(a) The recipient may make written request for a hearing within 30 days of its receipt of the preliminary determination or within 15 days of receipt of the written determination issued by the designated employee after the conclusion of the informal conference.
(b) Within 10 days after receipt of a request for a hearing, the Corporation shall notify the recipient in writing of the date, time and place of the hearing and the names of the hearing officer and of the attorney who will represent the Corporation. The time, date and location of the hearing may be changed upon agreement of the Corporation and the recipient.
(c) A hearing officer shall be appointed by the President or designee and may be an employee of the Corporation. The hearing officer shall not have been involved in the current termination or debarment action and the President or designee shall determine that the person is qualified to preside over the hearing as an impartial decision maker. An impartial decision maker is a person who has not formed a prejudgment on the case and does not have a pecuniary interest or personal bias in the outcome of the proceeding.
(d) The hearing shall be scheduled to commence at the earliest appropriate date, ordinarily not later than 30 days after the notice required by paragraph (b) of this section.
(e) The hearing officer shall preside over and conduct a full and fair hearing, avoid delay, maintain order, and insure that a record sufficient for full disclosure of the facts and issues is maintained.
(f) The hearing shall be open to the public unless, for good cause and the interests of justice, the hearing officer determines otherwise.
(g) The Corporation and the recipient shall be entitled to be represented by counsel or by another person.
(h) At the hearing, the Corporation and the recipient each may present its case by oral or documentary evidence, conduct examination and cross-examination of witnesses, examine any documents submitted, and submit rebuttal evidence.
(i) The hearing officer shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence and may make any procedural or evidentiary ruling that may help to insure full disclosure of the facts, to maintain order, or to avoid delay. Irrelevant, immaterial, repetitious or unduly prejudicial matter may be excluded.
(j) Official notice may be taken of published policies, rules, regulations, guidelines, and instructions of the Corporation, of any matter of which judicial notice may be taken in a Federal court, or of any other matter whose existence, authenticity, or accuracy is not open to serious question.
(k) A stenographic or electronic record shall be made in a manner determined by the hearing officer, and a copy shall be made available to the recipient at no cost.
(l) The Corporation shall have the initial burden to show grounds for a termination or debarment. The burden of persuasion shall then shift to the recipient to show by a preponderance of evidence on the record that its funds should not be terminated or that it should not be disbarred.
Title 45 published on 2012-10-01
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