When a facility or site transition occurs, BE shall do all of the following:

(1) Schedule and notify the outgoing and the incoming operator of the final date of operation for the outgoing operator, the beginning date of operation for the incoming operator, and schedule a facility or site transition date for all parties to be present;

(2) Complete a closing inspection on the facility or site transition date noting facility or site condition and cleanliness. BE shall request the incoming and outgoing operators sign the inspection;

(3) Count all remaining stock and supplies on hand that BE determines to be saleable and usable for the location as well as perform its own equipment inventory to ensure all BE purchased equipment is present, functional, and in good condition; and

(4) Assure that an inventory form of that day's count and either a BOA or TBOA have been signed by the operator for the facility or site on the day of the closing inventory.

(C) When a facility or site transition occurs, the operators shall do all of the following:

(1) The outgoing and incoming operator or their designee shall be present for the closing inventory for stock and supplies on hand and equipment which must be signed by both operators and the BE program;

(2) The outgoing operator shall relinquish the facility or site in a clean and operable condition;

(3) On the day of the closing inventory the outgoing operator shall provide BE with a copy of the most recent receipts for the current stock and supplies. If receipts are not provided, BE shall assign fair market value to the closing inventory of stock and supplies;

(4) Within one week of the closing inventory the incoming operator may submit to BE a written request of an itemized list of specific items not to be included in the value of the opening inventory. BE shall have final determination of items to be included or excluded for the value of the incoming operator's opening inventory;

(5) The outgoing operator shall submit the closing MOR to BE within twenty four days of receipt of closing inventory documentation from BE; and

(6) The outgoing operator shall submit payment of the final service charge, any outstanding inventory charges and any other charges within thirty days of submission of the closing MOR.

(D) Whenever BE must take charge of a facility or site due to the suspension or termination of a BGA, BOA or TBOA, BE may assume temporary custody of the cash on hand until such time as outstanding set-aside fees and inventory adjustment charges due to BE are resolved.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:45 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.30, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/2016
Rule 3304:1-21-08 | Reporting and set-aside fees.
 

(A) All reports, service charges, or other payments operators may be required to submit, shall be submitted electronically to BE, which shall include telephone reporting. Should BE consider substantive changes in the format it prescribes, BE will actively participate with OVRC before implementation. Notwithstanding this, the MOR due when transitioning in or out of a facility or site shall be submitted using the method prescribed by BE.

(B) Each month, each operator shall submit a set-aside fee to BE which shall be calculated as follows:

(1) Net proceeds up to one thousand dollars shall be assessed a set-aside fee of ten per cent; plus

(2) Net proceeds above one thousand dollars but less than two thousand five hundred dollars shall be assessed a set-aside fee of fifteen per cent; plus

(3) Any remaining net proceeds above two thousand five hundred dollars shall be assessed a set-aside fee of twenty per cent.

(C) All reports, set-aside fees, or other required payments submitted electronically for a given month shall be submitted on or before the twenty-fourth day of the following month. All reports and payments submitted in writing for a given month shall be submitted on or before the fifteenth day of the following month. Any electronic report submitted after the twenty-fourth day of the following month, or a written report submitted after the fifteenth day of the following month shall be considered late by the BE program. This does not apply to reports related to transitions submitted in accordance with rule 3304:1-21-07 of the Administrative Code.

(D) When service charge or other payments owed to the BE program are unpaid, incomplete, or late, penalties shall be applied pursuant to rule 3304:1-21-09 of the Administrative Code.

(E) If an MOR is outstanding forty-five days after its due date then BE shall prepare and send a written estimate of charges due and the operator shall be subject to a penalty as described in rule 3304:1-21-09 of the Administrative Code.

(F) If an operator disagrees with a portion of the MOR charges prior to the due date of the disputed MOR charges, the operator shall submit their position in writing along with any supporting documentation describing the dispute to the BSVI director. The BSVI director, or designee shall review the documentation and investigate the dispute as follows:

Within ten calendar days after receiving the operator's written position, the BE program manager shall make a ruling as to whether the disputed charges should be rescinded by BE or paid by the operator;

(1) If the charges are to be rescinded, BE will make every effort to correct the matter prior to the next MOR filing after the date of the ruling letter;

(2) If the charges are to be paid by the operator, the charges will be due in full within ten calendar days of the date of the ruling letter from the BSVI director.

(G) If the operator is dissatisfied with the BE program manager's decision, the operator may file a grievance pursuant to rule 3304:1-21-14 of the Administrative Code.

(H) Set-aside fees received by BE shall be used pursuant to 34 CFR 395.9, in effect on the effective date of this rule, and may include assuring a fair minimum return to a displaced operator. The displaced operator receiving a fair minimum return shall submit an invoice to BE for payment. A set-aside fee shall not be levied against this amount nor shall it be shown on the MOR.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:45 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29(C), 3304.29(D)
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 11/1/1993, 10/1/2006
Rule 3304:1-21-09 | Program penalties.
 

(A) When a service charge or other payment owed to the BE program is unpaid, incomplete, or late, the BE program manager shall proceed as follows:

(1) If this is the first occurrence for the operator in the current federal fiscal year, the operator shall receive a written warning.

(2) If this is the second occurrence for the operator in the current federal fiscal year, a fee of one hundred dollars shall be applied to the current balance owed and be added to the billing invoice for the next service charge.

(3) If this is the third occurrence or more for the operator in the current federal fiscal year, a fee of two hundred dollars shall be applied to the current balance owed and be added to the billing invoice for the next service charge and the operator shall be placed on a performance improvement plan.

(B) Each occurrence in a federal fiscal year shall result in a progression of the fees. The progression of penalties and fees shall be on a per-facility basis. In addition to the fees and actions cited in this rule, the operator shall be charged a fifty dollar program service fee for payments returned for insufficient funds.

(C) Each operator shall have the opportunity to use an emergency excuse not to exceed one use per federal fiscal year. The request for an emergency excuse shall be made before the payment is due. In the instance of an excused late payment, the payment shall be submitted within fifteen calendar days of the original due date.

(D) Any unpaid program charges more than sixty days past due shall be assessed a twenty-five per cent late fee which shall be added to the total of unpaid program charges and forwarded to the state of Ohio, attorney general's office, for collections in accordance with section 131.02 of the Revised Code.

(E) On certification to the attorney general's office for past due program charges, BE may revoke an operator's license in accordance with rule 3304:1-21-13 of the Administrative Code unless all certified amounts are paid in full within one hundred twenty days of certification.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:45 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 5/1/1983, 11/1/1993, 10/4/1999
Rule 3304:1-21-10 | Operator performance improvement.
 

(A) BE with participation of the local selection panel shall place an operator on a performance improvement plan where there is a pattern of evidence demonstrating that an operator has violated the provisions of Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code. The performance improvement plan, and any amendments, shall:

(1) Be drafted with participation from the local selection panel;

(2) State the violation(s) to be cured and the timeframe to cure the violation(s); and

(3) Be provided to the operator in writing and in accessible format.

(B) The local selection panel will evaluate whether the operator cured the violation(s) within the designated time frame. The local selection panel shall be provided all available requested information to assist with making the evaluation.

(1) The local selection panel will determine, by majority vote, whether or not the term(s) of the performance improvement plan have been satisfied, or whether to extend the timeframe to cure the violation(s).

(2) If the local selection panel determines that the operator does not cure the violation(s) within the timeframe, the BSVI director may terminate the operator's BOA as noted in rule 3304:1-21-06 of the Administrative Code.

(C) An OVRC member shall not participate in the local selection panel or an OVRC active participation session concerning the performance improvement plan if the member has a personal interest or conflict of interest in relation to the operator or facility or site. A local selection panel member or OVRC member is prohibited from the first opportunity to bid on the facility or site, or temporarily operate the facility or site, if the operator is removed.

(D) If an operator is placed on two performance improvement plans for the same facility in a twenty-four month period, any further violations of the provisions of Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code that would previously result in a performance improvement plan will result in termination of the BOA for that facility in accordance with rule 3304:1-21-06 of the Administrative Code.

(E) Nothing in this rule modifies rule 3304:1-21-06 of the Administrative Code regarding the immediate temporary suspension of the BOA and loss of a facility as defined in said rule.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:45 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 3/21/1979
Rule 3304:1-21-11 | Authority and responsibility of BE.
 

BSVI has authority and responsibility for administration of the BE program consistent with 34 CFR 395, Chapter 3304. of the Revised Code, and Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code. In addition to these responsibilities the BE program shall:

(A) Actively participate, as defined in paragraph (B) of rule 3304:1-21-01 of the Administrative Code, with the OVRC on major administrative decisions and in policy and program development;

(B) Make every reasonable effort to provide all licensees with information in an accessible format, as defined in paragraph (A) of rule 3304:1-21-01 of the Administrative Code;

(C) Make every reasonable effort to schedule meetings and hearings with licensees in an accessible facility;

(D) Negotiate and enter into agreements, settlement agreements or contracts;

(E) Participate with the local selection panel to seek and secure suitable vending facilities;

(F) Have the right of access to any facility;

(G) Establish training programs for entry into the program, for upward mobility, and to assist operators;

(H) Market and promote BE;

(I) Upon request, provide to each licensee access to requested program and financial data relevant to the operation of the BE program, including quarterly and annual financial reports;

(J) Upon request, refer qualified candidates whenever possible to operators with personnel vacancies;

(K) Perform periodic inspections of inventory;

(L) Perform quarterly inspections of sites and facilities and prepare a written inspection report and visit each facility quarterly;

(M) Actively participate with the OVRC to draft and promulgate policies and procedures for the efficient operation of the BE program;

(N) Participate with the local selection panel to seek and secure suitable sites;

(O) Inform the local selection panel of any disputes with grantors that may result in the loss of a facility;

(P) If funds are available, BE shall provide a benefit payment to eligible operators by March first after the OVRC recommendation to provide payout. Any benefit payment to an operator or licensee shall be first applied toward outstanding program debt, prior to payment to the licensee or operator;

(Q) For all administrative rules in this chapter filed in compliance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and for which BSVI conducts a public hearing, at least thirty days before the public hearing for the administrative rules, BSVI shall provide the notice of public hearing to all licensed operators in the preferred format and to radio reading services; and

(R) Apply rules and policy in a uniform manner.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:46 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29, 3304.30, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/2010
Rule 3304:1-21-12 | Ohio vendors representative committee.
 

(A) The OVRC is fully representative of all blind licensees issued licenses by BSVI pursuant to Chapter 3304. of the Revised Code.

(1) The OVRC is comprised of seven representative districts in Ohio.

(a) The OVRC shall vote on the district boundaries at the meeting preceding October first.

(b) Districts shall be centered around Columbus, Zanesville, Akron-Canton, Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Dayton.

(2) The OVRC shall be composed of seven licensed operators who are elected by the operators assigned to the same electoral district.

(a) An operator's electoral district shall be determined by their principle place of business. Each representative shall represent all operators assigned to the electoral district.

(b) An alternate representative shall also be elected for each electoral district.

(c) A representative and an alternate representative from each district shall be elected for a two-year term commencing on July first of the year of their election.

(d) If a representative is absent from a meeting, the alternate representative shall participate in that meeting with the full rights of the representative.

(e) If a representative is unable to complete a term, is recalled, ceases to be an operator, or moves from that electoral district, the alternate representative shall complete the representative's term. If an alternate representative is unable to complete the term, ceases to be an operator, is recalled, or moves from that electoral district, or assumes the representative's position, a new alternate representative shall be elected through a special election to complete the original alternate representative's term. No special election for an alternate representative shall occur if there are ninety days or less remaining in the term at the time of any vacancy.

(B) The committee representatives and alternate representatives shall be elected as follows:

(1) BE shall schedule and conduct a nominating meeting on or before April first of each year in which the representatives and alternate representatives are to be elected.

(2) Elections shall be held for OVRC representatives and alternate representatives in the Toledo, Akron-Canton, Cleveland, and Cincinnati districts in even numbered years, and in the Zanesville, Dayton, and Columbus districts in odd numbered years.

(3) An operator must be present at this meeting, or participate through a telecommunication option, to be nominated as a representative or alternate representative unless prior approval is granted by BE. Operators operating a facility through a signed BOA may nominate and vote in the election for the representative for their own electoral district. Operators without a permanent BOA may vote in the district based on the operator's home address. Operators without a permanent BOA are not permitted to nominate or serve on the OVRC.

(4) If only one candidate is nominated in a district, that operator shall be declared the winner by acclamation.

(5) If more than one candidate is nominated in a district, BE shall prepare a ballot listing all the candidates and BE shall mail a copy to each operator in the area within five business days of the nominating meeting.

(6) The ballot shall be counted only if it is marked for one candidate and received on or before the fifteenth business day from the date the ballot was distributed by BE. All eligible ballots shall be counted with an OVRC representative present after this deadline has passed.

(7) The candidate receiving the most votes shall be the representative and the candidate receiving the next greatest number of votes shall be the alternate representative. In case of a tie, the representative shall be the operator with the most seniority, and the alternate representative shall be the operator who has the next greatest amount of seniority.

(8) BE shall provide the results of the representative election to each licensee within the electoral district within five business days of counting the ballots.

(C) The operators of an established electoral district may petition OVRC to recall the current elected representative or alternate representative for misconduct or neglect of duty.

(1) The petition must be approved by fifty-one per cent of all eligible operators of the given electoral district and shall clearly specify the charges brought against the elected representative or alternate representative.

(2) OVRC shall determine if just cause does exist for a recall ballot and direct BE to send a recall ballot to the eligible operators if it determines just cause does exist. Two-thirds of the eligible voting operators of the given electoral district are required to return a ballot with an affirmative vote to recall a representative or alternate representative. The results of the ballots shall be effective immediately.

(D) Special elections to fill an unexpired term of a representative or an alternate, shall be conducted in the following manner:

(1) BE shall conduct a nominating meeting as soon as is reasonably possible.

(2) An operator must be present at this meeting, or participate through a telecommunication option, to be nominated as a representative or alternate representative unless prior approval is granted by BE. Only operators operating a facility through a signed BOA may nominate and vote in the election for the representative for their own electoral district.

(3) If only one candidate is nominated in a district, that operator shall be declared the winner by acclamation.

(4) If more than one candidate is nominated in a district, BE shall prepare a ballot listing all the candidates and shall distribute a copy to each operator in the area within five business days of the date of the nominating meeting.

(5) The ballot shall be counted only if it is marked for one candidate and received on or before the fifteenth business day from the date the ballot was distributed by BE. All eligible ballots shall be counted with an OVRC representative present after this deadline has passed.

(6) The candidate receiving the most votes shall complete the original term. In case of a tie, the declared winner shall be the candidate with the most seniority.

(7) Within five business days of counting the ballots, BE shall inform each licensee within the area the results of the election.

(E) Elections may be conducted electronically if agreed to by OVRC and BE.

(F) The OVRC shall establish bylaws outlining how meetings shall be conducted and how officers will be elected and shall file the bylaws with BE within one week of adoption.

(G) The OVRC chairperson or designee shall:

(1) Prepare an agenda of topics to be discussed by the OVRC at each meeting; and

(2) Communicate to BE the written recommendations of the OVRC within fifteen business days following such meetings. These recommendations shall be considered by BE before any decisions are made except in a situation requiring the immediate action of the BSVI director.

(H) The full OVRC committee shall:

(1) Receive and transmit to the state licensing agency grievances at the request of blind vendors and serve as advocates for such vendors in connection with such grievances;

(2) Participate, with BE, in developing training programs; and

(3) Sponsor, with the assistance of BE, meetings for licensees.

(I) At the meeting immediately preceding October first of each year, BE will actively participate with OVRC, and contingent on the availability of BE funds, shall determine for the next federal fiscal year, the amount of:

(1) Co-payment per service call;

(2) Payments assuring a fair minimum of return pursuant to 34 CFR 395;

(3) Benefit payments; and

(4) Rates of reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses for OVRC representatives and alternate representatives to attend regular meetings of the OVRC and any other official duties performed on behalf of the OVRC. Reimbursement for expenses incurred for attending special meetings is prohibited.

(J) The BSVI director shall meet with the committee at least twice each federal fiscal year. Special meetings of the committee shall be convened within ten business days of the written request of the majority of its members or upon the written request of the BSVI director. Committee members shall bear the cost of their expenses related to special meetings. BE shall bear the cost of actual and necessary expenses of committee members for attendance at regular meetings.

OVRC shall schedule all regular meetings including dates and times in July of each year. Any OVRC meeting held outside of this schedule shall not be considered a regular meeting.

(K) The OVRC shall actively participate with BSVI in major administrative decisions and policy and program development with respect to BE. Such participation includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Decisions concerning contracts with BE vendors and suppliers;

(2) Purchases involving new or existing facilities that are fifty thousand dollars or more;

(3) The creation of, or changes to, forms operators are required to complete and/or sign;

(4) Changes to reporting requirements of operators;

(5) Settlement agreements being considered by BE;

(6) Extension of a TBOA beyond six months;

(7) Reconfiguration of a vacant facility prior to posting;

(8) Known proposals that could cause a major reduction in funding for the BE program;

(9) Known proposals to amend statutes, administrative rules, or written policies or procedures affecting licensees;

(10) Disputes with grantors where the grantor has indicated the loss of a site or facility;

(11) BE budget; and

(12) As otherwise required in Chapter 3304:1-21 of the Administrative Code.

(L) BE shall provide the OVRC members information including, but not limited to, documents or other material necessary to understand the issues that require active participation four business days before the next OVRC meeting, or if the issue arises less than four days before the next OVRC meeting with as much advance notice as reasonably possible.

(M) OVRC shall provide the BSVI director information including but not limited to, documents or other material necessary to understand the issues four business days before the next OVRC meeting, or if the issue arises less than four days before the next OVRC meeting with as much advance notice as reasonably possible.

(N) BE shall not take any action on a matter requiring active participation of OVRC without first securing the active participation of OVRC, except:

(1) BE may take action prior to securing active participation of the OVRC if an emergency occurs in the discretion of the BSVI director. In cases of emergency, the BSVI director shall make every effort to consult with the OVRC chair or vice chair prior to taking action, and shall, when such an emergency has abated, provide to the OVRC chair a written description of the emergency and the action taken; and

(2) BE may take action on issues requiring active participation if the OVRC does not respond within five business days.

(3) The OVRC shall not actively participate in decision-making processes regarding OOD personnel, personnel policies, or personnel administration.

(O) BE may invite the OVRC to attend meetings with third parties concerning BE issues, programs and policies, and all meetings at which decisions will or may be made concerning any matter that would require the active participation of OVRC.

(P) Nothing in this rule prohibits the BSVI director from administering the program and making any and all ordinary decisions regarding the administration of the program.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:46 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29, 3304.34
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 10/4/1999, 1/1/2016
Rule 3304:1-21-13 | License denial, suspension, or revocation.
 

(A) BSVI may deny, revoke, or suspend a license upon proof that the licensee or applicant:

(1) Engages in fraud, material deception, or material misrepresentation as an applicant or as a licensee in the BE program;

(2) Pleads guilty to or is convicted of a criminal activity;

(3) Carries or possesses a firearm or concealed weapon in violation of law, regulation, or policy at the licensee's facility;

(4) Is under the influence of alcohol, or illegal substances, or abused controlled substances at the work place or otherwise knowingly fails to maintain a drug-free work environment;

(5) Is determined to be mentally incompetent by a court order;

(6) Cannot perform an operator's duties, as described in rule 3304:1-21-04 of the Administrative Code;

(7) For past due program charges pursuant to paragraph (E) of rule 3304:1-21-09 of the Administrative Code;

(8) The operator or licensee no longer meets the definition of an individual who is blind/legally blind;

(9) Has had the BOA terminated at least two times pursuant to paragraphs (C)(1), (C)(2), and (C)(5) of rule 3304:1-21-06 of the Administrative Code; or

(10) As otherwise specified in this chapter.

(B) The BSVI director shall notify the licensee, and copy OVRC, of the proposed action, basis for the action, and the hearing process pursuant to Chapters 119.06 to 119.09 of the Revised Code.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:46 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.31
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 11/1/1993
Rule 3304:1-21-14 | Informal resolution, grievance and arbitration.
 

(A) OOD establishes this rule to satisfy the requirement of affording a fair hearing to licensees as required by 20 USC 107b(6) and 34 CFR 395.13, in effect on the effective date of this rule.

(B) A licensee dissatisfied with any BSVI action arising from the operation or administration of the BE program, including employment decisions and ministerial decisions, is encouraged, but not required, to first attempt a pre-grievance meeting with the assigned area manager to resolve any issue.

BE shall schedule an informal meeting within thirty days of receiving the written request. This request for informal resolution is not a grievance.

(C) A licensee may file a grievance and request a fair hearing when the licensee is dissatisfied with any BSVI action arising from the operation or administration of the BE program.

(1) The request shall be made in writing and submitted to the BE manager;

(2) The request shall be received by the BE manager within three hundred and sixty-five calendar days of the date the licensee became or reasonably should have become aware of the action taken. Engaging in informal resolution shall not extend this timeframe for the operator to file a grievance.

(3) No grievance requesting a fair hearing shall be permitted concerning employment decisions or ministerial decisions made by OOD, BSVI or BE. A denial does not prevent the operator or licensee from requesting an arbitration proceeding pursuant to 34 C.F.R. 395.13 in effect on the effective date of this rule.

(D) Whenever a licensee files a grievance in accordance with Ohio law and this rule, BE shall schedule and conduct a fair hearing pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code where such provisions do not conflict with the Randolph Sheppard Act, as amended, and the following requirements.

(1) BE shall schedule the fair hearing within sixty calendar days of receiving the grievance.

(2) The fair hearing shall be conducted by an impartial hearing officer under contract with OOD.

(3) The fair hearing shall be held in person at the OOD central office in Columbus, Ohio, or through an OOD approved videoconference software with the consent of the impartial hearing officer and the parties. Any person participating in a hearing may appear remotely through an OOD approved videoconference software. Any person participating remotely shall ensure compatibility and connectivity with the OOD approved videoconference software prior to the start of the hearing. Proposed exhibits shall be exchanged between the parties and the hearing officer prior to the start of the hearing.

(E) While the grievance is pending, the BE manager, or designee, shall contact the licensee to determine if the grievance may be resolved informally.

(1) Any informal meeting shall be scheduled within thirty calendar days of receipt of the grievance.

(2) The BE manager, or designee, shall provide a written summary of any informal meeting to the licensee with any proposed informal resolution.

(3) The request shall proceed to a fair hearing unless the grievance is withdrawn.

(F) The impartial hearing officer shall submit to BE a report and recommendation within thirty calendar days after the fair hearing has concluded. BE shall serve the report and recommendation on the licensee or licensee's attorney in accordance with section 119.09 of the Revised Code. The report and recommendation shall be based on the Randolph Sheppard Act and regulations, as applicable, Ohio law and Administrative Code, and OOD policies and procedures.

(1) The licensee may file written objections to the impartial hearing officer report and recommendation with the director of BSVI. Written objections must be received by the director of BSVI within ten calendar days of the licensee receiving the report and recommendation in accordance with section 119.09 of the Revised Code.

(2) The licensee may request the report and recommendation be served by other appropriate means after service is perfected.

(G) The director of BSVI shall issue an adjudication order approving, modifying, or disapproving the report and recommendation after considering all objections of the licensee in accordance with section 119.09 of the Revised Code.

(H) Licensees may challenge the director of BSVI adjudication order by filing a complaint with the secretary of education pursuant to 20 USC 107d-1 in effect on the effective date of this rule.

A three-member ad hoc arbitration panel will arbitrate the dispute.

(I) OOD shall have the fair hearing recorded in a manner that may be transcribed. Any party may request the transcript of the hearing at their own expense.

(J) Time limits created by this rule may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.

Last updated February 18, 2022 at 8:46 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3304.29(D)
Amplifies: 3304.29
Five Year Review Date: 2/18/2027
Prior Effective Dates: 11/1/1993