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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 18, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter XIVPart 1650Subpart A → §1650.109

Title 29: Labor
Subpart A—Procedures for the Collection of Debts by Salary Offset

§1650.109   Hearing.

(a) Request for a hearing. An employee who wants a hearing on the existence of the debt, its amount, or on the proposed offset schedule must send a written request to the official designated in the Notice of Debt. The request for a hearing must be received by the designated office on or before the 15th calendar day following receipt by the employee of the Notice of Debt. The request must be signed by the employee and must contain a brief summary of the facts, evidence, and witnesses, if any, that the employee believes support his or her position. If the employee wants an oral hearing, the request must also explain why the matter cannot be resolved by review of documentary evidence alone (e.g., how an issue of credibility or veracity is involved). Because proof of the existence or amount of a debt rarely requires an evaluation of the credibility of witnesses, oral hearings will only rarely be granted. The timely filing of a request for hearing shall automatically stay the commencement of collection proceedings.

(b) Failure to timely submit. If the request for hearing is late, the Commission may still grant the request if the employee can show that the delay was the result of circumstances beyond his or her control or that he or she failed to receive actual notice of the filing deadline.

(c) Procedure—(1) Hearing official. The hearing official will be an Administrative Law Judge or an individual who is not under the supervision or control of the Chair.

(2) Notice. The hearing official shall notify the employee whether the hearing will be oral or documentary. If the hearing will be oral, the notice shall set forth the date, time, and location of the hearing, which must occur no more than 30 days after the request is received. If the hearing will be conducted by examination of documents, the employee shall be notified that he or she should submit evidence and arguments in writing to the hearing official by a specified date after which the record shall be closed. This date shall give the employee reasonable time to submit documentation.

(3) Oral hearing. The hearing official may grant a request for an oral hearing if he or she determines that the issues raised by the employee cannot be resolved by review of documentary evidence alone (e.g., when credibility or veracity are at issue). An oral hearing is not required to be an adversarial adjudication, and the hearing official is not required to apply rules of evidence. Oral hearings may take the form of, but are not limited to:

(i) Informal conferences with the hearing official in which the employee and agency representative are given a full opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, and argument;

(ii) Informal meetings in which the hearing examiner interviews the employee and, as necessary, others with relevant evidence; or

(iii) Formal written submissions followed by an opportunity for oral presentation. Witnesses who testify in oral hearings shall do so under oath or affirmation.

(4) Documentary hearing. If an oral hearing is not necessary, the hearing official shall make the determination based upon a review of the written record.

(d) Record. The hearing official shall maintain a summary record of any hearing conducted under this section.

(e) Date of decision. The hearing official shall issue a written decision as soon as practicable after the hearing, but not later than 60 days after the date on which the request for hearing was received by the Commission, unless the hearing was delayed at the request of the employee, in which case the 60 day decision period shall be extended by the number of days by which the hearing was postponed.

(f) Content of decision. The written decision shall include:

(1) A summary of the facts concerning the origin, nature, and amount of the debt;

(2) The hearing official's findings, analysis, and conclusions; and

(3) The revised terms of any repayment schedule, if applicable.

(g) Failure to appear. In the absence of good cause, if the employee or the representative of the agency fails to appear, the hearing official shall proceed with the hearing as scheduled, and make his or her determination based upon the oral testimony presented and the documentation submitted by both parties.

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