Executive Order 12999

Educational Technology: Ensuring Opportunity for All Children in the Next Century

In order to ensure that American children have the skills they need to succeed in the information-intensive 21st century, the Federal Government is committed to working with the private sector to promote four major developments in American education: making modern computer technology an integral part of every classroom; providing teachers with the professional development they need to use new technologies effectively; connecting classrooms to the National Information Infrastructure; and encouraging the creation of excellent educational software. This Executive order streamlines the transfer of excess and surplus Federal computer equipment to our Nation's classrooms and encourages Federal employees to volunteer their time and expertise to assist teachers and to connect classrooms.

Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended (15 U.S.C. 3701et seq.), the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, ch. 288, 63 Stat. 377, and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996, Public Law 104-106, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Protection of Educationally Useful Federal Equipment.

(a) Educationally useful Federal equipment is a vital national resource. To the extent such equipment can be used as is, separated into parts for other computers, or upgraded--either by professional technicians, students, or other recycling efforts--educationally useful Federal equipment is a valuable tool for computer education. Therefore, to the extent possible, all executive departments and agencies (hereinafter referred to as "agencies") shall protect and safeguard such equipment, particularly when declared excess or surplus, so that it may be recycled and transferred, if appropriate, pursuant to this order.

Sec. 2. Efficient Transfer of Educationally Useful Federal Equipment to Schools and Nonprofit Organizations.

(a) To the extent permitted by law, all agencies shall give highest preference to schools and nonprofit organizations, including community-based educational organizations, ("schools and nonprofit organizations") in the transfer, through gift or donation, of educationally useful Federal equipment.

(b) Agencies shall attempt to give particular preference to schools and nonprofit organizations located in the Federal enterprise communities and empowerment zones established in the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993, Public Law 103-66.

(c) Each agency shall, to the extent permitted by law and where appropriate, identify educationally useful Federal equipment that it no longer needs and transfer it to a school or nonprofit organization by:

(1) conveying research equipment directly to the school or organization pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 3710(i); or

(2) reporting excess equipment to the General Services Administration (GSA) for donation when declared surplus in accordance with section 203(j) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 484(j). Agencies shall report such equipment as far as possible in advance of the date the equipment becomes excess, so that GSA may attempt to arrange direct transfers from the donating agency to recipients eligible under this order.

(d) In transfers made pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, title shall transfer directly from the agency to the schools or nonprofit organizations as required by 15 U.S.C 3710(i). All such transfers shall be reported to the GSA. At the direction of the recipient institution or organization, and if appropriate, transferred equipment may be conveyed initially to a nonprofit reuse or recycling program that will upgrade it before transfer to the school or nonprofit organization holding title.

(e) All transfers to schools or nonprofit organizations, whether made directly or through GSA, shall be made at the lowest cost to the school or nonprofit organization permitted by law.

(f) The availability of educationally useful Federal equipment shall be made known to eligible recipients under this order by all practicable means, including newspaper, community announcements, and the Internet.

(g) The regional Federal Executive Boards shall help facilitate the transfer of educationally useful Federal equipment from the agencies they represent to recipients eligible under this order.

Sec. 3. Assisting Teachers' Professional Development: Connecting Classrooms.

(a) Each agency that has employees who have computer expertise shall, to the extent permitted by law and in accordance with the guidelines of the Office of Personnel Management, encourage those employees to:

(1) help connect America's classrooms to the National Information Infrastructure;

(2) assist teachers in learning to use computers to teach; and

(3) provide ongoing maintenance of and technical support for the educationally useful Federal equipment transferred pursuant to this order.

(b) Each agency described in subsection (a) shall submit to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, within 6 months of the date of this order, an implementation plan to advance the developments described in this order, particularly those required in this section. The plan shall be consistent with approved agency budget totals and shall be coordinated through the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

(c) Nothing in this order shall be interpreted to bar a recipient of educationally useful Federal equipment from lending that equipment, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, to a teacher, administrator, student, employee, or other designated person in furtherance of educational goals.

Sec. 4. Definitions . For the purposes of this order:

(a) "Schools" means individual public or private education institutions encompassing prekindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as public school districts.

(b) "Community-based educational organizations" means nonprofit entities that are engaged in collaborative projects with schools or that have education as their primary focus. Such organizations shall qualify as nonprofit educational institutions or organizations for purposes of section 203(j) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended.

(c) "Educationally useful Federal equipment" means computers and related peripheral tools (e.g., printers, modems, routers, and servers), including telecommunications and research equipment, that are appropriate for use in prekindergarten, elementary, middle, or secondary school education. It shall also include computer software, where the transfer of licenses is permitted.

(d) "Nonprofit reuse or recycling program" means a 501(c) organization able to upgrade computer equipment at no or low cost to the school or nonprofit organization taking title to it.

(e) "Federal Executive Boards," as defined in 5 C.F.R. Part 960, are regional organizations of each Federal agency's highest local officials.

Sec. 5 . This order shall supersede Executive Order No. 12821 of November 16, 1992.

Sec. 6. Judicial Review. This order is not intended, and should not be construed, to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or its employees.

April 17, 1996.

Last Reviewed 2015-06-16