15 CFR § 906.11 - Hearing.

§ 906.11 Hearing.

(a) Procedures.

(1) An appellate officer in his or her discretion may order a hearing taking into account the information provided by an appellant pursuant to § 906.3(b)(3) and whether an appellate officer considers that a hearing will materially advance his or her evaluation of the issues under appeal. In exercising his or her discretion, an appellate officer may consider whether oral testimony is required to resolve a material issue of fact, whether oral presentation is needed to probe a party's position on a material issue of law, and whether a hearing was held previously for the same appeal. If an appellate officer determines that a hearing is not necessary, then the appellate officer will base his or her decision on the NAO case record. In the absence of a hearing an appellate officer may, at his or her discretion, permit the parties to submit additional materials for consideration.

(2) If an appellate officer convenes a hearing, the hearing will be conducted in the manner determined by NAO most likely to obtain the facts relevant to the matter or matters at issue.

(3) NAO shall schedule the date, time and place for the hearing. NAO will notify the parties in writing of the hearing date, time and place at least 10 days prior to the hearing unless the Chief of NAO orders a shorter period for providing notice or conducting the hearing. A party can request one change in the scheduled hearing date. In determining whether to grant the request, NAO will consider whether the requesting party has shown good cause for the change in date.

(4) At the hearing, all testimony will be under oath or affirmation administered by an appellate officer. In the event a party or a witness refuses to be sworn or refuses to answer a question, an appellate officer may state for the record any inference drawn from such refusal.

(5) An appellate officer may question the parties and the witnesses.

(6) An appellate officer will allow time for parties to present argument, question witnesses and other parties, and introduce evidence consistent with § 906.10.

(7) Parties may not compel discovery or the testimony of any witness.

(b) Recording. An appellate officer will record the hearing unless the appellant consents to proceed without a recording.

(c) Format. At the discretion of NAO, hearings may be conducted by telephone, in person, or by teleconference or similar electronic means.