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Title 7Subtitle A → Part 15


Title 7: Agriculture


PART 15—NONDISCRIMINATION


Contents

Subpart A—Nondiscrimination in Federally-Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture—Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

§15.1   Purpose and application of part.
§15.2   Definitions.
§15.3   Discrimination prohibited.
§15.4   Assurances required.
§15.5   Compliance.
§15.6   Complaints.
§15.7   Intimidatory or retaliatory acts prohibited.
§15.8   Procedure for effecting compliance.
§15.9   Hearings.
§15.10   Decisions and notices.
§15.11   Judicial review.
§15.12   Effect on other regulations; forms and instructions.
Appendix to Subpart A of Part 15—List of Federal Financial Assistance From USDA

Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C—Rules of Practice and Procedure for Hearings, Decisions and Administrative Review Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964

General Information

§15.60   Scope of rules.
§15.61   Records to be public.
§15.62   Definitions.
§15.63   Computation of time.
§15.64   Parties.
§15.65   Appearance.
§15.66   Complainants not parties.
§15.67   Intervener.
§15.68   Ex parte communications.

Form, Execution, Filing and Service of Documents

§15.71   Form of documents to be filed.
§15.72   Filing.
§15.73   Service.
§15.74   Date of service.

Initial Notice and Response

§15.81   How proceedings are commenced.
§15.82   Notice of hearing and response thereto.
§15.83   Notice of opportunity to request a hearing and response thereto.
§15.84   Answer.
§15.85   Amendment of notice or answer.
§15.86   Consolidated or joint hearings.

Hearing Officer

§15.91   Who presides.
§15.92   Designation of hearing officer.
§15.93   Time and place of hearing.
§15.94   Disability of hearing officer.
§15.95   Responsibilities and duties of hearing officer.

Motions

§15.101   Form and content.
§15.102   Responses to motions.
§15.103   Disposition of motions.

Hearing Procedures

§15.110   Prehearing conferences.
§15.111   Purpose of hearing.
§15.112   Statement of position and brief.
§15.113   Testimony.
§15.115   Affidavits.
§15.116   Depositions.
§15.117   Evidence.
§15.118   Cross-examination.
§15.119   Objections.
§15.120   Exceptions to rulings of hearing officer unnecessary.
§15.121   Official notice.
§15.122   Offer of proof.
§15.123   Appeals from ruling of hearing officer.
§15.124   Admissions as to facts and documents.

The Record

§15.131   Official transcript.
§15.132   Record for decision.

Posthearing Procedures

§15.135   Posthearing briefs.
§15.136   Decisions and notices.
§15.137   Exceptions to initial or proposed decision.
§15.138   Review of initial decision.
§15.139   Oral argument.
§15.140   Service of decisions.
§15.141   Contents of decision.
§15.142   Content of orders.
§15.143   Decision where financial assistance affected.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 29 U.S.C. 794.

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Subpart A—Nondiscrimination in Federally-Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture—Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Source: 29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964; 29 FR 16966, Dec. 11, 1964, unless otherwise noted.

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§15.1   Purpose and application of part.

(a) The purpose of the regulations in this part is to effectuate the provisions of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) to the end that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of an applicant or recipient receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture or any Agency thereof.

(b) The regulations in this part apply to any program or activity of an applicant or recipient for which Federal financial assistance is authorized under a law administered by the Department including, but not limited to, the Federal financial assistance listed in the appendix to this part. They apply to money paid, property transferred, or other Federal financial assistance extended to an applicant or recipient for its program or activity after the effective date of these regulations pursuant to an application approved or statutory or other provision made therefor prior to such effective date. The regulations in this part do not apply to (1) any Federal financial assistance by way of insurance or guaranty contract, (2) money paid, property transferred, or other assistance extended prior to the effective date of the regulations in this part, (3) any assistance to an applicant or recipient who is an ultimate beneficiary, or (4) except as provided in §15.3(c), any employment practice of any employer, employment agency or labor organization. The fact that a specific kind of Federal financial assistance is not listed in the appendix, shall not mean, if title VI of the Act is otherwise applicable, that such Federal financial assistance is not covered. Other Federal financial assistance under statutes now in force or hereinafter enacted may be added to this list by notice approved and issued by the Secretary and published in the Federal Register.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 38 FR 17925, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.2   Definitions.

(a) Department means the Department of Agriculture, and includes each of its operating agencies and other organizational units.

(b) Agency means any service, bureau, agency, office, administration, instrumentality of or corporation within the U.S. Department of Agriculture extending Federal financial assistance to any program or activity, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom the Secretary delegates authority to carry out any of the functions or responsibilities of an agency under this part.

(c) Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture or any officer or employee of the Department to whom the Secretary has heretofore delegated, or to whom the Secretary may hereafter delegate, the authority to act in his stead under the regulations in this part.

(d) Hearing Officer means a hearing examiner appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105, and designated to hold hearings under the regulations in this part or any person authorized to hold a hearing and make a final decision under the regulations in this part.

(e) Recipient means any State, political subdivision of any State, or instrumentality of any State or political subdivision, any public or private agency, institution, or organization, or other entity or any individual in any State, to whom Federal financial assistance is extended, directly or through another recipient, including any successor, assignee, or transferee thereof, but such term does not include any ultimate beneficiary.

(f) Primary recipient includes any recipient which is authorized or required to extend Federal financial assistance to another recipient.

(g) Federal financial assistance or financial assistance includes (1) grants and loans of Federal funds, (2) the grant or donation of Federal property and interests in property, (3) the detail of Federal personnel, (4) the sale and lease of, and the permission to use (on other than a casual or transient basis), Federal property or any interest in such property or the furnishing of services without consideration or at a nominal consideration, or at a consideration which is reduced for the purpose of assisting the recipient, or in recognition of the public interest to be served by such sale, lease or furnishing of services to the recipient, and (5) any Federal agreement, arrangement, or other contract which has as one of its purposes the provision of assistance.

(h) Grant, loan or contract includes any grant, loan agreement or commitment to loan, contract or agreement to provide financial assistance or any other arrangement between the Department or any Agency and a recipient of financial assistance.

(i) United States means the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island, the Canal Zone, and the territories and possessions of the United States, and the term State means any one of the foregoing.

(j) Applicant means one who submits an application, request, or plan required to be approved by an Agency, or by a primary recipient, as a condition to eligibility for Federal financial assistance, and application means such an application, request, or plan.

(k) Program or activity and program mean all of the operations of any entity described in paragraphs (k)(1) through (4) of this section, any part of which is extended Federal financial assistance:

(1)(i) A department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government; or

(ii) The entity of such State or local government that distributes such assistance and each such department or agency (and each other State or local government entity) to which the assistance is extended, in the case of assistance to a State or local government;

(2)(i) A college, university, or other postsecondary institution, or a public system of higher education; or

(ii) A local educational agency (as defined in 20 U.S.C. 7801), system of vocational education, or other school system;

(3)(i) An entire corporation, partnership, or other private organization, or an entire sole proprietorship—

(A) If assistance is extended to such corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship as a whole; or

(B) Which is principally engaged in the business of providing education, health care, housing, social services, or parks and recreation; or

(ii) The entire plant or other comparable, geographically separate facility to which Federal financial assistance is extended, in the case of any other corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship; or

(4) Any other entity which is established by two or more of the entities described in paragraph (k)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

(l) Facility includes all or any portion of structures, equipment, or other real or personal property or interests therein, and the provision of facilities includes the construction, expansion, renovation, remodeling, alteration or acquisition of facilities.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 36 FR 3411, Feb. 24, 1971; 38 FR 17925, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51340, 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.3   Discrimination prohibited.

(a) General. No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of the applicant or recipient to which these regulations apply. These regulations apply, but are not restricted, to unequal treatment in priority, quality, quantity, methods or charges for service, use, occupancy or benefit, participation in the service or benefit available, or in the use, occupancy or benefit of any structure, facility, or improvement.

(b) Specific discriminatory actions prohibited. (1) A recipient under any program to which the regulations in this part apply may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements on the ground of race, color, or national origin:

(i) Deny an individual any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program;

(ii) Provide any service, financial aid, or other benefit, to an individual which is different, or is provided in a different manner, from that provided to others under the program;

(iii) Subject an individual to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program;

(iv) Restrict an individual in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege, enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program;

(v) Treat an individual differently from others in determining whether he satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota, eligibility, membership or other requirement or condition which individuals must meet in order to be provided any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program;

(vi) Deny an individual an opportunity to participate in the program through the provisions of services or otherwise or afford him an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under the program (including the opportunity to participate in the program as an employee but only to the extent set forth in paragraph (c) of this section).

(vii) Deny a person the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning or advisory body which is an integral part of the program.

(2) A recipient, in determining the types of services, financial aid, or other benefits, or facilities which will be provided under any such program, or the class of individuals to whom, or the situations in which, such services, financial aid, other benefits, or facilities will be provided under any such program or the class of individuals to be afforded an opportunity to participate in any such program, may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration which have the effect of subjecting individuals to discrimination because of their race, color, or national origin, or have the effect of defeating or substantially impairing accomplishment of the objectives of the program as respects individuals of a particular race, color, or national origin.

(3) In determining the site or location of facilities, an applicant or recipient may not make selections with the purpose or effect of excluding individuals from, denying them the benefits of, or subjecting them to discrimination under any of its programs or activities to which the regulations in this part apply, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin; or with the purpose or effect of defeating or substantially impairing the accomplishment of the objectives of the Act and the regulations in this part.

(4) As used in this section, the services, financial aid, or other benefit provided under a program or activity of an applicant or recipient receiving Federal financial assistance shall be deemed to include any and all services, financial aid, or other benefit provided in or through a facility provided or improved in whole or part with the aid of Federal financial assistance.

(5) The enumeration of specific forms of prohibited discrimination in these regulations does not limit the applicability of the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.

(6)(i) In administering a program regarding which the recipient has previously discriminated against persons on the ground of race, color, or national origin, the recipient must take affirmative action to overcome the effects of prior discrimination.

(ii) Even in the absence of such prior discrimination, a recipient in administering a program may take affirmative action to overcome the effects of conditions which resulted in limiting participation by persons of a particular race, color or national origin.

(c) Employment practices. Where a primary objective of the Federal financial assistance to a program to which the regulations in this part apply is to provide employment, a recipient may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, subject an individual to discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin in its employment practices under the program including recruitment or recruitment advertising, employment, layoff or termination, upgrading, demotion, or transfer, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and use of facilities. This paragraph applies to programs where a primary objective of the Federal financial assistance is (1) to reduce unemployment, (2) to assist individuals in meeting expenses incident to the commencement or continuation of their education or training, or (3) to provide work experience which contributes to education or training. Where a primary objective of the Federal financial assistance is not to provide employment, but discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in the employment practices of the recipient or other persons subject to the regulations in this part, tends, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, to exclude individuals from participation in, to deny them the benefits of, or to subject them to discrimination under any program or activity of the applicant or recipient to which these regulations apply, the foregoing provisions of this §15.3(c) shall apply to the employment practices of the recipient or other persons subject to these regulations, to the extent necessary to assure equality of opportunity to, and nondiscriminatory treatment of, beneficiaries. The requirements applicable to construction employment under any program or activity of the applicant or recipient shall be those specified in or pursuant to part III of Executive Order 11246 or any Executive order which supersedes it.

(d) Examples. In order that all parties may have a clear understanding of the applicability of the regulations in this part to their activities, there are listed in this section types of Federal financial assistance together with illustrations, by way of example only, of types of activity covered by the regulations in this part. These illustrations and examples, however, are not intended to be all inclusive. The fact that a particular type of Federal financial assistance is not listed does not, of course, indicate that a program is not covered by the regulations in this part. Moreover, the examples set forth with respect to any particular listed type of Federal financial assistance are not limited to that program alone and the prohibited actions described may also be prohibited in other programs or activities whether or not listed below.

(1) Cooperative Agricultural Extension Program. (i) Discrimination in making available or in the manner of making available instructions, demonstrations, information, and publications offered by or through the Cooperative Extension Service;

(ii) Discrimination in the use in any program or activity funded by the Cooperative Extension Service of any facility, including offices, training facilities, lecture halls, or other structures or improvements; or

(iii) Discrimination in training activities, admission to or participation in fairs, competitions, field days, and encampments, conducted or sponsored by, or in which the Cooperative Extension Service participates.

(2) Rural Electrification and Rural Telephone Programs. (i) Refusal or failure by a borrower to accept applications for membership or applications to purchase shares of stock, or discrimination by a borrower in the terms and conditions of membership or stock ownership, where such membership or stock ownership is a condition prerequisite to the furnishing of electric or telephone service by the borrower, or to the receipt of any benefits or advantages related to such service;

(ii) Refusal or failure by a borrower to extend, or discrimination by a borrower in the extension of, electric or telephone service to unserved persons;

(iii) Denial by a borrower to any person of the benefits of improvement, expansion or upgrading, or discrimination by a borrower among consumers or subscribers in improving, expanding or upgrading, of electric or telephone service;

(iv) Discrimination by a borrower in respect of rates, or terms or conditions of, service among consumers or subscribers;

(v) Exclusion by a borrower of any member or stockholder, if the borrower is a cooperative or mutual type of corporation, from participation in any meeting of members or stockholders of the borrower, discrimination among its members or stockholders in respect of the exercise of any of their rights as members or stockholders, or in the manner of the exercise of such rights; or

(vi) Exclusion by a borrower of any consumer or subscriber from, denial by a borrower to any consumer or subscriber of the use of, or discrimination by a borrower against any consumer or subscriber in his use of, any of the borrower's facilities.

(3) Direct Distribution Program. (i) Exclusion of an otherwise eligible recipient agency (school, summer camp for children, institution, welfare agency or disaster organization) or person from participation in the Direct Distribution Program.

(ii) Discrimination in the allocation of food to eligible persons.

(iii) Discrimination in the manner in which or the place or times at which foods donated under the Program are distributed by recipient agencies to eligible persons.

(iv) Segregation of persons served in different meal periods or by different seating or serving or different food or different size portions by recipient agencies serving prepared meals containing donated foods.

(4) National School Lunch Program. (i) Discrimination by a State agency in the selection of schools to participate in the Program or in the assignment to schools of rates of reimbursement.

(ii) Exclusion of any child from participation in the Program.

(iii) Discrimination by school officials in the selection of children to receive free or reduced-price lunches.

(iv) Segregation of participating children in different lunch periods or different seating, and discrimination by serving different food or different size portions.

(v) Failure to offer free and reduced-price lunches, on an equitable basis in schools of a school district in which children are assigned to schools on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

(5) Food Stamp Program. (i) Discrimination by a State agency in certifying households as eligible for the Program.

(ii) Segregation or other discrimination in the manner in which or the times at which eligible households are issued food coupons.

(6) Special Milk Program for Children. (i) Discrimination by a State agency in the selection of schools and child-care institutions to participate in the Program.

(ii) Discrimination by a State agency in the selection of needy schools to receive reimbursement for milk served free.

(iii) Discrimination by a State agency in the assignment of reimbursement rates to schools and child-care institutions or in the adjustment of such rates, or in fixing allowable distribution costs.

(iv) Exclusion of any child from participation in the Program and segregation of participating children in different serving periods or different places of service.

(v) Discrimination by school officials or child-care institutions in the selection of children to receive free milk.

(7) Price Support Programs carried out through producer associations or cooperatives or through persons who are required to provide specified benefits to producers. (i) Denial of the benefits of price support for a producers commodity.

(ii) Denial of membership or stock ownership to any producer by any association or cooperative.

(iii) Discrimination among producers in the manner of making or paying any price support advances, loans, or payments.

(iv) Discrimination in the fees or charges collected from or in the net gains distributed to producers.

(v) Discrimination in the use of facilities and services generally made available to members or patrons under the Price Support Program.

(8) Forest Service Programs. (i) Refusal or failure by a recipient of a permit or lease to provide to any person the benefits from the use of land administered by the Forest Service, the resources therefrom, or improvements thereon.

(ii) Refusal or failure by any recipient to provide to any person the benefits from Federal payments based on a share of the receipts from lands administered by the Forest Service.

(iii) Refusal or failure by any recipient to provide to any person the benefits from Federal assistance in cooperative programs for the protection, development, management, and use of forest resources.

(iv) Refusal or failure by any cooperator or other recipient to provide to any person the benefits from Federal assistance through grants or advances of funds for research.

(9) Farmers Home Administration Programs—(i) Direct soil and water loans to association. (a) A borrower's denial of, or discrimination in furnishing, services under a program or activity financed wholly or partially with the aid of the loan, as in the case of a water supply system.

(b) A borrower's denial of, or discrimination or segregation in permitting, the use of facilities which are part of a project financed wholly or partially with the aid of the loan, as in the case of a golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, parking areas, lounges, dining rooms, and rest rooms of a recreation association.

(c) Discrimination by a borrower in the terms and conditions of membership or stock ownership, or refusal or failure of a borrower to accept applications for membership or for purchase of shares of stock, or discrimination by a borrower in acting or failing to act upon such applications, where such membership or stock ownership is a prerequisite to the participation in services furnished by, or the use of facilities of, the borrower which are financed wholly or partially with the aid of the loan or to the receipt of any benefits or advantages related to such services or the use of such facilities.

(d) Denial or impairment by a borrower of any person's rights as a member or stockholder of the borrower, or borrower's discrimination against or segregation of persons in the exercise of their rights as members or stockholders of the borrower.

(ii) Direct senior citizens rental housing loans to private nonprofit corporations and consumer cooperatives. (a) A borrower's exclusion of any person from, discrimination in the terms and conditions of eligibility for, or discrimination against or segregation of any person in, the use and occupancy of the housing and related facilities financed wholly or partially with the aid of the loan.

(b) Discrimination by a borrower in the terms and conditions of membership or stock ownership, or refusal or failure of a borrower to accept applications for membership or for purchase of shares of stock, or discrimination by a borrower in acting or failing to act upon such applicattions, where such membership or stock ownership is a condition of eligibility for use and occupancy of the housing and related facilities financed wholly or partially with the aid of the loan or to the receipt of any benefits or advantages related to such housing or facilities.

(c) Denial or impairment by a borrower of any person's rights as a member or stockholder of the borrower, or a borrower's discrimination against or segregation of persons in the exercise of their rights as members or stockholders of the borrower.

(10) Cooperative State Research Programs. (i) Discrimination in making available information whether published or provided through public or private statement, correspondence, demonstration or field day.

(ii) Discrimination in participation in any Cooperative Research Program or project.

(iii) Discrimination in the use of any facility, including offices, laboratories, or other structures, or research plots or fields.

(iv) Discrimination in employment of graduate students to conduct research when such students receive substantial research training benefits as a result of such employment.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 35 FR 18383, Dec. 3, 1970; 38 FR 17925, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.4   Assurances required.

(a) General. (1) Every application for Federal financial assistance to which these regulations apply, except an application to which paragraph (b) of this section applies, and every application for Federal financial assistance to provide a facility, shall as a condition to its approval and the extension of any Federal financial assistance pursuant to the application, contain or be accompanied by an assurance that the applicant's program or activity will be conducted or the facility operated in compliance with all requirements imposed by or pursuant to the Act and the regulations in this part. In the case where the Federal financial assistance is to provide or is in the form of personal property, or real property or interest therein, or structures thereon, the assurance shall obligate the recipient, or, in the case of a subsequent transfer, the transferee, for the period during which the property is used for the purpose for which the Federal financial assistance is extended or for another purpose involving the provision of similar services and benefits or for as long as the recipient retains ownership or possession of the property, whichever is longer. In all other cases, the assurance shall obligate the recipient for the period during which Federal financial assistance is extended pursuant to the application. The Agency shall specify the form of the foregoing assurances and the extent to which like assurances will be required of subgrantees, contractors, and subcontractors, successors in interest and other participants. Any such assurance shall include provisions which give the United States a right to seek its judicial enforcement.

(2) In the case of real property, structures, or improvements thereon, or interests therein, which was acquired through Federal financial assistance, or in the case where Federal financial assistance is provided in the form of a transfer of real property or interest therein from the Federal Government, the instrument effecting or recording the transfer shall contain a covenant running with the land assuring nondiscrimination for the period during which the real property is used for a purpose for which the Federal financial assistance is extended or for another purpose involving the provision of similar services or benefits, or for as long as the recipient retains ownership or possession of the property, whichever is longer. Where no transfer of property is involved, but property is improved through Federal financial assistance, the recipient shall agree to include such a covenant in any subsequent transfer of such property. Where the property is obtained from the Federal Government, such covenant may also include a condition coupled with a right to be reserved by the Agency to revert title to the property in the event of a breach of the covenant where, in the discretion of the Agency concerned, such a condition and right of reverter is appropriate to the purposes of the Federal financial assistance under which the real property is obtained and to the nature of the grant and the grantee. In such event, if a transferee of real property proposes to mortgage or otherwise encumber the real property as security for financing construction of new, or improvement of existing, facilities on such property for the purposes for which the property was transferred, the Agency may agree, upon request of the transferee and if necessary to accomplish such financing, and upon such conditions as it deems appropriate to forbear the exercise of such right to revert title for so long as the lien of such mortgage or other encumbrance remains effective.

(3) Transfers of surplus property are subject to regulations issued by the Administrator of General Services (41 CFR 101-6.2).

(b) Every application by a State or a State Agency, including a State Extension Service, but not including an application for aid to an institution of higher education, continuing Federal financial assistance to which the regulations in this part apply shall as a condition to its approval and the exension of any Federal financial assistance pursuant to the application (1) contain or be accompanied by a statement that the program is (or, in the case of a new program, will be) conducted in compliance with all requirements imposed by or pursuant to this part, and (2) provide or be accompanied by provision for such methods of administration for the program as are found by the Agency to give reasonable assurance that the applicant and all recipients of Federal financial assistance under such program will comply with all requirements imposed by or pursuant to the regulations in this part: Provided, That where no application is required prior to payment, the State or State Agency, including a State Extension Service, shall, as a condition to the extension of any Federal financial assistance, submit an assurance complying with the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

(c) Assurances from institutions. The assurance required with respect to an institution of higher education, or any other institution, insofar as the assurance relates to the institution's practices with respect to admission or other treatment of individuals or to the opportunity to participate in the provision of services or other benefits to such individuals, shall be applicable to the entire institution.

(d) Recipients other than applicants. Each recipient not required to submit an application for Federal financial assistance, shall furnish, as a condition to the extension of any such assistance, an assurance or statement as is required of applicants under paragraphs (a), (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

(e) Elementary and secondary schools. The requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), or (d) of this section with respect to any elementary or secondary school or school system shall be deemed to be satisfied if such school or school system (1) is subject to a final order of a court of the United States for the desegregation of such school or school system, and provides an assurance that it will comply with such order, including any future modification of such order, or (2) submits a plan for the desegregation of such school or school system which the responsible official of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare determines is adequate to accomplish the purposes of the Act and this part, and provides reasonable assurance that it will carry out such plan; in any case of continuing Federal financial assistance the said responsible official of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare may reserve the right to redetermine, after such period as may be specified by him, the adequacy of the plan to accomplish the purposes of the Act and this part within the earliest practical time. In any case in which a final order of a court of the United States for the desegregation of such school or school system is entered after submission of such a plan, such plan shall be revised to conform to such final order, including any future modification of such order.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 32 FR 3967, Mar. 11, 1967; 35 FR 18383, Dec. 3, 1970; 38 FR 17926, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 53141, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.5   Compliance.

(a) Cooperation and assistance. Each Agency shall to the fullest extent practicable seek the cooperation of recipients in obtaining compliance with the regulations and this part and shall provide assistance and guidance to recipients to help them comply voluntarily with the regulations in this part. As a normal part of the administration of Federal financial assistance covered by the regulations in this part, designated personnel will in their reviews and other activities or as specifically directed by the Agency, review the activities of recipients to determine whether they are complying with the regulations in this part. Reports by such personnel shall include statements regarding compliance and instances, if any, of noncompliance. In the event of noncompliance, the Agency shall seek to secure voluntary compliance by all appropriate means.

(b) Compliance reports. Each recipient shall keep such records and submit to the Agency timely, complete and accurate compliance reports at such times, and in such form and containing such information, as the Agency may determine to be necessary to ascertain whether the recipient has complied or is complying with the regulations in this part. In the case in which a primary recipient extends Federal financial assistance to any other recipient, such other recipient shall also submit such compliance reports to the primary recipient as may be necessary to enable the primary recipient to carry out its obligations under the regulations in this part. In general, recipients should have available for the Agency racial and ethnic data showing the extent to which members of minority groups are beneficiaries of federally assisted programs.

(c) Access to sources of information. Each recipient shall permit access by authorized employees of this Department during normal business hours to such of its books, records, accounts, and other sources of information, and its facilities as may be pertinent to ascertain compliance with the regulations in this part. Where any information required of a recipient is in the exclusive possession of any other agency, institution or person and this agency, institution or person shall fail or refuse to furnish this information, the recipient shall so certify in its report and shall set forth what efforts it has made to obtain the information.

(d) Information to beneficiaries and participants. Each recipient shall make available to participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons such information regarding the provisions of the regulations in this part and their applicability to the program for Federal statutes, authorities, or other means by which Federal financial assistance is extended and which the recipient receives Federal financial assistance, and make such information available to them in such manner, as the Department or its Agencies finds necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by the Act and the regulations in this part.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 29 FR 16966, Dec. 11, 1964; 38 FR 17926, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.6   Complaints.

Any person who believes himself/herself or any specific class of individuals to be subjected to discrimination prohibited by the regulations in this part may by himself/herself or by an authorized representative file with the Secretary or any Agency a written complaint. A complaint must be filed not later than 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the Agency or by the Secretary. Such complaint shall be promptly referred to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. The complaint shall be investigated in the manner determined by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and such further action taken by the Agency or the Secretary as may be warranted.

[50 FR 25687, June 21, 1985, as amended at 68 FR 27449, May 20, 2003]

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§15.7   Intimidatory or retaliatory acts prohibited.

No recipient or other person shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by section 601 of the Act or the regulations in this part, or because he has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the regulations in this part. The identity of complainants shall be kept confidential except to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes of the regulations in this part, including the conduct of any hearing or judicial proceeding arising thereunder.

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§15.8   Procedure for effecting compliance.

(a) General. If there appears to be a failure or threatened failure to comply with the regulations in this part, and if the noncompliance or threatened noncompliance cannot be corrected by informal means, compliance with the regulations in this part may be effected by the suspension or termination of or refusal to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance, upon a finding, in accordance with the procedure hereinafter prescribed, or by any other means authorized by law. Such other means may include, but are not limited to, (1) a reference to the Department of Justice with a recommendation that appropriate proceedings be brought to enforce any rights of the United States under any law of the United States (including other titles of the Act), or any assurance or other contractual undertaking, and (2) any applicable proceeding under State or local law.

(b) Noncompliance with §15.4. If an applicant fails or refuses to furnish an assurance required under §15.4 or otherwise fails or refuses to comply with the requirements imposed by or pursuant to that section, Federal financial assistance may be refused in accordance with the procedures of paragraph (c) of this section. The Department shall not be required to provide assistance in such a case during the pendency of the administrative proceedings under such paragraph, except that the Department shall continue assistance during the pendency of such proceedings where such assistance is due and payable pursuant to an application therefor approved prior to the effective date of the regulations in this part.

(c) Termination of or refusal to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance. No order suspending, terminating, or refusing to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance shall become effective until (1) the Agency has advised the applicant or recipient of his failure to comply and has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means, (2) there has been an express finding on the record, after opportunity for hearing, of a failure by the applicant or recipient to comply with the requirement imposed by or pursuant to the regulations in this part, (3) the action has been approved by the Secretary pursuant to §15.10(e), and (4) the expiration of 30 days after the Secretary has filed with the committee of the House and the committee of the Senate, having legislative jurisdiction over the program involved, a full written report of the circumstances and the grounds for such action. Any action to suspend or terminate or to refuse to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance shall be limited to the particular political entity, or part thereof, or other applicant or recipient as to whom such a finding has been made and shall be limited in its effect to the particular program, or part thereof, in which such noncompliance has been so found.

(d) Other means authorized by law. No action to effect compliance by any other means authorized by law shall be taken until (1) the Secretary has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means, (2) the recipient or other person has been notified of its failure to comply and of the action to be taken to effect compliance, and (3) the expiration of at least ten days from the mailing of such notice to the recipient or other person. During this period of at least ten days, additional efforts shall be made to persuade the recipient or other person to comply with the regulations in this part and to take such corrective action as may be appropriate.

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§15.9   Hearings.

(a) Opportunity for hearing. Whenever an opportunity for a hearing is required under the regulations in this part, reasonable notice shall be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the affected applicant or recipient. This notice shall advise the applicant or recipient of the action proposed to be taken, the specific provision under which the proposed action against it is to be taken, and the matters of fact or law asserted as the basis for this action, and either (1) fix a date not less than 20 days after the date of such notice within which the applicant or recipient may request of the Secretary or the Agency that the matter be scheduled for hearing or (2) advise the applicant or recipient that the matter in question has been set down for hearing at a stated place and time. The time and place so fixed shall be reasonable and shall be subject to change for cause. The complainant, if any, shall be advised of the time and place of the hearing. An applicant or recipient may waive a hearing and submit written information and argument for the record. The failure of an applicant or recipient to request a hearing under this subsection or to appear at a hearing for which a date has been set shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right to a hearing under section 602 of the Act and the regulations in this part and consent to the making of a decision on the basis of such information as is available.

(b) Time and place of hearing. Hearings shall be held at the offices of the Department in Washington, DC, at a time fixed by the hearing officer or by the Secretary unless it is determined that the convenience of the applicant or recipient or of the Department requires that another place be selected. Hearings shall be held before a hearing officer.

(c) Right to counsel. In all proceedings under this section, the applicant or recipient and the Department shall have the right to be represented by counsel.

(d) Procedures, evidence, and record. (1) The hearing, decision, and any administrative review thereof shall be conducted in conformity with 5 U.S.C. 554-557, and in accordance with such rules of procedure promulgated by the Secretary as not inconsistent with this section, relating to the conduct of the hearing, giving of notices subsequent to those provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, taking of testimony, exhibits, arguments and briefs, requests for findings, and other related matters. Both the Department, and the applicant or recipient shall be entitled to introduce all relevant evidence on the issues as stated in the notice for hearing or as determined by the hearing officer conducting the hearing at the outset of or during the hearing.

(2) Technical rules of evidence shall not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to these regulations in this part, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination shall be applied where reasonably necessary by the hearing officer. The hearing officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record shall be open to examination by the parties and opportunity shall be given to refute facts and arguments advanced on either side of the issues. A transcript shall be made of the oral evidence except to the extent the substance thereof is stipulated for the record. All decisions shall be based upon the hearing record and written findings shall be made.

(e) Consolidated or joint hearings. In cases in which the same or related facts are asserted to constitute noncompliance with these regulations with respect to two or more to which the regulations in this part apply, or noncompliance with the regulations in this part and the regulations of one or more other Federal Departments or Agencies issued under title VI of the Act, the Secretary may, by agreement with such other Departments or Agencies, where applicable provide for the conduct of consolidated or joint hearings, and for the application to such hearings of rules of procedure not inconsistent with the regulations in this part. Final decisions in such cases, insofar as the regulations in this part are concerned, shall be made in accordance with §15.10.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 35 FR 18384, Dec. 3, 1970; 38 FR 17926, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.10   Decisions and notices.

(a) Decision by hearing officer or Secretary. (1) The hearing officer shall either make an initial decision, if so authorized, or certify the entire record including his recommended findings, and proposed decision to the Secretary for a final decision, and a copy of such initial decision or certification shall be mailed to the applicant or recipient. The applicant or recipient may within 30 days of the mailing of such notice of initial decision file with the Secretary his exceptions to the initial decision, with his reasons therefor.

(2) In the absence of exceptions, the Secretary may on his own motion within 45 days after the initial decision serve on the applicant or recipient a notice that he will review the decision. Upon the filing of such exceptions or of such notice of review the Secretary shall review the initial decision and issue his own decision thereon including the reasons therefor. In the absence of either exceptions or a notice of review the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the Secretary.

(b) Decisions on record or review. Whenever a record is certified to the Secretary for decision or he reviews the decision of a hearing officer pursuant to paragraph (a), the applicant or recipient shall be given reasonable opportunity to file with him briefs or other written statements of its contentions, and a copy of the final decision of the Secretary shall be given in writing to the applicant or recipient, and to the complainant, if any.

(c) Decisions on record where a hearing is waived. Whenever a hearing is waived pursuant to §15.9(a), a decision shall be made by the Secretary on the record and a copy of such decision shall be given in writing to the applicant or recipient, and to the complainant, if any.

(d) Rulings required. Each decision of a hearing officer shall set forth his ruling on each finding, conclusion, or exception presented, and shall identify the requirement or requirements imposed by or pursuant to the regulations in this part with which it is found that the applicant or recipient has failed to comply.

(e) Decision by Secretary. The Secretary shall make any final decision which provides for the suspension or termination of, or the refusal to grant or continue Federal financial assistance, or the imposition of any other sanction available under the regulations in this part or the Act.

(f) Content of orders. The final decision may provide for suspension or termination of, or refusal to grant or continue Federal financial assistance, in whole or in part, to which this regulation applies, and may contain such terms, conditions, and other provisions as are consistent with and will effectuate the purposes of the Act and the regulations in this part, including provisions designed to assure that no Federal financial assistance to which this regulation applies will thereafter be extended to the applicant or recipient determined by such decision to be in default in its performance of an assurance given by it pursuant to the regulations in this part, or to have otherwise failed to comply with the regulations in this part, unless and until it corrects its noncompliance and satisfies the Agency that it will fully comply with the regulations in this part.

(g) Post termination proceedings. (1) An applicant or recipient adversely affected by an order issued under paragraph (f) of this section shall be restored to full eligibilty to receive Federal financial assistance if it satisfies the terms and conditions of that order for such eligibility or if it brings itself into compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part and provides reasonable assurance that it will fully comply therewith. An elementary or secondary school or school system which is unable to file an assurance of compliance with §15.4 (a), (b), or (d) shall be restored to full eligibility to receive Federal financial assistance if it complies with the requirements of a §15.4(e) and is otherwise in compliance with the Act and the regulations in this part.

(2) Any applicant or recipient adversely affected by an order entered pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section may at any time request the Secretary to restore fully its eligibility to receive Federal financial assistance. Any such request shall be supported by information showing that the applicant or recipient has met the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of this section. If the Secretary determines that those requirements have been satisfied, he shall restore such eligibility.

(3) If the Secretary denies any such request, the applicant or recipient may submit a request for a hearing in writing, specifying why it believes the denial to have been in error. It shall thereupon be given an expeditious hearing, with a decision on the record, in accordance with rules of procedure set forth in subpart C of this part. The applicant or recipient will be restored to such eligibility if it proves at such a hearing, that it has satisfied the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of this section. While proceedings under this paragraph are pending, the sanctions imposed by the order issued under paragraph (f) of this section shall remain in effect.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 35 FR 18384, Dec. 3, 1970; 38 FR 17926, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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§15.11   Judicial review.

Action taken pursuant to section 602 of the Act is subject to judicial review as provided in section 603 of the Act.

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§15.12   Effect on other regulations; forms and instructions.

(a) Effect on other regulations. All regulations, orders, or like directions heretofore issued by any officer of the Department which impose requirements designed to prohibit any discrimination against individuals on the ground of race, color, or national origin under any program to which the regulations in this part apply, and which authorize the suspension or termination of or refusal to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance to any applicant for or recipient of such assistance for failure to comply with such requirements, are hereby superseded to the extent that such discrimination is prohibited by the regulations in this part, except that nothing in the regulations in this part shall be deemed to relieve any person of any obligation assumed or imposed under any such superseded regulation, order, instruction, or like direction prior to the effective date of the regulations in this part. Nothing in these regulations, however, shall be deemed to supersede any of the following including future amendments thereof:

(1) Executive Order 11246 and regulations issued thereunder; or

(2) Executive Order 11063 and regulations issued thereunder or any other regulations or instructions insofar as they prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin in any program or situation to which the regulations in this part are inapplicable, or prohibit discrimination on any other ground.

(b) Forms and instructions. Each Agency shall issue and promptly make available forms and such implementing instructions and procedures consistent with the regulations in this part as may be necessary. Each Agency in making available Federal financial assistance to any program or activity may utilize contractual commitments in obtaining compliance with the regulations in this part, including obtaining compliance by recipients other than the contracting recipient.

(c) Supervision and coordination. The Secretary may from time to time assign to officials of other Departments or Agencies of the Government with the consent of such Department or Agency, responsibilities in connection with the effectuation of the purposes of title VI of the Act and the regulations in this part (other than responsibility for final decision as provided in §15.10) including the achievement of effective coordination and maximum uniformity within the Department and within the Executive Branch of the Government in the application of title VI and these regulations to similar programs and in similar situations. Any action taken, determination made, or requirement imposed by an official of another Department or Agency acting under this paragraph shall have the same effect as though such action had been taken by the Secretary or any Agency of this Department.

[29 FR 16274, Dec. 4, 1964, as amended at 38 FR 17927, July 5, 1973; 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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Appendix to Subpart A of Part 15—List of Federal Financial Assistance From USDA

The types of Federal assistance administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture include but are not limited to the following:

Type of Federal Financial AssistanceAuthority
Administered by the Agricultural Cooperative Service
1.  Cooperative DevelopmentCooperative Marketing Act of 1926, 7 U.S.C. 451 et seq. Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.
Administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service
2.  Federal-State marketing improvement programAgricultural Marketing Act of 1946, Section 204b, 7 U.S.C. 1623(b).
Administered by the Agricultural Research Service
3.  Soil and Water Conservation7 CFR 3015.205(b); Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1862 (7 U.S.C. 2201); the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 427, 1621) and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.).
4.  Animal Productivity7 CFR 3015.205(b); Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1862; (7 U.S.C. 2201); the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 427, 1621) and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.).
5.  Plant Productivity7 CFR 3015.205(b); Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1862, (7 U.S.C. 2201); the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 427, 1621) and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.).
6.  Commodity Conversion and Delivery7 CFR 3015.205(b); Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1862 (7 U.S.C. 2201); the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 427, 1621) and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.).
7.  Human Nutrition7 CFR 3015.205(b); Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1862 (7 U.S.C. 2201); the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 427, 1621) and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.).
8.  Integration of Agricultural Systems7 CFR 3015.205(b); Department of Agriculture Organic Act of 1862 (7 U.S.C. 2201); the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 427, 1621) and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.).
Administered by the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service
9.  Price support programs operating through producer associations, cooperatives and other recipients in which the recipient is required to furnish specified benefits to producers (e.g. tobacco, peanuts, cotton, rice, honey, dry edible beans, tung oil, naval stores and soybeans price support programs)Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, 7 U.S.C. 1301-1393; Pub. L. 73-430; Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714 et seq.; Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.; Pub. L. 81-439, as amended; Agriculture and Food Act of 1961; Pub. L. 97-98; Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983; Pub. L. 98-180; Agricultural Programs Adjustment Act of 1984; Pub. L. 98-258; Food Security Act of 1985; Pub. L. 99-198.
Administered by Cooperative State Research Service
10.  1890 Research FacilitiesSec. 1433 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, Pub. L. 95-113, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 3195.
11.  Payments to 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Tuskegee InstituteSec. 1445 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977; Pub. L. 85-113, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 3222.
12.  Cooperative Forestry Research (McIntire-Stennis Act)Cooperative Forestry Research Act of October 10, 1962; Pub. L. 87-788; 16 U.S.C. 582a-582q-7.
13.  Payments to Agricultural Experiment Stations under Hatch ActHatch Act of 1887, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 361a-361i.
14.  Grants for Agricultural Research Competitive Research GrantsSec. 2(b) of Pub. L. 89-106; 7 U.S.C. 450i(b), as amended.
15.  Grants for Agricultural Research, Special Research GrantsSec. 2(c) of Pub. L. 89-106; 7 U.S.C. 450i(c), as amended.
16.  Animal Health and Disease ResearchNational Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, Sec. 1433, Pub. L. 95-113, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 3195.
Administered by Extension Service
17.  Home EconomicsSmith-Lever Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 341-349; District of Columbia Post-secondary Education Reorganization Act, D.C. Code, Sec. 31-1518; Title V, Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 2661 et seq. Sec. 14, Title 14, National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977; Pub. L. 95-113, as amended.
18.  4-H Youth DevelopmentSmith-Lever Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 341-349; District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act, D.C. Code, Sec. 31-1518; Title VI, Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 2661 et seq.; Sections 1425 and 1444, National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977; Pub. L. 95-113, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 3221, 3175; Pub. L. 96-374, Sec. 1361(c); 7 U.S.C. 301 note; Pub. L. 97-98, Agriculture and Food Act of 1981, sec. 1401.
19.  Agricultural and Natural ResourcesSmith-Lever Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 341-349; District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act, D.C. Code, Sec. 31-1518; Title V, Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 2661 et seq.; Sec. 14, National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977; Pub. L. 95-113, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.
20.  Community Resource DevelopmentSmith-Lever Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 341-349; District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Reorganization Act, D.C. Code 31-1518; Title V, Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 2661 et seq.; National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977; Pub. L. 95-113, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.; Renewable Resources Extension Act of 1978; 16 U.S.C. 1671-1676.
Administered by Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
21.  Crop InsuranceFederal Crop Insurance Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1501-1520; Title V of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938; 52 Stat. 31 and Federal Crop Insurance Act of 1980; Pub. L. 96-385 (Sept. 26, 1980); 94 Stat. 1312-1319.
Administered by Farmers Home Administration
22.  Farm Ownership Loans to install or improve recreational facilities or other nonfarm enterprisesSection 302 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1923.
23.  Farm Operating Loans to install or improve recreational facilities or other nonfarm enterprisesSec. 312 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1942.
24.  Community Facility LoansSec. 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1926.
25.  Rural Rental Housing and related facilities for elderly persons and families of low incomeSec. 515, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1485.
26.  Rural Cooperative HousingSec. 515, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1485.
27.  Rural Housing Site LoansSec. 524, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1490d.
28.  Farm and Labor Housing LoansSec. 514, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1484.
29.  Farm Labor Housing GrantsSec. 516, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1486.
30.  Mutual self-help housing grants. (Technical assistance grants)Sec. 523, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1490c.
31.  Technical and supervisory assistance grantsSec. 525, Title V, Housing Act of 1949, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1490e.
32.  Individual Recreation LoansSec. 304 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1924.
33.  Recreation Association LoansSec. 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1926.
34.  Private enterprise grantsSec. 310(B)(c) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1932(c).
35.  Indian Tribal Land Acquisition LoansPub. L. 91-229, approved April 11, 1970; 25 U.S.C. 488.
36.  Grazing Association LoansSec. 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1926.
37.  Irrigation and Drainage AssociationsSec. 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1926.
38.  Area development assistance planning grant programSec. 306(a)(11) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(11).
39.  Resource conservation and development loansSec. 32(e) of Title III, the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act; 7 U.S.C. 1011(e).
40.  Rural Industrial Loan ProgramSec. 310B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1932.
41.  Rural renewal and resource conservation development, land conservation and land utilizationSec. 31-35, Title III, Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act; 7 U.S.C. 1010-1013a.
42.  Soil and water conservation, recreational facilities, uses; pollution abatement facilities loansSec. 304 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1924.
43.  Watershed protection and flood prevention programSec. 1-12 of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 1001-1008.
44.  Water and Waste Facility Loans and GrantsSec. 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1926.
Administered by Food and Nutrition Service
45.  Food Stamp ProgramThe Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 2011-2029.
46.  Nutrition Assistance Program for Puerto Rico. This is the Block Grant signoff of the Food Stamp Program for Puerto RicoThe Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended; Sec. 19, 7 U.S.C. 2028.
47.  Food Distribution (Food Donation Program). (Direct Distribution Program)Sec. 32, Pub. L. 74-320, 49 Stat. 744 (7 U.S.C. 612c); Pub. L. 75-165. 50 Stat. 323 (15 U.S.C. 713c); secs. 6, 9, 60 Stat. 231, 233, Pub. L. 79-396 (42 U.S.C. 1755, 1758); sec. 416, Pub. L. 81-439, 63 Stat. 1058 (7 U.S.C. 1431); sec. 402, Pub. L. 91-665, 68 Stat. 843 (22 U.S.C. 1922); sec. 210, Pub. L. 84-540, 70 Stat. 202 (7 U.S.C. 1859); sec. 9, Pub. L. 85-931, 72 Stat. 1792 (7 U.S.C. 1431b); Pub. L. 86-756, 74 Stat. 899 (7 U.S.C. 1431 note); sec. 709, Pub. L. 89-321, 79 Stat. 1212 (7 U.S.C. 1446a-1); sec. 3, Pub. L. 90-302, 82 Stat. 117 (42 U.S.C. 1761); secs. 409, 410, Pub. L. 93-288, 88 Stat. 157 (42 U.S.C. 5179, 5189); sec. 2, Pub. L. 93-326, 88 Stat. 286 (42 U.S.C. 1762a); sec. 16, Pub. L. 94-105, 89 Stat. 522 (42 U.S.C. 1766); sec. 1304(a), Pub. L. 95-113, 91 Stat. 980 (7 U.S.C. 612 note); sec. 311, Pub. L. 95-478, 92 Stat. 1533 (42 U.S.C. 3030a); sec. 10, Pub. L. 95-627, 92 Stat. 3623 (42 U.S.C. 1760); Pub. L. 98-8, 97 Stat. 35 (7 U.S.C. 612c note); (5 U.S.C. 301).
48.  Food Distribution Program Commodities on Indian ReservationsThe Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, Section 4(b), 7 U.S.C. 2013(b).
49.  National School Lunch ProgramNational School Lunch Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1751-1760.
50.  Special Milk Program for Children (School Milk Program)Child Nutrition Act of 1966, Sec. 3, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1772.
51.  School Breakfast ProgramChild Nutrition Act of 1966, Sec. 4, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1773.
52.  Summer Food Service Program for ChildrenNational School Lunch Act, Sec. 13, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1761.
53.  Child Care Food ProgramNational School Lunch Act, Sec. 17, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1766.
54.  Nutrition Education and Training ProgramChild Nutrition Act of 1966, Sec. 19, 42 U.S.C. 1788.
55.  Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and ChildrenChild Nutrition Act of 1966, Sec. 17, 42 U.S.C. 1786.
56.  Commodity Supplemental Food Program.Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 612c note.
57.  Temporary Emergency Food Assistance ProgramTemporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 612c note.
58.  State Administrative Expenses for Child NutritionChild Nutrition Act of 1966, Sec. 7, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1776.
59.  Nutrition Assistance Program for the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands. (This is the Block Grant spin-off of the Food Stamp Program for CNMI)Trust Territory of the Pacific Island, 48 U.S.C. 1681 note.
Administered by Forest Service
60.  Permits for use of National Forests and National Grasslands by other than individuals at a nominal or no chargeAct of June 4, 1897, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 551; Sec. 501 of the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1761; Term Permit Act of March 4, 1915, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 4971, Secs. 3 and 4 of the American Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906, 16 U.S.C. 432; Sec. 32 of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 1011.
61.  Youth Conservation CorpsAct of August 13, 1970, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1701-1706. Note: This is a Federally financed and conducted program on National Forest land providing summer employment to teen-age youth doing conservation work while learning about their natural environment and heritage. Recruitment of recipient youth is without regard to economic, social or racial classification. Policy requires that random selection from the qualified applicant pool be made in a public forum.
62.  Job Corps29 U.S.C. 1691-1701. Note: This is a Federally financed and conducted program providing education and skills training to young men and women. The U.S. Department of Labor is entirely responsible for recruiting of recipient youth.
63.  Permits for disposal of common varieties of mineral material from lands under the Forest Service jurisdiction for use by other individuals at a nominal or no chargeSecs. 1-4 of the Act of July 31, 1947, as amended, 30 U.S.C. 601-603, 611.
64.  Use of Federal land for airportsAirport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, as amended, 49 U.S.C. 2202, 2215. National Forest lands are exempt, Sec. 2215(c).
65.  Conveyance of land to States or political subdivisions for widening highways, streets and alleysAct of October 13, 1964, 78 Stat. 1089. Forest Road and Trail Act, codified at 16 U.S.C. 532-538.
66.  Payment of 25 percent of National Forest receipts to States for schools and roadsAct of May 23, 1908, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 500.
67.  Payment to Minnesota from National Forest receipts of a sum based on a formulaSec. 5 of the Act of June 22, 1948, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 577 g-l.
68.  Payment of 25 percent of net revenues from Title III, Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act lands to Counties for school and road purposesSec. 33 of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 1012.
69.  Cooperative action to protect, develop, manage and utilize forest resources on State and private landsCooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1976, 16 U.S.C. 2101-2111.
70.  Advance of funds for cooperative researchSec. 20 of the Granger-Thye Act of April 24, 1950, 16 U.S.C. 581-1.
71.  Grants for support of scientific researchForest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.
72.  Research CooperationForest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Planning Act of 1974, as amended, 16 U.S.C.
73.  Grants to Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire for the purpose of assisting economically disadvantaged citizens over 55 years of ageOlder American Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 3056.
74.  Senior Community Service Employment, develop, manage and utilize forest resources on State and private landsOlder American Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 3056.
75.  Cooperative Law Enforcement16 U.S.C. 551a and 553.
76.  Forest Utilization and MarketingCooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-313, 16 U.S.C. 1606, 2101-2111.
77.  Fire prevention and suppressionCooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-313, Sec. 7, 16 U.S.C. 2106.
78.  Assistance to States for tree plantingCooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-313, Secs. 3, 6, 16 U.S.C. 2102, 2105.
79.  Technical assistance forest managementCooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-313, Sec. 8, 16 U.S.C. 2107.
80.  Extramural Research (Cooperative Agreements and Grants)Range Renewable Resources Act of 1978; Rangeland and Latest Renewable Resources Research Act; 16 U.S.C. 1641-1647.
Administered by Food Safety and Inspection Service
81.  Federal-State Cooperative Agreements and Talmadge-Aiken AgreementsFederal Meat Inspection Act; 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq. Talmadge-Aiken Act; 7 U.S.C. 450. Poultry Products Inspection Act; 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.
Administered by Office of International Cooperation and Development
82.  Technical Assistance7 U.S.C. 3291; 22 U.S.C. 2357; 22 U.S.C. 2392.
83.  International Training7 U.S.C. 3291; 22 U.S.C. 2357; 22 U.S.C. 2392.
84.  Scientific and Technical Exchanges7 U.S.C. 3291.
85.  International Research7 U.S.C. 3291.
Administered by Soil Conservation Service
86.  Conservation Technical Assistance to LandusersSec. 1-6 and 17 of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, 16 U.S.C. 590a-590f, 590g.
87.  Plant Materials ConservationSoil Conservation Act of 1935, Pub. L. 74-46; 49 Stat. 163, 16 U.S.C. 590(a-f).
88.  Technical and financial assistance in Watershed Protection and flood preventionWatershed Protection and Flood Protection Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1001-1005, 1007-1008; Flood Control Act, as amended and supplemented; 33 U.S.C. 701; 16 U.S.C. 1606(a) and Sec. 403-405 of the Agriculture Credit Act of 1978; 16 U.S.C. 2203-2205. Flood Prevention: Pub. L. 78-534; 58 Stat. 905; 33 U.S.C. 701(b)(1); Pub. L. 81-516.
89.  Technical and financial assistance in Watershed Protection and flood preventionEmergency Operation (216); 68 Stat. 184; 33 U.S.C. 701(b)(1). Watershed Operation: Pub. L. 83-566; 68 Stat. 666:16 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.
90.  Soil SurveySec. 1-6 and 17 of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 590a-590f, 590g.
91.  Rural Abandoned Mine ProgramSurface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, Sec. 406; Pub. L. 95-87, 30 U.S.C. 1236, 91 Stat. 460.
92.  Resource Conservation and DevelopmentSoil Conservation Act of 1935; Pub. L. 74-46; Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act; Pub. L. 75-210, as amended, Pub. L. 89-796; Pub. L. 87-703; Pub. L. 91-343; Pub. L. 92-419; Pub. L. 97-98; 95 Stat. 1213; 16 U.S.C. 590a-590f, 590g.
93.  Great Plains ConservationSoil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, Pub. L. 74-46, as amended by the Great Plains Act of August 7, 1956; Pub. L. 84-1021, Pub. L. 86-793 approved September 14, 1980. Pub. L. 91-118 approved November 1, 1969; Pub. L. 96-263 approved June 6, 1980; 16 U.S.C. 590a-590f, 590g.

[53 FR 48506, Dec. 1, 1988, as amended at 68 FR 51341, Aug. 26, 2003]

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Subpart B [Reserved]

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Subpart C—Rules of Practice and Procedure for Hearings, Decisions and Administrative Review Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Authority: Sec. 602, 78 Stat. 252; 42 U.S.C. 2000d-1; sec. 15.9(d) of subpart A to 7 CFR, part 15, and laws referred to in the appendix to subpart A, part 15, title 7 CFR.

Source: 30 FR 14355, Nov. 17, 1965, unless otherwise noted.

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General Information

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§15.60   Scope of rules.

The rules of practice and procedure in this subpart supplement §§15.9 and 15.10 of subpart A of this part and govern the practice for hearings, decisions, and administrative review conducted by the Department of Agriculture, pursuant to title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 602 (78 Stat. 252) and this part, title 7, CFR, except these rules shall not apply to any stage of a proceeding which has occurred prior to the effective date hereof.

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§15.61   Records to be public.

All documents and papers filed in any proceeding under this part may be inspected and copied in the Office of the Department Hearing Clerk.

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§15.62   Definitions.

All terms used in this subpart shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the same meaning as defined in subpart A of this part.

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§15.63   Computation of time.

A period of time begins with the day following the act or event and includes the last day of the period, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday observed in the District of Columbia, in which case it shall be the following workday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded from the computation.

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§15.64   Parties.

The term party shall include an applicant or recipient with respect to whom the agency has issued a notice of hearing or opportunity to request a hearing in accordance with subpart A of this part and §15.81. The agency shall be deemed a party to all proceedings.

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§15.65   Appearance.

Any party may appear in person or by counsel or authorized representative and participate fully in any proceeding.

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§15.66   Complainants not parties.

A person submitting a complaint pursuant to §15.6 is not a party to the proceedings governed by this subpart, but may petition, after proceedings have been commenced, to become an intervener.

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§15.67   Intervener.

Any interested person or organization may file a petition to intervene which will include a statement of position and a statement of what petitioner expects to contribute to the hearing, and a copy of the petition will be served on all parties. Such petition should be filed prior to the prehearing conference, or if none is held, before the commencement of the hearing, unless the petitioner shows good cause for filing the petition later. The hearing officer may grant the petition if he believes that such participation will not unduly delay a hearing and will contribute materially to the proceeding. An intervener is not a party and may not introduce evidence at a hearing, or propound questions to a witness, unless the hearing officer determines that the proposed additional evidence is relevant and will clarify the facts. The intervener may submit and serve on all parties a brief in support or opposition to any brief of a party. All service and notice required by and upon a party shall apply to an intervener.

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§15.68   Ex parte communications.

(a) General. After proceedings have been commenced, any communication or discussion ex parte, as regards the merits of the proceeding or a factually related proceeding, between an employee of the Department involved in the decisional process and a person not employed by the Department, and any such communication or discussion between any employee of the Department, who is or has been engaged in any way in the investigation or prosecution of the proceeding or a factually related proceeding, and an employee of the Department who is involved or may be involved in the decisional process of a proceeding, except at a conference, hearing or review proceeding under these rules is improper and prohibited.

(b) Request for information. A request for information about the status of a proceeding without discussing issues or expressing points of view and inquiries with respect to procedural matters or an emergency request for an extension of time are not deemed ex parte communications. When practical all parties should be notified of any request for an extension of time. Communication between an applicant or recipient and the agency or the Secretary with respect to securing voluntary compliance with any requirement of subpart A of this part is not prohibited.

(c) Unsponsored written material. Letters expressing views or urging action and other unsponsored written material regarding matters in issue in a proceeding will be placed in the correspondence section of the docket of the proceeding. Such are not deemed part of the evidence or record.

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Form, Execution, Filing and Service of Documents

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§15.71   Form of documents to be filed.

All copies of documents filed in a proceeding shall be dated, signed in ink, shall show the address and position or title of the signatory, and shall show the docket number and title of the proceeding on the front page.

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§15.72   Filing.

All documents relating to a proceeding under this subpart shall be filed in an original and two copies of such document with the Office of the Hearing Clerk at Room 112, Administration Building, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 20250, during regular business hours. Regular business hours are every Monday through Friday (legal holidays in the District of Columbia excepted) from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., eastern standard or daylight saving time, whichever is effective in the District of Columbia at the time.

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§15.73   Service.

Service shall be made by the Hearing Clerk by personal delivery of one copy to each person to be served or by mailing by first-class mail, or air mail if more than 300 miles, properly addressed with postage prepaid. When a party or intervener has appeared by attorney or representative, service upon such attorney or representative will be deemed proper service. The initial notice of hearing, opportunity to request a hearing, or notice setting a date for a hearing shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested.

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§15.74   Date of service.

The date of service shall be the day when the matter is deposited in the U.S. mail or is delivered in person, except that the date of service of the initial notice a hearing or notice of opportunity to request a hearing or notice setting a date for a hearing shall be the date of its delivery, or of its attempted delivery if delivery is refused.

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Initial Notice and Response

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§15.81   How proceedings are commenced.

Proceedings are commenced by mailing a notice to an applicant or recipient of alleged noncompliance with the Act and the Secretary's regulations thereunder. The notice will be signed by the interested agency head or by the Secretary and shall be filed with the hearing clerk for proper service by the hearing clerk according to the rules of this subpart. The notice shall include either a notice of hearing or notice of opportunity to request a hearing as determined by the Secretary and shall comply with the requirements of §15.9(a).

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§15.82   Notice of hearing and response thereto.

A notice of hearing shall fix a date not less than 30 days from the date of service of the notice of a hearing on matters alleged in the notice. If the applicant or recipient does not desire a hearing, he should so state in writing, in which case the applicant or recipient shall have the right to submit written information and argument for the record, and the additional right to further participate in the proceeding. Failure to appear at the time set for a hearing, without good cause, shall be deemed a waiver of the right to a hearing under section 602 of the Act and the regulations in this part and consent to the making of a decision on such information as is available which may be presented for the record.

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§15.83   Notice of opportunity to request a hearing and response thereto.

A notice of opportunity to request a hearing shall set a date not less than 20 days from service of said notice within which the applicant or recipient may file a request for a hearing, or may wiave a hearing and submit written information and argument for the record, in which case, the applicant or recipient shall have the right to further participate in the proceeding. When the applicant or recipient elects to file a request for a hearing, a time shall be set for the hearing at a date not less than 20 days from the date applicant or recipient is notified of the date set for the hearing. Failure of the applicant or recipient to request a hearing or to appear at the date set shall be deemed a waiver of the right to a hearing, under section 602 of the Act and the regulations in this part and consent to the making of a decision on such information as is available which may be presented for the record.

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§15.84   Answer.

In any case covered by §15.82 or §15.83 the applicant or recipient shall file an answer. Said answer shall admit or deny each allegation of the notice, unless the applicant or recipient is without knowledge, in which case the answer shall so state, and the statement will be considered a denial. Failure to file an answer shall be deemed an admission of all allegations of fact in the notice. Allegations of fact in the notice not denied or controverted by answer shall be deemed admitted. Matters intended to be offered as affirmative defenses must be stated as a separate part of the answer. The answer under §15.82 shall be filed within 20 days from the date of service of the notice of hearing. The answer under §15.83 shall be filed within 20 days of service of the notice of opportunity to request a hearing.

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§15.85   Amendment of notice or answer.

The notice of hearing or notice of opportunity to request a hearing may be amended once as a matter of course before an answer thereto is served, and each applicant or recipient may amend his answer once as a matter of course not later than 10 days before the date fixed for hearing but in no event later than 20 days from the date of service of his original answer. Otherwise a notice or answer may be amended only by leave of the hearing officer. An applicant or recipient shall file his answer to an amended notice within the time remaining for filing the answer to the original notice or within 10 days after service of the amended notice, whichever period may be the longer, unless the hearing officer otherwise orders.

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§15.86   Consolidated or joint hearings.

Two or more proceedings against the same respondent, or against different respondents in which the same or related facts are asserted to constitute noncompliance, may be consolidated for hearing or decision or both by the agency head, if he has the principal responsibility within the Department for the administration of all the laws extending the Federal financial assistance involved. If laws administered by more than one agency head are involved, such officials may by agreement order consolidation for hearing. The Secretary may order proceedings in the Department consolidated for hearing with proceedings in other Federal Departments or agencies, by agreement with such other Departments or agencies. All parties to any proceeding consolidated subsequently to service of the notice of hearing or notice of opportunity to request a hearing shall be promptly served with notice of such consolidation.

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Hearing Officer

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§15.91   Who presides.

A hearing officer shall preside over all proceedings held under this part. The hearing officer shall be a hearing examiner qualified under section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), and designated to hold hearings under the regulations in this subpart or any person authorized to hold a hearing and make a final decision. The hearing officer will serve until he has made an initial decision, certified the record to the Secretary, or made a final decision if so authorized.

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§15.92   Designation of hearing officer.

Unless otherwise provided by an order of the Secretary at the time the notice of alleged noncompliance provided in §15.81 is filed with the Office of the Hearing Clerk, the hearing shall be held before a hearing examiner, who shall be appointed by the Chief Hearing Examiner, Office of Hearing Examiners within five days after the filing of such notice. Unless otherwise provided, the hearing examiner shall certify the entire record with his recommended findings and proposed decision to the Secretary for final decision.

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§15.93   Time and place of hearing.

When a notice of hearing is sent to an applicant or recipient, the time and place of hearing shall be fixed by the Secretary, and when the applicant or recipient requests a hearing, the time and place shall be set by the hearing officer and in either case in conformity with §15.9(b). The complainant, if any, shall be advised of the time and place of the hearing.

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§15.94   Disability of hearing officer.

In the case of death, illness, disqualification, or unavailability of the designated hearing officer, another hearing officer may be designated by the Secretary to take his place. If such death, illness, disqualification or unavailability occurs during the course of a hearing, the hearing will be either continued under a substitute hearing officer, or terminated and tried de novo in the discretion of the Secretary. In the absence of the designated hearing officer any hearing examiner may rule on motions and other interlocutory papers.

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§15.95   Responsibilities and duties of hearing officer.

The hearing officer shall have the duty to conduct a fair hearing, to take all necessary action to avoid delay, and to maintain order. He shall have all powers necessary to these ends, including (but not limited to) the power to:

(a) Arrange and issue notice of the date, time and place of hearings, or, upon due notice to the parties, to change the date, time and place of hearings previously set.

(b) Hold conferences to settle, simplify, or fix the issues in a proceeding, or to consider other matters that may aid in the expeditious disposition of the proceeding.

(c) Require parties and interveners to state their position with respect to the various issues in the proceeding.

(d) Administer oaths and affirmations.

(e) Rule on motions, and other procedural items on matters pending before him.

(f) Regulate the course of the hearing and conduct of parties therein.

(g) Examine witnesses and direct witnesses to testify.

(h) Receive, rule on, exclude or limit evidence.

(i) Fix the time for filing motions, petitions, briefs, or other items in matters pending before him.

(j) In accordance with his authority issue an initial decision, or recommended findings and proposed decision, or final decision.

(k) Take any other action a hearing officer is authorized to take under these rules or subpart A of this part.

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Motions

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§15.101   Form and content.

(a) General. Motions shall state the relief sought and the authority relied upon. If made before or after the hearing, the motion shall be in writing and filed with the hearing clerk with a copy to all parties. If made at the hearing, they should be stated orally but the hearing officer may require that any motion be reduced to writing and filed and served on all parties in the same manner as a formal motion.

(b) Extension of time or postponement. A request for an extention of time should be filed and served on all parties and should set forth the reasons for the request and may be granted upon a showing of good cause. Answers to such requests are permitted, if made promptly.

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§15.102   Responses to motions.

Within 8 days or such reasonable time as may be fixed by the hearing officer, or Secretary, if the motion is properly addressed to him, any party may file a response to the motion, unless the motion is made at a hearing in which case an immediate response may be required. The hearing officer may dispose of motions at a prehearing conference.

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§15.103   Disposition of motions.

The hearing officer may not sustain or grant a motion prior to expiration of the time for filing responses thereto, but may overrule or deny such motion without waiting on a response: Provided, however, That prehearing conferences, hearings, and decisions need not be delayed pending disposition of motions. Oral motions may be ruled on immediately. Motions submitted to the hearing officer not disposed of in separate rulings or in his decision will be deemed denied. Oral argument shall not be held on written motions unless expressly ordered. Interlocutory appeals from rulings on motions shall be governed by §15.123.

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Hearing Procedures

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§15.110   Prehearing conferences.

(a) In any case in which it appears that such procedure will expedite the proceeding, the hearing officer may, prior to the commencement of the hearing, request the parties to meet with him or to correspond with him regarding any of the following:

(1) Simplification and clarification of the issues;

(2) Necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;

(3) Stipulations, admissions of fact and of the contents and authenticity of documents;

(4) Matters of which official notice will be taken;

(5) Limitation of the number of experts or other witnesses;

(6) Disposal of all motions; and

(7) Such other matters as may expedite and aid in the disposition of the proceeding.

(b) The hearing officer shall enter in the record a written summary of the results of the conference or correspondence with the parties.

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§15.111   Purpose of hearing.

(a) The hearing is directed to receiving factual evidence and expert opinion testimony related to the issues in the proceeding. Argument will not be received in evidence; rather it should be presented in statements, memoranda or briefs, as determined by the hearing officer. Brief opening statements, which shall be limited to a statement of the party's position and what he intends to prove, may also be made at hearings.

(b) Hearings for the reception of evidence will be held only in cases where issues of fact must be resolved in order to determine whether the respondent has failed to comply with one or more applicable requirements of subpart A of this part. In any case where it appears from the answer of the applicant or recipient to the notice of hearing or notice of opportunity to request a hearing, from his failure timely to answer, or from his admissions or stipulations in the record that there are no matters of material fact in dispute, the hearing officer may enter an order so finding, and fixing the time for the submission of evidence by the Government for the record. Thereafter, the proceedings shall go to conclusion in accordance with subpart A of this part and the rules of this subpart. An appeal from such order may be allowed in accordance with the rules for interlocutory appeal in §15.123.

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§15.112   Statement of position and brief.

The hearing officer may require all parties and any intervener to file a written statement of position or brief prior to the beginning of a hearing.

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§15.113   Testimony.

(a) Testimony shall be given orally under oath or affirmation by witnesses at the hearing, but the hearing officer, in his discretion, may require or permit that the testimony of any witness be prepared in writing and served on all parties in advance of the hearing. Such testimony may be adopted by the witness at the hearing and filed as part of the record thereof. Unless authorized by the hearing officer, witnesses will not be permitted to read prepared testimony into the record. Except as provided in §§15.115 and 15.116, witnesses shall be available at the hearing for cross-examination.

(b) Proposed exhibits shall be exchanged either at a prehearing conference, or otherwise prior to the hearing. Proposed exhibits not so exchanged may be denied admission as evidence unless good cause is shown why they were not exchanged. The authenticity of all proposed exhibits exchanged prior to hearing will be deemed admitted unless written objection thereto is filed prior to the hearing or unless good cause is shown at the hearing for failure to file such written objection.

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§15.115   Affidavits.

An affidavit, intended to be used as evidence without cross-examination of the affiant, will be filed and served on the parties at least 15 days prior to the hearing; and not less than seven days prior to hearing a party may file and serve written objections to any affidavit on the ground that he believes it necessary to test the truth of assertions therein by cross-examination. In such event, the affidavit objected to will not be received in evidence unless the affiant is made available for cross-examination at the hearing or otherwise as prescribed by the hearing officer. In absence of an objection being filed within the time specified, such affidavit will be received in evidence.

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§15.116   Depositions.

Upon such terms as may be just, the hearing officer, in his discretion, may authorize the testimony of any witness to be taken by deposition.

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§15.117   Evidence.

Irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, and unduly repetitious evidence will be excluded, and technical rules of evidence shall not apply but rules or principles designed to assure the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination shall apply.

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§15.118   Cross-examination.

Cross-examination will be limited to the scope of direct examination and matters at issue in the hearing.

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§15.119   Objections.

Objections to evidence shall be timely and briefly state the ground relied upon. The ruling of the hearing officer will be part of the record. Argument in support of the objection will not be part of the record.

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§15.120   Exceptions to rulings of hearing officer unnecessary.

Exceptions to rulings of the hearing officer are unnecessary. It is sufficient that a party, at the time the ruling of the hearing officer is sought, makes known the action which he desires the hearing officer to take, or his objection to an action taken, and his grounds therefor.

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§15.121   Official notice.

A public document, or part thereof, such as an official report decision, opinion, or published scientific or economic statistical data issued by any branch of the Federal or a State Government which has been shown to be reasonably available to the public, may be offered for official notice and accepted in the record without further proof of authenticity. Where official notice is to be taken, any party, on timely request, shall have an opportunity to show the contrary.

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§15.122   Offer of proof.

An offer of proof made in connection with an objection taken to any ruling of the hearing officer rejecting or excluding proposed oral testimony shall consist of a statement for the record of the substance of the evidence which counsel contends would be adduced by such testimony; and, if the excluded evidence consists of evidence in documentary or written form or of reference to documents or records, a copy of such evidence shall be marked for identification and shall accompany the record as an offer of proof.

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§15.123   Appeals from ruling of hearing officer.

A ruling of the hearing officer may not be appealed to the Secretary prior to consideration of the entire proceeding by the hearing officer except with the consent of the hearing officer and where he certifies on the record or in writing that the allowance of an interlocutory appeal is clearly necessary to prevent exceptional delay, expense, or prejudice to any part or substantial detriment to the public interest. If an appeal is allowed, any party may file a brief with the Secretary within such period as the hearing officer directs. Oral argument will be heard in the discretion of the Secretary.

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§15.124   Admissions as to facts and documents.

Not later than 15 days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing except for good cause shown, or prior to such earlier date as the hearing officer may order, any party may serve upon an opposing party a written request for the admission of the genuineness and authenticity of any relevant documents described in and exhibited with the request, or for the admission of the truth of any relevant matters of fact stated in the request. Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted, unless within a period designated in the request (not less than 10 days after service thereof, or within such further time as the hearing officer may allow upon motion and notice) the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the requesting party a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny such matters. Copies of requests for admission and answers thereto shall be served on all parties. Any admission made by a party to such request is only for the purposes of the pending proceeding, or any proceeding or action instituted for the enforcement of any order entered therein, and shall not constitute an admission by him for any other purpose or be used against him in any other proceeding or action.

[31 FR 8586, June 21, 1966]

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The Record

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§15.131   Official transcript.

The hearing clerk will designate the official reporter for all hearings. The official transcript of testimony taken, together with any affidavits, exhibits, depositions, briefs, or memoranda of law shall be filed with the hearing clerk. Transcripts of testimony in hearings will be supplied by the official reporter to the parties and to the public at rates not to exceed the maximum rates fixed by the contract between the Department and the reporter. Upon notice to all parties, the hearing officer may authorize corrections to the transcript which involve matters of substance.

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§15.132   Record for decision.

The transcript of testimony, exhibits, affidavits, depositions, briefs, memoranda of law, and all pleadings, motions, papers, and requests filed in the proceeding, except the correspondence section of the docket, including rulings, and any recommended findings and proposed decision, or initial decision shall constitute the exclusive record for final decision.

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Posthearing Procedures

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§15.135   Posthearing briefs.

The hearing officer shall fix a reasonable time for filing posthearing briefs, which may contain proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and, if permitted, reply briefs. Briefs should include a summary of the evidence relied upon together with references to exhibit numbers and pages of the transcript, with citations of the authorities relied upon. Briefs shall be filed in the Office of the Hearing Clerk with a copy to all parties.

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§15.136   Decisions and notices.

When the time for submission of posthearing briefs has expired the hearing officer shall either make an initial decision or final decision, if so authorized, or certify the entire record including his recommended findings and proposed decision to the Secretary for a final decision and a copy of such initial, or final decision or certification shall be mailed to the applicant or recipient and other parties by the hearing clerk.

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§15.137   Exceptions to initial or proposed decision.

Within 30 days of the mailing of such notice of initial or recommended findings and proposed decision, the applicant or recipient and other parties may file with the hearing clerk for consideration by the Secretary exceptions to the initial or recommended findings and proposed decision, with reasons therefor. Each party will be given reasonable opportunity to file briefs or other written statements of contentions in which the party may request that the decision be modified, reversed, affirmed or adopted.

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§15.138   Review of initial decision.

In the absence of exceptions to an initial decision, the Secretary may on his own motion within 45 days after an initial decision serve upon the parties a notice that he will review the decision and will give the parties reasonable opportunity to file briefs or other written statements of contentions. At the expiration of said time for filing briefs, the Secretary will review the initial decision and issue a final decision thereon. In the absence of either exceptions to an initial decision or a notice or review, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the Secretary.

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§15.139   Oral argument.

If any party desires to argue orally before the Secretary on the review of recommended findings and proposed decision, or an initial decision, he shall so state at the time he files his exceptions or brief. The Secretary may grant such request in his discretion. If granted, he will serve notice of oral argument on all parties and will set forth the order of presentation and the amount of time allotted, and the time and place of argument.

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§15.140   Service of decisions.

All final decisions shall be promptly served on all parties and the complainant.

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§15.141   Contents of decision.

Each decision of a hearing officer shall set forth his ruling on each finding, conclusion, or exception presented, and shall identify the requirement or requirements imposed by or pursuant to the regulations in this part with which it is found that the applicant or recipient has failed to comply.

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§15.142   Content of orders.

The final decision may provide for suspension or termination of, or refusal to grant or continue Federal financial assistance, in whole or in part, under the program involved, and may contain such terms, conditions, and other provisions as are consistent with and will effectuate the purposes of the Act and the regulations in this part, including provisions designed to assure that no Federal financial assistance will thereafter be extended under such program to the applicant or recipient determined by such decision to be in default in its performance of an assurance given by it pursuant to the regulations in this part, or to have otherwise failed to comply with the regulations in this part, unless and until it corrects its noncompliance and satisfies the Agency that it will fully comply with the regulations in this part.

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§15.143   Decision where financial assistance affected.

The Secretary shall make any final decision which provides for the suspension or termination of, or the refusal to grant or continue Federal financial assistance, or the imposition of any other sanction available under the regulations in this part or the Act.

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