34 CFR 32.7 - Pre-offset oral hearing.
(a) Oral hearings are informal in nature. The Secretary and the employee, through their representatives, and by reference to the documentation submitted, explain their case. The employee may testify on his or her own behalf, subject to cross examination. Other witnesses may be called to testify only where the hearing official determines that their testimony is relevant and not redundant.
(b) The hearing official shall:
(1) Conduct a fair and impartial hearing; and
(2) Preside over the course of the hearing, maintain decorum, and avoid delay in the disposition of the hearing.
(c) The employee may represent himself or herself or may be represented by another person at the hearing. The employee may not be represented by a person whose representation creates an actual or apparent conflict of interest.
(d) Oral hearings are open to the public. However, the hearing official may close all or any portion of the hearing where to do so is in the best interests of the employee or the public.
(e) Oral hearings may be conducted by conference call -
(1) If the employee is located in a city outside the Washington, DC Metropolitan area;
(2) At the request of the employee; or
(3) At the discretion of the hearing official.