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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 13Chapter IPart 131 → §131.640

Title 13: Business Credit and Assistance

§131.640   Dispute procedures.

(a) Financial and Programmatic disputes. (1) A recipient organization wishing to resolve a dispute regarding a financial or programmatic matter other than suspension, termination, or non-renewal of its award must submit a written appeal petition describing the subject of the dispute, along with any relevant documentation, to the Chairman of the grant appeals committee (the Committee).

(2) The appeal petition must be received by the Committee within 30 calendar days of the date of SBA's decision. A copy of the appeal petition must also be provided to the AA/OWBO.

(3) There is no prescribed format for the submission of an appeal petition. Formal briefs and other technical forms of pleading are not required, nor is the grantee required to obtain civil representation. However, the appeal petition must be in writing and must be concise, factual, and logically arranged. In addition, the appeal petition must contain the following:

(i) Name and address of organization; (ii) Name and address of the appropriate local SBA district office;

(iii) Identification of the appropriate SBA program office and the award number;

(iv) A statement of the material which are substantially in dispute;

(v) Copies of any documents or other evidence supporting the appeal;

(vi) A request for the specific relief desired on appeal: and

(vii) A statement as to whether an oral hearing is being requested and, if so, the reason for the hearing.

(4) The Committee will first rule on a request for an oral hearing before proceeding to consider the merits of an appeal petition. Within 60 calendar days of receiving the appeal petition, the Committee will present its decision in writing to the recipient organization and the AA/OWBO. The Committee's ruling will represent the final Agency decision on the subject of the dispute and will not be further appealable within SBA.

(5) Requests for an appeal before the Committee will not be granted unless the Agency determines there are substantial material facts in dispute.

(6) The Committee may request additional information or documentation from the recipient organization at any stage in the proceedings. The recipient organization's response to the Committee's request for additional information or documentation must be submitted, in writing, to the Committee within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request. In the event that the recipient organization fails to follow the procedures specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Committee may dismiss the appeal by a written order.

(7) If a request for an appeal is granted, the Committee will provide the recipient organization with written instructions and will afford the parties an opportunity to present their positions to the Committee in writing.

(8) The chairperson of the Committee, with advice from the SBA's Office of General Counsel, will issue a final written decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of all information or inform the recipient organization that additional time to issue a decision is necessary. A copy of the decision will be transmitted to the recipient organization, with copies to the AA/OWBO.

(9) At any time within 120 days of the end of the budget period, the recipient organization may submit a written request to use an expedited dispute appeal process. The Committee, by an affirmative vote of a majority of its total membership, may expedite the appeals process to attain final resolution of a dispute before the issuance date of a new cooperative agreement.

(b) [Reserved]

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