7 U.S. Code § 6998 - Director review of determinations of hearing officers
(a) Requests for Director review
(1) Time for request by appellant
Not later than 30 days after the date on which an appellant receives the determination of a hearing officer under section 6997 of this title, the appellant shall submit a written request to the Director for review of the determination in order to be entitled to a review by the Director of the determination.
(2) Time for request by agency head
Not later than 15 business days after the date on which an agency receives the determination of a hearing officer under section 6997 of this title, the head of the agency may make a written request that the Director review the determination.
(b) Determination of Director
The Director shall conduct a review of the determination of the hearing officer using the case record, the record from the evidentiary hearing under section 6997 of this title, the request for review, and such other arguments or information as may be accepted by the Director. Based on such review, the Director shall issue a final determination notice that upholds, reverses, or modifies the determination of the hearing officer. However, if the Director determines that the hearing record is inadequate, the Director may remand all or a portion of the determination for further proceedings to complete the hearing record or, at the option of the Director, to hold a new hearing. The Director shall complete the review and either issue a final determination or remand the determination not later than—
(1) 10 business days after receipt of the request for review, in the case of a request by the head of an agency for review; or
(c) Basis for determination
The determination of the hearing officer and the Director shall be based on information from the case record, laws applicable to the matter at issue, and applicable regulations published in the Federal Register and in effect on the date of the adverse decision or the date on which the acts that gave rise to the adverse decision occurred, whichever date is appropriate.
(d) Equitable relief
Subject to regulations issued by the Secretary, the Director shall have the authority to grant equitable relief under this section in the same manner and to the same extent as such authority is provided to the Secretary under section 7996 of this title and other laws. Notwithstanding the administrative finality of a final determination of an appeal by the Division, the Secretary shall have the authority to grant equitable or other types of relief to the appellant after an administratively final determination is issued by the Division.