32 CFR § 507.18 - Processing complaints of alleged breach of policies.

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§ 507.18 Processing complaints of alleged breach of policies.

The Institute of Heraldry may revoke or suspend the certificate of authority to manufacture if there are breaches of quality control policies by the manufacturer. As used in this paragraph, the term quality control policies include the obligation of a manufacturer under his or her “Agreement to Manufacture,” the quality control provisions of this part, and other applicable instructions provided by TIOH.

(a) Initial processing.

(1) Complaints and reports of an alleged breach of quality control policies will be forwarded to the Director, The Institute of Heraldry, 9325 Gunston Road, Room S-112, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5579 (hereinafter referred to as Director).

(2) The Director may direct that an informal investigation of the complaint or report be conducted.

(3) If such investigation is initiated, it will be the duty of the investigator to ascertain the facts in an impartial manner. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will submit a report to the appointing authority containing a summarized record of the investigation together with such findings and recommendations as may be appropriate and warranted by the facts.

(4) The report of investigation will be forwarded to the Director for review. If it is determined that a possible breach of quality control policies has occurred, the Director will follow the procedures outlined in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section.

(b) Voluntary performance. The Director will transmit a registered letter to the manufacturer advising of the detailed allegations of breach and requesting assurances of voluntary compliance with quality control policies. No further action is taken if the manufacturer voluntarily complies with the quality control policies; however, any further reoccurrence of the same breach will be considered refusal to perform.

(c) Refusal to perform.

(1) If the manufacturer fails to reply within a reasonable time to the letter authorized by paragraph (b) of this section, or refuses to give adequate assurances that future performance will conform to quality control policies, or indicates by subsequent conduct that the breach is continuous or repetitive, or disputes the allegations of breach, the Director will direct that a public hearing be conducted on the allegations.

(2) A hearing examiner will be appointed by appropriate orders. The examiner may be either a commissioned officer or a civilian employee above the grade of GS-7.

(3) The specific written allegations, together with other pertinent material, will be transmitted to the hearing examiner for introduction as evidence at the hearing.

(4) Manufacturers may be suspended for failure to return a loaned tool without referral to a hearing specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; however, the manufacturer will be advised, in writing, that tools are overdue and suspension will take effect if not returned within the specified time.

(d) Notification to the manufacturer by examiner. Within a 7 day period following receipt by the examiner of the allegations and other pertinent material, the examiner will transmit a registered letter of notification to the manufacturer informing him or her of the following:

(1) Specific allegations.

(2) Directive of the Director requiring the holding of a public hearing on the allegations.

(3) Examiner's decision to hold the public hearing at a specific time, date, and place that will be not earlier than 30 days from the date of the letter of notification.

(4) Ultimate authority of the Director to suspend or revoke the certificate of authority should the record developed at the hearing so warrant.

(5) Right to -

(i) A full and fair public hearing.

(ii) Be represented by counsel at the hearing.

(iii) Request a change in the date, time, or place of the hearing for purposes of having reasonable time in which to prepare the case.

(iv) Submit evidence and present witnesses in his or her own behalf.

(v) Obtain, upon written request filed before the commencement of the hearing, at no cost, a verbatim transcript of the proceedings.

(e) Public hearing by examiner.

(1) At the time, date, and place designated in accordance with paragraph (d) (3) of this section, the examiner will conduct the public hearing.

(i) A verbatim record of the proceeding will be maintained.

(ii) All previous material received by the examiner will be introduced into evidence and made part of the record.

(iii) The Government may be represented by counsel at the hearing.

(2) Subsequent to the conclusion of the hearing, the examiner will make specific findings on the record before him or her concerning each allegation.

(3) The complete record of the case will be forwarded to the Director.

(f) Action by the Director.

(1) The Director will review the record of the hearing and either approve or disapprove the findings.

(2) Upon arrival of a finding of breach of quality control policies, the manufacturer will be so advised.

(3) After review of the findings, the certificate of authority may be revoked or suspended. If the certificate of authority is revoked or suspended, the Director will -

(i) Notify the manufacturer of the revocation or suspension.

(ii) Remove the manufacturer from the list of certified manufacturers.

(iii) Inform the Army and Air Force Exchange Service of the action.

(g) Reinstatement of certificate of authority. The Director may, upon receipt of adequate assurance that the manufacturer will comply with quality control policies, reinstate a certificate of authority that has been suspended or revoked.