21 CFR 12.94 - Receipt of evidence.
(a) A hearing consists of the development of evidence and the resolution of factual issues as set forth in this subpart and in the prehearing order.
(b) All orders, transcripts, written statements of position, written direct testimony, written interrogatories and responses, and any other written material submitted in the proceeding is a part of the administrative record of the hearing, and will be promptly placed on public display in the office of the Division of Dockets Management, except as provided in § 12.105.
(c) Written evidence, identified as such, is admissible unless a participant objects and the presiding officer excludes it on objection of a participant or on the presiding officer's own initiative.
(1) The presiding officer may exclude written evidence as inadmissible only if -
(i) The evidence is irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, or repetitive;
(ii) Exclusion of part or all of the written evidence of a participant is necessary to enforce the requirements of this subpart; or
(iii) The evidence was not submitted as required by § 12.85.
(2) Items of written evidence are to be submitted as separate documents, sequentially numbered, except that a voluminous document may be submitted in the form of a cross-reference to the documents filed under § 12.85.
(3) Written evidence excluded by the presiding officer as inadmissible remains a part of the administrative record, as an offer of proof, for judicial review.
(d) Testimony, whether on direct or on cross-examination, is admissible as evidence unless a participant objects and the presiding officer excludes it.
(1) The presiding officer may exclude oral evidence as inadmissible only if -
(i) The evidence is irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, or repetitive; or
(ii) Exclusion of part or all of the evidence is necessary to enforce the requirements of this part.
(2) If oral evidence is excluded as inadmissible, the participant may take written exception to the ruling in a brief to the Commissioner, without taking oral exception at the hearing. Upon review, the Commissioner may reopen the hearing to permit the evidence to be admitted if the Commissioner determines that its exclusion was erroneous and prejudicial.
(e) The presiding officer may schedule conferences as needed to monitor the program of the hearing, narrow and simplify the issues, and consider and rule on motions, requests, and other matters concerning the development of the evidence.
(f) The presiding officer will conduct such proceedings as are necessary for the taking of oral testimony, for the oral examination of witnesses by the presiding officer on the basis of written questions previously submitted by the parties, and for the conduct of cross-examination of witnesses by the parties. The presiding officer shall exclude irrelevant or repetitious written questions and limit oral cross-examination to prevent irrelevant or repetitious examination.
(g) The presiding officer shall order the proceedings closed for the taking of oral testimony relating to matters specified in § 10.20(j)(2)(i) (a) and (b). Such closed proceedings will be conducted in accordance with § 10.20(j)(3). Participation in closed proceedings will be limited to the witness, the witness' counsel, and Federal Government executive branch employees and special government employees. Closed proceedings will be permitted only for, and will be limited to, oral testimony directly relating to matters specified in § 10.20(j)(3).