Under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the European Commission have committed to implement an arbitration mechanism to provide European individuals with the ability to invoke binding arbitration to address unresolved complaints that an organization has violated its obligations under the Privacy Shield Principles.  The DOC and the European Commission will work together to implement the arbitration mechanism, including by jointly developing a list of potential arbitrators and arbitral procedures to govern the arbitral proceedings.

On January 17, 2017, the DOC published a request for submissions from third party vendors on the GSA schedule in order to select a contractor to serve as the administrator for Privacy Shield arbitrations and to manage the arbitral fund as identified in Annex I of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.  The DOC seeks to engage a contractor in a no-cost contract for these services.  Submissions are due by February 17, 2017.  

The services provided under the contract include:

  • Propose Arbitral Procedures and a Code of Conduct — The Contractor will submit a proposal for procedures to govern the arbitral proceedings and a code of conduct for arbitrators for consideration by the DOC and the European Commission.
  • Provide Administrative Services — The Contractor will provide administrative services to enable efficient, well-organized arbitrations, including assisting with initiating proceedings; managing documents submitted by parties; finding facilities to conduct any hearings; and monitoring and enforcing the procedures and code of conduct.
  • Facilitate the Selection Arbitrators — The Contractor will facilitate the parties’ selection of arbitrators from the list of arbitrators developed by DOC and the European Commission.
  • Provide Guidance on the Arbitration Process — The Contractor will develop a website that provides information to the public on the arbitration process, including how to initiate proceedings and submit documents; how to select arbitrators; the arbitral procedures and code of conduct; and the process for collection and payment of arbitrator fees.

Arbitral Fund:
  • Establish a Fund and Collect Fees — The Contractor will establish a fund into which Privacy Shield organizations will be required to provide contributions to cover arbitral costs and collect contributions directly from the organizations. 
  • Manage Payment of Arbitral Costs — The Contractor shall review submissions and manage timely payment of valid submissions for covered arbitral costs from the fund.
  • Reporting — The Contractor will report on the operations of the fund and provide information on the arbitrations.
  • Audit — The Contractor will engage an external, independent audit of the fund operations on an annual basis.

For more information:  GSA vendors should refer to the GSA schedule for more details.