(a) Submission of information concerning apparent violations.
(1) Any interested person desiring to submit information regarding an apparent violation of any provision of a statute listed in § 1.131 or of any regulation, standard, instruction, or order issued pursuant thereto, may file the information with the Administrator of the agency administering the statute involved in accordance with this section and any applicable statutory or regulation provisions. Such information may be made the basis of any appropriate proceeding covered by the rules in this subpart, or any other appropriate proceeding authorized by the particular statute or the regulations promulgated thereunder.
(2) The information may be submitted by telegram, by letter, or by a preliminary statement of facts, setting forth the essential details of the transaction complained of. So far as practicable, the information shall include such of the following items as may be applicable:
(i) The name and address of each person and of the agent, if any, representing such person in the transaction involved;
(ii) Place where the alleged violation occurred;
(iii) Quantity and quality or grade of each kind of product or article involved;
(iv) Date of alleged violation;
(v) Car initial and number, if carlot;
(vi) Shipping and destination points;
(vii) If a sale, the date, sale price, and amount actually received;
(viii) If a consignment, the date, reported proceeds, gross, net;
(ix) Amount of damage claimed, if any;
(x) Statement of other material facts, including terms of contract; and
(xi) So far as practicable, true copies of all available papers relating to the transaction complained about, including shipping documents, letters, telegrams, invoices, manifests, inspection certificates, accounts of sales and any special contracts or agreements.
(3) Upon receipt of the information and supporting evidence, the Administrator shall cause such investigation to be made as, in the opinion of the Administrator, is justified by the facts. If such investigation discloses that no violation of the Act or of the regulations, standards, instructions, or orders issued pursuant thereto, has occurred, no further action shall be taken and the person submitting the information shall be so informed.
(4) The person submitting the information shall not be a party to any proceeding which may be instituted as a result thereof and such person shall have no legal status in the proceeding, except as a subpoenaed witness or as a deponent in a deposition taken without expense to such person.
(b) Filing of complaint or petition for review.
(1) If there is reason to believe that a person has violated or is violating any provision of a statute listed in § 1.131 or of any regulation, standard, instruction or order issued pursuant thereto, whether based upon information furnished under paragraph (a) of this section or other information, a complaint may be filed with the Hearing Clerk pursuant to these rules.
(2) Any person determined by the Chief, PACA Branch, pursuant to §§ 47.47-47.49 of this title to have been responsibly connected within the meaning of 7 U.S.C. 499a(b)(9) to a licensee who is subject or potentially subject to license suspension or revocation as the result of an alleged violation of 7 U.S.C. 499b or 499h(b) or as provided in 7 U.S.C. 499g(d) shall be entitled to institute a proceeding under this section and to have determined the facts with respect to such responsibly connected status by filing with the Hearing Clerk a petition for review of such determination.
(3) As provided in 5 U.S.C. 558, in any case, except one of willfulness or one in which public health, interest, or safety otherwise requires, prior to the institution of a formal proceeding which may result in the withdrawal, suspension, or revocation of a “license” as that term is defined in 5 U.S.C. 551(8), the Administrator, in an effort to effect an amicable or informal settlement of the matter, shall give written notice to the person involved of the facts or conduct concerned and shall afford such person an opportunity, within a reasonable time fixed by the Administrator, to demonstrate or achieve compliance with the applicable requirements of the statute, or the regulation, standard, instruction or order promulgated thereunder.