13 CFR 134.406 - Review of the administrative record.
(a) Any proceeding conducted under § 134.401(a) through (d) shall be decided solely on a review of the written administrative record, except as provided in § 134.407 and in suspension appeals. For suspension appeals under § 134.401(e), see § 124.305(d) of this chapter.
(b) Except in suspension appeals, the Administrative Law Judge's review is limited to determining whether the Agency's determination is arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. As long as the Agency's determination is not arbitrary, capricious or contrary to law, the Administrative Law Judge must uphold it on appeal.
(c)The administrative record.
(1) The administrative record must contain all documents that are relevant to the determination on appeal before the Administrative Law Judge and upon which the SBA decision-maker, and those SBA officials that recommended either for or against the decision, relied. The administrative record, however, need not contain all documents pertaining to the petitioner. For example, the administrative record in a termination proceeding need not include the Participant's entire business plan file, documents pertaining to specific 8(a) contracts, or the firm's application for participation in the 8(a) BD program if they are unrelated to the termination action. The SBA may claim privilege as to certain materials.
(2) The petitioner may object to the absence of a document, previously submitted to, or sent by, SBA, which the petitioner believes was erroneously omitted from the administrative record. The petitioner also may object to a claim of privilege made by the SBA. The petitioner's objections must be filed and served no later than 10 days of its receipt of the administrative record.
(3) In the absence of any objection by the petitioner or a finding by the Judge pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section that the record is insufficiently complete to decide whether the determination was arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law, the administrative record submitted by SBA shall be deemed complete.
(d) Where the Agency files its response to the appeal petition after the date specified in § 134.206, the Administrative Law Judge may decline to consider the response and base his or her decision solely on a review of the administrative record.
(1) The Administrative Law Judge may remand a case to the Director, Office of Business Development (or, in the case of a denial of a request for waiver under § 124.515 of this chapter, to the Administrator) for further consideration if he or she determines that, due to the absence in the written administrative record of the reasons upon which the determination was based, the administrative record is insufficiently complete to decide whether the determination is arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. In the event of such a remand, the Judge will not require the SBA to supplement the administrative record other than to supply the reason or reasons for the determination and any documents submitted to, or considered by, SBA in connection with any reconsideration permitted by regulation that occurs during the remand period. After such a remand, in the event the Judge finds that the reasons upon which the determination is based are absent from any supplemented record, the Judge will find the SBA determination to be arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law.
(2) The Administrative Law Judge may also remand a case to the Director, Office of Business Development (or, in the case of a denial of a request for waiver under § 124.515 of this chapter, to the Administrator) for further consideration where it is clearly apparent from the record that SBA made an erroneous factual finding (e.g., SBA double counted an asset of an individual claiming disadvantaged status) or a mistake of law (e.g., SBA applied the wrong regulatory provision in evaluating the case).
(3) The Administrative Law Judge may remand an eligibility, early graduation, or termination appeal to the Director, Office of Business Development, where the determination raises a new ground that was not in the initial SBA determination.
(4) A remand under this section will be for a reasonable period.