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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 45Subtitle ASubchapter APart 96 → Subpart E


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 96—BLOCK GRANTS


Subpart E—Enforcement


Contents
§96.50   Complaints.
§96.51   Hearings.
§96.52   Appeals.
§96.53   Length of withholding.

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§96.50   Complaints.

(a) This section applies to any complaint (other than a complaint alleging violation of the nondiscrimination provisions) that a State has failed to use its allotment under a block grant in accordance with the terms of the act establishing the block grant or the certifications and assurances made by the State pursuant to that act. The Secretary is not required to consider a complaint unless it is submitted as required by this section.

(b) Complaints with respect to the health block grants must be submitted in writing to either the Assistant Secretary for Health or: For the preventive health and health services block grant, the Director, Centers for Disease Control; for the alcohol and drug abuse and mental health services block grant, the Administrator, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration; for the maternal and child health services block grant, the Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration. Complaints with respect to the social services block grant must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Secretary for Human Development Services. Complaints with respect to the low-income home energy assistance program and the community services block grant must be submitted in writing to the Director, Office of Community Services. (The address for the Director, Center for Disease Control is 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30333. For each of the other officials cited above the address is 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201.) The complaint must identify the provision of the act, assurance, or certification that was allegedly violated; must specify the basis for the violations it charges; and must include all relevant information known to the person submitting it.

(c) The Department shall promptly furnish a copy of any complaint to the affected State. Any comments received from the State within 60 days (or such longer period as may be agreed upon between the State and the Department) shall be considered by the Department in responding to the complaint. The Department will conduct an investigation of complaints where appropriate.

(d) The Department will provide a written response to complaints within 180 days after receipt. If a final resolution cannot be provided at that time, the response will state the reasons why additional time is necessary. Under the low-income home energy assistance program, within 60 days after receipt of complaints, the Department will provide a written response to the complainant, stating the actions that it has taken to date and, if the complaint has not yet been fully resolved, the timetable for final resolution of the complaint.

(e) The Department recognizes that under the block grant programs the States are primarily responsible for interpreting the governing statutory provisions. As a result, various States may reach different interpretations of the same statutory provisions. This circumstance is consistent with the intent of and statutory authority for the block grant programs. In resolving any issue raised by a complaint or a Federal audit the Department will defer to a State's interpretation of its assurances and of the provisions of the block grant statutes unless the interpretation is clearly erroneous. In any event, the Department will provide copies of complaints to the independent entity responsible for auditing the State's activities under the block grant program involved. Any determination by the Department that a State's interpretation is not clearly erroneous shall not preclude or otherwise prejudice the State auditors' consideration of the question.

[47 FR 29486, July 6, 1982; 47 FR 43062, Sept. 30, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 37967, Oct. 13, 1987; 57 FR 1977, Jan. 16, 1992; 60 FR 21358, May 1, 1995]

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§96.51   Hearings.

(a) The Department will order a State to repay amounts found not to have been expended in accordance with law of the certifications provided by the State only after the Department has provided the State notice of the order and an opportunity for a hearing. Opportunity for a hearing will not be provided, however, when the State, in resolving audit findings or at another time, has agreed that the amounts were not expended in accordance with law or the certifications. The hearing will be governed by subpart F of this part and will be held in the State if required by statute.

(b) If a State refuses to repay amounts after a final decision that is not subject to further review in the Department, the amounts may be offset against payments to the State. If a statute requires an opportunity for a hearing before such an offset may be made, the hearing will be governed by subpart F of this part and will be held in the State if required by statute.

(c) The Department will withhold funds from a State only if the Department has provided the State an opportunity for a hearing. The hearing will be governed by subpart F of this part and will be held in the State if required by statute.

[47 FR 29486, July 6, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 37967, Oct. 13, 1987]

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§96.52   Appeals.

(a) Decisions resulting from repayment hearings held pursuant to §96.51(a) of this part may be appealed by either the State or the Department to the Grant Appeals Board.

(b) Decisions resulting from offset hearings held pursuant to §96.51(b) of this part may not be appealed.

(c) Decisions resulting from withholding hearings held pursuant to §96.51(c) of this part may be appealed to the Secretary by the State or the Department as follows:

(1) An application for appeal must be received by the Secretary no later than 60 days after the appealing party receives a copy of the presiding officer's decision. The application shall clearly identify the questions for which review is sought and shall explain fully the party's position with respect to those questions. A copy shall be furnished to the other party.

(2) The Secretary may permit the filing of opposing briefs, hold informal conferences, or take whatever other steps the Secretary finds appropriate to decide the appeal.

(3) The Secretary may refer an application for appeal to the Grant Appeals Board. Notwithstanding part 16 of this title, in the event of such a referral, the Board shall issue a recommended decision that will not become final until affirmed, reversed, or modified by the Secretary.

(d) Any appeal to the Grant Appeals Board under this section shall be governed by part 16 of this title except that the Board shall not hold a hearing. The Board shall accept any findings with respect to credibility of witnesses made by the presiding officer. The Board may otherwise review and supplement the record as provided for in part 16 of this title and decide the issues raised.

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§96.53   Length of withholding.

Under the low-income home energy assistance program and community services block grant, the Department may withhold funds until the Department finds that the reason for the withholding has been removed.

[64 FR 55857, Oct. 15, 1999]

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