13 CFR § 117.16 - Hearings.

§ 117.16 Hearings.

(a) Opportunity for hearing. Whenever an opportunity for a hearing is required by § 117.15, 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 the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) 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 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 appear at a hearing for which a date has been set shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right to a hearing and as 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 OHA in Washington, DC, at a time fixed by OHA unless that office determines that the convenience of the complainant, applicant, recipient or SBA requires that another place be selected. Hearings shall be held before an administrative law judge designated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

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

(d) Procedures, evidence, and record.

(1) The hearings, decisions, and any administrative review shall be conducted in conformity with the Administrative Procedure Act and 13 CFR part 134. Such rules of procedure should be consistent with this section, relate to the conduct of the hearing, provide for giving of notices to those referred to in paragraph (a) of this section, taking of testimony, exhibits, arguments, and briefs, request for findings and other related matters. SBA, the complainant, if any, 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 administrative law judge conducting the hearing at the outset of or during the hearing.

(2) Technical rules of evidence may be waived by the administrative law judge conducting a hearing pursuant to this part, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available, and subject testimony to test by cross-examination shall be applied where reasonably necessary. The administrative law judge 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 or threatened noncompliance with this part, with respect to two or more forms of financial assistance to which this part applies, or noncompliance with this part and the regulations of one or more other Federal agencies issued under the Act, the Administrator may, by agreement with such other agencies, provide for the conduct of consolidated or joint hearings, and for the application to such hearings of rules and procedures not inconsistent with this part. Final decisions in such cases, insofar as this part is concerned, shall be made in accordance with § 117.17.