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e-CFR data is current as of October 21, 2020

Title 29Subtitle APart 20Subpart D → §20.81

Title 29: Labor
Subpart D—Salary Offset

§20.81   Review of the obligation.

(a) The debtor shall have the opportunity to obtain a hearing by an administrative law judge of the agency's determination concerning the existence or amount of the debt, or the repayment schedule proposed by the agency, and except as provided in §20.75(c), review by an administrative law judge is to be the exclusive administrative review remedy on the agency's determination under these regulations.

(b) The debtor seeking a hearing shall make the request in writing to the Chief Administrative Law Judge, pursuant to 29 CFR part 18, not more than 15 days from the date the notice of proposed salary offset was received by the debtor. The request for hearing shall be signed by the employee and state the basis for challenging the determination. If the debtor alleges that the agency's information relating to the debt is not accurate, timely, relevant or complete, such debtor shall fully identify and explain with reasonable specificity all the facts, evidence and witnesses, if any, which the employee believes supports his or her position.

(c) The hearing ordinarily shall be based on written submissions and documentation by the debtor. However, an opportunity for an oral hearing shall be provided an individual debtor when the administrative law judge determines that:

(1) An applicable statute authorizes or requires the agency to consider waiver of the indebtedness involved, the debtor requests waiver of the indebtedness, and the waiver determination turns on an issue of credibility or veracity; or

(2) An individual debtor requests reconsideration of the debt and the administrative law judge determines that the question of the indebtedness cannot be resolved by review of the documentary evidence, for example, when the validity of the debt turns on an issue of credibility or veracity; or

(3) In other situations in which the administrative law judge deems an oral hearing appropriate.

Unless otherwise required by law or these regulations, any oral hearing under this section shall be conducted under the procedures in 29 CFR part 18. Except as provided under §20.79, the provisions for discovery shall not be applicable unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge. Procedural and evidentiary rules shall be relaxed by the administrative law judge to provide informality and to facilitate the hearing.

(d) Agencies may effect a salary offset against the current pay account of a debtor prior to the completion of the hearing procedures required by this subpart, if failure to initiate the offset would substantially prejudice the agency's ability to collect the debt; for example, if the employee's anticipated period of employment with the Government would not reasonably permit the completion of the hearing and recovery of the debt prior to termination of employment. Offset prior to completion of the hearing must be promptly followed by the completion of that hearing.

(e) If the debtor seeking a hearing under this section makes the request for review of the obligation after the expiration of the period for filing as described in paragraph (b) of this section, the administrative law judge may accept the request for hearing if the debtor can show that the delay was because of circumstances beyond his or her control or because of failure to receive notice of the time limit (unless otherwise aware of it).

(f) Upon completion of the hearing, the administrative law judge shall transmit to the debtor a written decision. This decision shall state, at a minimum: The facts purported to evidence the nature and origin of the alleged debt; the administrative law judge's findings and conclusions, as to the employee's and/or creditor agency's grounds; the amount and validity of the alleged debt; and, where applicable, the repayment schedule. If appropriate, the notification shall also indicate any changes in the information to the extent such information differs from that provided in the notification under §20.78(b).

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1225-0038)

[52 FR 3772, Feb. 5, 1987; 52 FR 13563, Apr. 23, 1987]

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